Samantha R-Astoria

Day 5

What’s most important to you right now?
I feel like I was just grappling with this in the last 24 hours. I think finding joy is really important right now and for me, a lot of my joy comes with connecting with other people so it makes it hard to find it now–especially when the connection that we mostly can do is virtual. So definitely finding joy, because I’m finding that things that normally will bring me joy–I’m not really sure if they’re bringing me joy right now. I just feel like we’re all in survival mode. So when we’re surviving it’s really hard to thrive because we’re just trying to do the bare minimum to make sure that we can stay alive. So finding joy and gratitude and really trying to see the positives every day even if it’s something tiny like “oh hey, I didn’t have to set an alarm this morning!” is so crucial to maintaining a sense of lightness during this really heavy time.

What was most important to you before you had to social distance/quarantine? 

I feel like last night I just entered this existential crisis where I was like “What is it all for? What does it all mean?” What felt important to me before it feels like tangible, material things. Not necessarily buying or having things but like the trajectory of my career. Actually last night would have been my showcase night for a bunch of agents so that was in the forefront of my mind. And doing auditions was in the forefront of my mind–and making money and going to work and building connections and still maintaining a social life and having that connection with people. What feels important now feels very ethereal and what felt important before feels very tangible. Now it just feels like “What was it all for? What was I doing?”

What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over? 

Hug all the people that are important to me! I discovered this a couple years ago but the human need–especially me cause I’m a more kinesthetic, somatic person–for platonic touch and comfort in that way. I mean, science has proven that if you hug someone for longer than–whatever it is–5 seconds that it actually sends a message to your nervous system to calm down. Hugging and being in the presence of people. Going to a restaurant! I’ll probably just go to a restaurant! I’m gonna go out for something. Hopefully I can travel too–I would love to see my parents. I was supposed to see them in a couple weeks but that’s not happening.

What are you doing to pass the time? 

In the beginning of this week I was cooking and baking more stuff that I had on my list to want to do that I didn’t ever make time for. I was cooking obviously also to freeze some stuff for safety reasons. I’m doing a lot more yoga and I have some really cool resources for that. The yoga studio around the corner from my apartment has gone totally virtual and donation based and a friend of mine is also a yoga instructor and she does a daily practice. I’ve always loved yoga, it hasn’t been as much of a part of my daily or weekly life in the past few months. I sat down and read my book yesterday for 2 hours which I’ve never done. Talking to a lot of people on FaceTime and just checking in and staying connected and supporting each other as much as we can. I do feel the need to create some kind of schedule going forward though cause it feels like at least I can take it week-by-week then. Gotta get outside a little bit every day, like take a walk or something like that. It’s weird walking around aimlessly with nowhere to go. 

What makes you happy right now?

I mean honestly answering these questions and having a chance to slow down and reflect is really awesome. I think the slowing down is so necessary and something that we don’t give ourselves a lot of space for in our everyday lives. I remind myself that the only way to do my part is to stay home–cause I’m such a hyper-productive person and it feels like I’m not doing enough. I think just allowing myself to slow the fuck down. I think as artists it even puts us in a better headspace to create and be receptive. I haven’t ventured so far into creating anything yet but watching other people create and put themselves out there and create community and connection through art virtually is so inspiring to me. It’s bringing me so much joy the way everyone is not letting this bring them down. I watched a 30 minute concert from one of my favorite artists Keith Urban the other night…and cool projects like this and watching really cool new innovative things be born out of this crazy situation.

What would you tell yourself a month ago with the knowledge you have now?

I strive to do this anyway but just reminding myself to really sink in and stay present and savor every moment. It’s hard because I found that to be very paradoxical because when you’re in the moment and you’re present, you don’t know that you’re soaking it all up. You can’t simultaneously be like “oh yeah I’m in the moment” and be in the moment. It’s just I think really appreciating the little things, taking time to slow down. We just never know when these things are going to be taken away. I feel like I’m in this existential state about art and what the meaning of it is because I was so, so career driven and I still will be after the fact but to remind myself why do you do what you do? What is the art for? How can you tune into that instead of trying to be perfect?