Its 9:00 pm
Welcome to “8 Questions With……”
So I watched and reviewed the terrific “To The New Girl” I was lucky enough to interview the playwright who wrote it,Sam Macher. I found myself really wanting to interview the actress whose segment that moved me the most as well.
That actress is our guest for today,Samantha Carro,who not only played the ill-fated Elissa in the film but also originated the part in the stage play as well. Samantha’s performance is the most heartbreaking tale of the film and it is the one that spoke to me in that Elissa is losing her soulmate and feels completely devastated. It was her compelling performance that had me reach and ask Samantha if we could talk and she agreed to our request.
I truly hope that Samantha’s breakout role in “To The New Girl” will lead to more work on the small and big screen because she definitely worth watching,while live theater is rewarding to the artist,it doesn’t provide the exposure that film does. But for now,you really need to see “To The New Girl” which is playing on Amazon Prime. Before you do,stay and read Samantha’s answers as I ask her 8 Questions…..
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit of your background.
My name is Samantha Carro. I am a born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. As a child I did pageants, and commercials. In college, I studied dance, and theater. I also love to karaoke! I recently married my best friend and now we have a beautiful little girl.
How are you handling the pandemic and what are you doing to stay creative?
We’ve been on lockdown. It kind of feels like we’re living in a petri dish. It’s a scary time. But I am enjoying having the family together. Its bittersweet though because you have all this time together and you cannot go anywhere. We do have a lot of fun at home.
I have a toddler and its helped me to stay creative. I have to come up with new ways to challenge her and keep her entertained. Other than playtime, I enjoy writing, painting, and playing my ukulele.
When did you decide you wanted to become a performer?
Actually, as a child I did pageants and a couple commercials. I was a little shy but when it was time to perform, I lit up. I knew I loved to perform but at the time I did not love the business side of it. I was 7 and I wanted to play with my friends, not go on auditions. Coincidentally, my manager at the time suggested I take some time off to get my teeth fixed. That seemed like perfect timing to me. A few years later, I went to see my sister perform in a high school dance production. I remember watching her in awe, and thinking I really want to do that. So, I found a dance class and began training. Dancing was really my passion and it got me back on stage. I decided I wanted to get back into the business, so I began taking the steps to build my resume.
How did you land the part of “Elissa” for “To The New Girl”? Had you ever done spoken word or poetry before landing the role? How hard was it to get the spoken word part down? You performed the role onstage every night,did you ever have trouble leaving Elissa after you performed?
I originated the role on stage in L.A. in its very first production. I was a member of SkyPilot Theater Co., Samantha Macher was a resident playwright for the company. I auditioned and got the role. It is my understanding that Elissa’s segment was not to be in the film. Once filming began, they changed their minds and at the last minute decided to add the Elissa segment. Samantha Macher told the team that she knew an actress that knew the role. Me! She called me and asked if I was available to do it and I was beyond flattered. I know this play has been produced many times, in many states, by many actresses. So, to have Sam ask me, meant a lot to me.
Prior to performing this piece, I had never done spoken word or poetry. I have written poetry, but I’ve never read any on stage.
Surprisingly, it was not that difficult to memorize. I feel like I was just telling a love story. That is how I learn any script. I feel like if you know the story, (the beginning, middle, and end) you just have to learn the words to tell it. I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me. Lol. I think of it like a song. I know what the song is about, and then I learn the lyrics. That is how I memorize most scripts.
I never took Elissa home with me. (So to speak) She died on stage every night. I was always so pumped up after every show. We had so much fun every night. To date it was one of the greatest experiences of my career. Not to say that there are not moments when I think of her.
What was it like working with such a talented cast and what was the audience reactions like?
Oddly, there was no interaction with the cast. Each segment was filmed with only one actor. So, I never really got to work with my cast mates. The crew was amazing though. And now having seen the film, I am honored to be in the company of such talented women.
