At the tender age of six, most of us were still playing dress-up for what we wanted to be when grown up. At six, Houston’s Stephanie Styles was already two years into embarking on her career, begging her mom to enroll her in theater classes after seeing the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera. Fast forward to 2017, and this summa cum laude graduate of Episcopal High School and star of the national tour of Newsies has got the lead role on Broadway as Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, a character made famous by one of her idols, Audrey Hepburn. With so much going on at such an early age (she just turned 25), Stephanie was able to give us a little insight into how she keeps herself grounded and continually poised for whatever the future may hold.
Having spent most of your life in the business or on the road for work, how do you stay grounded?
My family keeps me grounded. They are my #1, forever and always. My parents always instilled the virtues of humility, so thanks to them, I am as Audrey Hepburn would say, “Truly truly grateful.” Also, I am still a HUGE fan of musical theater, so I’m always inspired by the people and shows around me.
What is a typical day for you?
Well, the one thing that is typical about an actor’s life is its inconsistency! I usually have three types of days: days where I’m in rehearsals, days I’m in a show and days I’m not performing; and they are all very different depending if I’m on tour or stationary in NYC. For example, when on tour, usually your “day off” is also your travel day, so you’re taking a bus or a plane to your next stop. If I’m in rehearsals, the days usually run from 10am–6pm, with a lot of resting, hydrating and steaming at night. When I’m in a show and not rehearsing, I work out in the morning or have a voice lesson during the day with my voice teacher, Liz Caplan. I don’t go out much and try to get as much sleep as possible. When I’m not performing, I try to do something fun, like go see a movie or go out to eat with my friends. While it might sound a bit boring, I also like being able to leave the excitement of the theater for a nice cup of tea and Netflix. On one of the days, I auditioned for Roman Holiday. I was in rehearsals for one show all day, a different show at night and actually did the audition during my lunch hour!
Speaking of Roman Holiday, congratulations on such a huge break! Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
I’m ecstatic about Roman Holiday! I found out about getting the role right before I went home for Christmas, and it’s been the hardest secret to keep these past few months. The entire creative team was so warm and welcoming throughout the entire audition process and I’m thrilled to begin working with them (while writing this, I start tomorrow!). I watched the film before I auditioned and several times over the past few months. Although a lot of actors stay away from watching other performances on repeat, I was just so excited that I couldn’t help it!
Having accomplished so much at such an early age, with still so much more to go, what motto do you live by and hope to inspire others with?
There are two mottos I live by: “Everything happens for a reason” and “Work hard, dream big.” The former because of the unpredictability of life, especially with the career path I have chosen, and the latter because your dreams can come true! As long as you have the determination and willpower to work for them and make them happen.