Stefanie Rons: “Treat others the way you want to be treated”

My Dad always said, “treat others the way you want to be treated”. It’s simple but underrated. I move through the world every moment carrying that sentiment. If I can leave someone a bit better than when I found them, I’m happy. As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, […]

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My Dad always said, “treat others the way you want to be treated”. It’s simple but underrated. I move through the world every moment carrying that sentiment. If I can leave someone a bit better than when I found them, I’m happy.

As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stefanie Rons.

Stefanie Rons plays ‘VANESSA’ in THE SOUND OF THE WIND. Detroit, Michigan born and bred, Rons is a Los Angeles based actor, represented by ATN Entertainment and AEFH Talent. Stefanie Rons received her classical training at AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts, where she earned her BFA.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thanks for having me! I was a dancer all my life and fell in love with storytelling from a physical narrative. When I was a kid I stumbled into an improv class, which was quickly rebranded as a monologue class when I was the only turnout. That was it for me; I became addicted to becoming other people, studying the human condition, and exploring experiences and perspectives of all walks of life.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

It was actually when I auditioned for Sound of the Wind. I had been brought in as the reader for the day. Christian and I went to acting school together, he’s one of my dearest friends. He shot me a text the day before, asking if I’d be free to read at auditions for a feature he was gearing up for. Even though he apologetically disclaimed “there wasn’t a part for me”, I was still jazzed. I love reading in castings, it’s like a free acting class.

So, I’m reading with all of the actors called in for Vanessa, and we’re a couple of hours in and my heart was kind of breaking because I was falling in love with this character. I was itching to jump out of my seat and sink my teeth into these scenes, even though I knew I wasn’t what they were originally looking for. I must have manifested something out of that itch, because at the end of the day, Jared asked me if I would audition for Vanessa right there on the spot. I tried my best to play it cool, but god, how can you? A story this tumultuous, following characters this layered, flawed, and fiercely resilient. I was buzzing. Ready to play. Ready to fight for her. I remember heading out that day just beaming. For 20 minutes or so, I got to be Vanessa, and that was enough. I just didn’t know I would get to be here for a lot longer than those 20 minutes.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh god, every day feels like I’m “first starting”. I make a new mistake every single day, I feel like I’m shaking hands with this career for the first time with each sunrise and sunset. I’m still learning, I don’t think I’ll ever stop, but that’s the beauty of being a student to your craft. I do remember when I first signed with my managers at ATN Entertainment, I sent my beloved manager, Jennifer, a horrendous text that haunts me in my sleep. I asked her if “there would be any auditions next week, because I will schedule my day job around those!” eager to please, eager to work. I still cringe thinking about that. She, of course, was absolutely lovely and texted me back asking if I had a flexible day job with a nice little smiley face. I said, “it’s going to have to be!” and she goes, “sounds great” with a wink. I appreciate her so much for riding it out with that very green kid. From moments like that, I quickly learned you are always on call. You will get fired from your day job, and the one after that, and maybe the one after that. But you’ll be fine. Write your planner in pencil or stock up on whiteout.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m really excited about the upcoming release of The Sound of The Wind. Getting in gear for the release has been surreal. The film has been our baby for so long, it’s a passion project to the very core. The intimacy of our exploration into the lives of Vanessa and Lucio has been one that we’ve woven into the fabric of our hearts as an artistic family, and now we finally get to share it with the world.

I also did a wildly fun short I did call, ACADEMIC SUPER SQUAD, written and directed by Taylor Gates, which premiered at the 2019 Outfest LGBTQ+ Film Festival and is currently having a stellar festival run. I’m also elated to be working craft every week at Stan Kirsch Studios. It’s been one of the greatest privileges to find this community where the work is the work is the work, and I’ve loved honing my instrument in their gym.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

