Today we’d like to introduce you to Emilia Stiegler.
Emilia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story starts in Poland. I started out in the far corner of the universe on the other side of the planet ha! and didn’t even speak English. My family immigrated to Chicago and I remember falling in love with the magic of film pretty quickly. I remember making movies as a kid with my sister with our broken accents and heavy plot lines recruiting our friends to be in them. Later I signed up for acting classes and as I got older started making short films with friends. I was always curious to know what was happening behind the scenes of movies so when the DVDs started to come out with “Behind the Scenes” bonus features I was fascinated. I would literally come home from school and spend hours watching behind the scenes footage just to get a sense of what it would be like to be on set of major motion pictures.
After attending a one week conference in LA with one of the schools I was attending, where students came from all over the world to meet casting directors and agents to perform in front of, I knew Los Angeles is where I needed to be if I wanted to work in this business. So after I finished school, I followed my feeling and set my sights on Hollywood.
Originally, when I came to Los Angeles all I wanted to do was just get on to a set. My sister (who moved out here before me) helped me navigate and let me know they were casting extras for one of my favorite shows at the time GLEE. I was so excited I remember thinking no way, I am not that lucky. I ended up being cast as a Cheerio cheerleader all through seasons 2 through 4! You can imagine my excitement. Finally! I got to see what its really like to be a part of Hollywood magic. And I was not let down.
Has it been a smooth road?
No one has it easy starting out in this business. Moving here, there is no step by step process. No one tells you what sources are reliable and which aren’t so there’s a lot of trial and error. It’s extremely important to surround yourself with people who love and encourage you. All I ever wanted to do was be involved in the film industry and though it’s not easy, I’m so glad that I followed my dreams because now every time I go on set, I feel successful. Even after working 12-14 hour days (which is pretty standard) I feel extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work. The struggle is real in this industry and you have to have the resilience to last.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My work eventually evolved into stand in work, photo double work, modeling, and finally acting. I got to act in national and international commercials and do tons of print work. I’ve met directors like David Fincher and Clint Eastwood and one of my favorite jobs was being able to meet and work directly with Tom Ford. That was a special day for me. I’ve had the pleasure of being on one of the covers for a global campaign for Apple speakers, worked on the set of A Quiet Place while standing in for Emily Blunt and be a photo double for Megan Fox on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. All of which have been great learning experiences. Fortunately, I’ve found that many people here are incredibly supportive of each other and now one of my favorite things is watching the credits at the end of movies and seeing names of friends or people I’ve worked with appear.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles is a city that has my whole heart. It has surpassed all my expectations. One of my favorite things about this city is it’s so close to the ocean and its always so warm. I love that the sunshine makes you want to be active and outdoors. I love the people and the lifestyle here. Everybody is health conscious and there’s a plethora of diversity with so many cultures and languages. You meet genuine people from all over the world all the time.
Couple of things I don’t like about the city is the earthquakes of course. They’re incredibly scary and when they do happen, the big one is always in the back of your mind. And the cost of housing. Los Angeles is one of the most expensive places to live. But the good outweighs the bad by so much. I don’t think my love for this city, the people and this industry will ever change.