Rancho Cucamonga actress blends love of theater with teaching – Daily Bulletin

Stephanie Grimley was extremely shy until she was eleven. In fifth grade she had to give a speech in front of the class. The theme: “How to do something.” Grimley chose cross stitch.

“But when I got up, I froze and then cried,” she said. “I was so embarrassed.”

Grimley’s teacher made her go to the bathroom to calm down, after which she was able to give the speech. This moment was the trigger for Grimley to overcome her shyness.

“The very next year I tried to sing a role in the sixth grade holiday program, and in seventh grade I did my first school play,” she said. “Then in 1992 I auditioned for my first big show, Karousel Kids in Claremont. I had a really small role, but I was hooked on it.”

Grimley studied actresses she saw on television and aspired to an acting career. One of her biggest role models, she said, was Markie Post on Night Court.

Born in Fullerton, Grimley grew up in Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, where she now resides. After high school, she was accepted into the acting program at Cal State Fullerton, where sophomores must be judged in order to advance.

“I failed,” she said. “I was devastated and decided to change my major to communications. I continued to act in community theater and insisted that I didn’t need an acting degree to become an actress.”

Grimley took camera classes in Los Angeles, had professional headshots done, and did as many shows as she could. She also appeared as a background actress on late 1990s shows such as “Chicago Hope”, “Roswell” and “Felicity”.

“I even did an episode of ‘Will and Grace,'” she said. “I got a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) coupon as a double shot in the movie ‘Queen of the Damned,’ which I’ve never seen.”

Grimley moved to Hollywood and worked in television commercial sales while auditioning and applying for jobs in casting and other production sides of the television industry.

“Nothing happened,” she said.

Grimley decided she would become a teacher. Her mother was a teacher, as were her grandmother and two of her aunts.

“It ran in the family,” she says. “I figured that by teaching I would be able to act while also getting a steady salary and benefits that I needed to manage my type 1 diabetes.”

She is able to use her performance techniques both in the classroom and when addressing parents back to school, she said. While enjoying her job as a teacher, Grimley continues to act. One of her proudest moments was winning an Inland Theater League Award for her role as Anita on West Side Story, she said.

“It was my first starring role and I really got into it,” she said. “I had never won an acting award before, so it was very special.”

Grimley now takes her 6-year-old daughter Sami to acting and modeling auditions and they see instant results.

“She’s done about six shorts in the past year, plus a couple of commercials and modeling jobs, and she does agency work,” she said. “I want her to try it and see if she likes it. If at some point she decides she hates it we’ll stop, but she’s been having a lot of fun on the film sets and has made some friends.”

As a mom, Grimley is more selective about the shows she auditions for these days. She has recently acted in a few short films. When she retires from teaching, she said she would like to take acting classes and apply for roles again.

“I’d be the older lady in my 60s and everything,” she laughed.

Grimley is currently directing her debut show, The Sound of Music. Chino Community Children’s Theater.

Rancho Cucamonga actress blends love of theater with teaching – Daily Bulletin Source link Rancho Cucamonga actress blends love of theater with teaching – Daily Bulletin

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