Name: Samantha Rae Lopez
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Samantha’s Shameless Plug:Listen to The Creative’s Potluck Podcast!
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
The Scrunchie Club: Samantha - thanks so much for joining us today!
Samantha: Happy to be here! Thanks for including me in the TSC blog! :)
TSC:Tell us about your journey in the creative space and how you came up with the idea for The Creative’s Potluck?
SRL: My journey is a long and winding one. I went to film school with every intention in becoming an independent film producer. I truly felt that my calling was enabling other creatives to carry out their vision which continues to be true today. Living this lifestyle brought a lot of artists and creatives into my circle so I have always been surrounded by inspiring people.
What I didn't realize was that over the past 10 years, I was suppressing my own creative needs and didn't have an outlet until two years ago when I started doing stand up comedy.
I realized that being an artist is sometimes isolating but everyone's journey is different and everyone has some knowledge to share. Being an avid knowledge sharer myself I thought it would be great to just talk to people and let them just talk about themselves for a while. I'm naturally curious so I selfishly want to just know about people’s backgrounds and thought maybe others would want to listen in. Every episode, the guest “brings something to the potluck” in terms of advice, resources, or tips for the audience.
TSC: When you’re feeling uninspired, do you have any strategies for getting yourself into the right headspace?
SRL: This is a really great question. I feel like I've probably spent more time this year uninspired than inspired, but when I do get going, it flows pretty strong.
I really like to visit art galleries and listen to podcasts. This gets my brain moving in a way that I can space out and flesh out some seeds of ideas I have sitting on the back burner. It’s been a bit tough now that galleries are closed but there’s a ton of podcast content out there.
Another thing that I talk about in my first episode of The Creative’s Potluck is that I’ve started to use the Pomodoro technique and that allows me to work on something for small chunks of time. I’ll set a timer for 25 minutes and tell myself “Ok. No distractions. 25 minutes of...whatever”, whether that's writing, or ideating for the podcast. I started to learn that when I’m in motion, its pretty fruitful, so just getting there is the major hurdle. If I can just jump that hurdle, I’m in the clear.
TSC: What has your experience been like within the creative community in Austin, Texas?
SRL: I am so lucky to have found a place like Austin. This town is teeming with musicians, artists, filmmakers, you name it. While the landscape here is quickly changing, the rich history of the work that has come out of here permeates throughout the city. I feel welcome to try new things here while not feeling super competitive like I’m sure it is in other cities like New York and Los Angeles.
I made the intentional decision to stay here because it's just the right pace and beautiful people from all over the world flock here for its “weirdness”. This is why I keep creating new things and am challenging myself to keep contributing to the broader creative community. I’m Keeping Austin Weird, baby!
TSC: Can you share some of the causes that are personally important to you?
SRL: There are several! I am a regular donor of SAFE, whichexists to stop abuse for everyone by serving the survivors of child abuse, sexual assault, trafficking, and domestic violence. Women’s representation in media is also a huge focus of mine, so I support Latinitas which provides media and STEAM resources to girls in the Austin area. Really anything that truly empowers women and women and nonbinary people of color.
TSC: How do you treat yourself with kindness?
SRL: I’ve started giving myself small physical challenges so that I can feel my progress towards getting stronger and more mobile. I went through a somewhat debilitating back injury in the summer, and after spending months on the couch, it feels really good to feel progress in the right direction. It makes me happy to give myself high-fives every day.
TSC: What’s your favorite 90s (or early 2000s) television show?
SRL: Oh so many! To name a few, my comedy is directly influenced by The Simpsons and Seinfeld. I watched a lot of late-night BET Def Comedy Jam when my parents went to sleep, too. And of course Friends. Ok, you said one, but I couldn’t narrow it down!
TSC: Thanks again for chatting with us, Sam! We’re so grateful to have you in the TSC community.