Talented student pursues acting on the big screen

At Geneseo, it’s not hard to find talented students with ambitions and interests that span across many disciplines. What is more unique, however, is finding one student whose talents and successes are incredibly varied and plentiful. Enter senior musical theatre and communication double major Samantha Clowes, a prime example of how some Geneseo students really can do it all.

What sets Clowes apart from many of her peers are her activities and interests when she is off campus. Clowes has worked as a background actor in close to 50 different TV shows and movies since the summer after her freshman year.

She started her work after seeing an advertisement on Facebook for a casting call for the pilot of “The Leftovers”—a show now in its second season—near her hometown and has since found the line of work rewarding.

“I live close to New York City, so a lot of the shoots are there, which is convenient. It’s a ton of fun and you make a lot of friends,” Clowes said. “You run into the same people on set, so there’s a really tight knit community of background actors, which is really strange.”

As a background actress, Clowes has been in a plethora of shows ranging from repeated appearances in “Girls,” “Orange is the New Black,” “White Collar” and “Master of None.”

Working as a background actress combines both of Clowes’ fields of study at Geneseo: musical theatre and communication. “I love acting but I also love seeing what happens behind the scenes,” Clowes said. “My communication major has made me have an eye for the production side of television and acting as well.”

Clowes is making a name for herself not only off Geneseo’s campus, but on it as well. As a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, she represents part of the top 1 percent of on-campus student leaders—a title she fulfills through her other roles on campus.

She also acts as the executive producer of Geneseo Student Television, a role in which she serves as a resource for the producers of the different shows. She also helps to find content for the shows. She explained that one of her favorite moments of GSTV was the production of her first show “The Bare Minimum.”

“GSTV hasn’t had a new program in quite a while and [senior] Michael [Baranowksi] and [junior] Kyle [Piper] are great guys,” Clowes said. “It was really cool being part of the process of developing a new show.”

Her involvement does not end there; Clowes is also an active member of Musical Theatre Club and works as a Resident Assistant in Ontario Hall.

Clowes noted that her favorite part about being an RA is “being a resource for students.”

“I like knowing that I’m helping in some way, even if I’m just a friendly face who says hi to them in the hallway,” she added.

With such a packed schedule, Clowes emphasized that balance and organization are key in keeping up. “I’m really trying to work on multitasking and making use of my free time,” she said. “Google Calendar is my hero.”

After she receives her diploma in May, Clowes plans to pursue a career in acting. “I’m very close to joining the Screen Actors Guild, which is the union for actors,” she said. “I just love performing.”

While Clowes’ schedule may seem overwhelming and hectic, her cheerful attitude makes her the epitome of the classic adage, “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”