We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Frontera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks is a big part of being a creative person. Unfortunately, I was not born with a fully-formed risk gene which means it takes a lot for me to jump all-in on a project. I’ve found that my gut is pretty good at telling me which risks to take by making me OBSESSED with an idea. If I am lukewarm about a topic or potential project I tend to hold off but if I can’t get the concept out of my head that is the only sign I need to take the plunge head-first. This is true for professional decisions, like starting my podcast in 2019, and personal decisions like moving to LA without a real backup plan. I’ve learned to trust my gut explicitly and haven’t regretted a single choice so far.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art has always come to me in the form of storytelling. This has manifested itself in different ways over the years but things like singing, dancing, and acting had always been my preferred mediums. A few years ago, I decided to examine how the stories I tell or watch influence my worldview. With the rise in podcasting as a medium, I wanted to figure out a way to do this but had too many ideas and not enough knowledge on where to start. Meeting my amazing friend and cohost in 2018 was the push I needed to create a show that I felt was sorely missing from the podcast space. Thus, The Rom Complex was born. We talk about how the romantic movies we watched as kids shape our view of romance in adult life, for better and for worse. Navigating this space as an amateur has had its challenges (where to stream, deciding episode format, creating a website, designing logos, and branding) but I am so incredibly lucky to have someone who meets these challenges with me and helps come up with creative solutions. We do everything ourselves, from sound engineering, to editing, and creating social media content. The Rom Complex is about engaging with these outdated and sometimes harmful ideas of what romance “should be” and allowing ourselves the freedom to break the mold and have fun doing it!
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?
LA is such a cool and eclectic place to be. So I would definitely want them to be able to get a taste of each area of the city. There are of course the beaches in Malibu which are also great spots to get summer pictures for the ‘gram. I really love the bars and restaurants in Echo Park like The Semi-Tropic, Baby Blues BBQ, and Sunset Beer, to name a few. I also like to mix in a few touristy things too, so I would have to hit up Grand Central Market and The Last Bookstore in DTLA. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I don’t think my story would exist without support from my wonderful family. They have had to sit through countless dance recitals, school plays, and endless phone conversations about movies I’ve watched and the details of the entire plot (even if they’ve already seen it. Sorry!). I’d also thank my friends, both new and old, for giving this little Florida transplant a support system that makes everyone jealous. I would be remiss not to specifically thank my amazing co-host, Shelby Schwieterman, for always pushing me to examine deeper aspects of my own experiences and share them with the world. I am so unbelievably grateful to be surrounded by people who exude such light and love while also pushing me to be my best creative and authentic self.
Instagram: @theromcomplex; @samone.like.you