Shields was born in Ithaca, New York. He is the second child and has one older brother and two younger sisters. He spent most of his childhood globetrotting the world with his family of six until finally settling down in Israel. After returning to the United States as a precocious and cultured youngster, he devoted much of his time and passion to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the theater group Washington Street Players. He went on to star in major theater productions such as “A Midsummer Night's Dream” and “Hamlet”.