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  • Women You Should Know

  • My name is Samantha Brown and I am a traveler.

  • I'm a host of many travel programs on the travel channel if you tune in to that.

  • And that has been my job for 13 years, to travel and see the world.

  • I'm from..uh..New Hampshire.

  • I think about that for seconds. It's been a while I've lived in New York City now for over 20 years. Brooklyn.

  • um..but I'm from New Hampshire.

  • I went to Syracuse University, or I majored in musical theater.

  • and yes you can major in that.

  • I moved to New York City to pursue musical theater and I was thought you needed to be what's called a "triple threat."

  • And a triple threat means you can act, sing, and dance.

  • But when I moved to New York City, I found that I wasn't threatening at all.

  • You could take out singing and you could take out dancing but I could still act.

  • But I really enjoyed comedy and sketch comedy especially so I pursued a lot more comedy work

  • improv work and of course waitressing work.

  • I was a very good waitress in New York City

  • But I definitely pursued it on my own. You try very hard to get an agent.

  • and I couldn't for a good 8 years.

  • and waited on tables and really struggled wondering why I went to school

  • for theater if this was going to be my life just you know seeing that someone wanted uh...

  • a slice of lemon on the side of their...your coke

  • I thought wow I've must have been so much more over qualified for this job.

  • But I did love it. Little by little you get a job here you get a job there.

  • And actually I got a job that I submitted myself for

  • for commercials. And it was those commercials that the Travel Channel eventually saw

  • thought I had a great personality and called me into audition.

  • So, all that work in waitressing slowly but surely paid off.

  • The person who sought me out was from a production company

  • Travel Channel had gone to this production company that called PineRidge Film and Television, great great company

  • and they said well you know we're looking to produce a show

  • they said we think we found a really good host.

  • and I was like what's a host

  • I really didn't..you know this was 13 years ago. Hosts were sort of perfect women who gesticulated and pointed

  • and always had pleasant smiles on their faces and I just said well I'm not bad you know

  • I really enjoy acting I love comedy and..

  • when I got the job I mean I was petrified because I really had absolutely no idea what I was doing

  • and I remember the first day of the shoot not knowing what I was doing

  • and everything is improvised there is no script it's just you go with it

  • Slowly but surely you know you get your groove and

  • I instead of being an expert, I just kind of tapped into who I really was which was someone who got to do this for the first time.

  • and that really became what they wanted.

  • They realized that, the Travel Channel, no we don't want an expert

  • we like you. You're the girl next door experiencing it for the first time like most of the people who are watching the show

  • You know keep, keep doing that and that approach had just...

  • uh I have no idea what I'm doing but I really enjoy meeting these people and I enjoy where I am

  • and let's just go with that.

  • That became really...I don't want to say shtick because that wasn't put on it was just really what was happening.

  • I started back in 1999 with Great Vacation Homes

  • and then from there went to Great Hotels...

  • let's see um...Passport to Europe, Passport to Latin America, Passport to China

  • Girls Meets Hawaii was back there somewhere. There were 3 years of Great Weekends

  • and then my last series was all shot in Asia.

  • I never ever in a million years thought I would have a job that was better than the one that I actually dreamed of for myself.

  • I mean I thought I was going to be on Broadway

  • I thought I was in my wildest dreams I'd go to Los Angeles and be in the sitcom...

  • But I never thought someone would see those talents and say, hey, you actually be good travelling around the world

  • even today I can't believe it it's my job.

  • For a half hour episode we are there for four days and for an hour, eight.

  • but usually 10 because of travel in and out so we're there 10 days for an hour episode.

  • When I arrive in another country or even in another state in the United States I always have one day off before we start to shoot

  • and that gives me time to sort of get my bearings and also gives you time to adjust to a different time zone.

  • but that is my day where I have to kind of get a grasp on where I am not just the city but the country and the culture

  • and so I use that day wisely.

  • Everyone wants my job until they hear actually how much effort goes into it.

  • uh..usually 230 days out of a year. So you're on the road most of the time.

  • Being on the road easily can disconnect you from home.

  • That's why there's a lot of difficulty with the job. You are so focused on where you are

  • um..I'm in Singapore I'm in Nicaragua I'm in Cambodia and you're

  • you just want to do a good job by the country, by the people, so you immersed yourself completely

  • and then at the end of a 14-hour day there's very little energy, at least I have very little energy

  • to get on the phone and make sure you know... my husband is doing alright, how's my mom, my sisters, you missed birthdays

  • you miss weddings, you miss reunions.

