Stephanie Bauer is proving that with talent, hard work and a desire to be the best, you can achieve your goals and dreams. Stephanie’s journey has been an interesting one to say the least.
Starting out as a political news and beat reporter in Florida, she transitioned to television news as an investigative reporter and eventually the evening news anchor at First Edition.
She then headed to New York to cover entertainment news and that was quickly followed by her working for several years at Hollyscoop, where she wrote and produced many breaking entertainment news segments. Currently, Stephanie can be seen on Access Hollywood covering the latest news and events in Hollywood.
Today, Stephanie sits down with the Pop Culture Principle to talk about her beginnings, what inspires her as a person and a journalist and what advice she would give to anyone who wants to become an entertainment journalist.
Pop Culture Principle – When you were young, did you always know that you wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry somehow?
Stephanie Bauer – No, not necessarily. I anchored my elementary school’s first news show when I was in the fifth grade so, from basically then on, I knew I wanted to be in television news. I didn’t decide to get into the entertainment aspect of it until year six of my past ten years on television.
Pop Culture Principle – How important do you think having a degree in broadcasting or journalism is when looking for work?
Stephanie Bauer – I think it’s very important. Don’t get me wrong—it seems that many people make it in entertainment news in L.A. without a degree—but it’s given me much more credibility, and I know it will give me a longer career than those who didn’t have formal training and expertise in news.
Nowadays it seems like reality stars or former beauty queens are getting jobs on entertainment news shows but I think, when it comes down to me and another candidate for a correspondents job, I know that my degree was the determining factor in me getting the job. So, at the very end, I feel that it does matter.
Pop Culture Principle – When you moved to L.A., you ended up living in a van for a while. What was that experience like for you, and what did you learn from that experience?
Stephanie Bauer – Yes, that is very true! My boyfriend and I drove cross-country from Florida and really didn’t have much with us, but we were just fine. What I learned from that is that I would be okay with nothing, because we parked on the street in the middle of West Hollywood. We slept there and went to Trader Joe’s or Starbucks when we had to go to the bathroom or brush our teeth. We lived liked that for a month and that experience taught me that, if I lost everything right now, I am a hundred percent sure from experience that I would be absolutely fine. Most people don’t have the luxury or piece of mind in knowing that, but I know and I know I would be totally fine with nothing.
Pop Culture Principle – You are currently working for Access Hollywood. How did you get that job?
Stephanie Bauer – I am their first ever multimedia journalist and the job was just sort of created. Hollywood is a very small town in that people that meet you, they don’t every really forget you and, from time to time, they may bring your name up in a meeting. That is a really good lesson to remember: never burn bridges and always present your best self, because people may remember you years down the road. I was lucky enough to be brought in for a general meeting, but what I did from there was the key.
I took the advice that I had learned years before and I created my own opportunity. I came up with content, broke news, and created subject matter that any company would want because they didn’t currently have it. I didn’t wait for a position to simply open up and audition for it because, honestly, it does not work that anymore. With big television stations and for certain jobs there is no audition process so you have to kind of create your own spot, and that’s what I did.
Pop Culture Principle – Do you remember your first celebrity interview for Access Hollywood, and were you nervous?
Stephanie Bauer – I remember the first celebrity interview I ever did way back in Florida was with Kim Kardashian, who was so nice, and I wasn’t nervous. The first interview I did for Access Hollywood—which was the big leagues for me—I was so nervous only because it happened so fast. That leads to another crucial lesson which is always be ready, because they literally asked if I could interview Katy Perry later in the afternoon and a couple of hours later I was sitting in front of her!
So it happened so fast and that is what made me nervous, but luckily I had interviewed her before so she remembered me, and that made it easier for my big debut on Access Hollywood. I also remember that I just got my spray tan, and I was so orange next to Katy! She has this beautiful, fair skin, and it was so awful. I was scarred for life and haven’t spray tanned since; that was my debut on Access Hollywood.
Pop Culture Principle – Have you ever interviewed a celebrity who turned out to be nothing like you expected?
Stephanie Bauer – Yes, there are a couple of them, but one that really comes to mind in a good way is David Beckham. He was really warm and really kind and, for some reason, I didn’t expect him to be that way.
He didn’t make me feel stupid for asking questions because sometimes when a celebrity doesn’t want to answer something, they don’t shy away from making you feel silly for asking a question that they don’t want to answer.
