thanks for the memories!

Ok, two things…..

1) THANKS for THAT! Threw a question on twitter…what was your first live concert? (we were talking about Van Halen and got side tracked), and all the answers i got back made me laugh for hours. Not laughing at you, but with you. The range of answers tells me that the people who follow me on twitter range HUGELY in age. Some people’s first concert was not that long ago (I had many NSYNCs) and some of them were before even mine (80s). Some were pop, some were rock n roll, some were heavy metal, some were embarrassing (they went with their mom) and some were the best shows ever. It was what you wrote with them that made me laugh. The embarrassment (don’t ever be embarrassed about music…’s wonderful in any form…as long as it makes you feel something) that came with the memory…hilarious! A blast from the past for many of us. And a good one. First concert usually has a good feeling attached to it, and i appreciate you sharing yours with me and taking me back down memory lane. Mine was Cheap Trick, April Wine and Red Rider. in the 80s. I adored that show. Will always remember it. Funnily, I am still a huge fan of Cheap Trick and April Wine. Love me my modern rock but i will always be a classic rock fan at heart. To this day the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin are still two of my favourite bands. 

2) School! I am back in school. Getting my psych degree. Slowly….as i can only do a couple courses at a time with work. Just getting a few credits and I will be transferring to UBC in the fall for 3rd year. I have been working on this for a while. Yes, it was hard going back (yer brain just doesn’t work that way after many years of not studying) and i have to laugh at the 19 and 20 year olds who look at me like i’m some  kind of alien. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t bother me, i just find it funny. And when i speak up in class (i do that a lot) and they hear my booming voice, they shrink away from me like i am the devil. I scare them… ok with that….actually i get a kick out of it. There is a point to this.

Many people in my life were shocked that i chose to go back to school. Why would I? What about acting? You’ll be old, Sam! What are you going to do with the degree?….etc…There are two things i have to say about that….you are NEVER too old to go back to school. EVER. Don’t ever let that limit you. I love being back in college. Adore it. I care now. I didn’t when i first went in my early 20s. I find it really interesting and i work hard for my marks (something i didn’t do in my 20s, i assure you). It is going to take me forever to get a degree, and i also plan on doing a Masters, but i don’t care. Constantly learning and growing is important. Doesn’t have to be University, just anything where you are expanding your mind. That can be volunteering, taking a cooking class, or learning how to garden…..whatever. Don’t stagnate in your life. Grow, learn, take risks, get out of your comfort zone, see how other people live. My second point there is to make sure you follow your dream. Don’t let anyone decide for you what you do with your life. It’s YOUR LIFE. I had two full careers before i embarked on an acting career at 28. I was a radio announcer (still am) and I worked for a big record label, accompanying bands around Toronto. I loved those jobs but my dream was to become an actor so i did. At 28 i quit everything, got a bartending job, got an agent and went after it. Sure, it was hard but i wasn’t going to let other people’s fears (my mother was aghast) control my destiny. It’s never too late to chase what you want to do. I believe we are here to do stuff, and that ‘stuff’ will present itself to you if you let it. Trust it. Don’t rush it. I may get out of the acting game. Not now, but one day i may go back to radio full time or i may become a clinical psychologist. We’ll see. For now I am happy doing to a bit of everything, but i do trust that when the time is right, what i am supposed to be doing will present itself to me. 

Ok. That’s my sermon for today. Sorry if that felt like a rant but i feel passionate about that. 

Gotta run. The garden needs tending (FINALLY we got some ok weather in Vancouver), and my friend Carolyn blew her knee and I have to drive her around today.

Hope yer well.



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21 Responses to thanks for the memories!

  1. sacredmacha says:

    Yeah, I may have to totally have a girl crush on you. Good on you for going back, because once you stop wanting to learn and grow, your brain might as well turn into a rock. Pssht. And Pwn the kiddies, they’ll come to adore you.

    Oh, and because I missed the Twitter fest – The Monkees, Herman’s Hermits, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. I was 10, it was the late 80s. I was watching the reruns on Nickelodeon. I didn’t know the Monkees were a band from the 60s.

  2. SLM says:

    WOW. You are so inspiring. There are so many things I want to do, but I am always too scared to get out of my bubble. But not you! You just go for it. I could take a lesson from you. You are definitely one in a million. Thanks for being such a passionate person and sharing your stories with us. Hope your friend gets better soon! And I concur about the girl crush thing 😉

  3. Janna Balthaser says:

    At 35 I went back to college to get the degree I never got the first time around (when I was doing theater and singing in bands and taking nothing seriously enough). Took me five years to get my BA (double major: French and Creative Writing). Sometimes it was hard being one of the only grownups in a class. I felt awkward. Wondered if I was irrelevant. Discovered I was far from it.

    I got on the college crew team. Me. A distinctly overweight woman in her mid-thirties–an NCAA athlete. Up at 4 am, rowing on Briones Reservoir in the dark until the sun came up. Flying to Vancouver to compete in a regatta. Astonishing.

    It was so incredible that I kept going. Got into an amazing MFA program. And now I’m about to graduate with a Master’s degree in Fiction. And I’m considering going on for my Ph.D.

