STORY BY MIN. A. LEE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH KRICK PHOTOGRAPHY
MAKEUP BY ARCHANGELA CHELSEA
HAIR BY PRESTON WADA @OPUS BEAUTY
STYLING BY FRANZY STAEDTER
Amanda Steele keeps it very real for our nineteenth issue. While many know her as a YouTube phenom, we see a brilliant, driven young woman who’s had her fair share of struggles. Steele refuses to get lost in the hype of numbers and instead produces content that is loyal to herself and her fans. She never loses sight of what initially put her on the map, and continues to be humbled by those who believed in her from day one. Putting vlogs out in a public space since only Elementary school has given Steele the ability to adjust her career as she grows, but also learn how to take on the pressures that come with. It’s never easy to see others tear down work that took a long time to create, but Steele gives sound advice for anyone facing bullying online and offline.
Sharing a personal look into her life and style has always been at the forefront of Amanda Steele’s empire, but also she continues to pursue acting—strengthening her abilities to take on new roles. With time we expect her to make a substantial mark in Hollywood, and we can’t wait!
ON BEING A CONTENT CREATOR
Composure Magazine: Building such a prominent career at a young age opens you up to a lot of criticism, how do you combat this negativity, and what have you learned from the challenges of being in the public eye?
Amanda Steele: The negativity was something that was really hard for me as I was growing up while posting my life online. It was really hard to find myself while thousands of people were telling me who I was. I just had to step back and realize that I am doing what I love and indulging in my passions while haters are just spewing negativity from behind a computer screen. Over time I have found that if I had never let any haters get to me, and I continued doing exactly what I was, I would be much farther in my success. The positivity outweighs the negative, and the people that do love my videos—that is who my content is for. I am not going to change what so many of my followers love because some other people out there are taking their personal problems out on the internet. My content is for my loyal followers, and nasty comments aren’t ever going to take that away from them and my own success.
CM: Your success did not come without hard work and sacrifice, was there ever a moment you felt like everything was too much to handle?
AS: Being a YouTuber is a full-time job. At my peak growth and demand, I was also in public high school. Juggling both took a stressful amount of not only time but emotion. I think high school sucks no matter who you are, but on top of school bullies and feelings of loneliness, I had thousands of haters online too. It became very overwhelming for me when I would spend nights crying over mean youtube comments and then waking up and hearing more negativity from my classmates at school. This point in my life was very hard on me, but things started to look up when I began online school and could focus more time on my YouTube channel.
CM: The digital world moves quickly with its constant changes, algorithms, etc.. How do you stay passionate as your work continues to progress?
AS: I stay passionate about my work throughout the constant changes of the digital world by keeping in touch with who I am and why I do what I do. It is easy to get sucked into numbers, growth, and competition, which could honestly lead to a fall. Luckily for me, I started my YouTube channel so young that I know exactly what my passions were. Fashion design is the reason I started YouTube. I have an intense love for beauty and connecting with other people online that like the same things as me. I was never a very social girl. I chose to stay inside on the computer most nights instead of meeting new people and hanging out with friends. This makes me so passionate about the fact that fashion, beauty, and tech are all things I have loved from the beginning. I know to follow my heart, do what I love, WORK HARD, and everything will work out.
CM: What is the one piece of advice you’d give young people hoping to walk a similar career path?
AS: WORK HARD. It is easy to see luxurious lives online of other people (which seems like it was just handed to them) and assume we deserve the same. Unfortunately, we don’t all come with the same support for our career, and we have to deal with the cards we are dealt. As long as you put your FULL, ENTIRE heart and head into what you do, you will go places. You need to know exactly what you want, and every day work in small steps to get there. Being true to who you are and working hard on your goals is a foolproof way to success. You know you best. You have to embrace all the things that make you…you, and it makes you a unique creature! No one can be a better you, and you can’t be a better version of someone else. When you are the best you, you’ve won.
CM: When it comes to creating content for your social media platforms, what currently interests you the most?
AS: I am currently most interested in fashion and vlogging content. I like how I am testing out how to produce personal, intimate content YouTube viewers enjoy while adding my fashion-focused style.
CM: What is your most memorable collaboration thus far?
AS: I have had such amazing collaborations that I am so thankful for! As for the most memorable, I would say my collaboration on sunglasses with Quay Australia. I was so young at the time of this collab, and this brand really believed in me, which is so special to me. I saw the collection sell out lightning fast and then put on eBay for almost ten times the original price! I then started to see my designs in stores like TopShop, Urban Outfitters, and Nordstrom. This was a huge moment for me.
CM: Any collaborations in the works that you can give us a sneak peek into?
AS: I launch a jewelry collection with one of my favorite brands, LUV AJ, December 3rd. I am so proud of this collection and think it represents me in such an awesome way. I can’t wait for people to see!
CM: You’ve expressed wanting to launch a clothing brand in the future. Can you share with us a little about your design vision?
AS: For clothing design, my girl is smart, sexy, edgy, androgynous and confident.
ON BEING AN ACTRESS
CM: As an actress, how does it feel to take on different roles and film for television versus your vlogs?
AS: I love taking on different roles for film and TV. With my YouTube channel, I feel like there is already a standard of how I am online and what people know of me. When I am acting, I get to indulge in characters that might be nothing like me but have a tiny piece of my personality. I have so much fun digging somewhere deep into my personality and mannerisms and then letting it take over. While acting, I can express parts of myself that might not be appropriate or accepted online.
CM: Would you say it’s more fun or perhaps challenging becoming an entirely new character and developing her persona?
AS: It depends on the character. It is always fun for me to take on a new persona and perform, but it is also hard at times. If the character has gone through intense trauma, I have to put myself in this awful mindset to perform as her. It gets very emotionally draining to bring up dark things from your past in order to become the character. Although, I think this process is the beauty of acting.
CM: What were some of your most memorable moments from working on the sets of Guidance and Freakish?
AS: On set for Guidance was my first time acting ever. Every experience I had on set was new and exciting! The Freakish set was super cool because it was the first time I had worked with stuntmen and did more action-based acting. I had to use a fake gun and all!
CM: Looking into the future, what sort of roles and genres do you hope to take on?
AS: I would love to play a character that is beautifully broken. A character who is so out of her mind but somehow speaks to all of us—understanding her and seeing the beauty of it.
CM: Finally, are there any new productions coming up in 2019?
AS: I am currently working on a new TV show called Paradise City! It is a spin-off of the amazing Showtime movie American Satan.