Many Faces Profile: Stephen Enloe, A Time to Act

Stephen Enloe- Coffee Time

By Jordan Chapman

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White slatted bi-fold closet doors set the scene before an 11-year-old Stephen Enloe stumbles into frame. He pulls off a button-up shirt, tie and prep-school jacket all at once before opening the accordion doors to take in what the viewer is left to assume is a wardrobe of comfortable t-shirts. Hair a mess, he looks in and sighs in contentment. End scene on his first national commercial. Bullseye.

Stephen is now 19 and a sophomore attending Santa Monica College, working to combine an education in acting while growing a budding film career. Currently known for roles in For All, for One, Inside Autism and a small role on the television series Astrid Clover, he also has parts in two feature length films that are still under production.

Yet, he explained that he didn’t always gravitate toward the spotlight. As a child, the only part Stephen took was the one in trying to avoid it. His hand was forced in grade school, however, when he needed to stand up to present a third-grade book report. After a time, he’d noticed that his peers weren’t listening. “I looked down and I was peeing my pants,” Stephen admitted. “I didn’t stick around! I spent some time in the office. My life was over.”

But it wasn’t. A teacher came up to him and challenged him to take part in the next school Christmas play, Joyland. He ended up with the lead playing a toy soldier. “It didn’t make any sense, but I loved it,” Stephen continued. “Once I got away from the fear — of whether or not they’d like what I said or of possible rejection — I knew that I could have fun no matter the outcome. I got to the point where I was able to own my time on stage.” And people noticed; he was scouted off his performance.

Stephen Enloe- Watch Time

Timing is Everything

Stephen didn’t like watches as a kid, either. But after acquiring management at the age of 8 there was suddenly a schedule to keep. Though he didn’t grow up in Los Angeles, the Temecula Valley, California-native explained that he did a lot of growing up in the city, as he’d often find himself there for auditions and small roles. While a watch helped keep his world and itinerary even and measured, acting became the tool Stephen used to measure those around him.

“I like knowing people and why they do the things they do; what makes them tick,” he said, and though he knows the characters he plays are fictional, he also knows they are constructs manifested from the life experiences of another individual. “It can be an inside look at myself and those around me. That can be a sobering experience. It reveals the humanity in every character.”

Stephen’s current project may yet be the most revealing: a feature-film script that he co-wrote with his father, Les Enloe. “The story was one that my dad had thought of possibly right out of college. He’d written a 12-pager, and I’d always been intrigued by it. To put down your own thoughts and have those ideas reaffirmed and taught firsthand by someone you look up to,” Stephen said, trying summarize what was clearly a poignant experience. “My dad is an amazing writer. I’ve never been that close to his work before.”Stephen Enloe- Bike Time

That experience — of combined mentoring and bonding — is one that’s tightly wound into the roots of Stephen’s family. Self-described as large and Italian, he explained that many in his immediate and extended family have been or are currently involved in the film industry. “We like to work with each other… My life is 10 times more interesting because of them,” he said, and he’s grateful for their support every time he walks into an audition. Sometimes — if it matches a character he’s connecting with— he even wears his favorite watch.

“How a watch is worn has so much to do with how you’re feeling. One accessory can say so much about the person wearing it. They’re classic,” Stephen said, noting that the model and design can sometimes call back to a specific time in history, an otherwise nice juxtaposition to today’s streamlined tech.

“Classics are classic for a reason,” he continued, which often winds down to the same thing in any industry: work ethic and craft. It’s that level of success Stephen plans to achieve. Each audition, each landed role validates a consistent dedication that in turn fuels his motivations and drives him toward the silver screen and — perhaps fittingly — a chance at timelessness.

“I’d urge anyone who hasn’t experienced acting to try it,” Stephen said. “Performing or acting in any way, it’s all a look into a character — a person — that I would never otherwise have gotten. I love it every time now.”Stephen Enloe Make Time

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