Determined, infectiously positive and a fully-fledged business woman – these may be adjectives you’re hoping will be affiliated with your middle-aged self, but they perfectly and aptly epitomise young content creator, Sophie Michelle.
At just the tender age of 11, Sophie set out to make her YouTube dream come true, creating her now-popular channel back in 2017. Since then, she’s added the titles of actress, musician and entrepreneur to her already impressive accolades as she guest-starred in hit Nickelodeon series and formed partnerships with some of today’s top brands.
The rise to the top as a Kid-fluencer may not have solely been fun and games – but thanks to her resiliently optimistic outlook on life, you wouldn’t be able to tell. Though – like any teen – she’s has faced many pressures in the pursuance of her dream, it’s safe to say she hasn’t let it slow her down one bit. We caught up with the young star to find out what life behind the screen is really like for Sophie Michelle.
From public school to the public eye
We all remember the pressure-cooker environment that is high school. Every move you make is under the gaze of a microscope – with hundreds of peers on standby to act as judge and jury. Throw an incredibly popular YouTube channel in the mix and you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s your instant fast track to the most popular person in school. But for Sophie Michelle, the scorn of the microscope instead grew even larger.
“Unfortunately, I dealt with cyberbullying and bullying in school around my presence on social media,” Sophie explains. “People said really hurtful things but ultimately I knew it was something I loved to do and kept with it.”
As every coming-of-age movie teaches us – turns out, the joke really was on those peers that taunted her. Now one of today’s top teen idols, Sophie quickly amassed over 775,000 subscribers as viewers became captivated by her amalgamation of talent, aspirational style and authenticity. “Going through those tough times really helped me spread the message of being the one and only you,” she adds. “I am beyond grateful to be able to do that.”
In 2018, Sophie made the difficult decision to leave the public-school environment and do things on her terms. Not only did this allow her more flexibility for her ever-expanding schedule, but the pressure of her peers proved too much. Rather than suffer unnecessary pressure in the pursuance of her dream, she began home-schooling and hasn’t looked back since. “I’m so grateful that I’m able to reach people all over the world and share a message about doing what you love no matter what people around you say,” she says.
Destined to perform from just the age of four, Sophie Michelle has been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember. Ever since creating her YouTube channel at just 11 years of age, she’s been lauded for her work in acting, music and digital content creation.
Following in the footsteps of other top teen idols, the fourteen-year-old star now leads the series ‘Stage Fright’ as the stage director of her school’s musical. But all is not as it seems – the series narrates the tale of four unlikely friends who try and solve the mystery of a chandelier accident that leaves the play’s lead in a coma.
Mystery aside, the most exciting aspect of this show for Sophie is the network’s decision to depict the world as it is. The series features a diverse cast and prominently featured LGBTQ characters, making no apologies for its real representation of the real world. “Diversity is so important in the media,” stresses the young star. “I’m really proud to work on such a diverse show that shows the world how it really is. As a Brazilian-American actress myself, I’m proud to represent my culture and I hope all the fans watching will be able to relate to at least one of the characters on our show.”
Above all, it’s Stage Fright’s thematic celebration of friendship that attracts fans from all corners of the world to tune in. Praising the show’s exploration of loyalty, the YouTube creator expands further: “Throughout the show you’ll find Lizzy and her friends really putting their heads together to solve the mystery of the chandelier crash and they’re able to resolve issues that maybe they wouldn’t have been able to resolve by themselves.”
Speaking of her character on the show, she tells us “I would describe Lizzy as caring, direct and hard-working. She puts everything she possibly can into making the show perfect! Although she can be a little bossy at times, she’s someone who deeply cares about the things she does and the people around her.”
But her talent doesn’t end there. Sophie’s new single, ‘Someone Else in the Dark’ is also the show’s theme tune – proof that it really is possible to bring both your passions to life in one clean swoop. “It was so fun to incorporate my singing along with the show,” she tells Student Pages. “I love writing music and getting to be in the studio is so awesome! Moving forward, I always want to be doing music and acting, I could never choose one. They’re both so important to me and I see myself doing both for the rest of my life!”
Staying positive in the tough times
There’s no avoiding it – whether you’re a young YouTube star, serving on the frontline as a key worker or have gone from a full-time work schedule to full-time couch potato, the world around us looks very different for us all right now.
Though the world around her has changed dramatically, Sophie Michelle has taken to isolation in true form. As infectiously positive as she is in her videos, the young actress has taken the lifestyle changes in her stride. “I’ve been quarantine for almost two months and I’ve really just been focusing on what I love: looking towards the future and hoping for better times,” she recollects. “I’m taking this quarantine as an opportunity to reset and re-charge and also focus on improving my singing, acting and dancing!”
For Sophie’s music supporters, it’s good news all round. “My focus right now is song writing and getting to know my music style more and more,” she reveals. “I’m really excited to start getting into the studio with all my ideas. All I can say is look forward to new music!”
A true bundle of positivity, the 14-year-old performer is the physical manifestation of what a good role model looks like. Determined to inspire her fans to stay motivated on the trying path that is adolescence, she advises her supporters to always be their true selves. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to be 100% authentic and be true to your personality in general. Not only that, but it’s also important to be passionate about what you want. Figure out what you want to do and pursue your dreams because they may come true!”
Living proof of that very ideology, Sophie Michelle ignored the taunts of her peers several years ago in pursuance of the career she so desperately desired. If that isn’t motivation enough to follow your dreams, however unattainable they may seem, perhaps her next video might just convince you.
You can subscribe to Sophie’s social platforms at @SophieMichelle and stream the next episode of Stage Freight on Brat TV now.
Gabriella Wieland is a writer and English Literature graduate. She spends most of her time trying to keep her mini-poppadom obsession at bay and finding adventures of the ‘free’ variety. Residing in Manchester, she also spends much of her time liaising with scientists to find a geographical cure for eternally-grey skies and Vitamin D deficiency.