My Life in a Nutshell

Hey people of Earth!

Before I dive into my silly, embarrassing side, I want to tell my life story… You must be thinking “hmmmm that sounds boring,” and you’re probably right. However, I’m gonna try my best to not bore you to death. My goal is to explain to you my entire background, who I am, and why I do the things I do. This is so important to me so get your popcorn popping!

Soooooooo… Let’s dive right in!

I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas aka the suburb capital of the world. Overland Park resides in Johnson County, more commonly known as “the bubble,” and has HORRIBLE and DANGEROUS CRIME RIDDEN streets. Just kidding! Johnson County has been coined “the bubble” because the only things teenagers worry about are denting their brand new Jeeps, figuring out what sorority/fraternity they will pledge, and MIP’s (Minor in Possession for those of you that don’t know what that is).

Side note: I am convinced that MIP’s were created for places like Overland Park because the cops have nothing else to do with their time. Most other places I have visited/lived in do not give out MIP’s. Feel free to prove me wrong!

Anyways, what I’m trying to say is Overland Park is like finding the gold at the end of the rainbow for parents looking to start a family. Overland Park’s lack of crime, fantastic job market and good schools make this place all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, Overland Park is consistently ranked in the top twenty places to live in the United States. Because of this, most people in Overland Park live a fairly simple life. However, my life was never simple. This is where my story begins…

When I was six years old, my mom was diagnosed with a rare disease of the pancreas. Take it from me… her disease is one of the worst things ever! It straight-up sucks more than Friday by Rebecca Black does (side note: I actually really like Rebecca Black and think she is an extremely strong person for putting up with the bullying). Basically, the disease forces my mom to experience extreme pain and nausea all the time. She is consistently in the hospital hooked up to IV’s and machines. It’s terrible.

Growing up with my mom spending up to 200 days in the hospital a year and, on top of that, my clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety (LET’S DESTIGMATIZE MENTAL ILLNESS!!!) made me turn to activities and loved ones for support. Even though my mom was in the hospital and sick a majority of the time, she was always my biggest cheerleader and supporter. The same can be said for my dad and grandparents. My mother fought this disease and pushed through the pain to be there for me. I strive to be as strong as her in my life.

From a young age, I was involved in baseball, football, and my favorite sport wrestling. After a year of high school, I dropped baseball and football in order to pursue my passion for wrestling. I hate to brag about myself;) but I was pretty good. In high school, I won a state title and took top four at state two other times. I also hold my high school’s all-time win record and am in the top ten all-time in the state of Kansas in a few other categories.

Wrestling was a way for me to release a lot of the anxiety and depression I had built up inside. I was able to walk on to the mat for six minutes and pretty much beat the shit out of someone. IT WAS GREAT! It also taught me how to defend myself which is PRETTY NEAT!

Alongside wrestling, I was heavily involved in choir, photography, and cinematography. I ran my own photography business for five years and was a member of my high school’s selective choir. Most of my friends in high school were in choir, theatre, and the arts. I was always their biggest supporter! It was a great change of pace from wrestling, but it was nothing more than that at that point in my life.

When I got to college, I dropped wrestling for a few reasons. I felt lost. My anxiety and depression heightened and I felt miserable once again. I gained a bunch of weight and didn’t like myself. I listened to what other people said about me (words of advice: don’t listen to the haters because their opinions don’t matter). Quite frankly, I was a mess.

It wasn’t until this past year that I realized that having the arts in my life took away my anxiety and depression. I found performing and expressing myself has made me a much stronger and courageous person. This spring I was in the cast of Hoof ‘n’ Horn’s (Duke’s premiere theatre troupe) production of Chicago. 

At the beginning of the spring semester, I was involved in NOTHING. Like seriously, I would sit in my apartment and watch Netflix for at least twelve hours a day. My roommates can attest to this. I was what you would consider a couch POTATO (shoutout to my other POTATO friend Booty!) I had tried to get involved in various things around campus that whole year, but I either got cut or they didn’t stick. Finally, on a random day, a few of my friends convinced me to go to the activities fair. I went to the fair as a joke with the intention of signing up for every club.

I ended up getting pulled aside by two randos (Shaina Lubliner and Tori Trimm aka two lovely people I now consider dear friends of mine). They wanted me to try out for the musical and I was like HELLLLLLLL TO THE NOOOOOOOO! That ship has sailed! I was like you do NOT want me anywhere near your production. I’ll ruin it.

Long story short, I somehow got convinced to tryout and the rest is history. Hoof ‘n’ Horn changed my life for the better. It has taught me to express myself in a healthy way instead of through bad habits.

This brings me to the reason I am doing all of the creative things I am. I am a creative person and love to make people laugh. I am an avid viewer of SNL (hehe), improv, and sitcoms. I hope to express myself in similar ways as the artists in these sort of shows do. Therefore, I want to be able to produce content through both a comedic and serious lens.

I am currently writing a book, producing short films, and creating sketch comedy. I also intend to write posts on social topics that matter to me. This blog is a place for everything and I can’t wait to share it with you. Additionally, I have made a Youtube Channel which will showcase the videos I make. The channel and videos will be linked and shared on this blog as well.

I want to warn you that these videos are really out there and have me playing a variety of different characters so don’t be alarmed. I want to show you all what I am capable of so just remember that I am still the same me as always. I will always be my authentic self regardless of what people say, and I encourage each and every one of you to do the same. Remember to always stay true to yourself and grounded in what you believe!

At Duke, I am an English major, Theater Studies minor, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship certificate student. My course of study has helped me develop skills to complement my creative instincts. In the future, I hope to continue making content in the job force by working in television, film, social media, or marketing. I hope I can make that happen! Additionally, I hope to start a family someday! Family means so much to me.

To wrap this long-ass post up, I want to say that I would not be here without the love and support of my family and friends. Thank you so much to anyone that has helped me on my journey. I can’t wait to release some kick-ass content (you all are my test subjects so good luck).

Also, I would love to hear from you all! Feel free to comment, subscribe to my page, and share my content.

P.S. My mom still suffers from Chronic Pancreatitis but is doing much better!

Peace out girl scouts,

Sam

*drops mic*

 

 

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