Mik Shevchek died June 27, 2021, at home in Wilkesboro, N.C. Mik was an actor, writer, executive producer, director, father, brother, grandfather, friend, mentor, soul mate, legend and warrior.
Mik was born Feb. 2 1952, to Ukrainian immigrant parents Vladimir and Olga Shevchek in Philadelphia, PA. His parents were prisoners of war in Germany during WWII and immigrated to Philadelphia in 1951, with his sister Sonia. Less than a year later, Mikola was born in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. His childhood was full of friendship, survival, humor, challenges and triumphs. Mik spoke fluent Ukrainian in an Orthodox Christian household. He grew up with the appreciation of freedom, values and a strong work ethic. His love of film was acquired in childhood at the local cinema on the weekends with friends. He lived a life of adventure and the courage to say yes and take a risk. His spontaneity and adventures landed him at the Woodstock Music Festival and a preview of the life to come. After graduating high school, he was urged to fly out West to “Tinsel Town” and stay with friends where he could attend community college and enjoy the sun and sand. This answered invitation led to two decades living in Los Angeles. After lots of various jobs, couches and roommates, Mik graduated from UCLA Film School and the prestigious American Film Institute with degrees in Film and TV from both. But unlike many of his fellow graduates, his dreams would be fulfilled. Mik was an actor and Screen Actors Guild member (since 1976), he co-wrote and sold a script that later became the feature film “Bound for Glory” and went on to have a highly successful career in producing and directing commercials, documentaries and films.
His years in Los Angeles were filled with wild adventures, success, spirituality and the birth of his first daughter Jennifer. Mik discovered Buddhism at the age of 19 years old. It was central to who he was as an adult and he attributed his full life to his practice. Los Angeles also brought opportunity and entrepreneurship. Mik started One World Productions in 1978 and thus began his commercial and documentary production life. Mik produced hundreds of commercials and numerous documentaries during his career all over the world. He collaborated with the Japanese (FUJI TV, Sega Enterprises, Mizuki) throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s. From automobiles and alcohol to rock stars and artists, Mik and his team went around the globe many times. Some of the highlights were working with the band the Bee Gees and TDK tapes for one year as they recorded the album “Living Eyes,” shipping penguins to Hawaii for a Japanese beer campaign (the penguins still reside at the Hyatt Regency Maui), navigating the deserts of California for car campaigns, avoiding radiation exposure in Russia while filming a documentary about Matisse’s years in Moscow, avoiding guano in a cave in Texas at the largest bat colony in the world and interviewing every possible pop/rock star of the 1980s and early 90s. He licensed MTV into Japan and was a key player in the establishment of a successful production community in Pennsylvania. Mik was at the forefront of the gaming industry and was involved in many pioneering and licensing projects in the U.S. and Japan.
The early-1990s brought him back East to progressively help care for both of his parents during illness and passing. This resulted in moving back to PA to raise two more daughters (Lauren and Erika) and a successful career with EUE/Screen Gems commercial division as an executive producer in New York City. The late 1990s and 2000s were non-stop years of producing commercials for fortune 50 clients, the Coca-Cola Company, Visa, Sears and many others. Some of his most memorable commercial projects from this time: working with Laura Bush, numerous U.S. senators and Roberta Flack singing “Of Thee I Sing” at The White House for the city of Washington, D.C., to bring tourism back after 9/11. Then again collaborating with the surviving Tuskeegee Airman, additional numerous WWII veterans and Peter Gallagher to launch the opening of the WWII Memorial. A documentary for the National Football Foundation’s “Play it Smart” Program featuring Peyton Manning is one of his proudest projects that is still in action and helping lives. And filming the kids’ soccer clubs at the famous Chelsea FC in London for the Coca-Cola Company’s outreach programs. His projects resulted in numerous awards: Cannes Lion Grand Prix, Ministry of Japan, Multiple Telly’s, Aurora Best of Show and a CLIO.
In 2018, Mik reconnected with a former collegue and friend, Carrie E. Hamilton. Their long friendship immediately ignited into love and they spent the last years of Mik’s life traveling throughout Southeast Asia and exhaling in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mik passed away peacefully with Carrie by his side at their home in Wilkesboro, N.C. Mik was a force in the world that touched many lives. His regular words, “know you’re loved,” were his truth to others given with a belief in their spirit and dreams. Many a friend attributes their career in production and pursuit of passions to Mik’s belief in them and encouragement to believe in themselves and live life fully. His life is a testament to risk taking, love seeking and a deeply intuitive perception resulting in a fully lived and realized dream. Although he left us all too soon, he blazed a magical trail and loved fully.
Mik is survived by the love of his life, Carrie E. Hamilton of Wilkesboro, N.C. He is survived by his daughter Jennifer and husband James Meeks and Mik’s grandchildren Adam and Alexandra of Grand Rapids, MI. Also his daughters Lauren of Southampton, PA, and Erika of Stamford, CT. He is also survived by his sister Sonia Szewczuk of Warrington, PA.
A memorial is at 2 p.m., July 24, 2021, at Nichiern Shoshu Myohoji Temple in West Hollywood, CA.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to his daughter Lauren’s support fund. This contributes to her care after a diving accident in 2013, weeks after her 19th birthday. Lauren is paralyzed from the armpits down. Her perseverance continued to be an inspiration to Mik in his final days.
https://www.ugiftable.com/ ENTER LAUREN’S Personal CODE: Y6V-J6W
Online condolences may be left at www.greer-mcelveenfuneralhome.com.
Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family.