MODW  Tell us about your childhood, how did you begin your journey?
KRISTIN  I grew up in Wisconsin. It was a very traditional up bringing. Family dinner every night at 5:30 pm. Lots of nature, animals and not much TV or movies. My family is about doing stuff, mainly out doors. 

MODW   We understand you have been writing a book over the past couple of years, when can we expect it? Who would play the lead in a film reenactment?

KRISTIN  I have. I need to get back to it, it's been slow as I have been so lucky to be busy acting. I am really writing fairly close to home for the lead character so I think I would certainly be well cast. But there are so many actresses I admire. I would watch Patricia Arquitte read a phone book. I hope to have the book in presentable shape this year. I just need to carve out the time somehow. It's about a girl in Hollywood and half of it will be true, I will just never be able to tell which half.

MODW  You are an artist of many things, how long have you been painting?

KRISTIN  Since junior high. I have had about 10 years of schooling in art since high school. I just love it. 

MODW  Tell us about some hurdles you had to overcome on your journey that has made you who you are today.

KRISTIN  Oh boy. There have been some highs and some lows.  Loss has been a blunt teacher. Loss of loved ones sure changes ones perspective. For me it made me cherish and respect life much more, all life, not just human and not just people I know. I have also had many successes and many failures in love and work-like most of us. And that did create, I hate to admit, probably a good balance in me. The hard times knocked me off balance enough to let other kinds of information about life in as I was more raw and therefore more open. One is really present and hungry for information in the tough times. I have read many, many spiritual books in those times. I certainly got a wider view of the way I see and do things. It does seem that people who have had every blow cushioned, every jam fixed for them... can be terribly lost with no idea where they fit in to this life in a useful way. I used to joke that growth is over rated - And I am really enjoying not having the big fires to put out anymore, and am able to focus more on the things I want to say and do. I guess the bottom line is a balance — leaning more towards the harmony end than the rip your heart out end — and to pay attention in the good times too — keep learning.

MODW  A typical day for Kristin Bauer? 

KRISTIN  Up too early, hitting snooze for ever,  lots of green tea,150 emails a day, an hour reading on environment and animals which ends up leading to writing emails and letters or making calls to some politician or company who could be doing better and then venting about it on Facebook (The Van Stratens) and Twitter (@Bauervanstraten). Sometimes it's an on set day, which are always a combination of fun, waiting, acting, and great costumes. I go to the gym on non work days. I walk the dogs. And at night I basically just keep going and going on the computer with those Earth/animal emails until my husband comes in and says, that's it now, time for bed.

MODW  Women that are personal inspirations to you?

KRISTIN  People who know their purpose and do it, who stand strong. Of course - Jane Goodall, Ayn Rand, Rosa Parks... But there are so many who we don't know their names — in animal rescue so many ladies work tirelessly helping others for dogs in Africa, for the environment and building gardens in NYC, starting a 'love your brother' movement... The list is thankfully extremely long. I hope someday to feel like I am one of these women.

MODW You look absolutely stunning, do you follow a beauty regime?

KRISTIN  Thank you! I do. And I always switch it up — there are many great lines now that are not full of chemicals or tested on animals. Every night I layer a bunch of creams and serums, mainly by MyChelle, L'Occitiane, Dr. Weil's for Origins, Adonia and Dr Haushka - at least this month. Next month I'm sure I'll try something else in that I hear about. (To check your products for animal testing go to or

MODW What skin care products do you like?

KRISTIN  I like so many. Right now I'm using for makeup Bare Minerals and have just discovered another cool company called Youngblood mineral cosmetics. I just had to try them, right? And I love it.

MODW Favorite retreat or place to getaway? What are must haves when you travel?

KRISTIN  I travel a lot now. I literally dream of Africa, my husbands home. I also love Northern Wisconsin. I like trees, land and lakes. My husband likes the ocean. So we go to Northern California which satisfies us both, like Carmel. I never fly without my pashmina for warmth and my Brookstone neck pillow as flights are the only time I can totally rest. 

MODW  First record you ever bought?

KRISTIN  I think...well, I totally remember still one of the greatest albums that I have played to death - The Police, Synchronicity.

MODW  What handbag are you carrying right now?

KRISTIN  A Steve Madden black vegan bag.

MODW Style icon?

KRISTIN  Marilyn Monroe

MODW  Book that changed your life?

KRISTIN  Atlas Shrugged for the first half of my life and now, East of Eden. They both somehow define my mission statement.

MODW  Who would you sing a duet with?

KRISTIN  My husband, Abri.

MODW Animal rights is an important part of your life, have you always been an avid believer and supporter?

KRISTIN  I grew up with many animals and have always been taught to enjoy and respect life. I have an awe of nature whether it be trees, a river, a lake - to my family there is no difference between the neighbors back yard and the ocean, which is really just someone else's backyard. Causing someone else's suffering is something I am looking to not do, daily

Cora Kouchak