If anyone could have called me out, it would have been David Beckham in the Galaxy locker room after a devastating loss for their team. I was surrounded by all male sports reporters in a group interview, and there was also a bunch of naked guys walking around which made it even more uncomfortable. All the other reporters were asking really serious game-related questions and they were holding out their discreet, tiny little audio recorders.
There I was with my brightly-colored, gigantic Hollyscoop microphone and I had to ask him what his Mother’s Day plans were for Victoria! I was so mortified and I think he was too, but he didn’t show it and he gave me a great answer even when everyone around us were rolling their eyes. I didn’t expect him to be that great to me in a situation that he could have made really bad if he’d wanted to.
Pop Culture Principle – You had the chance to appear on the Wendy Williams show for a Hot Topics segment. What was your experience like?
Stephanie Bauer – Her crew and her team were so amazing and extremely nice. I had such a wonderful experience on that show. Wendy Williams was such a pro as well. In New York she is huge, and my experience on her show proves that she is such a professional. I can see why the audience loves her so much because she is awesome.
Pop Culture Principle – You had the chance to speak with Oprah. What was that experience like?
Stephanie Bauer – So the interview with Oprah was on the red carpet and real quick; it wasn’t a sit down interview. I’ve seen her in other interviews and it was the exact same way for me: Oprah is exactly how she is on television.
The people that are really successful stars that I have interviewed—like Oprah, Hugh Jackman, and Julia Roberts—it’s abundantly clear to me that they are so successful because they are not faking it on screen. Even though I was in a group interview, she was so present and so in the moment, and not many celebrities are like that.
Pop Culture Principle – How important has the social media aspect of the industry become and how involved are you with social media?
Stephanie Bauer – Well, I am not as involved with social media as I should be, considering my career. I will say this: I’ve gotten more than one job off of a social media connection, and what is more important than that. So when someone asks me how important it is, I tell them since I’ve moved to L.A., I’ve gotten a couple of jobs strictly off of social media.
It’s amazing what power social media has today because back in the day reporters didn’t have that luxury, and now we have access to everyone because of social media.
Pop Culture Principle – What inspires you as a person and as an entertainment journalist?
Stephanie Bauer – As a person I would say my family, and I use moving to L.A. as an example because my boyfriend and I left everyone in Florida. So sometimes, when I am out here and feeling bummed or a little discouraged, he reminds me or I remind myself that I didn’t move out here to be sitting on the couch or move out here all alone to not be doing what I was meant to be doing, so my family back in Florida really inspires me as a person.
Specifically as an entertainment journalist, I would say that the celebrities themselves inspire me when I talk to them. I get the rare opportunity to actually meet and converse with them, and it reminds me that they are real people with real stories. I stick up for the Kardashian sisters every chance I get, because I know how they really are from interviewing them. So meeting the stars in person is what inspires me to do my job well as an entertainment journalist, because I am the facilitator to the viewers of the celebrity’s real lives.
Pop Culture Principle – What advice would you give anyone who wants to get into entertainment journalism?
Stephanie Bauer – The advice that I would give anyone is just work really, really hard. Everyone out here is trying to make it, and although a big social media presence will help and being pretty is a benefit, nothing will come to fruition without hard work. Also, getting yourself in front of as many people as you can helps as well. I’ve crashed auditions before and because of that, I’ve received job offers. I know I said before that actual auditions are really rare but, when they do happen, I find a way to get in there and get the job.
The people who are in the big leagues that really matter don’t really care about your social media following or care about how pretty you are, they just really want you to work hard. So just work really hard, don’t turn down any work, and do some things for free. Always work weekends if they want you to, always get there early and leave late, and people will remember you.
Pop Culture Principle – Where do you see yourself in the next five to ten years?
Stephanie Bauer – I think I am one of the few girls in L.A. that genuinely doesn’t want her own talk show. I am content with working behind a good company and just helping them make it in this big industry. I’m already pretty much where I want to be at Access Hollywood but, with that being said, there is still a lot to accomplish.
Basically I just decided to do anything where I am not a nice-looking talking head, which is common on television these days. My two passions are news and entertainment so I will always be involved with both, and one show that involves both is The Today Show, so I’ll say that. I could definitely see myself reporting and hosting on Dateline because I have a slight obsession with murder, which is weird but I can’t help it!
We would like to thank Stephanie Bauer for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. Don’t forget, you can catch her appearing on Access Hollywood; check your local listings. If you would like to keep up with all of her latest news, interviews and projects, you can visit her official website here. You can also stay up to date by following her on Twitter and Instagram @stephbauertv.
**Photos courtesy of StephanieBauertv.com**