FROM FRANCE WITH LOVE – ACTRESS SAMIA OMARI TAKING ON A STAGE AT A TIME by Nick Christophers
It is without a doubt that New York City is the center for anything arts related. From music to film it has both industries tied up in a pretty ribbon. This is what international artist SamiaOmari envisioned prior to embarking on her acting journey to America. Since then she has made inroads in one of the toughest business around.
“All the opportunities New York offered in terms of artistic diversity was a big draw for me. In my native France, there’s less risk taken in terms of storytelling – a lot of the same shows are done – and there’s also a lot in performing arts that is still partitioned. For example, in acting it’s not easily imagined that you could be in a Shakespeare play, classical theater, contemporary theater and musical theater at the same time. It is just starting to change now. New York had on the other hand so many offers spanned upon different media and genres. I could be Miranda in the Tempest, do background on a TV show and shoot a commercial in the same month. Granted, there’s such a larger pool of artists in the city but the amount of projects, creativity and inspiration that bubbles is unbelievable and inspiring.”
Before coming to New York, Samia trained Musical Theatre in Paris, where she also sang gospel with various choirs before catching the acting bug. Well she eventually was stung and moved to New York and began training at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Here is where she learned specific techniques like Lucid Body, Suzuki and Viewpoints which created her love for dancing. Ever since her Paris theater debut project in 2014, with “Légendes Parisiennes”, Samia has drawn the attention of many producers and has been in numerous plays because of that fact.
In 2017 alone she was in over five projects and another two in 2018. Projects like “The Tempest”, “Richard II”, “Everyone’s Carol”, “To Be or Not to Be” and “Kiss That Frog”. Besides the plays she also did some video work. In Boston, she shot an industrial educational video for Vista Higher Learning and another video shoot for the app MapMaster in New York and a photo-shoot for The Dogist Shop. Her versatile talent has enabled her to expand her skills in different areas. Samia even at the early part of her career enjoys sharing her experience of acting to a younger generation. She did just that in the Summerof 2018 at the R.Evolucion Latina Kid’s Camp where kids came to learn more about singing, acting and dancing.
One of her biggest inspirations is choreographer / director Luis Salgado who heads the organization R.Evolucion Latina. His creativity has helped Samia discover new ways to present her work on stage and to take risks to explore beyond what she knows already. Through his organization she was able to work with other creative artist’s which was a great learning experience. Her other two inspirations are Misty Copeland and the artist Prince, who actually worked with Misty. Both of their work and artistry have affected Samia and contributed to her love of dance and theatre. Samia likes diving into any type a role she is given and enjoys researching and growing into the character. No role is too big or too small for her.
“I adored the whole process for new shows where you get to originate the character someone has created straight out of their imagination. You get to research, explore and fill in the blanks with your inspiration based on what the writer established for them; you sort of fill in the blanks. For instance, I loved working on Rachel, my character in “Hashtags!” the show, which was created in 2015, deals with the life university students throughout the course of a weekend, their daily struggle through the crippling use of social media and its addictive side. Rachel in this musical is an agoraphobic student living her life vicariously through the lies of her photo-shopped instagram account, tricking the world into believing she’s an avid world traveler. Rachel falls in love with Luc, the campus night watchman and is forced to face reality and drop her pretending on social media. It used technology in real time with a connected app for the audience, used scenes we pre-shot and a drone.”
Samia came to become passionate about Shakespeare and love his work even more while in New York. This was evident when she performed in “The Tempest” and explored materials from Macbeth, the sonnets, Hamlet and Coriolanus. Even more so on the workshop-devised piece “To Be or Not to Be: A Shakespearean Experience” where she also worked on translating material into movement and various languages. Samia has done a lot of work in the time that she has been in New York and continues to do so. For 2020, she is planning to workshop a couple of movement-based theater projects which she is currently working on the writing. On the dance side of things, she has completed training at the Peridance School Program in New York where she focused on interpretation and the relation of theater to dance in performing from Oct 2018 to May of 2019. Samia has come very far and with her combined skills of dance and singing it will be sooner than later that her name becomes bigger than she could imagine.