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Sam Scott: Advice To My 22 Year Old Self

We love being busy, but we thrive on being well.


Dear Sam,

I know you’re busy (you love being busy!). But please take a moment to listen to 56-year-old Sam. It’s ok. I’m still you. I've just learned a few shortcuts.

You are always going to be fully engaged in the world, making theatre, travelling, loving and being curious. But in order to do this, you need to realise you’re not bulletproof. It’s a mental thing.

Which means - ironically - you need to listen to your gut. You are good at that creatively, but you need to work on your wellbeing. Without that, you’ll repeatedly  find yourself on the back foot.

Get in the right place

Figure out where you need to be. You like a home base, so don’t kid yourself into nomadically wandering from place to place for the work. Base yourself somewhere, and create a sanctuary: somewhere to think, to be and to refuel. You don’t like being still right now, and you will always be active, even when relaxing. But just simply chilling out will come to be very important. Don’t be scared of this. The world will still be there for your after your me-time.

Balance the ingredients of life

Work out what makes you happy, and then go and get it. This means listening to your instincts and not letting other folks get in the way. You love a hot bath. You like biking and walking. You need sleep. You love structure and order in your life, so you can plan things out and be in charge. You don’t like opening nights, so don’t go.  You’re not huge on parties, so don’t go. You love dinner parties - do that instead. You love working a lot, as long as you have snippets of down time and some long-term holiday time: go and get some of that. Learn to say NO.

Work on your core

Build and maintain your inner life. Get this rock solid. Then, no matter what rocks you on the outside, you will be happy with yourself. That way you can be a much better friend, partner, sibling, daughter, aunty, niece, director, teacher and person. Along the way, you’ll discover Buddhism, and it will help you to build this inner life. But first, look less outwards and more inwards for your happiness.

It’s a process. You won’t master this all at once, so don’t try. Honour your life by listening to yourself. Be honest no matter what. And be kind to yourself.

Directed by Sam Scott with Massive Theatre Co.
Written by Miriama McDowell and Fiona Graham with Denyce Su’a
Opens July 24. See
Massive Company for details & booking.

Sam Scott (MNZM) is the founder and artistic director of Massive Company. Her career of 32 years has involved directing Theatre, Television and Film.

She loves all the mediums she has worked in, but Sam’s first love is theatre…”the purpose of the theatre is to bring to light the life of the human soul”.

Sam with Massive Company makes new work for the theatre and specializes in developing emerging artists and making sure they are valued as the fabulous practitioners they are and given an environment that honors them and their work.

Sam is well known as a tutor, specializing in teaching her unique devising practice for theatre, both nationally and internationally. She studied with master teacher and mentor Philippe Gaulier and returns on a regular basis to his school in France as an assistant. Sam loves that Massive Company has allowed her the opportunity to have an inspiring company of practitioners constantly curious and rigorous in exploring and making theatre

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

2 Jul 2018

The Big Idea Editor