Founder & Co-CEo
Rachel Cannon, Founder and co-Chief Executive Officer of Prairie Surf Media, is an Oklahoma native and a woman who wears many hats well. Entertainment executive, entrepreneur, mentor and accomplished television actress, she is also a writer, producer, wife and mother, who’s passionate about creating an entertainment empire in the heartland through Prairie Surf Media (PSM).
With an acting career in Los Angeles that spans over 20 years, including over 80 network television credits, Cannon has been featured in such iconic television series as “Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men,” and a coveted role opposite Jon Hamm in the final season of “Mad Men.” For six years, she portrayed Deidre, the snarky neighbor, in ABC’s hit comedy series, “Fresh Off the Boat,” where she butted heads weekly with Constance Wu’s character, Jessica. This fall, Cannon will appear in the highly anticipated biopic, “Reagan”, starring Dennis Quaid. Over the years, Chuck Lorre hired Cannon multiple times calling her “Comedy Gold”. As her mentor, Lorre is the one that encouraged Cannon to write her own sitcoms, one of which was selected for Montreal Comedy Festival’s PitchFest in 2010.
Always a fan of entrepreneurship, Cannon chose to supplement her acting income with careers she could control. In 2002, Cannon worked as a red-carpet producer for Paramount, New Line and MGM where she interviewed legends like Clint Eastwood, Muhammed Ali, Meryl Street and Steven Spielberg. In 2010, she transitioned from the red-carpet to the Studio side using her yoga certification and fitness background to create and manage a team of professionals that transformed celebrity bodies safely on blockbuster action films like “Star Trek” and “Jack Ryan”. In 2013, Cannon launched a skincare business with her sister where they coached and mentored over 1000 women to build businesses of their own. Hitting the top .48% of the company in her first two months and the top .02% in the first 3 years where her team brought in over $3m in sales annually, Cannon quickly became a strong voice in the field that championed women to make bold choices and to dream without boundaries. Cannon is passionate that women shouldn’t have to choose between being a present mother and a powerful business-woman. We can do both.
Cannon, who studied film at the University of Oklahoma, returned to her home state in 2019, just over 3 years following the birth of her son. By then, Hollywood had become more of a zip code than a primary shooting location for her work. Traveling constantly to film series in Chicago, Atlanta and other cities with growing production incentives, she and her husband Noah made the choice to return to the city she loved as home, allowing her son to grow up closer to family and with the same values with which she was raised.
Combining her on-set experience with her strong entrepreneurial spirit, Cannon co-founded Prairie Surf Media in 2020 where she serves as Co-CEO alongside her partner, Matt Payne. Determined to bring sustainable creative opportunities for film and television to their home state, Cannon and Payne very thoughtfully began with infrastructure in 2021, launching Prairie Surf Studios in downtown Oklahoma City boasting 1.3 million square feet of production space with five massive clearspan soundstages. While transforming the Cox Convention Center into a full-service film studio, Cannon helped pass SB608, a $30 million film rebate while Payne helped build extensive pathways into workforce development with multiple education partnerships. Cannon met Payne in film school at the University of Oklahoma where they shared an internship with Gray Frederickson, the Academy Award winning producer of The Godfather and Apocolypse Now, whom they have affectionately named Stage 1 after at Prairie Surf Studios.
Cannon lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Noah Engh, a singer and songwriter, and their 6-year-old son, August.