Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Rojas.
Stephanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I officially started my acting career in 2007 or 2008 doing background work as every actor does. In 2009, I first produced, cast and starred in my own web series called, “My Real Life.”
We only did one season, but it was worth the experience to do a quirky series with a cast and crew that bonded from day one. Prior to that, I had some student films under my belt. I do want to take the time and thank Miguel Tapia for casting me on my first student film, “John Mort.” It led me to other student films, indie films, web series, plays, print jobs, even “modeling” and learning about the behind the scenes. Being a Los Angeles native as a child, acting was always in my blood, but growing up I was a very timid girl. Many people don’t believe that about me as now I am very outgoing to some extent.
Senior year of high school I decided to take a drama class – it was something I do not regret at all, although at first, I did. My drama teacher, Mr. Waid really got me to break free from my shell. Very thankful for that till this day. After high school, I decided to take theatre classes in college so I could improve my craft even more and keep breaking from that shell of mine. During my college years, I decided also to take a screenwriting class which helped me understand the process of writing a script and made me appreciate writers so much more. My love for the industry continues to grow with the learning experiences that each project provides.
In my eyes, there is no such role too small and no aspect of production that I am not interested in gaining more knowledge about. Due to my unwavering professionalism, I excel at any task that I take on, from production assistant, casting, set design and producing. I have enjoyed every moment of being on set whether it is behind or in front of the camera. Being on set has and will always be my second home. I have been lucky to work alongside with many talented actors, from Eric Roberts, JoBeth Williams, Michael Madsen, Lou Ferrigno and so many more that I am starting to lose track.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When you choose to be an actor, it is never a smooth road. The struggle is real as they say. You attend so many auditions, no matter how many you attend, you will be rejected most of the time. That hasn’t stopped me from pursuing my dreams and goals that I have.
At times, there has been moments when I do have self-doubt and want to give up, but I am so determined and passionate about my career there’s simply no way I would ever give this up. The determination to pursue my dream has really earned me the admiration and support from those who have been fortunate enough to get to know me.
It really is not an easy career to get yourself into, like many actors in Los Angeles they have to find ways to have money in their bank account and work odd jobs while finding our next gig. It is a daily hustle, and you have to learn to build a thick skin in this industry.
I am very thankful to be able to do two things I love, get paid to do and is rewarding, working with elementary students (side note: my hat goes off to teachers) on a daily basis and acting. Happy with both worlds.
The road has been smooth in some way, thanks to having supportive people in my circle which includes my parents, friends, fellow actor friends and my creative partner, Dominique Rodriguez. Without them, I honestly would say this road would be so much bumpier, but they have paved that road quite smoothly for me. So, thank you, gang!
To my fellow actors, do not ever give up, give it your all and as I say, “Remember to always reach for the stars.” Keep aiming higher past the stars, stay humble and never forget where you came from.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Acting. A profession where you need to learn to have thick skin. I remember when I started going to auditions and never heard back, it would break me to no end. I thought I was doing something wrong or they just didn’t like my look.
The more I went out to audition for roles, and if I did not get it, I would just move on and tell myself the role was not meant for me, there’s something bigger and better waiting for me. Not hearing back from casting directors discourages a lot of actors and it really breaks my heart to hear when fellow actors I have worked within the past give up on their dream due to this.
You cannot let that get you, this is why it is important to have that thick skin in this industry. Being an actor today in this generation has become so much easier with being able to create your own content and upload it to the cyber world for others to see. So even if you are not booking roles, one has to go and create their own content.
To the readers out there, let us collaborate and show the world what we got. As an actor I have learned so much throughout the years, the do’s and don’ts in show business and have shared that wisdom with new actors who are just starting. One thing I love to do is help other fellow actors in any way and guide them to the right path.
Working in this profession you need a team, there is no way you can do this on your own – it certainly takes a village, and if you are lucky enough, you will grow with that village of yours and make it a success. I have been lucky myself to have a village where we have ended working together more than once, trying to achieve our goals and help one another.
People have asked me why I keep doing this thing called acting. I tell them I love it, I live and breathe for this, and I cannot see myself doing anything else in life. This is my passion, and when you LOVE something, you simply do not just give up on it.
I always tell my friends I do not care about making it as an A-list star, if it happens, it happens. What I care about is being a working actor, booking those roles and being on set. When you are doing that, you are your own A-list star, and no one can take that away from you.
I am very thankful for all the opportunities I have gotten through my filmmaker friends, actor friends and from auditions I have gone to in the past. These are the people you want to keep in your circle of show biz. I am very proud of how far I have gotten, but I know, I still have more opportunities waiting for me down the road.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory is operating an RCA camcorder the one you had to carry on your shoulder and filming everything that was happening at the moment. I’m talking about the camcorders that would use a VHS or video cassette.
Do people today know what those were? Probably not. I had so much fun operating the camcorder, it was my happy place for sure. I was never one to read instructions – I would just go ahead and figure it out all on my own. Fun times!
- Email: SRojas2002@gmail.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/rojas_out
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/rojas_out
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW2yOhdRhQBI-v2Rfojoj70u50aVuogUx
Danny Diaz/Dominique Rodriguez/Francisco