Meet The Team

Kristin Stahlke, Founder/Editor-In-Chief

After finding her passion for music and writing during college, Kristin launched Staged Haze (previously Chicago Haze up until April 2021) in 2015 as a creative outlet. After navigating her way through the Chicago scene for a few years, Kristin was able to start covering shows of up and coming musicians, ranging from local and touring acts performing throughout the city’s close-knit music community. Kristin has developed Staged Haze’s coverage to focus mainly on pop, indie-pop, rock and alternative music. Some of her favorite artists include Taylor Swift, The 1975, Vampire Weekend, Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers, and the ethereal Stevie Nicks. Follow her shenanigans on Instagram here.

Emma Maliborski, Contributor

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Emma spent the last four years in New York City as a student with a passion for all things art, music, culture, and media. Though she spent most of her childhood dreaming about being the next Taylor Swift, she soon realized that she was much better at writing about music than playing it. Her favorite artists include Grimes, The National, Lana del Rey, Prince, and Kacey Musgraves, and her all-time favorite concert was Lorde’s Melodrama tour at Barclays Center. She would like to live in a country where Dolly Parton is the president and the Chicks are all VPs. Give her a follow on Instagram here!

Mitch Taylor, Contributor

A Chicago-based PR professional by day and music fanatic by night (okay, and also by day), Mitch loves sneakers, grilled cheese, and all things hip-hop. His first concert ever was seeing Hawthorne Heights on the 2006 Nintendo Fusion Tour, and he believes the greatest joy in life is coming back to win in Mario Party 8. While his musical preferences change with the season, his favorite artists include The National, 2Pac, Passion Pit, BROCKHAMPTON, Grimes, and the legendary UGK. Give him a follow on Instagram!

Brittany Trang, Contributor

As all of her labmates know, Brittany listens to a lot of sad indie rock while working in the lab as a graduate research fellow. The National, Julien Baker, and Phoebe Bridgers are always in her rotation, as well as Carly Rae Jepsen and Haim for when she’s done feeling sad. She hopes to one day see Sufjan Stevens play “Chicago” at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. You can find more of her writing at and can find her on Twitter @brittanytrang.

Sean Goodwin, Contributor

Although he is a native of New York City, Sean openly admits that he’d rather be exploring the mountains or hanging out on the beach. The only thing stronger than his passion for scouring the depths of Spotify for new music each Friday would be his admiration for four-legged companions. Don’t be shocked if he screams; he’s just really excited to pet your dog. He adopted his other hobby, running, at the young age of four after misunderstanding the rules of pee-wee soccer. Feel free to toss him a follow on Instagram @the_goodrun.

Emma Oxnevad, Contributor

A Chicago native, Emma spends most of her free time either listening to music, having long-winded discussions about music, or doing both simultaneously. After spending much of her formative years playing in bands, Emma has turned her attention to a career in music journalism, catalyzed by her 2019 coverage of Lollapalooza for the Chicago Sun-Times. Some of her favorite artists include Kacey Musgraves, Phoebe Bridgers, Led Zeppelin, The Doors and she is currently in the 12th year of her love-hate relationship with Taylor Swift. 
You can follow her on Twitter here and check out her professional portfolio here. She’s also on Instagram, but no pressure.

Erin Yarnall, Contributor

Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Erin grew up spending most of her time going to concerts in Chicago and Milwaukee. Her first concert was Baha Men, and she can’t tell if that’s funny, embarrassing or a combination of the two. Her favorite artists currently are The Beths, Kacey Musgraves, Bad Bunny and of course, Taylor Swift. You can find more of her writing on Eat This, Not That!, Mashed, The Record North Shore and the Lake County News Sun and you can follow her on Twitter at @ErinYarnall

Samantha Monendo, Photographer

Sam is a concert and portrait photographer at her core. In her early days, Sam focused primarily on plants, portraits and senior pictures. In college at the University of Dayton, Sam studied pre medicine, but was given the opportunity to work for many media companies on and around campus. She still remembers the day she shot her first concert for a local band in Dayton. As nervous as she was, the experience was exhilarating and became hooked. Working with Staged Haze has allowed Sam to broaden her horizons and give her once in a lifetime opportunities to grow and improve herself and her work.

Sarah Sturgis, Photographer

Sarah Sturgis is a concert and portrait photographer from South Florida that has a passion for music, mental health, and photography. When not photographing a concert or taking portraits she likes to spend her time hiking in the mountains and listening to artists such as Jon Bellion, Dermot Kennedy, Raleigh Ritchie, Mumford & Sons, Jeremy Zucker, and Twenty One Pilots. Follow her on Instagram at @sarahsturgisphoto.