We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Stuart and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
My work/life balance has not always been healthy. The tendency to say “yes” to every opportunity forced other aspects of my life to suffer. Maintaining balance in my work-life is crucial to my mental and physical well-being. I don’t have to take on everything; it’s ok to say “no”, and I am much healthier for it. During the pandemic, most performers were out of work for longer than they had ever been. So, for me, hitting full force into this new open world meant I felt that balance shift in the opposite direction and I had difficulty saying “no” since we had spent more than a year without work. I wanted to do everything and I pushed myself too far. I literally collapsed. I slept for 13+ hours for days trying to recoup. Recognizing our world is changed and I am personally more overstimulated than I was in the before-times has helped me show kindness to myself and take care of me so I can put on the best performance possible for my clients. Burn out is an epidemic here and the “get back to work”, “suck it up, buttercup” culture only does harm. We have to rest, relax and do things outside of our work and cherish those moments, because they are just as critical to our health as a full day of work.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It has been a ride, indeed. I didn’t ever see myself doing what I do now. I always knew I wanted to act and sing, but Marilyn has taken me far beyond where I thought I would go. What I saw as a couple of one-off performances eventually turned into me booking out months in advance, and traveling across the country to entertain in some instances. I’ve built personalized shows around clients and celebrations while including Marilyn’s set list of songs. It requires understanding of my clients and the dynamic of their environment, but it fulfills me to see their responses to audience participation and the surprises I pepper in for them. Creating memorable and personalized experiences makes me love what I do all the more. I get to make people happy- who wouldn’t want that?
My business partner, Amber, her husband Mikee and I created and built a vintage festival from the ground up called Glamour Days. Opening day was a week before the pandemic shut the country down, so there was a ton of uncertainty there. But, we made it work and for a first time festival, it was very successful and inspired us to create more. Nothing has been a greater challenge, and there were many times I felt like throwing in the towel. But, the next day I would get up and be ready to take on the next obstacle. We had friends and collegues asking if we really wanted to do this, and emphatically we responded, “Yes!” That doubt never stood in our way.
I would love the world to know I always aim to maintain integrity, greater understanding and positivity in my career and life. As far as any vintage event, I am all about vintage vibes, not values. We have a lot to learn and I’m here to listen and do better.
I’ve learned hard lessons about boundaries and knowing my own worth (especially outside of working). I’ve compared myself and thought I wasn’t ever going to measure up. But, I’m resilient and diligent, so I overcome. I want the world to know the person behind the makeup and platinum hair hasn’t always had it easy, so that’s why I want to encourage young people to take those risks and just do what makes you happy. It doesn’t need to fit some mold that you think will garner praise. Find you in your work and discover what energizes your soul.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles is chock full of whimsical and fantastic spots. I definitely have quite a few faves:

Hollywood/ Los Feliz Area:
Check out Wacko Soap Plant- an eclectic shop with an equally fabulous and bizarre museum.
After, cross the street and eat at one my favorite restaurants, (and this Texas girl’s favorite place for tacos), HomeState. Brisket lovers, get the “Tijuana Panther”, trust me. They also have a great vegetarian menu, too!

Skylight Bookstore in Los Feliz is delightful!= Hillhurst and Vermont St. take the cake. Farfalle for homemade Italian and over to the Dresden for late night music and drinks.

“Musso and Frank” is the oldest restaurant in Hollywood and so worth the dinner splurge.
“It’s Pho” on Cahuenga has the best Vietnamese coffee and their pho is choice!

La Cienega- The Stinking Rose is so stinkin’ delicious.

The Getty Museum, The Huntington, Descanso Gardens and The Norton-Simon Museum always make for a wonderful day out. Plan a full day for the Getty and Huntington.

Eaton Canyon Falls is a rocky hike, but not as steep as the Hollywood sign, for instance.

Idle Hour, Aeirloom, Catcher in the Rye, Priscilla’s Coffee are all Toluca Lake faves. Love me some of The Iliad Bookstore- I spend hours in there.

The Central Library dtla is magical. Nightlife- The Standard DTLA, The Library and The Edison all give a different vibe for downtown area, but they are all worth it. Dress up for Perch and have a strong drink and a dazzling dinner.

Point Dume is my absolute favorite beach, but The Santa Monica Pier in the evening is charming and offers a marvelous view of the beach areas when on the ferris wheel.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout, hands down goes to Amber Schwinn- (my P.I.T, ), my business partner and overall great, wise encourager of endeavors. She is one of the most creative people I know and stepping into her world means a multitude of ideas floods your senses. On my hardest days she is there with a kind word and an ear. On the best days, she is right beside you, ready to take on the world. I would not be where I am without her.

Website: www.stephstuart.com

Instagram: ms_marilyn_monroe

Youtube: Marilu Productions

Image Credits
Chantal Stoman Ashley Briscoe Teemo Chon Gus Mejia Justin Dean

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.