Introducing Samantha Walkes; A Gifted Actress Trailblazing Her Own Path Within The Industry

In this highlight we turn our attention to Samantha Walkes, a wildly talented actress and most exceptional vocalist creating a legacy of her own within the industry. I was fortunate enough to ask Samantha Walkes a series of questions, here is what we discussed;

Tell us a little about yourself, where your from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.

I grew up in Steel Town Ontario, also known as Hamilton. My father was a steel worker at a time when the steel companies began to struggle, but always preferred to spend his time singing classic crooner songs and dance to calypso. After grade school, I chose to ride the city bus an hour and a half each morning to attend Westmount high school to take part in an independent learning program geared towards university. There I met key people that would draw me into the Arts. I was involved in both Music and Drama. I decided that while I loved the arts, I saw a future in teaching and was accepted to Brock university for a double major in English and Drama, but the Arts would call me away before I finished.

What inspired you to be an artist/comic/entertainer? Early experiences worth sharing?

I wasn’t so much inspired to be an artist; it was always around me, drawing me in. I grew up lying in bed listening to my father sing “Scarlet Ribbon” and he soon had my sister and I singing at church with him. While attending my first year at Brock University, my then musical theatre director urged me to try out for Mirvish & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s reality tv show, “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”. This experience ultimately drew me back into the Arts full time for it was in this moment that I realized my true calling.

Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.

As a Black woman and an Artist, trials and adversity are regular occurances. On the show “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”, of the final 20 contestants, I was the only visual minority. I was flown to England and lived in lavish accommodation knowing, I had already triumphed by making it that far; breaking down barriers. After the show ended, I attended AMDA in Los Angeles and New York. My family supported me by helping where they could but after 2 years, I was forced to abandon my education after trying to finish my degree by working at Coney Island while modeling on the side, couch surfing and relying on friends. Yet, the stage was set and my love for the arts and drive to continue to pursue a career was determined.

What do you believe sets you apart from other entertainers?

Like all Artists, I know this industry takes hard work and dedication, to say the least. The grind of the business can weigh you down but we continue to hustle to achieve our dreams, hopes and aspirations, delivering excellence in all we do, for there is no other alternative. For me, I look to God to open the door to the next opportunity. I never think, “what will be next for me?” This faith walk, has taught me to trust my abilities and God-given talents and allow them to speak for themselves. In living this way, I’ve had opportunities open up that I would never have expected to cross my path. In trusting the above direction, God’s eye view, I don’t have to worry about ‘missing out’ on any opportunities that may/may not present themselves.

Do you have other interests or hobbies?

Life isn’t a road we walk alone. My family has brought me to this point so when I’m not working, on contract or creating, I invest in the people and family around me. I like to travel to learn and interact with other cultures and stay active to prepare for what God brings in the next season of my life. Also, our industry can be very superficial at times, making true friendships hard to cultivate. I believe it’s the relationships we build along the way that are part of making every experience meaningful. And so when I am working on set or stage, I like to make time to really get to know the people I’m working with.

Any projects you have out or currently working on?

Currently, I’m preparing to play Cinderella in Neptune Theatre’s Christmas production. I’m really excited to work on this play as it is a rework of the original concept. Being one of the few (if not first!) Black Cinderella’s on a significant stage is a huge opportunity for me to rethink the character, making it both socially conscious and fun!

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

My passion is the work, the Art and the impact of that work. In 5 years, i would like to have built and developed a name for myself in TV & Film on the Canadian front. In each performance, there is an opportunity to have an impact on your audience and that’s important to me. I would like to use both mediums of TV/Film and Theatre as platforms to educate and enlighten our people. In addition to this, I hope my work takes me to the hubs of our industry: New York and Los Angeles, and eventually, throughout the world. I would love to return to Cali to work and live but there are also so many more cities producing excellent, thought-provoking Art around North America that I look forward to working in.

What advice can you give to aspiring entertainers?

Don’t give up and NEVER settle. Ask for the moon and all that’s in between and be open to a different interpretation of what the “moon” can look like in your life. Find a solid foundation to work from and return to. Whether that be God, family, friendship, etc. The world needs art!

How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?

My website is still under construction but has updated information on my next work(s): www.samanthawalkes.com. Also check out my social media platforms:

Instagram — sam07roxie

Facebook — Facebook.com/sam.walkes

LinkedIn — search: Samantha Walkes

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