Believe in yourself. When I first got into acting, I had some doubts sometimes about how far I would get and wasn’t sure how possible it was for me to be a working actor so quickly. But I think I got as far as I did even though I got into acting not that long ago because I believed in myself.
As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha Weller. Samantha was born and raised in Virginia and started acting in middle school and high school where she took drama classes and performed in multiple plays. This made her realize how much she loves getting into character, performing, and exploring different emotions through acting. After college, she took every opportunity to take acting classes, audition, and pursue acting professionally and ended up getting a co-star role in a TV series. From the very first time on a film set, she realized her passion for film acting.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you for this opportunity! A lot of things inspired me to but I started acting in middle school and high school by being in multiple plays and loved getting into character and entertaining others, so when I got my first film acting gig, an opportunity to be a co-star role in season 2 episode 3 of Dead of Night on Investigation Discovery, it was so incredible that I just knew I wanted to do film acting for the rest of my life. I was in Season 2 Episode 3 of the Dead of Night series.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I would say my first red carpet premiere for one of the first feature films I was in was very interesting as I met all kinds of people and actually ran into an actor I had heard of and seen around my area but had never met in person, and later we ended up working together on a project and are now great friends!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
There was this one scene I worked on a few months ago where I was supposed to throw my shoe at this one character, and I threw it too hard and it almost smacked the actor in the head. Everyone laughed after but I guess I was really in character and am also not that great at throwing or aiming (so perhaps I need to work on that, haha)!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just finished filming an upcoming psychological thriller called Psychopomp and it was such an interesting project not only because it was filmed in Northern California, but because the whole movie was so unique and fun to be a part of. I had never traveled so far or been to that area in California, so it was such a neat experience. I was on set for about a month and it was the longest I’d been on set so far and the biggest role I’ve gotten so it was quite exciting to be a part of and being able to work for that long as an actor. The role was also my favorite by far, a character named Birdie, and I relate so strongly to the character that I still feel like the character is part of me forever now.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I met Maria Olsen on the set of the Psychopomp movie and she is such a nice and fascinating person! It was very neat to be meet her in person and listen to her stories as she has been in the industry for a very long time and has been acting since she was a child. She told me I had a very cool role which I also thought was really awesome being told that by someone like her. 😊
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Take time for yourself because when I first started, I pushed myself very hard and didn’t give myself as many breaks as I should have, but later realized it is very important to set aside some time for yourself so you can have the energy you need to perform. Being patient is also key in this industry and you have to realize that you won’t be working every day. A great quote I heard about this industry is that “it’s a marathon, not a race.” You might have to be patient, but eventually the right opportunity will come to you if you find the right balance between working and relaxing. Sometimes it is okay to slow down and take time for yourself. Your mental health is very important towards your career.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would love start a movement that aims to help raise funds that would go towards saving the animals and the planet because I love animals and care so much about helping make the planet a better place. Maybe something that ties with SPCA as I admire them for all their efforts. Animal conservation I believe is so important for everyone and for future generations as well.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
The first thing I wish someone told me when I first started was the be more selective about what you do because I used to focus on doing as many things as possible but now I realize it’s better to focus on a few projects that are right for you.
The second thing is to believe in yourself. When I first got into acting, I had some doubts sometimes about how far I would get and wasn’t sure how possible it was for me to be a working actor so quickly. But I think I got as far as I did even though I got into acting not that long ago because I believed in myself.
The third, is that age does not matter. I got into acting professionally just recently and I always had the idea that I had to start younger like in high school but realized later that age does not matter and that everyone has their own path. Morgan Freeman I think started his career at age 50. It’s never too late to follow your dreams.
The fourth is to understand that some people will have mixed viewpoints and not fully understand what you do as an actor, but that is okay and you should just focus more on the people who support you in your journey.
The fifth is understanding that in order to make it, you have to take a lot of risks. I had an office job when I started acting and I eventually got a lead role in a huge movie that was the greatest opportunity of my entire acting career. I needed to go to California for a whole month and it was very hard telling my boss but he understood and I was able to take the time off, but for me it was a very big risk as I was worried that I might lose my job. It was one of the biggest risks I have had to take so far in my acting career, but I am so glad I listened to my gut instinct and did it. I have had to take the most risks in my life to get where I am today to be an actor.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite quotes is by Audrey Hepburn and it goes “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” And think this is so true because when I first got into acting I thought it seemed almost impossible especially since I started pursuing acting professionally in my twenties, but you have to remember the harder you work towards something, the more possible it becomes.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am happy that I met some other actors when I first got into acting and we all supported each other a lot! I think from the beginning it was very helpful to meet other actors and we all knew exactly what our challenges were and helped support each other along the way. It is very important to connect with others in the industry and network because this industry is very challenging and different when you first start out. Right now, my manager has helped me get very far and has given me a lot of great advice especially with where I am right now as an actor. I am very thankful for my manager as he understands my goals and has helped me a lot as I go into the next level of my acting career.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Oh wow, many people but one person who definitely comes to mind would be Hilary Duff because she was one of my first idols ever as a kid and still remains as one of my biggest inspirations as I think she is such a beautiful person inside and out, always has been, and has inspired me throughout my entire life to love yourself, be true to who you are, and follow your dreams.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My Instagram handle is samanthapearl_official and my Twitter handle is _samanthapearll.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!