The Art of Being Human: Stella Rea’s Perspective

Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?

I’m Stella Rea. I have a Bachelor’s in Theatre, but I consider myself an artist. I work with different aspects of art: acting, producing, directing, writing… Music, Theatre, Cinema, Performance Art… Sometimes I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, because I tend to get mesmerized by my artistic desires and get lost in them. Ultimately, I think I’m trying to mix artistic forms in everything I do, and create atmospheres.

A few years ago, I was completely focused in theatre. At the moment, I think I’m more interested in working with film. I’ve just wrapped my first short film as a writer and director, called “who were you in new york” – which would not have been possible without my dear friend, producer and actress, Luísa Galatti. And I have a lot things in the oven right now in regards to that.

I’ve recently worked as an AD on the play “Scissors”, by Cornelius Boeder, directed by Luísa Galatti. This play symbolized my reconnection to theatre in a way. And ever since, my creative mind has been bubbling in regards to theatre as well.

I think working with art should be dealt less seriously, but also extremely seriously. What I mean is: sometimes we spend too much time worrying about perfection, and that stops us from moving at all. As I grew older, I became a sucker for artistic experimentation and that helped me let go of all fears and self doubts that stopped me from putting more of my work out, taking more chances.

Art can be political not only in the subject it touches, but also in regards to the environment on which it’s being made. I’m a fierce believer in independent artists, and my path recently has been focused on making sure that we are paving the road that enables us to keep working with art in the future, while also making it easier for those coming after us to work with it as well.

Maybe now more than ever we are experiencing what Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer called culture industry: the mass made art, focused on profits. Some streaming services could be an example of that. I’m interested in the artist’s voice and point of view’s, even if it isn’t particularly my style, I think artist’s should be the masters of their projects.

What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?

I’m extremely privileged to have grown up in the artistic world because both my parents are tied to it. While I fought against this, it’s undeniable that my upbringing helped develop me not only as a person, but also an artist. My dad released the first independent record in Brazil, and therefore I’ve always been tied to the independent scene. Working with art in any other way was strange to me.

Since I’m interested in different aspects of the cultural environment, you could frequently find me working in different projects, wearing different hats – or even wearing several different ones in the same project sometimes. When I’m passionate about a project, I’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.

I feel I have a very particular poetic to my work that is tied directly to me as an extremely sensitive person. I have found moments on which my art reflected what I was going through; times where it spoke what I didn’t feel like I could; and sometimes it enabled me to live new things.

I think life is boring, so I’m always chasing ways to make it more interesting. That’s what art is to me. As long as I’m a rational, emotional and functional human being, there will still be artistic values to be decanted from me.

Unfortunately, we currently live in a society on which what makes someone different in the industry is the ability to persevere. And that’s hard, but I have it.

Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do. 

I think every time I get to work I realize that. Silly answer, I know. So I’ll try to be more specific.
Maybe the moment that stands out to me is my first play. There’s an extremely important poem in Brazil called “The Death and Life of a Severino”, by João Cabral de Mello Neto.

First of all, it’s one of my favorite poems. Not only for that reason, it’s to this day one of my favorite plays I’ve ever done. It tells the story of a migrant called Severino, going form the Northeast of Brazil to the South.

We did it in a Greek style amphitheater, and the entire cast was on stage for the whole play. But the moment was when I did the swamp fortune teller monologue.

About five minutes before it, I left stage, got changed, and dropped a bucket of mud over my head. Then, I slowly walked through the audience as I asked for attention and uttered the future I was seeing. It was late February, so the end of Summer in Brazil.

I still remember the light breeze that grazed my skin when I was walking through the crowd, the feeling I got on stage. It was exhilarating, truly one of those magical moments.

I think that was when I felt I was supposed to do this, but I only realized it a few days later. You know, sometimes it takes awhile to rationalize what you’re feeling (sometimes you can’t even do it at all), but that was definitely the moment I first realized that I wanted to work with art.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?

Well, getting anything done is always a challenge. I think maybe working with people who are more focused on themselves than on the project; or people who don’t put personal issues aside; dealing with ego is never easy. Stanislavsky wisely stated that you must love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art. It’s hard to find people you can work well with, but when you find them, cherish it.

So, yes, I’ve had the unfortunate experience of working in unhealthy enviroments. But it was a test, to me, of keeping my thoughts to myself, keeping my mouth shut, focusing on my work, and sometimes just focusing on getting it done. Take the blows and keep going. Swallow your pride. Apologize. Deep breaths, it ends. When it’s unbearable, when it’s too much, I always think “it ends”.

I was also always lucky to have an amazing support system around me in all of these times. Having people you can go to in these moments is valuable.

Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business?  Why these specific individuals?

This is the kind of question that is impossible to be answered. It’s like “what’s your favorite song?”. I mean, I don’t know. It’s never the same.
Just as my artistic interests, these people are always changing.

I think… Let me think…

Luca Guadagnino: I love the aesthetics of his movies, the atmosphere is palpable. For instance, in “A Bigger Splash”, or “Call me by your name”, you can almost feel the summer heat. It’s such impeccable storytelling, but in a non chewed up way (if it makes sense).

I’m in love with his directorial choices, his gaze, the emotional complexity of his characters… He doesn’t work with the obvious, he works with the nuances, the poetic, the subtleties.

Phoebe Waller Bridge: I love the fact the she came with something new, something fresh, something that is hers. She took the “what makes her different” and wasn’t afraid to take it to the extreme. And, boy, did it pay off.

I once saw an interview where she talked about how right after college she was kind of lost about her as an actress, an artist… because of the lack of good roles for women, and that’s when she started creating her own work. I cannot agree more, and I identify with writing yourself characters you’re interested in portraying.

Writing more interesting characters so other people can portray them. I think she’s fucking awesome. (Honorable mention: Martin McDonagh. Sublime, extreme high quality theatre and film work).

Kleber Mendonça: Highly political Brazilian films, and one of the most important Brazilian directors right now. I could write an entire essay on how difficult it is to make art in Brazil, specially in the last few years, and the quality of the work he has produced is truly incredible.

He developed what I believe to be a truly Brazilian way of making film. Shedding light on subjects that are highly substantial to the Brazilian audience, while also taking it to an international scene. “Bacurau”, his last movie (co-written and directed by Juliano Dornelles), is simply mind-blowing.

(another honorable mention: Karim Ainouz. Aside from his aesthetics and poetic, with which I feel extremely connected to, I love that he seems to go back and forth between work with fiction and documentary. I like seeing artists that are able and allow themselves to work with whatever they want to).

Drop your social media links. 


Staff Writer
Staff Writer
The LA Note and our team of talent networkers, writers, social media managers, and management are excited to present you with unique stories of amazing individuals following their dreams.


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