Introduce yourself; Who are you?!
Hi! Hello! We are Sami and Amanda. Samanda if you will. We’ve been writing partners for a little over a year now. We met at The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and when we were paired together for our final presentation (Amanda as composer, Sami on lyrics). That project turned into the very first iteration of what is now Single Rider, our full length musical that is opening Off-Broadway at The Players Theatre this May!
What would you say to 16 year old you?
Sami: Don’t stress to much about finding your path in life- and you certainly don’t need to be perfect all the time. It will find you, and it will be glorious in all it’s imperfections.
Amanda: Make all of the same mistakes, but be nicer about it. Be grateful. Just practice! Stop procrastinating!
What’s your favorite thing about where you live?
We are both native New Yorkers, so we are VERY lucky to know what good bagels are. New York also forces you to get up, get out, do, and be. There are no excuses in New York. You have to keep up. If you don’t have a fire under your ass, move to New York. There’s enough fire for everybody.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
Before we sit down to write, we always have a check in about our lives outside of writing. We eat dinner together. Have a drink and a couple of laughs. It’s really important to let the day go in order to start your session with clarity. As far as balance outside of our partnership…we can both say with confidence that we are working on it.
What’s your favorite meal?
Collectively? Sushi for sure. We have sushi at just about every writing session, unless we’re eating breakfast (but that hasn’t stopped us before).
Sami: I would give almost anything for a good soup dumpling.
Amanda: I’m a spoiled Puerto Rican/Italian so it’s hard to choose, but nothing beats a nice chicken cutlet. Sue me.
What would people be surprised to hear about you?
Sami: I’m really into baseball; like…diehard. My dad and I once went to Yankees spring training in Tampa. There as one season I watched all or part of 142 games. Even now whenever the Yankees are on TV, you can find me pacing in front of the screen.
Amanda: Zoinks…I don’t know. I’m a pretty open book. People perceive me as a tomboy because I speak my mind and generally don’t wear a full face of makeup, but I REALLY am a girly girl. I love dresses. I LOVE getting my hair blown out, having my nails done, and smelling like a damn goddess. If people only knew how much money I spent on smelling good…
Have you ever an extraordinary experience?
As a matter of fact, today we shared an extraordinary experience. We have just wrapped up callbacks for Single Rider, and just had the immense pleasure of hearing 30 actors sing our music for the very first time. Hearing the words and sounds that came out of our heads by so many different people with so many different interpretations blew our MINDS. Like, we sat and wrote these silly little songs eating sushi on Sami’s couch thinking we were so clever and being like “Oh my god are people going to think we’re funny or just idiots?” There’s really nothing more gratifying then knowing your words and thoughts deserve being spoken and sung.
Where do you find inspiration?
When you’re writing for characters, made up situations and made up people, you always bring a little bit of yourself with you. So it’s so important to be open in your daily life to new experiences, whether it’s a conversation with a stranger or the sites and smells of the city, something you read about or a story you hear. Everything is usable. Everything has the potential to inspire. Open your eyes and ears, because you never know what story might leap out at you begging to be told.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
Ladies, it is our time! People are listening, so speak up! Tell you stories because the world needs to hear them. We are all goddesses and it’s time to take up space on this Earth, and trust that other women will have your back.
What motivates you the most?
We are constantly surrounded by immensely talented human beings, and we feel it is our duty to create stories and opportunities for these incredible people to tell. The best thing about the theater community is that it generates a team and that team is there to look after you and push you to be the best version of yourself. The two of us started writing together and we have pushed each other to be better. We now have a producer, a director, a cast, and (hopefully) an audience, all of whom push us to create and keep going. We owe it to them, and we owe it to ourselves. We wanna see how far we can go, and every woman deserves to see that dream realized.