“We were paycheck to paycheck”: Zendaya’s Mom Worked at a Theatre to Take Her Daughter to Disneyland, Ended up Shaping Her Acting Career

Zendaya's mother reveals how her love for her daughter ended up shaping her career.

"We were paycheck to paycheck": Zendaya's Mom Worked as a Theatre to Take Her Daughter to Disneyland, Ended up Shaping Her Acting Career


  • Zendaya is one of Hollywood's best actresses at the moment, and her stardom is only increasing with each role.
  • Her love for acting goes a long way back, and her mother once narrated how it started with her time at Cal Shakes when she was just a toddler.
  • Zendaya made a significant contribution to the theater company that instilled a love for the art in her.
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Amidst a sea of talented artists, Zendaya has already established herself as an actress to look out for. Even though she has been in the acting industry since she was a teen, her career truly took off when she was cast as MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming.


The Dune star has enjoyed tremendous success, and these are still fairly early days for her. However, she owes it to her parents, especially her mother, who ended up shaping her career as a thespian.

Zendaya shot to fame with her MCU debut (Source: Spider-man: Homecoming)

How Zendaya’s mother helped shape her into a superstar

Zendaya is currently the face of Hollywood. With projects such as Dune, Euphoria, and the upcoming Challengers to her name, the actress has gone from strength to strength with each role. From directors to co-stars, everyone who has worked with her has only had praise to shower on the young actress.


Moreover, she has always tried to push herself creatively. In doing so, the Euphoria actress has won two Emmy Awards for her role as Rue Bennet on the HBO show.

Her parents played an instrumental role in it though, and she has also acknowledged it at every turn. In 2021, the actress’ mother, Claire Stoermer, opened up about how her daughter found her calling in acting at a summer conservatory program. She appeared as a guest on Tina Knowles’ Talks with Mama Tina and revealed how she picked up an extra job at the California Shakespeare Theater so Zenday could visit Disneyland.

Zendaya in Euphoria
Zendaya has already won a lot of accolades, including two Emmys (Source: Euphoria)

“When I got that job at the theatre, she was a baby, she was like 2, right? And my goal was, I wanna make a little extra money so we can go to Disneyland. We were paycheck-to-paycheck. So I took that second job and it stuck, and I became the house manager, and she started coming to work with me. It’s this beautiful outdoor theatre, 600 seats, she would beg me to bring her to technical rehearsals. She would sit in the audience, with the lady on book and she would hold the flashlight ’cause they would do it at night, right? So she did these summer conservatories with Cal Shakes, they were amazing. But then her agent in San Francisco said, ‘Hey, they are looking for people in L.A. We think Zendaya could probably make that move down there,’ and when we asked her if she wanted to, she was like ‘Yeah!'” said Stoermer.

The Euphoria actress has proved her love and dedication to the arts. Her efforts are paying off now, and she is the most in-demand actress now.


Zendaya made a generous donation to the theater that started it all

Zendaya’s life is intrinsically intertwined with theater. She fell in love with art when she was only a child, but that love has seen her blossom in her field. Moreover, she had a chance to honor her roots, and she did.

Earlier this year, the California Shakespeare Theater announced on their website that the actress made a significant donation to the company. Simultaneously, she also donated to the Women Donors Network.

Zendaya in Dune 2
The actress made a significant donation to the theater company recently (Source: Dune 2)

The company announced that the donation of $100,000 would be used well. It would go towards “upgrading sound and lighting systems, enhancing the café and of course funding our 50th anniversary production of As You Like It, directed by Elizabeth Carter,” they wrote on the website.


Zendaya is currently enjoying the success of her latest film, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune 2, alongside Timothée Chalamet. Her upcoming project is Challengers, slated to release on April 26th.


Written by Sreshtha Roychowdhury

Articles Published: 156

Sreshtha Roychowdhury is a content writer at FandomWire. An avid lover of film and music, Sreshtha is also a geek, with a hunger to know more about what the field has to offer. Apart from her contributions to writing, she is quite passionate about sports too.