Beyond The Curtain is a new performing arts podcast that invites industry professionals and their human experiences. Host and creator Samantha Laurence is a media professional and performing artist who created Beyond The Curtain with one goal in mind; to connect performing artists through human stories. Her guest lineup includes Zoee Marsh, Freya List, Darren Tyler and Georgie Hagerty to name a few. Dance Writer caught up with Samantha to tell us a bit more about her own story.
Beyond the Curtain is focused on inspirational people telling their story within the Arts industry. What made you want to create the podcast? How have you managed to humanise your guests to be super relatable to your viewers?
I am a big fan of both people’s stories and podcasts. In 2019 I went through some ongoing health challenges that required me to spend a lot of time at home alone. It was good practise for the isolation we all find ourselves in today. During this time, I listened to a lot of podcasts and found them to be inspiring, comforting and provided me with a sense of community. I created Beyond The Curtain as I feel passionate about championing the Arts and connecting people through human stories, and it is very much a podcast that I would want to listen to. When speaking with my guests, I try to be casual, authentic and make them feel comfortable. I think this combination and the types of questions I ask help humanise their responses. I am very grateful for the beautiful openness and vulnerability my guests grace us with.
Describe your relationship to the Arts, particularly dance and performance. How important is the Arts to you?
I LOVE the Arts! I love everything about the Arts industry and always have. I grew up dancing, singing, drawing, reading, playing instruments, going to live theatre and watching old-world Hollywood classics. I began dancing at a young age and have since trained professionally at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance, performing in corporate and stage gigs and managing dance events. I believe the Arts is important for every human being as it provides a source of expression, inspiration, sanctuary and entertainment—whether you are the creator or experiencer.
You have abilities in the creative elements of the Arts too such as production experience and graphic design. Describe this journey and how that developed.
During high school, I took many Arts subjects and went straight into a Bachelor of Communication – Advertising at RMIT University where I majored in Literature and Philosophy. In Advertising, you can choose between Art Direction (Visual) and Copywriting (Words) and I went down the path of Art Direction where I was able to further develop my graphic design skills. Since university, I have maintained self-development and worked as a creative. Specifically, my podcast production skills are self-taught. It is easy to be self-taught these days with Google, podcasts, blogs and Youtube at the ready. The world is your oyster! I believe many successful creatives are self-taught as they can be the most passionate about their craft.
Why do you think Beyond The Curtain is so needed right now? Is the Arts valued in our society do you think?
I felt a strong pull to create Beyond The Curtain towards the end of 2019. I worked very hard to produce the podcast swiftly and launched it at the beginning of 2020. I felt so strongly about connecting the Performing Arts through human stories. Now that we find ourselves in a different world I am so thankful that I created this platform to connect and promote the Performing Arts while we all navigate this new reality. We find ourselves needing human connection more than ever and I truly believe in its positive power. Without getting too political, the current climate certainly has not shown that the Arts is valued in our society anywhere near as much as it should be. Whilst this is disappointing, I will continue my push to champion the Arts by connecting people through their incredible stories.
Where will the podcast take you? Do you have big plans ahead?
I have lots of exciting plans for the podcast! Without giving too much away, this includes some incredible guests and live events. I am inspired to continue to grow and support the Beyond The Curtain community and am excited to enjoy some experiences together in person, when that becomes possible again.