Samantha Gartland shocked her father and mother when at thirteen she saw the models in the Victoria’s Secret runway show and announced that she wanted to be just like them. Soon after, she was “scouted” in a mall where she was invited to audition at a conference with hundreds of other Hollywood hopefuls. She and her mom soon recognized the “auditions” as an elaborate scam for expensive acting classes, but the negative experience did not deter her from pursuing her dream. Gartland took it upon herself to research the nearby agencies, and with the blessing of her mother, she signed with Paloma Models and Talent - one of the top children’s agencies in Los Angeles.
Although she started in the modeling and print division, she was called in to audition for the lead role in a Nickelodeon show because of her ukulele skills. Although an acting novice at the time, she advanced to the final rounds of auditions and surprised herself, her family, and the agency. Regina Lines, the head of the theatrical division at the time, took notice of Gartland’s natural abilities and began to represent her in the film/tv world in the teen division.
Garland has the essence of a young Blake Lively and frequently gets cast as the affluent mean girl, but in real life, she is a self-starter with a huge heart. She began her non-profit organization “Rock Your Socks,” when she was in the hospital for a medical procedure and wanted to find a small way to bring joy to the other patients. Her mother asked her what she would have changed if she could, and Gartland realized that one problem that made her sad was that the hospital clothing was devoid of personality. With this in mind, Gartland organized colorful sock donations at her school and brought them to the patients at her local hospital. The mission of “Rock Your Socks” has spread to other schools and counties.
She has walked in LA and NY Fashion week and books commercials and print ads regularly, but Gartland has her focus on the acting and film world. With her business mind, good looks, and charming personality, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from the LA area, just north in Ventura County.
When did you come to Los Angeles?
I’ve lived here my whole life, and it’s been a place where I’ve encountered so many amazing opportunities!
What inspired you to be in the industry?
I was originally really motivated to be a part of the modeling industry, and honestly never had my sights set on acting because I didn’t even know where to begin! I’ve been blessed with coaches and agents who have opened my eyes to the industry, and encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone. Because of them, I’ve developed a real passion for acting and want to pursue a future on screen.
What are some of the projects you have worked on in the past?
I’ve worked on theatre productions from my school and local shows, including Annie, Dr. Doolittle, and Mean Girls. As for modeling, I recently returned from New York, where I walked in 6 shows for designers Domingo Zapata, Charles & Ron, and Bad Sisters.
What are your current projects?
My most recent project was a shoot for Irvine Spectrum, and it was so much fun. It’ll be released as a catalogue this winter!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself attending USC as a part of the BFA Acting program. I hope to be working frequently acting and modeling, while creating my own personal projects.
How do you feel the industry is changing?
I feel the industry is becoming more of a community, in the sense that individuals are able to be more than just an actor and utilize many people as resources for multiple projects. We are not limited to being just one title, in fact we are challenged to reach our fullest capability.
How does it benefit you as an actor?
The changing times benefit me, as I am able to expand my horizon while not feeling limited to one future career. While establishing my passion is very important to me, I love how I have the ability to try new things in a supportive and unified environment.
Interview by: Giovannie Espiritu