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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.
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Women You Should Know Video Profile: Samantha Brown

35828 Folder Collection
Vicky published on August 19, 2014    Vicky translated    Tong-Ann Sytwu reviewed
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