    I would have been 43 anyway. Now I’m 43 with an incredible education that completely remade me as a human being. And a Master’s degree. Published stories. And some astonishing new friends (most of whom are half my age).

    Sam, I thought you were awesome before. Now I KNOW you’re FUCKING awesome. I hope your example encourages more women to go back to college. It’s more rewarding than you can imagine.

  4. Alesha says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you decided to pursue further education, Samantha. Thanks for writing about it! :] What is your favorite class so far?

    Ironically, I just heard a touching story from a classmate at my school. She’s thirty eight, and came with her daughter from Russia. They are here solely for the purpose of being able to go to college. Her daughter still qualifies for an education in Russia- but she does not. Once you get to a certain age [I believe it was thirty five] kiss any chance of that goodbye, if you are a woman. She refused to take no for an answer and is succeeding where a lot of the younger students are still struggling.

  5. Maybe you’ll indulge my story too. I went back to school at 38. There I was in the very back of an auditorium surrounded by dozens of 18 year old boys. I felt hopelessly out of my depth. I tried to slink down in the seat and be unobtrusive. Way down front “orientation leaders” jumped about and waxed enthusiastic about the college experience. They ran film clips. They jumped around a little more. The boys in the back were getting restless and sending waves of sweat and testosterone – with a power unimaginable except on an August afternoon in Houston – my direction. And, then, up on the big screen was a picture of the school mascot: Sasha. Sasha. The cougar. And the cheer leaders screamed, seemingly at ME, “Be real! Be a cougar!” I laughed until those boys thought I’d lost my mind, but in that instant, I knew – for certain – that I hadn’t. I realized that going back to school at nearly 40 requires a different perspective and lots of humor, but I also realized, I’d be just fine.

    It took me five years, but I graduated summa cum laude. I changed my major in the middle to something that has probably even less marketability because I discovered a passion I didn’t know I had. Next year, I’ll graduate with my masters. As your previous commenter posted, I was going to be 43 anyway (at least I hoped I would!) and I’d might as well be doing what I wanted with my life. Like you, I know the value of what I’m doing and I’m doing this because it’s what I want right now. Good luck to you and all the other non-traditional students in your academic ventures.

  6. katbcoll says:

    Congrats on being able to transfer soon! Learning is fun and should never be given up on, no matter what form it takes. I’d missed your Twitter question, so I’ll answer it here: My first concert was seeing Power Station. Because of that, I got to see Robert Palmer perform live. Never going to forget that.

  7. Nic says:

    My mom is back in school and she’s way older than you. Gotta love mature people in class. She has no problems tell the teachers what she thinks and if they have something wrong. Ever take a history class with someone who was there?

  8. propertia says:

    What a fun update! Thanks for sharing -you’re exactly right about everything, as usual.

  9. abeautifulepiphany says:

    Good for you for going back to school, and for psychology no less! I know first-hand how intimidating it is to walk into a class of people who are in a different age group. I’m 16 and my college classes are all filled of 19-21 year olds. It just means you have to work that much harder and hold your head that much higher. After all, you’re all there for the same reason. Plus, there’s a certain pride that comes from being the underdog and winning the race regardlessly. Some of my best friends and over all favorite people are the people twice and some even three or four times my age who had the guts to go back to school to follow their dreams. :).
    Good for you. Be proud!

  10. Emily says:

    Stories like yours – having two careers, dropping it all and going to acting, and then pursuing something new – inspire me. It just goes to show, that you don’t have to have everything figured out, and that what I decide to do I may not be doing for the absolute Rest Of My Life. It takes the pressure off of all these decisions I’m somehow supposed to make at such a young age. So right here I wanna say thank you, for doing the unexpected, taking a different path, and showing that it all works out. Thank you so much.

    My first concert was Green Day in fall 2005 (:

  11. Anna says:

    Gosh, i hope i can be like you….your just amzing….but no one thinks i can make that high….nor go to collage….but want to prove them all wrong….your just amazing

  12. lostdwarf says:

    I’m starting a session of school now after graduating post-secondary 12 years ago and I’ve already had to drop a class for my own sanity. It makes me feel horrible and like I’m already failing but I’m going to hold on to what you’ve said and keep going.

    Thank you.

    • samferris says:

      I thought the same thing. I signed up for TWO courses and freaked…I was overwhelmed. When you’re not in school anymore the study muscle is weak from no use. Trust me, it’ll come back. Keep going.

  13. Mo says:

    Wish I had the funding to go back to school now, because I would be fearless in a way I never could have been at 20. And dedicated. I worked at a college for 7 years, so I can’t be intimidated by the stares of young classmates or the rants of grouchy professors… I am immune.

    Alas, with a college kid of my own now and another who’ll be heading off to university in another year, the budget is stretched pretty thin. But as you say, it’s never too late!

    Oh, and first concert… Corey Hart & Rick Springfield on my 17th birthday. I got pissed at the 12-yo girls squeeing next to me, so I mimicked them in my much much much louder voice while shooting them the death glare. So I didn’t see that Rick Springfield heard me, looked directly at me, and laughed out loud at me, the apparently maniacal fangirl. Oops. Guess you’re not the only one with a booming voice.

