I chatted with working Actor Sam Valentine—the host of One Broke Actress, The Real Life of a Hollywood Actor podcast. Sam moved to Los Angeles with a theatre degree and more conviction than she had dollars (in her own words). She shares that she spent the better part of a decade trying to be anything a casting breakdown wanted her to be. There has been a lack of truthful education about acting and freelance performing careers. I asked Sam about her career journey and why she was drawn to a career as an Actor. We also discussed why so many others want to be performers in showbiz.
This is the only thing I ever wanted to do. Theres such a dreamy quality about this whole buisness and about being able to play pretend for a living. Everyone wants to try on someones elses shoes and see another world. The cool thing about the creative space is that we are glorfied gig workers. Theres no ‘this is it’ mentality. Every job is so different. Wether your’re an artist in terms of clay, oil paints, a craft, a voice artist or on camera actor. Every job is so different. That has its own allure, you never know whats coming next. Which can be the worst also.Sam Valetine
It’s certainly adventurous. You answer the call to adventure as a performing artist. There is always a chance you could book a job and fly across the country. It’s into the unknown!
All About Sam Valentine and One Broke Actress, The Real Life of a Hollywood Actor
Sam Valentine is an actress from all over the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Illinois. After graduating with a degree in Theatre and Mass Media, she moved to L.A. to start her career in film and TV. Sam has booked several national commercials, voiceovers, TV roles, and, most of all, feature films. Most recently, Bosch: Legacy (Amazon) and Hulu’s The Orville. Sam currently hosts One Broke Actress, her podcast and website dedicated to sharing the working actor’s real world and everyday life.
If you can’t find her on social media, she is probably in West Hollywood petting one of her three rescue dogs or reading the NY Times baking section with her husband, Caleb.
The Early Days In Hollywood
Sam shared, “When I moved to L.A. with a Bachelor in Fine Arts (Acting), I thought they (Hollywood) have never seen anything ‘like this’; they had seen a lot of ‘like this’, a lot of me. I thought I was super trained and super special. Growing up in a privileged lifestyle, I assumed I was the main character in all the stories, and I’m not, nor should I be.”
Sam’s journey is shared among many arts conservatory graduates. There is a tightrope balance for performers; on one side is the need for belief in yourself and inner confidence that you have what it takes to succeed as an artist. Conversely, the easy tilt into arrogance that the show business industry quickly knocks out of performing artists. The reality of the entertainment industry can be likened to a sucker punch that takes the wind out of a performer’s lungs. For many performers, the slippery slide into mental health issues comes unexpectantly, and a thick skin develops slowly alongside a greater sense of navigating an artist’s career.
Sam shared, “Coming to L.A., I realized my training was doing me a disservice because I assumed I was done. What I needed to do was find my beginner mindset again. Asking what I could get better at and what I enjoy. When I got out of my head the idea that I was ready or ‘done’, I showed up for my work better.” As artists, we are never done with creative learning. We, of course, can become trained, skilled, capable professionals, but the attitude of ongoing learning and humility will serve artists well.
The Process Of Building An Acting Career
“There was a time when I wanted to jump timelines instead of enjoying the process” regarding building an acting career, said Sam. “I do wish that at the start, I had slowed down more. I didn’t see the career process at first and wasn’t behind.” she shared. Did Sam’s 12 years in L.A. have the expected results? Does time equal results in the arts? She shared, “Not it the way that I thought it would. You can book some stuff and then hit a quiet period. Sometimes for a month or sometimes for two years. At first, I thought a quiet period meant that I had lost whatever I got my paws on, my grip on.
Looking back over 12 years. Looking at my first demo reel and my list of acting credits… it’s great, something I dreamed about. When you’re living in the day-to-day, it’s hard to see that.” Sam shared that she first had many support side hustles (survival jobs). She was racing around town to get to where she needed to be. Racing from casting auditions to her service shifts at the restaurant she worked in. This is the reality of how most Actors in Hollywood live.
I had been working non stop in L.A. for almost 10 years, I don’t mean booking acting, I mean paying my rent, I was trying to get to the next thing. I looked at Acting as a life line, rather than something that was a piece of me. I looked at Acting as a way out of my situation, a saviour of sorts. Then when the world slowed down a few years ago with industry closures for everyone, I was able to take my first breath. I had time to think about what I wanted my life to look like if I didnt book a big job.”Sam Valentine
What Does Success Look Like Now For Sam Valentine, aka One Broke Actress
Sam shares that some of her most significant victories are not just booking big Acting jobs (although that has been high for her) but things like meeting her husband. We often think we are not worthy because of not achieving A, B, and C credits in our bio. It takes time to grow as an artist, and “permission to like your life without having the credits you feel you’re entitled to can be hard.” she shares. It took her time to build the life she has right now and one she is thriving in, particularly her podcast production business and One Broke Actress, the real life of a Hollywood Actor.
Sam created One Broke Actress because she saw a need for stories and advice from real working actors. “A place you can figure out how to edit your Actors Access, find an email template for dropping your reps, and get-real tips on what to do when you get a next-day audition when you are face-deep in your third El Compadre flaming margarita.” Sam shares that she’s “not the all-knowing being in Hollywood who has booked a billion jobs and made big bucks with acting, so, therefore, knows how to advise people and lead like the Gandhi of Southern California. Negative.” What Sam offers Is, however, the raw truth, and that is very valuable.
The lack of honest information about an acting career
Sam feels there is a lack of honest sharing from actors in the thick of it. “This career path is crazy, but that doesn’t mean you must be. So let’s get real and maybe learn a life lesson or two in the process,” says Sam.
More From This Conversation
If you want to hear more about a Hollywood Actor’s real-life highs and lows, this conversation is for you. Press play on the entire episode wherever you get your podcasts (links are at the top of this article).
Connect with Sam Valentine online at onebrokeactress.com
With you on the journey, friend.
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