From Service to Stage: Stephanie Santana’s Journey of Courage and Creativity

In this insightful interview, we delve into the remarkable journey of Stephanie Santana, a multifaceted talent who transitioned from a seasoned veteran and former DOD employee to pursuing her dreams as a model, actress, singer, and author. Stephanie candidly shares her experiences, challenges, and triumphs in navigating the entertainment industry, overcoming adversity, and staying true to her creative passions. Join us as we explore Stephanie’s inspiring story of resilience, determination, and personal growth.

Can you share with us your personal journey of transitioning from a veteran and former DOD employee to pursuing your dreams as a model, actress, singer, and author?

Transitioning from working for the government to being apart of the entertainment industry was rough. I had a lot of insecurities since I was leaving my financial stability behind. I also had a lot of people tell me I wouldn’t make it and that I was wasting my time. 

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during this transition, especially considering your background and experiences?

The biggest challenge was overcoming my fear and self doubt. I took the leap to audition for an agency and then started putting myself out there on acting and modeling groups. From there I made a name for myself and for once I felt like I belonged. 

How did you overcome instances of sexual harassment and discrimination, and what advice do you have for others going through similar experiences?

The battles of sexual harassment and discrimination was tough. It gave me a lot of anxiety! I spent a lot of time at my therapist office to try and process all of it. I stood up for myself and filed reports. I looked up Arizona state laws and started recording the conversations of what was being done/said to me. My advice to people in the same situation is to fight for yourself. Be an advocate and report! Yes it’s scary and puts you in an uncomfortable situation… But it’s no different than trying to tolerate the harassment.

What inspired you to take on multiple creative roles such as modeling, acting, singing, and writing? How do these different areas of expression complement each other in your life?

I’ve always been a creative person since I was a child. It was my outlet to process everything I experienced or felt. Writing turned into poems, lyrics and books. The singing came from what I wrote to tell a story that meant something to me. Modeling was about overcoming my lack of confidence and acting was my escape to be someone else. I wouldn’t be who I am without any of these things.

Could you share a particular moment or experience that has been a turning point in your career or personal development?

My turning point was going viral for playing a police officer. Everyone couldn’t believe I wasn’t a real cop. I started getting a ton of offers for interviews, movies, shows, meetings, branding, etc. 

What lessons have you learned along the way that have shaped your approach to pursuing your passions and dealing with adversity?

I’ve learned that fear just holds you back. If it doesn’t scare you then it doesn’t mean much to you. I’ve also learned that regardless of how many followers you have… you have to remain yourself. People want to see the real you. 

As someone who has dealt with significant challenges, what advice would you give to individuals who may be hesitant to chase their dreams due to obstacles or societal pressures?

The fear is your strength. It’s your drive to not give up. Yes there will be some failures and no’s but it doesn’t close all the doors. It just means that “ONE” wasn’t for you because something better is waiting. If you work hard and believe in yourself… So will everyone else that is watching.

How do you balance your various roles and responsibilities, and what strategies do you use to stay focused and motivated?

I balance everything by not overbooking myself. I give myself certain days out of the week to practice self-cafe, organize my calendar and spend time with my family. 

Can you tell us about a project or achievement that you are particularly proud of, and what it means to you personally and professionally?

One project I’m extremely proud of is the short called “Sasha.” I played the wife to an addict that is based off a true story. The Writer Anthony Torres is a published author that became a pastor after his struggle with addiction and the problems his family faced because of it. I love telling stories that people can relate to help make a positive change in someone elses life.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for the future, both in your creative endeavors and personal growth journey?

I’m looking forward to landing a major feature film or a TV series. As for personal growth, I’m constantly working on that and hope to one day hold a sponsorship program to provide for domestic abuse and survivors of trafficking. 

by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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