We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacey Elise Haught and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacey Elise, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
I think, in this time, more than others, i’ve faced this question. Quarantine, and social distancing, global pandemics and world injustice, should make you look inside of yourself and ask some really important questions about who you are as a person, and what you want to be remembered as. For me my entire life has been sitting in a seat of support for Actors, and Artists to help catapult their career’s and help them obtain the dreams they dream. During the events of 2020, (So far) I’ve been able to dream myself, cut out the distractions, some were helped by quarantine and some where self disciplined behaviors I set in place. But they were behaviors I as a woman in my 30’s trying to re-enter the wold of the arts again needed to apply in my life. In all this self discovery I learned a lot about who I was as a person, and facing mortality what I wanted to be remembered as. I want people to remember me as someone who gave, until I couldn’t give anymore, who supported causes, and spoke up on the behalf of people who needed help, who cared, who loved. But. I also want to be known as someone who spoke for myself, who said no, when I needed too and surrounded myself with people who protect, and love me for the person I am evolving into and not the person I used to be. I long to be someone who fosters personal growth in other people, and inspires them to dream, and will constantly exchange the seat of encouragement with me. When my time is long and gone, I don’t want my funeral to be filled to the brim of people, no, I’d rather it be just a small gathering of people who knew me well. I may not accomplish a lot that I can physically show in my life, but I’d rather make a difference in being a good and decent person.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For 14 years I was employed as an Acting Instructor and Film Coach at a private studio in Sarasota, FL. I taught a range of ages in my 14 years from Musical Theatre for Munchkins to an Adult Acting Class. In my time span while I was employed I was able to privately coach actors who wanted to branch from Acting as a hobby to Acting as a career. In my time I was able to launch the careers of many actors who are acting now, and can be seen in large market media and small media productions. I am so proud of every single student to who took what they learned and applied it to whatever they wanted out of life, even if it wasn’t arts, if it was yoga instructing, applied sciences, or just being a wife and stay at home mom (yes you need to act to be that too.) In the summer of 2017 my Husband Philip fell from a 12ft ladder and shattered his heel, and in the midst of his surgery and recovery we had to relocated jobs and moved 3 hours west, resulting in me having to retire from my teaching position. For two years I felt lost, and unsure of what I wanted to do. I felt like I was missing a part of who I was and like I was having to act through my own life. Last year I was approached by Voyage to do an article for their Trailblazers series and it sparked in my an idea. My time as an instructor is over, but that doesn’t mean my time as an artist is done. Another job change later and we have relocated back to the east coast and have settled in St. Petersburg, Florida. I have written two scripts that have been produced in small markets, and I’ve started to write and look into publishing a book based on friendships and the internet. So saying all that to say this, you may have started your life one way, thinking that your career, your life and your plan had to look a specific way. But let me tell you this, you were wired to do something unique, something different than the person next to you, and if what you used to do, didn’t work before, keep trying things until something clicks and works. I never thought I would be writing and that I would feel fulfilled behind the computer, but it’s opened a whole new world for me, I’m not opposed to picking up the acting chops again, or the teaching chops again, but I know now I am capable of a whole lot more.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I just moved to Saint Petersburg, so we can take a trip around together, and learn the lay of the land! The first thing we would do is of course… GO TO THE BEACH! even if it’s to stick our feet in the sand and test the water temp. We would have to rush tho and head off for brunch at The Datz in downtown St. Pete and lets just hope that it’s someone’s birthday because we would get a free slice of cake, after lunch we would walk down to the park, and sit and let our food settle, because you eat a lot at The Datz. Before we leave downtown we would have to stop at Intermezzo and grab a cup of coffee, and drink it as we go find all the murals and do a mini photoshoot, we would eat dinner of course at Fresh Kitchen, because the 6 bowl is to die for and it’s great food for anyone who has dietary restrictions like me, then we would rush back to the beach to watch the sunset. If you’re staying for a WEEK with me haha you can expect a lot of lazing around, chilling by a pool, and of course a trip to Disney, with all the Florida resident secrets.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people I could shoutout. But I wouldn’t be who I am as a performer or an educator without the guidance or support that I got from the historical Players Centre for Performing Arts in Sarasota, FL. But I wouldn’t also be the person I am becoming if it weren’t for the mentorship of Meiko and Simone Seymour, their constant push for me to educate, and push myself to discover who the Stacey of 2020 is, is ground breaking and life changing and for that, I am extremely grateful. I also would have to mention all the people like Sebastian R. Teller, Crash Acting Studio, and Amanda Heisey. I’ve had the luxury of connecting with so many online, especially during quarantine, the amazing creators and artists who are using their talents, in medium platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, you all inspire me to keep going, to keep dreaming, and to never let any excuse derail me from my goals.