I’m Samson Syharath, a theatre director, producer, actor, and funny enough an administrator at a nonprofit. I am second generation Laos-American and identify as a cis queer man and I play David in Gabby Smashes.
When I first heard about the project, I donated to the Seed and Spark fundraiser. I related so much to the characters working in the nonprofit industry. It’s such a crazy, intense, yet gratifying industry. It was so fun being on set for Gabby Smashes! It’s like a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by people of color. I can relate a lot to the characters. David is really fun to play because there are layers to him. At first, he seems like an uptight jerk but you realize that the tough skin is for protection and I’m so intrigued by what made him the way he is. Luann was a pleasure to work with and she has such a clear vision of what she wants the show to be.
This show is really important as an Asian American and as someone from the LGBTQ community. Representation is EVERYTHING! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been somewhere that is predominantly white and get people staring at me. Their eyes say “What is someone like him doing here?” I feel that the more we are represented in media and on stage, the more people realize that we are people and that we are everywhere, no matter what ‘minority’ we may be. And it’s important to see all dimensions of the character, that they aren’t just a token minority.
People should support this show because the people involved are amazing! There is so much hard work going into this project that needs to be rewarded with an amazing final product, and that won’t happen without help from everyone. People should see the plight of Gabby, because so many of us go through this journey and it might be a little easier if people see what we go through.
More about Samson at http://www.samson.actor