Now Playing

Torch Singer

A California actress and singer arrives here to heat up both NBC’s Chicago Fire and local stages.

Miranda Rae Mayo

Miranda Rae Mayo plays feisty firefighter Stella Kidd on Chicago Fire


Miranda Rae Mayo had never set foot in Chicago prior to being cast as firefighter Stella Kidd in the NBC hit drama Chicago Fire, but she couldn’t wait. Her manager’s husband is a Chicago native, and she could feel the city’s soul in his music when she played some gigs with his band in L.A.

Now she’s trying to make the most of her time here. “I want to explore Hyde Park more,” says Mayo. “And I definitely want to do more exploring on the South Side. Because I’m black, I want to get more in touch with my culture.”

The sultry Fresno, Calif., native, who has sung the national anthem at a Bulls game, is trying to integrate her fledgling music career with her all-consuming Fire role. “I’m like a trapeze artist who’s 20 pounds overweight and two weeks into training,” she says of the challenge. “I’m muscling through, doing my best.”

Meanwhile, Mayo continues to get to know the city by scouting out venues she dreams of headlining. “Oh, my God, Lincoln Hall,” she enthuses. “The Promontory, Thalia Hall…” We can see it—and hear it—already.