Nicole J Butler of 'She Shed Cheryl' reveals how her life turned on its head after the commercial went viral
When Nicole J Butler got the job to play Cheryl the 'She Shed' owner in the now-viral State Farm Commercial, she had no idea just how much her life would change. A working actress in Hollywood for 15 years, who really loved the craft than the spotlight and just didn't see herself going viral, 'She Shed Cheryl' definitely spun her life around. It gave her massive visibility and she's still adjusting, she says.
Fun fact, at the time, she didn't even know what a She Shed was. A quick online search and she found herself down a rabbit hole of "mostly confectionery-colored sheds with a creative array of interior decor" and she was in love! Now that the video has amassed almost one and a half million views, she gets introduced by friends and family as 'She Shed Cheryl'. In an interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), the actress shared her thoughts on the experience.
"When strangers started to recognize and yell 'She Shed' at me while I was out and about, it was my first inkling that the commercial was really popular," Butler said, describing the moment when she knew that her life had changed forever, "Sometimes people, strangers too, wanted to take photos with me. Sometimes they wanted me to recite my lines from the commercial." It wasn't always pleasant as one can imagine. "It was a warm, fuzzy feeling to have people enjoy my work, but I also started feeling like I was expected to be 'on' at all times. That overwhelmed me and made me not want to leave my home," she said.
However, like many pretty normal people who get thrust into unexpected limelight, she says her perspective and coping mechanisms have changed. "I had to step back and process what was going on, that people really found my State Farm She Shed commercial to be hilarious, and when they met me, that feeling of happiness was extended to me. Now, instead of trying to hide, I can lean into it with genuine appreciation."
She added that she gives them her full attention from a place of authenticity. "Want to take a picture? Ok, hang on a sec- let’s make sure we look cute. Want to discuss Victor’s attitude in the commercial? Honey, let's TALK! As long as I bring myself instead of who I think they expect me to be, those actions are sustainable for me, and they walk away knowing that they’ve been seen and heard. Win-win," she said.
Victor, Cheryl's on-screen husband is played by Reggie Currelley, who social media theorists believe is behind the shed burning - yes, that's how viral this commercial went. Some even want Cheryl to have her own movie that she would love to be in, she tells us.
And Butler goes through all the social media comments, she says. "I have lots of discussions on and offline about Cheryl’s She Shed these days! Shout-out to social media theorists because they are some of the hardest-working people around. Sometimes I pull Victor and Zach (the State Farm agent who IS actually an agent) into the conversation, and we all just have fun," she said.
Butler has appeared in numerous shows through the year, including ABC's smash hit 'Castle'. Her first love, however, is writing. Pen to paper is closest to her heart, she says. In fact, that's how her new comedy series started.
"The medium that one chooses to use to amplify the story is a different thing altogether but the story itself? Pencil (or even crayon) and paper. That’s basically how my new comedic series, 'Sister President,' got its start. I put pen to paper, not knowing what story was about to unfold, let alone that it would be something I’d produce and star in myself, but here we are - almost three years later, editing the first season. The thought makes me chuckle. You just never know where you’ll end up when you say 'yes' to life," she recalled.
'Sister President' will be available for streaming starting at the end of March. Butler is also set to appear in a new Netflix project.
Catch the viral commercial below: