Tori Green: Who are you? What do you do?
Anouk Samuel: My name is Anouk Samuel and I’m an actress and model in LA!
Tori: What was your first business (including running your own business)? How long did this last or are you still involved in the same business?
Anouk: I guess technically it would be acting - which makes you an independent contractor, even if you’re signed by an agency, which I have been since I started at 12 year old, but I’ve switched since then. I did my first national commercial when I was 15 (for Olive Garden - LOL!!!) And that’s the first year I had to file taxes, so let’s say I’ve been doing this for over 10 years now! That’s kind of insane to think about…
Tori: Biggest challenge? How did you get through it?
Biggest challenge is definitely finding that momentum as an actor. I’m sure anyone that’s ever even dabbled in the industry can tell you, it definitely feels like you’re doing 100 auditions for every 1 you book IF you’re lucky. But once you start booking it’s almost like the floodgates open and everything starts falling into place - kind of like any passion you’re trying to find success.
Tori: What is something that you wish you could go back and tell yourself before starting this journey?
Anouk: The auditioning process and prep is JUST as important if not more so than actual bookings. I’ve booked 3+ roles I’ve been offered now YEARS after auditioning repeatedly for the same casting directors, producers, writers, etc. - and the best part is, because they love your work so much they will bring you back and eventually further down the road even offer you roles without even having to audition!
Tori: What did you do before owning your own/running your business?
Anouk: I was a student at Boston University! I was accepted Early Decision based off of the 4.7 GPA I maintained throughout high school, mainly through home-schooling myself.
Tori: What/who made you take the first leap?
Anouk: Well, it was my sophomore year of college and at that point I was at SBCC in Santa Barbara, and trying to juggle not only school, but a part time job to pay for it, going into debt with student loans, and driving down to LA for auditions I THOUGHT were worth it. And the real secret to any real passion career is you have to give it your all, otherwise you’ll never see true success - whatever ‘success’ means to you.
Tori: Who was the first to believe in you and give you real support (financial/sweat equity)?
Anouk: Myself mostly, and my old manager who I no longer speak with - long drama-filled, typical LA situation. But honestly, being raised by a single mother with a dad who was never truly involved, I was forced at a young age to be extremely self-sufficient and it’s obviously carried over into my adult life as well.
Tori: Was this your dream job? If not, what was?
Anouk: I don’t think I ever had a ‘dream job’. I guess as a kid my main focus was always being a big supermodel like Naomi Campbell, but the older I got and the more I modeled I realized I wanted something more challenging than just standing in front of a camera and looking pretty. Acting ended up being that perfect challenge for me. I could NEVER imagine working a 9-5 office job, I’ve been there and it’s absolutely not for me.
Tori: Why did you get into this field?
Anouk: Because I love it. It’s something different every day, a different challenge, a new team, a new character I can completely embody.
Tori: What is your biggest failure that you turned into a success?
Anouk: Losing contracts with countless agencies. But every single one got me one step closer to where I am now, and hopefully where I’ll be soon (Oscars or Emmys, anyone?). And quite frankly, I’m a very strong believer in ‘everything happens for a reason,’ and that people that leave your life or create toxicity in it are gone for a reason.
Tori: If you could change one thing about your life today for the better, what would it be?
Anouk: More financial security. But I think that’s what most people would say 3 years into a world-wide pandemic. And honestly, I always compare where I am today to where I was a year ago, and it’s ALWAYS better - So I think I’m pretty damn proud of myself thus far.
Tori: How is your life/work balance? Body, mind, and soul weekly routine?
Anouk: Honestly work kind of IS my life. At the moment I’m averaging 10+ auditions or self-tapes per week, which is slightly insane, but any time I have a day off (haven’t had one in a week+) I try to go on a hike with my puppy and boyfriend, or stretch and do some yoga, etc. I’m HUGE on self-care so my skincare + hair-care never fails even on my most exhausting days.
Tori: Do you say/write out affirmations?
Anouk: Not really. But I do suffer from horrible anxiety so I’m definitely constantly doing breathing exercises to keep that under control, especially living the type of high-paced, hectic lifestyle I do. But there is one my homeopathic doctor told me to repeat that I love:
“I am more than enough. I will be successful. My empathy is my strength.”
Tori: When was the last time you tried something new/ Stepped out of routine?
Anouk: That would be just about every day haha. I definitely have a routine for just about everything but every new character or experience on set is something new. And I honestly love it!
Tori: Favorite book that changed your life?
Anouk: Untamed by Glennon Doyle! Highly recommend!
Tori: Do you think your gender gives you an advantage or disadvantage in today’s world?
Anouk: I’d say being a woman really in any day and age has its positives and negatives. But nowadays with society being slightly more ‘woke’ in terms of women, I’d say there are definitely a lot of advantages, but I don’t know if I could say they outweigh the disadvantages - Aka being cat-called, worrying about walking at night alone, pregnancy scares, periods, being propositioned anywhere anytime???? UGH!!!!
Tori: Have you experienced different treatment from your peers of the opposite sex?
Anouk: Of course! I feel like all women have experienced this at some point or another. Sometimes it’s as simple as an off-hand sexist comment, but honestly, I’ve had a thick skin since I was a kid so I’ve never let that bother me. Women unfortunately have to work twice as hard for half the recognition as men, and are hyper-sexualized at all times, but I think us being raised in a society that does these things teaches us the true nature of humanity at a young age - and at the end of the day, that’s a major leg up on men who have had to worry about any of these things.
Tori: Thoughts on the glass ceiling?
Anouk: I think that’s a limit people, and society, put on themselves. The ceiling is where YOU believe it to be. If you work at something, it’s limitless.
Tori: What advice would you give your children/ future children about succeeding in a patriarchal society?
Anouk: To my boys: Treat women as the queens they are from a very very young age. That will get you further than any objectification you hear from your friends. I promise. And don’t believe ANYONE that tells you being mean to someone means you like them. That’s BS.
To my girls: Only you can tell yourself that you CAN’T do something. And trust me, if you want it and believe it badly enough, you will get it. Tenacity and hard work babygirl.
Tori: If you could talk to a young boy/girl from your hometown neighborhood who aspires to have your career/job/focus what would tell them? Advice.
Anouk: Go for it. Do your research, study your focus, LOVE what you do, and work hard for it. One day you WILL get there, because 9/10 times it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. And that comes with work.
Tori: Fun fact about you?
Anouk: I’ve been fluent in Spanish since before I can remember!! I used to spend a full summer in Argentina with my mom’s side of the family starting at the age of 6, and could not tell you a day I remember where I didn’t understand or speak the language.
Tori: Number one piece of advice you remember?
Anouk: Just be yourself. There are so many people out there who may aspire to be like you, because you are SO authentically yourself, and we need more people like that in this world.
Tori: Anything else to add?
Anouk: LOVE YOU BABYDOLL!!!!
Tori: Anything coming up for you that you want to talk about?
Anouk: My Euphoria episode just aired a couple weeks ago on HBO Max!!!! Season 2, episode 3!!!! And THIS Friday, February 4, 2022, Desiigner’s new music video ‘BAKIN’ is dropping and I’m 1 of 3 leading ladies heheh! Snoop Dogg is in the opening so you do NOT want to miss that!!
Tori: Where can we find you online?
Anouk: Instagram/TikTok/Twitter: anouksamuel