SEMINOLE — Those who remember Shadia Martin from her time at Seminole High School likely recall her as a shy but talented and creative student with a penchant for singing and playing guitar.
Her former classmates might be surprised to learn that the 2012 graduate is living in Los Angeles pursuing a career as an actress.
She was featured in the recently released music video for EDM producer and DJ Marshmello’s song “Here with Me” featuring the Scottish band Chvurches. By press time, the video had amassed more than 5 million views on YouTube.
“I’ve pretty much just been working on some small and independent projects. So this is the first thing that’s actually going to reach people,” Martin said.
In the video, she takes on the role of Tessa, the daughter of a California firefighter who is worried about her father’s safety during a call to a house fire. It’s the true story of a Long Beach, California, firefighter, she added, and features a real-life hero in the main role.
“They hired someone who actually is [a firefighter],” Martin said. “That way he can bring his real-life experiences to it, share his experiences, and so that these are the things they’re up against that people might not know the dangers of it.”
The purpose of the video is to raise funds for the Fire Responder Support Network. There’s a donation button next to the video on YouTube.
“I’m excited to be a part of that story,” Martin said.
The storyline “hit close to home,” she added. She has family in New York who are first responders. One of her uncles just retired from the Nassau County Police Department after 30 years.
Music videos are a great vehicle for storytelling and she’s proud of her work for “Here with Me,” she said.
“Even though it’s only 2 minutes and 45 seconds, I was able, as an actor, to show a lot of different emotions and tell a full story in a short amount of time,” she said. “I was able to showcase a lot in a short amount of time.”
Born in Panama, Martin moved to Florida when she was 6 years old. Though she didn’t dream of being an actress from an early age, her stepfather exposed her to movie classics as a child. And she was always drawn to the arts. She especially loved drawing, painting and singing. She was shy, though.
By the time she got to Seminole High School, she worked to overcome her shyness and gravitated towards musical theater.
“Music is the thing that opened me up. It’s how I started finding my voice,” she said. “I started doing musicals and after that I realized I have a voice, whether I’m singing or acting, and I want to share that with people. That’s how I’m at the place I’m at now. I want to tell stories and help people.”
After high school, Martin attended St. John’s University and the American Academy for Dramatic Arts in New York City. She’s been living in Los Angeles for a little over two years.