  • All the things that make you, you know, a sister, a wife, a good daughter, a great friend disappears

  • and that can be a big challenge to the job.

  • For the other 135 days at the year I stay home. I don't come here in airports.

  • I don't even like to get into a taxi. I order in Chinese.

  • Watch good television. I basically become a real homebody

  • a real homebody which it's easy to do in the New York City in Brooklyn and so we've got great neighborhoods of fabulous ethnicity everywhere

  • so even though I am staying home I'm you know you're at home in the world.

  • People are surprised to know that hotel rooms can actually be my nemesis. um you know and people see the hotel rooms I stay in

  • they're 5 star, the top of the line but I live in hotels

  • and just to get a sense of what it's like to live in hotels,

  • imagine someone coming into your bedroom and rearranging the contents of the furniture every 2 days

  • and not just like big things like your bed and your bureau but little things like electrical sockets, you know light switches

  • where's the light switch this time, is it by the bed is it by the doors is it by the bathrooms

  • is the light switch on the bulb on the base on the cord

  • you know you're constantly rebooting the minutia of your life every 2 days

  • and it will slowly drive you insane

  • One time actually a hotel room broke my nose and this is a true story

  • I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom but I had the floor plan of the hotel I stayed in the night before

  • which had a little hallway off my bed and you know bathroom to the right

  • in this one it was just a wall and I walked you know walked right into BANG a wall

  • heard this crunch and luckily I hit the wall head-on so there's no displacement

  • but I had black eyes and a swollen nose and what's the worst thing you can do when you're on camera and break your nose

  • but yeah it can be violent even 5 star luxury hotels can beat the crap out of me

  • First time they asked me to be in a bathing suit

  • you know it was just kind of an obvious choice I was in Hawaii

  • and so you know that that's going to be a part of your wardrobe and you're going to be on the beach

  • you know 82 percent of the time

  • so it wasn't something that I wasn't expecting

  • I knew it and

  • I knew that you know because well at the time I was in my early 30s so I thought well I should I be in a bikini

  • If I'm gonna be in a bathing suit, I'm gonna be in a bikini

  • so I put a lot of that pressure on myself

  • yeah now I don't do any bikini work it's done

  • I've retired. The bathing suits have all you know they're all

  • with Smithsonian I think this is going to be a you know

  • Travel Channel Bikini Retrospective

  • Anthony Bourdain has a bikini there. It's pretty hot and Andrew Zimmern and mine

  • What I love about my job and how I approach it is that I get to spend time in other people's lives

  • and I get to learn from them and about myself in the process

  • and I love that. I love just someone's everyday life and understanding where they come from

  • and when you're in another part of the world, someone's everyday life is extraordinary

  • and then you think how extraordinary your own life is so it's really reciprocal, it's great felling.

  • Traveling all throughout the world and meeting women all around the world.

  • We certainly have very different concepts of beauty, what makes us beautiful.

  • We have different concepts of work, being professional

  • The overall sense of being kind and generous is the same,

  • and I'm usually alone on my days off.

  • Other women I can see will take care of me.

  • There is sort of an acknowledgement of who we are and who we are in the whole world

  • and that's been a real joy to discover.

  • The least appealing thing about my job has to be managing loneliness

  • and it is a job. It is a part of my job because I'm essentially alone.

  • You wake up alone, you go back to hotel alone.

  • Of course I have my crew, but they have their lives and I have mine

  • And no matter where you are you're 10 thousand miles away, you're 5 thousand, 2 thousand, 2 hundred miles away from

  • the people who love you who truly make you who you are.

  • So loneliness becomes difficult to manage but it's a part of the job.

  • Success I mean that is..

  • it has to be a combination of doing what makes you happy

  • makes you passionate. Certainly being with people and that is it.

  • I love being with people. That is my passion.

  • I could do it anywhere. I love the fact travel is a part of it but I love being with people

  • and it sounds very tried but be yourself.

  • That really started me on my path.

  • At first I thought I'm not a travel expert. I don't know what I'm doing

  • I've never traveled. How could I possibly have this job

  • And instead of fighting that just thought well this is me

  • and I'm just gonna make mistakes like a real person

  • and luckily that just became what people were really interested in.

  • So you know the idea of making mistakes, be yourself, don't try to be somebody else

  • and just really be true to who you are. I think that is absolutely the key, absolutely.

Women You Should Know

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Women You Should Know Video Profile: Samantha Brown

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    Vicky posted on 2014/08/19
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