Whether it’s the big screen, the theater, radio or behind the scenes writing and directing, Samantha Beaulieu is a woman who loves all aspects of the entertainment industry and isn’t afraid to dive head first into the challenges of each one.
The New Orleans native grew up with a father who worked in entertainment at a local television show and in radio, and it wasn’t long before she too became attracted to the prospects of working in the industry.
“The job I love most is storytelling,” Beaulieu shares. “I enjoy writing. I get lost and come alive in acting. Directing energizes and challenges me, and I absolutely love being behind the camera, capturing the perfect shot, framed perfectly. I enjoy the editing process immensely. I love creating. Every aspect. And I love collaborating with smart, fearless people.”
Half radio host and half actor, Beaulieu has been in radio for two years and acting for 10. New Orleans residents have most likely experienced her high energy persona over the airwaves on “The Samantha Beaulieu Show,” which she hosts weekly on WBOK 1230 AM talk radio.
Movie fans will have recently seen her alongside Morgan Freeman and Jessie Eisenberg in Now You See Me, released earlier this summer for the Memorial Day weekend. In the movie Beaulieu plays an FBI agent working to track down four illusionists who use their act as a cover for robbing banks.
“I think I was chosen for my role in Now You See Me because it was my role,” Beaulieu said. “It was meant for me to have that part. That’s kind of my take on things. If it’s meant for me, it will be for me. And, of course, I was prepared.”
Perhaps it is this preparation that has set her apart in her career and has landed her a role in the upcoming Lifetime film Papa Noel, which comes out this holiday season.
“I was prepared and therefore made an impression on the director,” she said. “I immerse myself in every character. I’m 100% method. I have played everything from a down-and-out, drug-addicted single mother, to a Federal Agent, to English royalty. British accent and all. I love the transformation… becoming different characters.”
The New Orleans native splits her time between her hometown and Los Angeles, awaiting the opportunity for her next gig wherever it may be.
“The difficult part is not splitting my time between New Orleans and Los Angeles. That’s not hard to do at all,” she said. “Now talk to me about committing to one of the two cities… and now we got issues!”
Although Beaulieu loves her hometown and her family, her reason for staying in New Orleans wasn’t for family. The New Orleans entertainment scene, she says, is unique in that it offers a training ground for talented actors and actresses. While LA offers that feeling of always being on the verge of a “big break,” New Orleans is a place to hone one’s skills. And it has allowed Beaulieu to grow her film and television credits and “be a big fish in a small pond.” New Orleans has become, according to Beaulieu, a very transient city, for actors and entertainers.
“We never used to be that city where people moved,” she said. “People from New York and LA never used to move here. We moved there. Now, it’s the other way around.”
For Beaulieu, her hometown and training ground has served her well. Not only has she found her place in radio in New Orleans, she also won the Big Easy Award in 2010 and was a finalist at the NAACP Theater Awards festival in 2009. Beaulieu has also formed Be Nice Productions along with her sister and another co-founder. Going into business with her sister was a “no-brainer,” the two are excited for their first collaboration together.
But as Beaulieu continues to rise as an actress, she may choose to venture outside of New Orleans.
“I think change breeds opportunity,” she said. “There’s no place like home… However, I am very open to moving and relocating again, possibly New York. I would love to work on Broadway. Theater is truly an actor’s medium. The notion of being ‘bicoastal’ even appeals to me. I embrace change. New places, faces and environments stimulate me.”
As the optimistic actress looks forward to the changes in her careers, to all aspiring actors and actresses, she says, “Just do it!”
“Google ‘acting classes in Your City’ and go from there. Take classes. Read the paper for audition notices. Go to auditions. Work hard. Pray,” she says. “If you’re good, something good is bound to pop off for you! And be a person of your word. Your reputation is most important. Guard it.”