We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
We pursued this career because it felt like a way we could uplift others and bring joy into the world. With every song we write, we’re hoping it means something to someone out there. It’s our way of sharing our experiences and offering catharsis through inviting people to feel something through our music. We both also felt like no other path called to us as strongly as this one. When we met, there was such a likemindedness between us that we were going to set our minds to songwriting professionally, or bust!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Our path is interesting because we began writing Musical Theater in New York before making the move to LA a few years ago to pursue writing for film and TV. While live musical theater is still a passion, we have really enjoyed writing for film and tv and are even venturing into screenwriting and developing our own stories. We are so happy that there are lots of opportunities and interest in musical content with all of the new streaming platforms. It’s making room for diverse voices, and new perspectives which is really amazing. Coming from a musical theater background, we are always striving to put storytelling at the forefront of our writing. The songs should always be moving the plot or the character’s journey along, and so it makes our job fun and challenging. We feel lucky that we truly love what we do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We believe that Salazar in Frog Town is the place to take people if you want to convince them to move to LA. In the winter months, when it’s snowing on the East coast, we love to take visitors for amazing outdoor dining and the best tacos in town, sip a margarita and say “Oh is it snowing where you live? Yeah, we can just eat tacos outside anytime here!” Additionally our favorite spots are Rose Cafe in Venice, All Time in Los Feliz, Stamp for the best coffee (groundworks of course), and then to balance it all out, a long hike in Griffith Park. Gotta watch the sunset from Dante’s peak!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many people who have mentored and supported us along the way, but Best-selling Author Jodi Picoult took a huge chance on us when she hired us to adapt her book (co-authored with her daughter Samantha Van Leer) into a musical. The book is titled “Between the Lines” and the musical will debut off-broadway in the Spring of 2022! Jodi has offered us endless support, advice, and inspiration since we met her in 2014. We truly feel like she was the first person to give us a shot, and we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for her faith in us.
Facebook: Samsel/ Anderson
Other: Central Park link on Apple TV+ ?