Celebrity Bodyguard Shamir Bolivar Chats With Josh Cohen About His Most Memorable Moments On The Job

by Josh Cohen Mar 2017 Also on Digital Edition

WHO: CEO of Shadow Group Security, bodyguard and executive protector Shamir Bolivar 

WHAT: The Avion Silver Prickly Pear Margarita paired with Banko Cantina’s Langosta Lobster Tacos, the Paella, the Skewers of Carne Asada and the Camarones al Mojo de Ajo.

WHERE: Banko Cantina, 114 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach / 561.355.1399 / bankocantina.com / @bankocantinawpb

1) What people don’t realize about being a celebrity bodyguard is: that the people we secure and protect have regular lives, families, personal issues and drama just like anybody else. At times we have to protect them from themselves as well. And we often have to protect them from the media, people on social media, and that’s all in addition to the people who want to hurt them. 

2) The most memorable fan I’ve ever had to deal with was: while working with Lenny Kravitz. I noticed a young female who was standing against the barricade staring silently. As soon as Lenny began to make his way to greet fans, she suddenly attempted to leap over the barricade. I pulled her arm to stop her, and her arm fell to the ground. It was a prosthetic arm. I picked up her arm, trying to process what had just happened, and she’s crying with emotion just being near Lenny. He put his arm around her and walked with her for a little bit. It turns out she had lost her arm in a car accident that had killed her uncle, and Lenny Kravitz [had been] their favorite musician. 

3) One of the nicest celebrities I’ve ever worked with who many people might be surprised to learn is: Bruce Springsteen. He was actually my first “rock ‘n’ roller.” He’s a very humble gentleman. He would open the door for you. He asks about your kids. There is tremendous generosity and goodness in his heart. He doesn’t see or put himself above others—from the janitor on up. 

4) I may risk my life every day on this job, but something surprising I’m actually afraid of is: rats. I’m from very humble beginnings, growing up in the projects in New York. My worst enemies growing up were mice and rats. We had to compete with these rodents for food and space. ... I shared a bedroom with two siblings, and I woke up one time to a mouse gnawing on my finger because I had made the mistake of falling asleep with Cheetos dust on my hands. 

5) Co-starring in the documentary film “Bodyguards: Secret Lives From The Watchtower”: allowed me to demonstrate the physical and tactical skill sets of what we do. The film doesn’t attempt to glamorize this industry. It was more an opportunity to show the human side—the mental and physical stresses of the job—but it doesn’t truly show the toll that it takes on you as a man and as a father. 

ABOUT THE DRINK: 

The Avion Silver Prickly Pear Margarita

1.5 ounce Avion Silver tequila

0.5 ounce triple sec

1 ounce sour mix

1 ounce prickly pear purée

Build in shaker filled with ice, strain into glass with fresh ice. Garnish with black Hawaiian lava salt and fresh lime wheel.


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