I was born in Germany, near Nuremberg. My first acting experience I had in Middle School in a play named “The Blue Dust”. My role was playing the male principal of our school. With my short hair at the time I fit that role perfectly. That was in 1991. I was immediately hooked. What a fulfilling experience that was. Though I didn’t know that at the time, I would never act again until 2012. In Germany it’s possible to graduate after Middle School. So I did. After school I had to wait another 6 months in order to start the semester in Police Academy. So I kept myself busy with a warehouse and dishwasher job. After being retained for a year, because of politics (yes, I’m not much of a politician, lol), I finally graduated. I quit the police force after a few years, cause I didn’t like it. Never got that fulfillment. As I studied several martial arts since the tender age of 9, I opened my own martial arts academy and gave classes in Karate and Kickboxing, while simultaneously getting trained in those arts, as well as Capoeira and JuJitsu. I also competed vehemently in Karate and Kickboxing since the age of 17. While I had my own martial arts academy I had several side jobs to keep me over water, such as newspaper deliverer, bakery driver, security officer. Security also was fun, but not fulfilling. Then 9/11 happened. They send the National Guards over to help us secure the American Barracks. Before I knew it, I met my future husband, an American Soldier.
In 2003 I left Germany for good. In the US I opened another martial arts academy, which today includes classes in Kickboxing, Karate, Capoeira, and JuJitsu. Jobs I've had in the US so far include school van and bus driver, martial arts instructor, seamstress and designer, private investigator, reflexologist, taxi driver, snowboard instructor, ropes course facilitator, party host, and personal trainer. However nothing seemed really fulfilling. Then in 2012 I finally fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a World Champion in Kickboxing in the World’s largest governing body, the WKA. Today the WKA is called the WKU. At that point I was a 5-time World Champion, including the titles of other associations. That was it. An 18 year long journey of struggles, losses, wins, triumphs, but most of all dedication came to an end. An era vanished. After that depression hit. I fell into a big hole. The big goal was gone with nothing else to replace it. What to do? Win another World Title after I did it already 5 times? I had a mental downtime and depression for a couple weeks. Two month later my new journey was clear. There was that little something a long time ago on a stage. I decided to be an actor and just like in my previous life dream I'm reaching for the highest goal in this industry now. What else in the acting industry could be similar than a world Title in Karate and Kickboxing? Yes, an Oscar, of course. So in December I started looking for roles and went on auditions right away. However I wouldn’t get call backs until spring of 2013.
In spring of 2013 I got a call back for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. With that call back that year was completely booked for the most part. Toward the end of 2013, with still another month of the Faire going at the end of September I started film school to be a director. At the end of the year I graduated with honors from Fordham Films Film School as a director. My graduation project was “The Puppy Chow Mystery Tour”. I wrote the story and screenplay for "The Puppy Chow Mystery Tour" and filmed, edited, directed, and acted in it. After the Renaissance Faire was over I decided to not do any theater acting until my then 6 year old was at least 13. It just isn’t possible as a single mother with no help from anybody.
Then in 2014 I started film acting. It turns out, that this is a far better route for a single mother. My goals for the year were to act in at least one movie project, short film or feature length and to be added to IMDb with at least one credit. Throughout 2014 the projects I participated in as an actor included "Zombies vs. Joe Alien" (with two different roles), "Fraud", "Miles Handy", "Pedro Be Home". When I had the two roles in “Zombies vs. Joe Alien” I fulfilled my first goal of being in at least one movie project (January) and with the supporting role in “Fraud” I fulfilled my second goal of getting onto IMDb with at least a credit (June). I also had the privilege to be a production manager or production assistant, and camera man/editor/director for Harrisburg's city TV channel WHBG-20 and work alongside of the station manager Momin Bhatti for a while. It was an exciting first film acting year.
Well, 2015 is here and I decided that most of my bigger acting jobs I will pursue during the summer vacation, as I’m still school bus driving and most often than not I won’t get off for a longer period during the school year. BUT if a production company or casting director would come along and have an offer, that earns me a living, I’d be happy to wave the school bus driving good bye. You just never know. Other than that my directing projects for 2015 (or beyond, if it takes longer to realize) are "The Puppy Chow Mystery Tour 2", "April & Fox... think outside the box", and "Heart of a champion", a one year long documentary about a Karate and Kickboxing World level competitor (me) preparing for the World Championships and planning her comeback. Well, THAT should be exciting.
Other than that I take weekly acting classes at Fordham Films, I founded the Harrisburg Area Filmmaker group on Facebook and already organized and hosted one Harrisburg area film meet up on Stage 32 in 2014 (and the second one is in the making). Besides all this I'm currently still acting in "Miles Handy", a private investigation series, which is shown on YouTube. I'm also currently editing my own film reel, which is already done and out on YouTube, but since I’m constantly striving on bettering myself, this undergoes constant construction.
I’m a little shy at the beginning, but once I get to know you, I’m usually incredibly funny, easy to work with, and yes, I have no mute button, but in a cute and naïve way.
I would love to collaborate with film folks, so feel free to contact me! :)
Name: Stephanie Gilbert
Lives in: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Company: Gilbert Productions
Occupation: Actor and Director
Unique traits: German accent, Russian accent, female snowboarder and trickster, adventurer (yes, I'm not scared being somewhere in the middle of the wilderness fending for my own and yes, I've done it... on purpose).
Miles Handy, Ep. 3
Internet by Fordham Films/Daniel Fordham Supporting/Ana
Zombies vs. Joe Alien
Film by Rocco Nissivoccia Extra/Pedestrian
Zombies vs. Joe Alien
Film by Rocco Nissivoccia Extra/Zombie
Film by Laurence Jackson Supporting/Mrs. Gilbert
Pedro Be Home
Film (short) by New York Film Academy Extra/Audience Member
The Puppy Chow Mystery Tour
Film (short) by Gilbert Productions/Stephanie Gilbert Lead/Sandra