Music, movies, and more: Samantha Gangal is just getting started
How does a sophomore in college keep up a career as an actor and begin a career as a recording artist? Samantha Gangal has the answer. You might know her from her recurring roles on shows like Fresh Off the Boat and OMG!, or you might have seen her in feature films like Agent Revelation and Make a Wish, Mom. Maybe you’ve heard her latest single, “My Own Prison.” She keeps herself plenty busy.
We were lucky enough to speak with Gangal at this exciting moment in her career. She opened up about her passion for acting and her future in the music industry. This is a star to watch.
When did you know that you wanted to be an actor?
I’ve always loved acting and singing. One summer I attended a camp at the music school where I was taking piano lessons. It was a production of Annie Jr. I played the part of Molly. I loved it and have been hooked on both singing and acting ever since.
What were some of your favorite movies growing up?
The Polar Express, Despicable Me, and pretty much all the Disney movies that came out when I was young.
Who are some of your biggest acting influences?
Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Carrell, Reese Witherspoon
You’ve also been in films like Agent Revelation and Make a Wish, Mom. Do you approach your characters in films differently than on shows that will be running for a longer time?
I don’t really differentiate between shows or films when I am playing a character. I just try to portray the character I’m given to the best of my ability.
Do you have a preference for one medium or another?
Not especially. I really love acting in all its formats whether it be film, tv, or even theatre.
What’s been the biggest challenge of your acting career so far?
I think the biggest challenge for any actor is facing rejection, but being able to persevere is important. In this industry, rejection is just part of the process. The reward is when you do book something or at the very least get positive feedback for the things you are doing.
You recently released your first single “My Own Prison”. How long have you been a musician?
I have been singing since I was 8 years old. I’ve only recently started writing my own music and it’s been so exciting for me to be able to express myself musically.
Who are some of your favorite musicians?
I’m such a fan of 80s music. Some of my favorites are Journey, Van Halen, Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac. Some current favorites are bands that kind of use that 80s sound like Tame Impala and The Midnight.
What was it like recording a single?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s just exciting for me to write my own music. My vocal coach and producer, David Kidd, has really inspired me to convey my thoughts and feelings in a musical way.
Tell us about your experience working on the music video for “My Own Prison”.
It’s always a thrill for me to work with Mike and Michelle of StarKidz LA as they have done my previous videos as well. We came up with an idea of presenting one aspect of a struggle that someone might be facing. Once we laid out the script, everything fell into place. It was really cool that the directors cast 3 of my friends in the video as well. It was shot over two days at a couple of different locations in LA.
Can we expect to see a lot more music from you in the future?
Yes, I’ll be releasing another song in the next few weeks that is a departure from my first single, and is more indicative of the musical style I am pursuing. I am also working on an EP that should be released before the end of the year.
Do you have any advice for someone who’s just starting out in the acting world?
The best advice I can give is to have perseverance and patience. Keep working hard and continue to learn. It will pay off in the long run. Just don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. Try to surround yourself with people that truly support your passion.
What do you do when you aren’t working on a particular project?
I devote most of my free time to traveling and school. I was able to graduate a little early from high school and am currently finishing up my Sophomore year in college.