Stephanie Michels is an actress, singer, dancer, producer, wife and mother of twins who was born in Russellville, Arkansas and raised in Marietta, Georgia. She considers herself a Georgia Peach or as her husband calls her a “Classy Cracker.”
Stephanie began studying dance at the age of 5 along with gymnastics, tap and piano. Her love of storytelling began when she was cast as Clara in “The Nutcracker” at 8 years old. From that moment on there wasn’t a Swan, a Sugar Plum Fairy or Gisele that she didn’t want to play. At 13 she saw the musical “Pippin” starring Ben Vereen and her love of dance grew into a love of musicals. By the age of 17 Stephanie knew that she had to get to New York City where Balanchine, Bob Fosse and Broadway might be within her reach. As Frank Sinatra said “ If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.”
So, how does a small town southern girl convince her parents to let her go to NYC… by getting a scholarship to NYU, of course. Studying and living in the big city was a dream come true for this GA peach, but big city living ain’t cheap. Stephanie needed to find a way to come up with some money in order to graduate. Spending summers working at the “Mad Italian” and teaching aerobics wasn’t going to git-r-done. As any good southern Mama would, her Mama said, “Why don’t you enter a pageant?” Stephanie then entered the Miss Cobb County Scholarship Pageant, won and was crowned on the very same stage where she played ‘Clara’ years before. She didn’t win the title of Miss Georgia that year, but she did receive enough scholarship money to return to NYC and graduate from NYU with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Upon graduating those student loans she had came a calling. So like any good southern girl would– she returned to the pageant world and this time Stephanie won the title of Miss Georgia 1992 and went on to compete in The Miss America Pageant where she was a Quality of Life finalist. During her extraordinary year as Miss GA, she continued to hone her skills as a performer, public speaker and host because sometimes this Miss GA would start the day conversing with politicians, spend lunch with a prize winning pumpkin and then end the day by singing “God Bless America” standing next to a prize winning pig.
After gaining all that experience she returned to NYC to put her skills to the test. About a month after she returned she was cast in “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.” From there she waited tables, did lots of singing and tap dancing in industrials and regional theatre. She kept on training until she achieved her dream of performing on Broadway. Stephanie had the opportunity of originating two roles in two Tony Award winning shows as ‘Go-Go’ in “The Life” and ‘The Girl On The Swing’ in “Contact” for which she was nominated for the Fred Astaire Best Dancer on Broadway Award as well as landing on the cover of Dance Magazine. While living in New York Stephanie also landed roles in TV & Film in “The Producers,” “Center Stage,” “Trust Dance,” “Law & Order,” “All My Children” and “As The World Turns.”
Stephanie rather enjoyed working in the Film and TV industry, so she felt the call to go to Los Angeles where she currently lives with her incredible husband, Roger, their twins Trevor and Sydney, two dogs, two turtles and numerous koi fish. Since coming out west she has continued working in theatre, TV/film industry in shows such as: “NCIS,” “CSI,” “Cyber CSI,” “Lie To Me,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Judging Amy,” “Cop Dog,” “Out Of Reach,” “The Bellman” and she most recently found herself producing.
In 2016 she produced and starred in the short film “WALK,” written by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Theresa Rebeck , which has been seen around the country in 11 Film Festivals and has WON 5 Awards. Stephanie is thrilled and honored to be a part of the Southern Women Channel and feels downright lucky that she has found her southern sisters out West.
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