Meet Samia Omari | Actor and Performer

We had the good fortune of connecting with Samia Omari and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Samia, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?

I feel that one of the things that helped me the most was to gradually put together a routine of small habits, both to manage the multitasking that acting requires and build up a stronger mindset. There are so many facets linked to the job of acting that I used to feel overwhelmed in trying to keep up with everything. On top of maintaining a practice of the technique, acting also involves speech work, researching plays or shows, reading, checking what projects and auditions are coming out, applying for them, following up with your agent, taping either a self-tape or a voiceover audition, updating your material etc. It is so interesting and fulfilling, yet complex to manage on top of the rehearsal and performance schedules without organization.

Building a routine that ensure that I am in a right place both physically and mentally constitute to my mind one of the key to handle cities like NYC and LA. It helps me get the most out of my day and being as ready as I can for opportunities that may come my way.
I’ll use meditation and journaling as an outlet to quiet my mind, and a physical practice – even if it’s a 10-30 minute stretch or yoga flow – to release some of the stress.
It’s the first step to preparing the mind and body for what’s required with acting and I can complete it with a more thorough warm-up later in the day.

Having dedicated times built-in my schedule for acting also was a great help. During the pandemic, I started dedicating a time slot daily to practice self-tapes and was in an on-camera technique group with other actors. Both the accountability and the daily practice was so beneficial to work on my turn over time, memory and script analysis.
I also was a member of the Screenwriter’s Table Read on Clubhouse where screenwriters shared their work 3 times a week, through script reading and discussion with seasoned writers. Actors would be cast to put scripts into life and have them heard out loud for the first time. It was a really great opportunity to work with talented writers and actors, developing a character and seeing the script evolve and get even more captivating and specific as it would go through different edits.

This brings me to the second thing that I think is a key to what success means to me: collaboration with other artists, sharing and continuously learning through projects. Also, I’d say: trust your gut instincts and participate in projects that your heart and creative spirit speaks to!

As I get busy it sometimes becomes extra challenging to maintain these habits but I try to do my best with a week span overview.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

One of the biggest lesson I’ve learned along my artistic journey – and that I am still learning and exploring daily – is the need and importance to come in the room completely and unapologetically yourself. I fought with the impulse of trying to make the role or character fit the idea of what I thought it would be, or of archetypes that would traditionally represent them. Even though you’re told many times through acting and dance training to just be you, it was hard for me to actually step out of the idea that I needed to fit a certain mold of what casting wanted you to be. This is especially trickier for artists of the global majority, because you grow up with very little representation of actors looking like yourself so the idea of projecting “what casting wants” for that role ends up looking so far from anything you are.

The moment I started to let go of this, my audition tapes got more honest and authentic and I started getting callbacks to auditions I submitted to. It also felt ten times more comfortable playing and I found so much more depth and nuance to the character I was playing or the piece I was performing. And it helped me discover gradually that bringing yourself fully to auditions is more beneficial for both me and the storytelling.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

As much as I love planning my acting work week, I am completely the opposite for leisure and vacation. I mostly go with the flow and wherever the day and encounters take me, with a loose bullet list of places, sightseeing or activity ideas and food and drinks spots to stop by. However, I was raised in the French countryside and need nature time to recharge. So my perfect plans would definitely include a hike at Runyon Canyon Park, hanging out at Venice beach in Santa Monica, walking or people watching (always a great inspiration for artists) and a stop at Chulita for food and drinks!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

Since I arrived in the city, I have been taking workshops then working alongside with R.Evolución Latina, a fantastic organization that is promoting change and diversity in the arts. They mostly provide programs in NYC, that encompass acting, dancing and singing workshops. They also offer a summer camp, the Dare to Go Beyond Camp for kids 6-18 years old which is held every year. I participated as a teaching assistant and learned so much from it. The children attending get to learn from Broadway performers free of charge for a week. This organization has been doing tremendous work supporting the artistic community, especially Latine performers and young performers in training for over a decade, through both professional and personal development opportunities.
I also got to work with them and the incredible SITI Company in a Viewpoints and Suzuki workshop back in March. About twenty of us trained with company members to explore both of these physical theater techniques, adding an invaluable new tool to our acting toolbox.
I also would love to give a massive shout out to one of the founder of R.Evolución Latina, Luis Salgado. He is bringing so much to the art community, both in a creative and human point of view. He’s an inspiration to many through his incredible creative process. Working with him is each time without miss an amazing opportunity for learning, sharing art and growing as an artist and human. He often calls to devising and collaborative methods and brings a lot of playfulness and challenges for everyone to explore the material as well as making it personal, unique and specific.

I credit so much of my learning, growth and artistic approach to Luis and R.Evolución Latina. One of my favorite memories from this year was the opportunity to rehearse and perform under his direction with an amazing cast of dancers and artists at the Telemundo Upfronts Event at the Ziegfield Theater in NYC.



Image Credits
George Pagan, Pierre Coletti, Ezra Goh, Jane Jourdan, Anne Barot, Michael Antonio, Stevie Boi, Ashley Smith

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