It is my understanding that originally, Elissa’s segment was supposed to be taking place after her death. It was the piece she was supposed to perform that night. She killed herself before she got to perform it for an audience.
The audience reactions from the stage show were very emotional. Elissa and Harriet, I feel, are the two tear jerkers. They are also the last two segments in the show, so the audience was often in tears at the end of the show.
How would you address your own “new girl” if you were placed into that situation?
I would like to think I’d wish her well. Of course, initially I would be upset and would want to respond to the situation. I would think of all the things I would like to say and then I would realize that nothing I say would accomplish anything. Then I would end up saying nothing. With time, I would get over it and wish them well. I believe time really does heal all wounds. Elissa didn’t see a reason to take that time for herself.
Which do you like better,performing live or being in front of a camera?
I think I would have to say live. I just think the whole process of putting something on stage is so fun. Performances are more organic because you don’t have to deal with all the technical stuff that happens on set. The possibility of something going wrong creates a sort of tension/excitement in your body. It’s hard to describe but it’s a good feeling and I think it enhances the performance. Rehearsals and staging, costumes and set design. You’re part of all of it. The audience reactions fuel the performance and there is a buzz in the air, it’s exciting! When the run is over, you have built these relationships, and you feel a real sense of accomplishment.
How do you define comedy?
I think the most basic definition of comedy is, whatever makes you laugh. Comedy is subjective though. Personally, I like dark humor or those awkward, uncomfortable moments. I find that stuff to be hilarious. But I know people who can’t stand to watch that stuff. Particularly nowadays, it’s hard to define comedy. You have to be incredibly careful. What you may find funny, others might find completely offensive.
How important is music to you and who do you enjoy listening to?
Music is EVERYTHING! I grew up in a house filled with music. I used to do dance therapy. Meaning if I was feeling stressed or down, I would put on my music and dance the blues away. Music is so powerful. It can make you feel. I love that.
Lately, I’m listening to old school R&B and a new band called “Say Real”. They kind of have a Reggae/Sade thing going on and I love it.
10. Do you think with the demise of film theaters,will live theater fill the void or will streaming end them both?
Well I must admit that I enjoyed watching Hamilton at home. I also feel like the director can tell the story exactly as he/she sees it when filming a stage show. That being said, I do not think streaming will influence live theater. Going to the theater is an event. It’s fun! You dress up, you can feel the energy in the room, you’re part of it. As I explained earlier, the audience fuels the performance. It’s an experience. Same goes for movie theaters. People will still want to go for the experience. Now they have those upscale movie theaters that really make it a fun experience. Recliners, food, and drink service… It’s a fun night out! I think streaming is definitely the preferred medium, but people want to go out. I don’t think that will change.
Which three actors/directors would you like to perform with?
I have had the pleasure of working with Robert Redford and that was a surreal experience which I would definitely do again. I’m also a huge fan of Robert Downey Jr., I would absolutely love to work with him. I also love Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Hart and The Rock together, Chris Pratt, Henry Cavill (for obvious reasons lol). I love comedians. I realize that’s more than three.
The cheetah and I are flying over to watch you shoot your latest film but we are a day early and now you are stuck playing tour guide,what are we doing?
We would probably meet for morning smoothies at Jamba. Then we could hike up to the waterfall at Eaton Canyon. After, we could go to my house and hang by the pool and have lunch, swim, listen to music and just hang out til dinner which would be at my favorite Italian restaurant, Casa Bianca. After Dinner, we could go to my see my favorite KJ (karaoke jockey) and dear friend Steve. Depending on the evening, it would be some dive bar in the San Gabriel Valley, and we would karaoke and dance the night away.
I like to thank Samantha (and Christa) for agreeing to do this interview. We wish Samantha the very best and hope that Elissa will open many doors for her in the very near future!! She is one talented lady to put it mildly.
You can follow Samantha via a few different platforms
Please feel free to drop a comment below!!! Thank you for your continued support.