By. Wendell P. Simpson
There is an obvious lilt in Stephanie Humphrey’s demeanor at the suggestion that she might be a Renaissance woman.
“I like that,” Humphrey says, shyly at first—then she buys in. “Yeah, I guess I am a bit of a renaissance woman.”
Who else, after all, would indulge her secret muse by pursuing a career in the ‘iffy’ proposition that is arts and entertainment? And who else but a women moved her inner mad artiste would chuck her lucrative and stable gig as an engineer with a defense contractor to it?
“You’ve got to do what makes you happy,” Humphrey says, resigned as she is to her ‘happy’—and apparently successful—choice.
Stephanie Humphrey is a hot Philadelphia property with Midas touch. The actress, model, journalist, lifestyle maven and pitch person has amassed an impressive array of credits. In the mix, Humphrey has been the producer and host of her own locally broadcast lifestyle program, ‘styletips’, which has received very favorable pub in a Philadelphia Inquirer review; she plies her journalism/on-air personality skills as a back-up on-air traffic reporter for CBS3 Eyewitness News, and the Philly Wake Up News on the local CW57 affiliate; she’s a host on the Comcast Cable entertainment broadcast, ‘FanFlix’; as well as the featured host and personality at Urbanphilly.com where she has presented interviews with hot celebs, important politicians and prominent local business persons.
Humphrey fills up the rest of her schedule with gigs as a runway and print model, as well as being one of the faces of giant home improvement retailer ‘Lowes’ print and televised ads, and as a model and presenter on the QVC Shopping Network.
“Typically, I’m the young mom in the ethnic ads,” Humphrey says of her ad work.
Prior to her work in the entertainment field, Humphrey worked for more than thirteen years as an engineer at Lockheed Martin, one of the nation’s premier defense contractors.
This is definitely an eclectic, renaissance resume that would have done even the Medicis proud. Then, the most compelling question is how a seeming staid intellectual makes the swing to become a glamorous multi-talented, multi-tasking media personality.
Humphrey chalks it up to fate.
The Pittsburgh, PA native attended Florida A&M University where she earned a bachelors degree in electrical engineering. She took her masters in telecommunications at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, she went to work for Lockheed Martin.
“I was doing well there,” Humphrey said of her tenure with the contractor, “but it wasn’t satisfying anymore. You get caught up in the politics of corporate America and it just wasn’t me.”
At the moment of her great career chagrin, a friend approached the pretty young engineer to ask if she would model in a local fashion show.
“I agreed to do it,” said Humphrey. “There was a woman at the show who ran a modeling agency. She noticed me, and approached me at the end of the show—and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Humphrey is quick to point out that her decision to leave a good dependable job for the risks of the entertainment industry was not a whimsical, ‘roll of the dice’ decision. She said she set her ducks in a row by putting away some money and carefully weighing the possibilities—and mollifying some trepidation on the part of her Dad.
“I’ve got an engineer’s mindset,” says Humphrey. “I made my calculations before I moved on this business. Things needed to line up in a certain order before I made the big leap, and I knew that, if worse came to worse, I had my education to fall back on.”
Right now, however, Humphrey is rolling full steam ahead on plans to negotiate a pilot deal for a syndicated celebrity-based lifestyle show which the wunderkind has self-produced.
Humphrey has a simple formula for finding success, for living that sublime dream, for pursuing that passion.
“Be fearless,” she says. “My goal is to become a nationally syndicated television personality. I know that life is short, and I also know that, at the end of the end of the day, you’ve got to believe there’s nothing you can’t do.”