We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Bearman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, how do you think about risk?
The way I think about risk is this: if I get excited by the prospect of it then I know I have to go for it and if I’m afraid at the challenge of it then I know I have to go for it. I think my mother put it best when she told me risk is the price of admission. no I’m not going to say I run headfirst into all things risky by all accounts I’m actually a very thoughtful person. however starting a business and taking a chance on myself and my dreams and my goals and I industrious nature is by far the biggest risk I have ever taken and I have to take that risk every single day. for me when I think about risk if I think too much on it I do tend to overthink and can often catastrophize our minds are incredibly powerful and they can go down some really dark roads but since I know my mind is so powerful when I feel myself focusing on a negative outcome and justifying it in my brain I instead chose to envision the most powerful beneficial positive outcome and start to think of all of the avenues and roads that will happen when I take this risk. I will say I do feel a strong connection to a universal pole if you will towards several of my strongest business Endeavors and I continue to lead with that knowledge that the universe is rigged in my favor in all ways, always.
Risk-taking has kept me from having a boring life. risk-taking has pushed me to get on a plane and move to another country where I knew no one and barely knew the language not once but twice. risk-taking took me solo camping and Hiking up one of the most dangerous peaks in the United States successfully I might add. risk-taking allowed me to get up on stage for the first time and hold a mic and realize that I had the power to create joy and laughter in a room full of strangers. risk-taking as far as my career goes has allowed me the knowledge that I know for a fact I am employable I have marketable skills I’m a desired asset to any Workforce and that if I am not happy or feeling stagnant or feeling undercompensated in any position it would be risky or to stay then it would be to leave and go somewhere else where I am appreciated valued and enjoy better benefits. Risk-taking has made me enter giveaways and when to round trip tickets to Bali and Cuba risk-taking has also put me in situations where I did not win I didn’t come out on top and I cried because I lost time money energy confidence the tears dried and I centered myself again which wasn’t always within a day’s time a week’s time or even a normal amount of time that would be uplifting to here when I look back on those risks but I took regardless of how they turned out I don’t think there was ever one where I thought to myself I should never have done that.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One of the things I’m most proud of with their cave comedy is that I started it and that might seem small or very obvious but before I fully launched in the bear cave, damn I would walk down State Street and there was a building on State Street that I would look at it and stop it was vacant and for rent and I just thought one day if I ever have my own comedy club I’m going to call it the bear cave which one is on brand but to one of my favorite bars I only went to it even once in Spain but I just love how it was designed it was called La Cueva which is bar in Spanish and I just only saw the bear cave it sounded cool anyway I don’t know why this particular time could have been the 100th time or the temp time I walked by the building I stopped in front and I said why am I waiting to have a building I don’t need a building to have a show I need a stage and I got a stage and connected with venues and launched fully Bear Cave comedy as a pop up styled show. Now the first venue that I partnered with that took over a year of conversations and ongoing communication and reaching out while not trying to be a pest 1 year of dedication. The other venues that I work with have come along much faster however the first venue was the one that bet it on me everybody else at this point new that I could bring a list comedians right into the homes and hearts of Santa Barbara and you could also put for lack of a better word butts in chairs. With the first venue I had to sell them on my vision on my tenacity on my deliverables and on the belief that I knew what I was doing could work because I knew how I wanted my show to look with unlike anything I had ever seen and still do not see out in the comedy community today. I pride myself that The Comedians and artists that I bring to my stage are reflection of the audience that I draw to my shows I have performers who are well into their sixties performing on the same set as someone who’s recently turned 21 I have widow’s I have people who are divorced engaged married parents I have people on my stage who are in heterosexual relationships who are gay who are recently bisexual I have trans artist on my show. I knew when I created bear cave, you that I wanted a space that attracted a large audience and that gave space for a myriad of stories and points of view to be told it’s one of the reasons I created the token comedy show. now the thing about the token comedy show this was my professional reaction to the fact that there are many many many comedy shows that exist but only have one woman one person of color on the show if at all many shows are strictly men. and I was tired of it so I thought how can I point this out in a way that for lack of a better word is comical so I decided to profit off of the way that I was going to continue to point out this imbalance by having a token comedy show where we had an all-female line up and only one male performer. people like to say as much as adding to the problem I don’t think so I’m at the end of that I will say every time I’ve done this show which is been about five times I have spoken with the male performer beforehand and let them know this was a type of show I was going to book them for and all of the male comedians loved it they thought it was brilliant they appreciate the opportunity to be the only male on the shell and they took it in stride. the show style has since been replicated in other cities because other Comics is seen it and are inspired to do the same and just to clear anything up several of the producers who have replicated by token comedy show our mail producers replicating it just as I have it with one male performer and a lineup of strong female performers.
