Samantha Bayas (Children’s Aid Society)
My name is Samantha and I was born in the Bronx. My family is very artistic, so in my family you have to have some kind of ability. My grandmother and grandfather can cook, my uncle and aunt are both artists, my sister is going to high school for art—everyone has some kind of ability! I basically took little abilities from everyone else. One thing that we all have in common is that we love movies. My mom always put on Disney of course. Disney! Music! Dancing! Fairies! Mermaids! I’m such a kid at heart. Disney, in its perfection, offered a different fantasy. That’s also what got me into books—it was an escape, a different reality from what I was living. I got to see the impossible be possible and it was just refreshing.
What really got me into actually singing and dancing was the musical Chicago! In Chicago you have all these strong women fighting back. Violently, but they fought back in some way. I wanted to BE Velma Kelly. Velma Kelly was the coolest person I could’ve ever thought about. I was like, “You Rock! I want to be her!” Because of movies I got to see a whole new way of things, and I saw other women I wanted to be. To this day I still want to be Marilyn Monroe. Audrey Hepburn is the classiest person I have ever seen. Bette Midler has this personality that you can’t get anywhere else. Velma Kelly had this attitude like, “Don’t mess with me!” I wanted that attitude and I had to have that attitude where I grew up. Bette Midler had this personality that you couldn’t compare to anyone else’s, and I wanted that personality. I still want her sense of humor. Marilyn Monroe could just say, “Give me that, I want that!” and dozens of people would rush just to give it to her. I wanted that power. Audrey Hepburn had this sophistication and class about her—she’d just walk down the street and you couldn’t help but look at her, and that’s how I wanted to be. But it’s kind of hard to be that when you have to incorporate going through hormones and everyone else’s perception of ‘this is hot, this is not.’
So I just graduated high school and I’m going to college. I’m going to be a freshman at Purchase, and I plan to study literature because I love reading. Out of all the arts though, I think I connect to acting most because it’s an escape. It’s fun being other characters. I could be the snobbish girl that everyone hates in school. I could be that geek that everyone secretly adores—I could be anything I want to be, and to have that power is just nuts. But I’m majoring in literature because I think words are amazing. There are a million possible words to communicate fun or hate. My favorite word for hate is “loathe” because it really just hits you. If you loathe something it’s not just that you can’t stand it, but that you’d rather go through the seven pits of hell then have this thing next to you! I think words are so amazing, and they also allow someone to get their own voice get out there.
I really can’t imagine anything better than this Tempest opportunity. I remember being that little girl watching Chicago, wanting to be Velma Kelly. She made the crowds part, and doing that on stage would just be awesome. I’m also looking forward to wearing wings. We’re singing and we’re supposed to be in the mind of Ariel and he’s a fairy, so I better have wings. I want to have wings. I want to have wings. I want to have wings!