Meet Halifax-based writer, producer and theatre creator Sam Horak.
The first in our special #20Questions series, Sam is among the participants in Eastern Front Theatre’s inaugural RBC Emerging Playwrights Program. Her new play, Rock n Roll Saved My Life, is a darkly comedic and hyper meta tale about a young punk rock woman discovering how to use her past traumas to fuel her art. Guided by a dramaturge, an established playwright mentor, and other theatre professionals, Eastern Front Theatre (EFT) will present Rock n Roll Saved My Life at a public reading at EFT’s annual Stages Theatre Festival in May 2020.
20 Questions with Sam Horak
1. Your first job.
I was a hustler as a young person. Always coming up with ways to make a buck. I think one of my best gigs was selling clay animals crafted with FIMO outside my folk’s house. I made $75 one afternoon, and for an eight-year-old, that was a small fortune.
2. The job you always wanted as a child?
I was absolutely 100% convinced I was going to be a super famous actor.
3. Your pet peeve.
I can’t stand when people chew with their mouths open, especially if I am reading or writing. I wish it didn’t bug me as much as it did, but it does. The sound is awful.
And male feminists who begin sentences with “Well actually”…
4. Your hero.
Kathleen Hannah, Wendy O Williams, Bessie Smith, Andrea Arnold, Mia Zapata, Annie Baker and Hannah Moscovich.
5. Your biggest indulgence.
Good red wine and coffee.
6. One thing no one knows about you.
I am a pretty open person. I don’t think there are any deep dark secrets I’m hiding. I let those go a while ago.
7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.
Do I have to bring anything with me? Maybe a boat to come home, but only maybe.
8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.
I just called my bestie, and “extravagant” was the word used. Wouldn’t have expected that one.
9. If they made a movie about your life, who would it star?
Uma Thurman or Liza Minnelli, please. But more realistically probably Scarlet Johansson or Miley Cyrus as I’m often told I look like them.
10. Hero or villain?
Aren’t we all the heroes of our own narratives and sadly the villains of that journey too?
11. Your life’s motto/mantra.
Not terribly poetic sounding, but I am tempted to get the following reminders tattooed on my forearms: Don’t Brag. Don’t Panic.
12. The last book you read.
The Break by Katherena Vermette. Great read!
13. The song that is getting the most play on your Spotify playlist right now.
Second Skin by The Gits.
14. If you were a cartoon character, what cartoon character would you be?
Sailor Jupiter. I’m pretty certain we are the same person – tall, a little awkward and quirky. Tough yet a total softy at the same time.
15. What will it say on your grave marker?
Nothing. I hope that my body will be donated to science.
16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?
My Grandmother, Muriel Horak. I have many questions that I didn’t get to ask her, and she was such a great storyteller. Plus, I hope she’s making dinner because her Austrian cooking was phenomenal.
17. Your idea of happiness.
18. What do you see yourself doing 20 years into the future?
I very much hope to be sitting in a theatre with fantastic long grey hair, watching something I wrote (on-screen or stage) with my partner.
19. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.
My healing and recovery process from a sexual assault
20. To be or not to be?
Shakespeare is overrated and problematic.
Meet Sam Horak
Sam Horak is a writer, producer and theatre creator. Past highlights include The Coast’s ‘Best of’ bronze winner, Sissydude, a dandy rock musical (co-producer, director and dramaturge) and Halifax Fringe award-winning Sit on My Face (co-writer, producer and director). For the past few years, Horak has been busy writing two full-length scripts. Her first, Kitchen, a show about artists working in the restaurant industry, was workshopped last year through PARC with direction by Laura Vingoe-Cram. Her second script features her love of feminist punk rock and the Riot Grrrl movement. Horak hopes to continue exploring the producing and writing side of storytelling while maintaining her strong interest in feminist narratives.