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Meet Stephanie: A Drag Performer from LA

Can you tell us about your background?

A warm July day in Tepic, Nayarit , having fun with some of my family that lived there. While Playing, one of my cousins fell on the sidewalk and cut her knee. 2 other cousins helped her walk while my 4 year old self was recreating her falling to try to make her laugh.

How did you know what you wanted to do?

I knew then that now that would be my future career, to help people laugh alongside me. My first try at theatre was in Jr. High understanding then it was a fun struggle. Then high school was where both Drag and Acting came into my life to intertwine.

Being more masculine aided me in acquiring male character roles along with understanding I am genderfluid and liking physical movement guided my primary focus to be a mascot.

I got started in the theatre world and physical character work during High School cemented my passion for the arts but I wanted to be an athletic trainer first.

So my plan was to go to University of Oregon for 4 years studying Human Physiology then East Los Angeles Community College for 2 years to acquire an associate in Theatre arts. I then realized after 2 years at the university, my true passion is Entertainment. It was one of the best decisions of my life to pursue just that.

I did it with the support of my parents and my determination to strive through challenges that I knew I will struggle with. Struggling is how I learn. This choice I did going forward, I did it for me and also for my family because we are both each other’s support system and love to hear them laugh.

Did anyone inspire to go into this field?

I have not seen myself in the filming world, cinema world and I need others to know that they will be more people that look similar to them on screen. Jim’s facial expressions and movement brings me so much joy that I have been compared to him in female form. Charlie Chaplin saved my life. He taught me to smile through pain and understand it happens, life is still worthwhile.

Any struggles along the way? What was the turning point for you?

This pandemic got the best of me in the beginning, my suicidal thoughts returned but I strived through and had a conversation with myself on continuing in my career.

Before this current situation, I performed as a drag king in many venues in DTLA, an event in las Vegas and was doing background work alongside auditioning in things while being in the Actor’s Gang studying and workshopping in improving my movement and acting skills. I even set up my first ever website and prepped my acting reel then the Quarantine happened.

Before everything, I was unknowledgeable in how to be an actor and collaborator in the theatre industry. I will forever be a student for I won’t ever stop learning.

The turning point for me was the choice in pursuing and having fun in this career while being me.

Mother says I am very different from many, understanding that made me feel unique and know there are others like me in similar ways. Some advice I have encountered from this life currently living in: you have to do it alone, but you don’t have to be alone. Let fear in and embrace it for it makes you human not be afraid to let your freak flag cry. Do what you want to do, you are there to impress yourself and no one else. Once you got a goal, keep it and ride along with it, you may not be the image people want but you are what you want.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Breathing more. Breath is a lifeline, it keeps me alive and reminds me that I have the power to overcome certain things like social anxiety.

And most importantly, can you talk more about your future goals? Something you want to achieve in the next year and over the next few years?

I love characters that have physical movements. I would love to be a character that has sfx makeup and big costumes to change my whole person. I need to see more different art and more art that I can relate to. Pantomiming has always been one of my passions, with being a mascot for 3 years in highschool, I still would like to be a pro mascot be it hockey, or football. Them clowns in cirque are in a whole different universe. different otherworldly language , and physicality that I highly admire.

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