“You are going to find people who will love you exactly the way you deserve.”
Industry bible Billboard describes Steffan Argus as “an artist whose lyrics are as imaginative as they are relatable.” VMan magazine included him alongside Cole Sprouse and Ross Lynch in its Hollywood hot list, revealing the “next generation of TV and film’s brightest stars.” But anyone who’s ever had the privilege of being around Steffan knows that his identity, and his essence, cannot be contained in a sentence or two.
It all started back in Des Plaines, Illinois. While his classmates kept busy playing sports, Steffan was busy learning instruments, seven of them, to be exact. He started performing in local community theatre productions like The Little Rascals and Bridge to Terabithia, but a chance audition for the musical franchise Kidz Bop would change his life forever.
“It kind of turned my life upside down,” he laughs. But multiple tours and countless national television appearances didn’t make him more popular at school. “I like to dance and I like to be weird and I’m not trying to hide that from anyone,” he explains. “I was bullied a lot for wanting to be that way, for embracing these weirder parts of myself. I thought, ‘Okay, well now I’m just an outcast. I’m isolated and I feel like I have nowhere to turn.’”
But he had his music. In addition to playing those seven instruments, Steffan had been writing songs since the age of ten. So after his time with Kidz Bop came to an end, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his burgeoning music and acting career. “There’s a lot of auditioning and putting your heart and soul into a specific project and then it gets shut down,” he shares.
And Steffan knows this firsthand. In 2015, he booked what would have been his big break on the Disney Channel pilot Paige & Frankie. But after the show was picked up, it got reworked into what audiences now know as Bizaardvark, and Steffan’s character was no longer in the series. “It was really hard for me,” he remembers. “That was like getting so close and it felt so real. But everything happens for a reason, and it’s really hard to understand when you’re in the moment. But it leads you towards exactly what you’re meant to do.”
Which leads us to Steffan’s life right now, performing his critically-acclaimed music for sold-out crowds, landing roles in network shows and indie films, and spending time with friends who love him for the same qualities that once caused him to be ostracized. “If you believe, ‘This is who I am, and this is who I’m going to be,’ the people who love and accept that are going to find you. And it’s even more beautiful than if you had tried to suppress whatever you were feeling because you felt like that’s what you had to do. And it’s really important to understand and remember that you are going to find those people who will love you exactly the way you deserve, and exactly the way you love them. And it’s a beautiful thing.”
Photos by Joe Magnani
Styling by Robiat Balogun (assisted by Sinai Robles)
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