Special Feature

FEATURED ARTICLES           Wednesday, April 23, 2014                                Email to a Friend

1) As twins, does it bother you that sometimes your identity is as a unit rather than solo?

Shannon: I wouldn’t say that it is bothersome that we are identified as a unit. Probably due to the fact that we have been deemed as an item our whole lives. We just decided to use that identity that we were naturally given and use that to our advantage by marketing ourselves as a unit. Marketing wise, being identified as a unit has worked to our advantage.

Shauna: We both knew how to market ourselves and we knew that 'The Baker Twins' could easily be branded. Growing up, people couldn't tell the difference between us so people just started calling us 'The Baker Twins' so I have always been used to having a shared identity.

2) You both said in an interview that you have wanted the same things since you were little. Has this changed at all since? Are there specific things in the industry that one or the other has a greater passion for?

Shannon: The arts have always been a passion that we have shared since we were children. The arts can be fairly broad. We still share a lot of the same passions still but now that we are no longer children we can delve into different branches of art. We both enjoy making music, I just happen to enjoy making sounds with my guitar whereas Shauna enjoys listening to hip hop.

Shauna: I’m a typical Pisces so I’m naturally a shy person. Acting gives me an opportunity to transform into a different person, when I’m a character my shyness is completely eliminated.

3) Being that you are in the entertainment industry and that you are entrepreneurs, does anyone ever compare you to the Olsen twins?

Shannon: Yes, many people do compare us to the Olsen twins. I think that it is flattering. The Olsen twins are also in the entertainment industry and are entrepreneurs. The twins were heavily marketed as young children after their debut ended on the Full House show ended and since have started their own fashion line. The difference is that we didn’t have the benefit of being marketed as children, we started quite later.

Shauna: Occasionally, but not as much as people think! Their target market is focused on 5 year old girls and teens, our demographic is much more broad. More people ask us if people compare us to the Olsen Twins then people actually comparing us to the Olsen Twins.

4) Shannon, you were in the miss universe Canada pageant this year. How was the experience without your sister?

Shannon: The experience without my sister was both unusual and exhilarating. During the pageant I became conscious of how being a twin was a huge faucet of my life with regards to how I interact with people. I didn’t realize how much I said “we” instead of “I”. The experience definitely expanded my individualism.

5) I watched you guys on the Tyra show talking about racial stereotypes among native Americans. Fantastic segment! What kind of response did you get from the Tyra Banks show? Both from your fans and the industry.

Shauna: In the mainstream industry it hasn't really been brought to limelight attention so it's great that we are able to make industry people aware of what's going on. There needs to be more mainstream roles of present day First Nations people and more roles that are not so stereotypical.

Shannon: Our fans couldn’t have been more supportive. We received hundreds of emails and letters from people that supported us. We received these letters of support from not only First Nations people but minorities and non-minorities. The fact that Tyra Banks brought us on the show to publicize this problem in the industry shows how the industry has been supportive despite the fact that the same industry stereotypes various races. It is a dilemma that needs to be addressed and I believe that the industry will begin to change as more people speak out.

6) You have close ties with your culture and are proud of your heritage, but mentioned that at one point you said you were "mixed" or passed -off as "Latin", at what age did you start emphasizing your heritage?

Shannon: Not very many people know that we are mixed blood, we are ¼ African American. I suppose that is why we are able to play roles of different races including Latin American. However, we do draw close to our Native heritage. Our Grandmother who is First Nations played a huge role in raising Shauna and I. She taught us about our culture which continues to be an imperative component of our lives

Shauna: Our Grandmother is full Carrier Dene and she had a huge influence on our lives. Our Mother had us at an extremely young age so we lived and grew up with our Uncles and Aunts. We eventually moved away from our small town so my mother could further her education and go to college. When we eventually came back to the reservation for our sophomore year we were able to learn more about our history and our roots from my Grandmother. This summer we went down south and visited our Grandfathers’ family, many people either don’t know or choose to ignore our African American blood. We are ¼ black but we were raised on our nation.

7) Do you think there is enough awareness out in the arts industry and other industries to make changes? What do you think could be done to make changes?

Shauna: People are too scared to stick up for the small people in the industry. They would rather go with the flow and when they are ahead they don’t take advantage of the opportunities given to them to inform people. Like I said before, I would love to see more roles for modern day First Nations people and I would love to see more native people in mainstream movies!

Shannon: The media needs to portray First Nations peoples and other ethnic and visible minorities in the North America media. It is as simple as that. If you look at everyday people in this country you are visibly aware of all the minorities and yet this isn’t represented correctly in the media. It seems that the media are quick to portray minorities as a specific stereotype. We need to be in commercials, tv shows and movies as everyday people not just as the stereotype of a specific race.

8) You are beautiful girls with amazing hair (I read about Shannon's award in the miss universe pageant for "best hair"). It seems that long locks are a trademark of yours. Would you ever cut it for a job if it required you do so?

Shauna: I'm not emotionally attached to my hair but if a great opportunity came up, who knows? I think and I hope our fans would support us in whatever physical changes we make during our careers.

9) I read that Shauna is in a relationship with Moka Only, a fellow Canadian artist! How did you guys meet?

Shauna: We both shared a mutual friend, a few of us went out for dinner and Moka and I clicked right away. We have been together since. He recently got a tattoo of my first and middle name on his upper right arm.

10) Shannon are you in any relationship?

Shannon: I guess I am fairly private when it comes to my love life. But yes, right now I am in a relationship.

11) Let's talk about "Tin Man" - can you describe the mini-series and what it is about. What characters you play.

Shauna: 'Tin Man' is the remake of the 'Wizard of Oz' but with a Sci-Fi- twist. We are 'Demilos Girls'.

12) What do you have currently on the go?”

Shauna: A movie and a pilot.

13) Do you have any plans for singing careers or fashion design? School? I read Shannon you are going for your BA.

Shannon: Yes, yes and yes. I have always been quite shy about my music with regards to performing in front of people. However, I am finally coming out of my shell when it comes to the musical part of my life. With regards to fashion, we are planning on eventually launching our own fashion line. You will have to wait and see! I am working towards my BA. I have so much on my plate right now so it would be impossible for me to be a full time student right now and do what I do. Online courses and part time courses will have to suffice.

Shauna: When I was a little girl Shannon and I would spend hours designing, colouring and cutting out clothes for our paper dolls. When high school came I would draw out clothing designs on a notepad. We are eventually going to start our own clothing line. As for music, my boyfriend has been asking me to sing hooks on his songs for a while now and I eventually will so keep your ears open people.