The most interesting person I know is my absolute person, soul sister and best friend (not to mention, stupidly talented artist) Samantha Peterson (professionally known as Samantha Grace). She’s the Mer to my Cristina.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I think that means something different; something personal, to everyone, but for me thriving means being happy, doing the thing that I love most, and surrounding myself with those who make me a better me. It took me a minute to find the formula, but I have been showered with good humans and creativity in my life. I know that I have to show up for my craft every single day in order to feel full, I know that I have to take care of my body and soul, I know that I have to make time for cheap sushi dates with my people (B and Kacie, thank you for putting up with me), and I get to live with my best friend in the whole world, Sam, and our home is a safe space to laugh and scream and talk about our dreams and go on late-night drives for 7-eleven cherry/coke Slurpee’s. Fill your life with your art, your people, and your soul. That’s how you thrive.

Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

I am striving to find my footing in this department every single day. It’s so important. There are a few things that I know work for me: I have to go to the gym first thing when I wake up to get back into my body at the start of my day. My soul exists after dark, so I am working on the whole morning person thing. Music accompanies my entire life, I don’t leave for anywhere without headphones. I love Lo-Fi Jazzhop playlists, it helps me focus and breathe easier, I love white noise when I’m anxious, the show Fleabag on Amazon Prime helps ground me before I need to work on a script. I highly recommend solo day trips to a remote beach if things around you are in a state of “too much”; the ocean is medicinal. I’ve started working harder at this over the last year, and man, I hate that the preach is real but, just drink water, seriously, set alarms for it. Find a way to work at your passion. Whether it’s self-started, joining a group or class, or creating your own environment to bring like-minded people together. It’s so important to keep learning, and it’s empowering to learn with others. Find a hobby, other than your life’s purpose; people would tell me this all the time, and I got so sick of hearing it, that I had to start forcing myself to make time for the things that actually build a full life. I am fascinated by true crime; the podcast, ‘MY FAVORITE MURDER’, is deliciously witty, real, vulnerable, cathartic and I have found a friendship within the voices of hosts, Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff (thank you for all that you gift us with ladies!)

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Here’s what I would tell myself when I first graduated acting school: If you think you’re working hard, work harder, because someone else is. Have fun in the room, have fun on tape; just have fun. Don’t take yourself so seriously. The best part of you is fun in your soul. Trust your ability to take the ferocious risk; your instincts are spot on. Take a self-taping class as soon as you get out of acting school. It will save you blood, sweat, and tears. Know your ‘why’ and fight to the death for it. I’m not sure that I have a story so much, as I have learned many lessons. All of this to say, there is no such thing as knowing too much. Stay hungry, stay focused, stay humble. The great, Kendrick Lamar, has created a cultural phenomenon out of this golden token, but it all boils down to the fact that humility equates to one’s willingness to remain open to knowledge and growth. If I can lead each day with an open heart and mind, I will never stop learning; and what a gift.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My Dad always said, “treat others the way you want to be treated”. It’s simple but underrated. I move through the world every moment carrying that sentiment. If I can leave someone a bit better than when I found them, I’m happy.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My Mom was a single Mom, raised my brother and I to love and celebrate all humans equally, supported my dreams unconditionally, and fought like hell through a life of adversity. My fight is her fight.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have a deep, awestruck admiration for Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi; the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. Founder of the Me Too movement, Tarana Burke. Anita Hill, Chanel Miller, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford; these are women and activists who have demonstrated groundbreaking, vulnerable bravery in fight for the rights, voices and safety of women. The matters I find most pressing on my heart, are those of the silenced. The oppression of minorities, the racial targeting and injustices against people of color, and the war against women. Our world is currently in a state of crisis; kids are in cages, Flint, Michigan has been without clean water for 6 years, violence against trans people is not being addressed. Our world is very fragile. I know that I want to fight for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence, and additionally, survivors who are being failed by the criminal justice system. I know that I love people and in my bones, I feel a guttural need to be of service, and that fire will always burn.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Stacey Abrams- meet me at my favorite, Detroit Coney Island- breakfast for dinner? Jane Fonda and Liz Warren- I’m down with your get down; let’s save the world.

How can our readers follow you online?

I am trying my best on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. @stefanierons across the board.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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