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Personality Test: Stephanie Mayer-Staley

Stephanie Mayer
Artist Stephanie Mayer

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Recent visitors to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh may have joined her while she built bamboo sculpture at the North Side museum, where she is one of the summer's F.I.N.E. (Fresh Innovative Nonstop Expression) artists in residence. Stephanie Mayer-Staley — a native of Bavaria, Germany, who moved to the United States in 1994 — is the head of design and an associate professor at the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University. You will see Mayer-Staley's designs when you attend performances at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Mayer-Staley lives in Swissvale with her husband, Mark, and they care for foster children.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:

Meg Ryan, 'cause I like her hair

Childhood hero:

“Fräulein,” my kindergarten group leader. She was this tiny little woman with the biggest heart in the world.

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

My grand aunt's old-style scale. My great-grandfather was the gardener of a little town in Germany and would weigh the herbs and veggies that he grew in his garden on that scale. I used to play with it all the time.

One word my mother would use to describe me:

Stubborn. (She would really mean determined.)

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:

That so many great people and artists live in it.

I can't live without my iPod, cell phone, DVR or laptop?

I would love to live in a world where we could live without that stuff. I don't have a TV, DVR or iPod.

Best mistake I've ever made:

Running out of coffee. I had to leave the house to buy some, and this led to a whole long series of encounters. I met an American on the way to the coffee shop, moved to America and years later met my husband.

The superpower I wish I had in real life:

Is cloning oneself a super power? My husband and I just took two little boys (brothers) into foster care with us. I wish I had four pair of hands and could give my other self a break.

Saturday mornings, you'll find me:

In my garden.

The first band I saw in concert:

Herbert Grönemeyer, around 1988 in Köln, Germany

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

Leonardo DaVinci, Joe Cocker and a surprise guest

If I weren't an artist, I'd be:

A gardener.

The last book I read:

“Nature's Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting and Preparing Edible Wild Plants”

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

A pilot.

Something I would do over if I could:

I press the imaginary “redo” button often … and learn from my mistakes; but really, no regrets.

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:

Swissvale Shroom from D's

The person I'm most often mistaken for:

My sister. (When I am in Germany.)

The oldest thing in my refrigerator:

Sourdough that I received from the Bread and Puppet Theater company

My first job:

Window decorator at an organic food store.

My worst job:

Working on the assembly line at Audi

Exercise I hate most:


My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Grilled cheese with tomatoes and wild mushrooms

App I wish I could invent:

A shopping list app that syncs between my husband and me

My quirkiest inherited trait:

Licking my plate after an especially good dinner

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Spice Island Tea House in Oakland

I'm deathly afraid of:

Losing people I love.

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

Ginkgo tree in Frick Park

In high school, I was:


My most embarrassing junk food:

French fries with lots of mayonnaise

My most memorable fashion mistake:

Yellow overalls

Life would be better without:


My childhood nickname:


Favorite brunch food:

Omelet with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and basil, plus mimosas

People would be surprised to know that:

I and my husband are adopting three boys.

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