We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Ginn and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Samantha, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my work is “Radical Inclusion.”

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a theatre director for neurodiverse actors. I am also an Associate Artist at New Village Arts Theater, inclusion Teaching Artist for La Jolla Playhouse and The Old Globe, and a private acting coach. I have created improv and acting programs designed to include neurodiverse individuals on stage as well as “Mindful Theatre,” an improv experience for seniors with Alzheimers. I also direct productions with my students every summer, and have created a program called “Mainstage Players” that gives neurodiverse actors paid roles in professional productions. What excites me about this work is witnessing how transcendental theatre and inclusion is for individuals and a community.

I graduated from Sonoma State Univeristy with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts in 2006. After college I performed on stages throughout San Diego. While performing at night, during the day I was working in a severely handicapped preschool class. It was there where I witnessed firsthand how neurodiverse students seemed to love learning through singing, acting, kinesthetic exercises, and play-based activities. After 10 years of working and in the preschool, in 2016 I decided to combine my passions of theatre arts and working with people with disabilities to create my own inclusive programs.

The transition to go private was surprisingly seamless. I realized there is such a huge demand for this type of work in the community. I do confront personal challenges often with thinking, “I am not good enough for this work, or know enough, blah blah blah.” However, through meditation and yoga I’ve learned to detach from that nagging voice and realize it’s not true. I’ve learned that passion and a pure heart is more important than perfectionism.

A dear friend of mine, Andrea Moriarty, wrote a brilliant book titled, “Radical Inclusion: What I learned about Risk, Humility, and Kindness from My Son with Autism.” I want the world to know that my life changed for the better by becoming radically inclusive. Yours can too.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a San Diego gal, even though it’s hard to tell with how pasty my skin is. I would have my best friend meet me at the Meditation Gardens in Encinitas first. We would check out the beautiful koi ponds and breathtaking ocean views. Then we would walk the scenic Rail Trail all the way to Cardiff-by-the-Sea. If you have not eaten a California Burrito from Seaside Market, then you have not truly lived yet. After we down the burrito, we would check out the nightlife at The Kraken. We would dance the night away to live music, drink some whiskey, and run in the ocean afterwards. If we are really feeling like we can stay up past midnight, then we would Lyft down to my favorite Irish bar in Normal Heights, “The Ould Sod” for a nightcap and some karaoke. We will close out the perfect day by singing Meatloaf’s, “I Would Do Anything for Love.”

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
New Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad, CA.

Website: www.samanthaginn.com

Instagram: Samantha_ginn

Image Credits
4 photos photo credit: Daren Scott Those photos are: 1. The girl doing the splits 2. Me with the back of my head directing 2 actors on stage, 3. Group photo of 6 actors with their arms up 4. The one of me gagging looking at a banana

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