  14. Good on you, Sam!

    I’m 55, a lawyer by training who spent the last 22 years working for the US EPA in chemical risk management. The bureaucracy and politics finally got me down and I decided I needed to bail out as soon as I could, but I also knew I would still need to be able to make money doing something for years to come and I wanted to be doing something I would enjoy, not consulting in the same field that drove me nuts. So I did some thinking, and discovered the opportunities in home studio voiceover work, particularly audiobooks. I linked up with a coach, did my homework and reading, learned how to use audio recording, editing, and mastering software, and established my own business. I’m now narrating and producing my very first audiobook under a royalty-share contract, and I LOVE it! It took all these years for me to figure out that what I really wanted to be was a voice actor, but now I can’t wait until my fed retirement kicks in on November 30 this year.

    The next chapter of my life has already begun!

  15. jez says:

    my 1st show when i was 14 was night ranger…i had a thing for hair bands lol. later i got better taste and saw alice n chains, white zombie and a couple others. but looking back to being that age and being all jacked up for a new experience is pretty fun to do. I admire you going for a Masters, i live near a community college and have failed at 2 separate tries to get somewhere. the first time i was going to be a counselor. everyone kept pushing me towards drug counseling…ironically i went out and did field research on heroin for the majority of 7 yrs. the second time actually was because i was having problems with the work, which may be due to my disability. i didn’t have my therapy animal then, and they keep adding diagnosis by the year, but just hearing people talk about it, if i could take one class instead of having to find a way to go full time to get back on FAFSA, well one class would rock.

  16. This is really inspiring, Sam. I’m working as a bartender/server now, and I was dreaming of getting into acting. I’ve always wanted to do it, but as I turn 31 in a month (gah!) I was thinking “I’m getting too old”, “I’m not young/pretty enough”, etc. I spend my time when I’m not bartending writing and working on my paintings and this last summer I worked on an indie film (production and craft) and fell in love again.

    I went to college when I was 19, wanted to get my BFA, but with pressure from well-meaning relatives, I got a degree in engineering instead. “How will you get a job in art?” they said. It kills me that I didn’t study what I really wanted, and I’ve been considering going back to school, do what I really love. It’s weird, isn’t it? To completely change your career when we’re “supposed” to have that stuff figured out in high school. I already had a career, hated it, and now I’m trying to work up the courage to do what I really want.

    • samferris says:

      You have to at least TRY what you really want to do. You can always go back to the other stuff if you need to. In fact, I would recommend it. Acting is a fickle thing and I tell EVERYONE getting into it to have a back-up plan. I’ve got radio, voicework, and a slowly- but-surely psych degree coming. Good luck!

  17. risenshine22 says:

    This! I really hate it when people think they can tell me what I can’t do. You’ll do your master and show them! Thank you so much for this post!

  18. Kate Licia Hedian (@katehedian) says:

    Great update! I just joined twitter last week (to follow Misha collins if the truth be told) and am slowly catching up with other SPN stars – just found you today. (it is amazing the range of SPN fandom! My first concert (and record) was John Denver).
    I totally agree – it is never too late to go back to school. At 35 I was newly divorced, with 3 young kids, and started nurse-midwifery school. After being a CNM, and then teaching nursing many years, and doing prenatal care at a free clinic for uninsured women, decided to go back to school AGAIN so I could do primary care and take care of the whole family. So here I am at 55, just finished my second year of medical school and getting ready to move on to clinicals (2 years of that, graduate as a doctor, then go on to residency for 3 years).
    It’s a challenge, and I know what you mean about the 20 year olds looking at you! Was more so during my post-baccalaureate getting my undergrad sciences. There are a few non-traditional students (ie, older) in my program, but none approaching my age 🙂
    I’m a firm believer that the human mind has near infinite capacity, and only becomes more efficient at learning as you exercise it.
    Love your blog and tweets — you seem like another “carpe diem” kind of gal. Keeps life interesting!

  19. Glad I took the time to go back and read your blogs. You are never too old to learn and to change your life. I’m 46 and have lived 26 years of my life in Europe. I’m an American. I learned to speak and write two other languages fluently. In my twenties it was German and in my thirties it was Dutch.
    I’ve decided that I belong in the US. This wasn’t an overnight decision. It’s an idea, a feeling, a need. It fits to who I am. The woman I’ve become. People ask if I’m not scared. It’s so different than safe Netherlands. Yes! I’m terrified. But I’m also excited and looking forward to building a life back home. I also miss my brother and my mom.
    We evolve. If we let ourselved dare to dream and take that leap and believe in ourselves, all will be well. Live life to the fullest.

    My favorite concert experience was 1993. Metallica was playing in Hannover, Germany. None of my friends cared. I purchased my ticket. Got my boyfriend at the time to babysit. I got on the train. It was a two hour ride. I went all alone to that stadium. I spent the entire concert at the very front(other’s had already passed out) I think I got James Hetfield’s sweat on me. It was fabulous. Missed the last train home. Spent the night awake in the train station with a few others who had also missed their train. That’s living!

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