Samantha Harris is the well-known TV personality and co-host of reality competition ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ This two-time Emmy Award nominee graces the stage every week as celebrity and professional dance contestants vie for our votes.
Samantha Harris has recently joined the team at CBS’s ‘The Insider,’ a popular entertainment news show, as a regular correspondent. Samantha Harris is also making her Broadway debut in "Chicago" as the female lead, Roxie Hart.
9 Questions With Samantha Harris
1. How did you get involved in hosting and what motivates you to continue?
When I was 16, I was cast to host a segment for a nighttime entertainment show pilot. As a kid who had dreams of being a film actor, this was a new world to me--to be able to be in front of the camera but as myself rather than as a character. Other than being a reporter or an anchor in TV news, this concept was foreign to me. Reality shows weren’t around yet and so the idea of becoming the host of a TV show wasn’t even something that remotely could have crossed my mind.
It was that show, called ‘NIGHT Work,’ that motivated me to get involved in my high school’s television department and learn all I could about being on camera, reading from a TelePrompter, editing, shooting and writing. That then led me to Northwestern University’s journalism school.
2. How significant are the topics of cool hunting and trend spotting in the world of entertainment?
Spotting trends and being ahead of the game for everything from fashion, music, gadgets and the like is essential when being part of an entertainment news show. ‘The Insider’ is always on top of all the latest info that you need for water-cooler conversation as well as gets info first to pass along to viewers about celebrities--what they are wearing and what new must-haves they need.
3. How do you define cool?
Not taking yourself too seriously and being confident in who you are as a person. Someone who exudes humble confidence is very cool to me.
4. How do you define a trend?
Something that everyone seems to either have or covet. I usually try not to get too caught up in fashion trends and in my personal wardrobe, overall, prefer classics or basics. When it comes to technology, then I can more easily get caught up in wanting the best, most efficient products for computing and telecommunication… Keeping in mind I had my old-school Filofax appointment book until about 7 years ago.
5. How do you reset yourself to be creative?
The coolest part of being in the cast of Broadway’s "Chicago" is working alongside veterans who are so fabulous in their roles and know how to knock ‘em dead night after night. To center myself for this job as well as for hosting DWTS and my work on The Insider, I try to be sure to get in as many workouts as I can in during the week.
I find Bikrim yoga or climbing the outdoor stairs in Santa Monica, CA, work really well to make me feel renewed, especially if I can exercise with my husband and daughter. Having time to reconnect with my family is essential in being able to succeed in my career on a daily basis.
6. Professionally, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?
To be honest, I feel so lucky to have the dream jobs I have right now between The Insider and DWTS and now a stint on Broadway – wow! I still can’t believe it. So I am taking one week at a time.
7. If you weren’t in entertainment, what would your dream profession be?
I am not sure if this sounds like baloney, but I seriously never dreamed of doing anything different from what I am doing right now. Before this summer in "Chicago," I probably would have said something about my childhood dream to perform on Broadway. I am so thankful to the Weisslers (who produced "Chicago") for thinking of me for the role of Roxie!
8. What are your most important hobbies?
Exercising outdoors with my family is the most important activity to me. I feel like a new person after being out in the open air with them, especially if I can do that beach-side. The ocean air is fantastic.
I also love being able to just play with my daughter outside in our neighborhood with the kids on the block. My husband and I do that almost every early evening.
9. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be and what would you do?
I have recently joined the Entertainment Council for Feeding America--the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization. I would love to work more directly alongside our council (David Arquette is the chair and it includes Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Rachael Ray, Sheryl Crow and more) to help hungry families across the country. I am just getting started and hope to continue to raise awareness about this issue in America.
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