Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Rachel Cannon, co-founder and co-CEO 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, women’s group coach, wife and mother, who’s partnering to create an entertainment empire in the heartland
through Prairie Surf Media (PSM).
Cannon and her long-time friend and PSM’s co-founder Matt Payne, share the vision of helping to shape the film and entertainment industry in Oklahoma at this transformational time. In addition to focusing on creative opportunities, the two hope to provide assistance for Oklahoma to become a prominent tax incentive state for the film and television industries, which can in turn provide economic advantages from employment to ancillary businesses relating to entertainment.
With an acting career in Los Angeles that spans over 20 years, 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 the last six years, she portrayed the acerbic character of Deidre, the snarky neighbor and Home Owners Assn. head, in ABC’s hit comedy series, “Fresh Off the Boat,” who butted heads weekly with Constance Wu’s character Jessica. The highly acclaimed series was at the forefront of the culturally diverse movement to tell unique stories on television.
Cannon, who studied film at the University of Oklahoma, where she initially met Payne, 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.
She says stepping into motherhood gave her a deeper connection to other women everywhere, attempting to navigate all that comes with that title, and is the job that gives her the hardest challenges, yet the most fulfillment.
In her short time back, Cannon was brought onto a film project by Lance McDaniel, Executive Director of deadCenter Film. She co-wrote, co-produced and stars in “Send Me Wings,” a heartwarming short film inspired by the book and song written by Bobby Cyrus. Filmed in Alva, Oklahoma, “Send Me Wings” is a poignant story about a woman’s journey home to settle her late mother’s estate and her emotionally stirring encounter with a young boy she finds hiding in an abandoned church. The award-winning short premiered at the Branson International Film Festival in May 2020 and continues to be accepted in various festivals across the country.
Cannon’s strong entrepreneurial spirit has seen her coach and mentor numerous women, helping them to start businesses of their own. As a champion of other women, her underlying belief is everyone needs the courage to dream without boundaries. Her passion is to help women step out from the edges of their comfort zones to find opportunities to
rise and succeed.
A big believer in making bold choices, Cannon — as an entrepreneurial businesswoman, an actress-writer-producer, mentor and storyteller — through all her work, tries to inspire people to do the things that scare them most, to live their best lives. It’s what she’s hoping to achieve with Prairie Surf Media.
Cannon lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Noah Engh, a singer and songwriter, and their 4-year-old son, August.