Another show that I launch and I’m incredibly proud of is called comedy is a drag where I bring in drag queens right alongside comedian for a night filled with laughter lip-syncing and lots of fun. there’s something very special about the drag Community I love the Artistry of it I love the theatrics of it and in terms of energy they Infuse room with high-energy so to me it does go hand-in-hand with comedians because we’re always basing what we’re doing next on the energy of the room and the speed of the room and so when I put in a draft performance in the middle of the show to Millie bring the energy up I always talk with my Drag Queens about the kind of audience attending and let them know what I’ve noticed is my audience has most often not been to a drag show so they don’t always know dragged etiquette and that the first song will be a low tip song simply because they’re being exposed for the first time. However each of my performers do at least two songs with multiple costume changes. It is always a huge hit with my audience and people are even recognizing the show by name as an extension of Bear Cave Comedy.
When it comes to my story I want people to know that I’m very lucky to do what I do and that someone’s are really incredible and that there are months that are very stressful but there’s a lot of organizing that goes into play I’m in an industry that is built on the backs of Gatekeepers that thrives off of withholding information that regularly institutes unfair practices with no one to go to but that I know by existing in this space I I’m joining the road of those before me who created a space that I felt safe in who pushed me to be vulnerable on stage to be up then tick with myself and my audience and the stories that I told. nothing is ever perfect most things are far from it but I love what I do I’m of that I’m able to do it and feel blessed by the universe supported by my community . I also want people to know that if you want to produce your own comedy show you absolutely can and then I have a free guide that will walk you through the steps of what you need to have what you can borrow what you don’t need and how to advertise your show for free when you’re just starting out
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?
For a week long trip, I’d have them stay at the Canary Hotel, right in the middle of downtown Santa Barbara with bikes that we can use to get to the beach and cruise down State Street. I’d make sure that we took a day trip up to Solvang to enjoy some Abelskevers and then stop at Cold Springs Tavern for some delicious tri tip and live music before coming back to Santa Barbara for a night cap at Lab Social – Santa Barbara’s only speakeasy (that I know of anyway.) While they were visiting we would absolutely hop on the landshark and get a great tour of Santa Barbara both on land and by way of the sea. We would have to go dancing at least one night at Wildcat and maybe catch Vivian Storm behind the bar or DJ Darla Bea spinning some tracks, before swinging by YonaRedz for some tasty food. I’d make sure that we attended trivia at Unbearable on Tuesday night and then at Centennial Beer Hall on Thursday. In the mornings we’d have to grab the best croissant in town and most delicious cafe at Alessia Patisserie and take in the presidio, sunken gardens, and the courthouse with our walking breakfast. We’d have to make sure we were properly caffeinated on other days by visiting Dune Coffee and Handlebar. A sunrise hike to the Montecito Hot Springs so that we could languish for several hours before going down to the harbor and hopping on lil toot or as I call it the most affordable cruise in town. We’d have to have a meal at Via Maestra for authentic italian cuisine and south coast deli which is a staple sandwich shop in town. While she’s visiting going to Red Piano to see the dualing pianos is a must. Now back at the Canary we’ll have a soak in the hot tub and a swim in the pool to recoop for the packed week we had exploring all that Santa Barbara and Goleta have to offer – or at least as much as we could fit in!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shout-out to the women in comedy who came before me all of the women who comedy even those I find problematic even those I’m not a fan of especially those though that I am a fan and Inspire to of because no matter what I think of the comedy they’ve put out regardless of whether it makes me laugh or inspires me the fact is by virtue of their existence end there dedication to the craft my fight which still is this for similar and maybe different reasons has a trail to follow.