You’re in for a treat. You’ve had the chance to appreciate a model’s beauty while looking at a magazine or online, but have you had the chance to understand the psychology of a model? What it takes to be a model? Or what they (models) go through on a daily basis? You’re about to, and you’re gonna get the chance to learn about one of the most intellectual models around. Stephanie Manescu is an actress, model, photographer, and writer. Stephanie jumps off your computer screen, as if she was 3D. But there’s more to Stephanie than just her flawless looks. She’s a driven and motivated individual, who in my opinion, will capture the heart of America soon (If she hasn’t already.)
You started modeling to learn more about photography, but fell in love with modeling. What was that whole process like for you?
Stephanie Manescu: It took me a long time to come out of my shell, and to realize that I am a model. Beyond the artistic aspect of modeling, there’s a whole different attitude you carry that I wasn’t used to. I was able to quickly understand the technical and artistic side of modeling, but it took me years to gain my confidence and truly feel like a model. Eventually, I overcame all of the negative critique I faced as an amateur model, and I became so passionate about the work I was creating. Everyone says that you are your own worst critic; and it’s so true! Once I was able to see that my work is quality, I became a lot stronger, and a lot more confident in myself.
Do you think your knowledge of photography has made you a better model?
Stephanie Manescu: Absolutely! They are so connected. I’m constantly thinking of the smallest things most models wouldn’t because of my experience with photography. I’m always looking for my lighting, asking photographers if they like how a certain pose looks, or if they like a certain shadow being cast. I often get complimented by photographers on how conscious I am of everything at once!
What’s it like to be in front/behind of the camera?
Stephanie Manescu: Being behind the camera is usually a little more stressful; a lot more focused for me. Not to mention all the post work as a photographer. Being in front of the camera is just fun! It can be difficult at times of course, but I’m fortunate to work with extremely talented people who make my job easy. Worst part about being in front of the camera is probably my feet cramping all the time.
How do you make yourself stand out from other models?
Stephanie Manescu: I hope who I am as a person– makes me stand out. I am very grateful, humble, and driven. I am open to new opportunities and trying new things. No fuss. No drama. Just work. A lot of girls set themselves back by having a bad attitude.
In your opinion: What does it take to become a successful model?
Stephanie Manescu: To become a successful model, you have to know your niche; and you have to know where you stand in the industry. Continuing with what I said about bad attitudes–I’ve worked around a ton of divas. I see many models who want the red carpet rolled out for them. I think it’s important to realize that looks don’t get you far. If you’re an impossible person to work with, no one cares how attractive you are. You won’t be getting a call back if you were rude to everyone on set. It’s key to be cooperative, down to earth, and pleasant. Stay off your phone! If you have a whole crew of people trying to get work done, and you’re instagramming and texting your boyfriend all day–chances are people will think you don’t care about being there.
You’re also a writer. What do you like to write about?
Stephanie Manescu: My writing is something extremely personal to me. It has been my biggest form of self-expression since childhood. I love writing free verse poetry.
And you’re also into acting. How did you get interested in that?
Stephanie Manescu: Acting has been something I’ve just dabbled in whenever I get called for it. It’s fun, but crazy hours! I love trying new things though, so naturally I had to at least try acting. Maybe you’ll see me more involved with acting in the future! For now, modeling is my focus!
With everything that you’re involved in–how do you keep your life balanced?
Stephanie Manescu: You know, I don’t think even I have that figured out yet. I live fast and spontaneously, as of late. I feel bad for my friends and family sometimes, and it’s kind of hard to maintain relationships, but I do my best. It can be extremely frantic, but I’m happy!
When you set your mind to do something (like modeling) take me through the process on how you make it happen?
Stephanie Manescu: If you want something big, you have to pursue it relentlessly. Learn how to handle rejection, and continue to improve yourself until you get it. I haven’t taken “no” for an answer, and I think that holds a big part of why I am where I am. Success does not come from luck; hard work, and persistence is all you need.
What can people learn from you and apply to their lives right away?
Stephanie Manescu: Don’t settle for less than what makes you happy. If you don’t love what you’re doing, work your ass off until you can do what you’re passionate about. Set small goals for yourself that will lead up to your ultimate goal. If you work hard enough, you don’t have to daydream about what seems to be the most “far-fetched” goal. There’s no reason why your dream life shouldn’t be your reality.
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