We chatted to Sam about starring in The Giant Pacific Octopus Maritime School as part of the Written on the Waves Project.

Hi Sam, for those who don’t know what The Giant Pacific Octopus Maritime School is
about – could you explain a little more about it?
Hi! The Giant Pacific Octopus Maritime School is a story of two young curious young people living in an underwater society who stumble into a secret about their world that adults don’t think they’re ready for. It follows their journey of navigating a scary and surprisingly exciting new world, and of finding a home for themselves in it.

How does it feel to be a part of the show? Amazing! Being a part of a collaborative artistic project during this time of isolation has been a huge joy, and having an open dialogue with the writer, director and the other actors throughout made the whole experience very special. I really enjoyed feeling like being a part of an
ensemble again.

What made you want to be part of The Giant Pacific Octopus Maritime School? The idea behind the narrative really struck me. I think that feeling of being isolated that the characters have as they live their day to day in monotony, trapped under the ocean, breathing the same recycled air day continuously, is something that resonates a lot right now. I was really keen to explore this idea through the eyes of children who aren’t disillusioned and haven’t given up, but are curious and excited about what the outside would be like. I also just really wanted to
collaborate and connect with new artists!

How does it feel to be part of the Written on the Wave project as a whole? It feels great! It was super inspiring to work with people who are so driven about creating and providing accessible theatre. It’s difficult to stay motivated right now, and sometimes it feels impossible to be creative, but being a part of this project and being held in its creative network made me feel incredibly supported as an artist.

It must have been challenging to put together given all the restrictions – how did you go about doing it? We recorded everything over the internet, with our own audio setups at home. We would record our own sound and the sound designers would record on their end as well. As someone who doesn’t have an “at home studio”, I pinned blankets up against the wall in front of my desk to get a clean sound, and set up tripods behind me so that I could install a kind of blanket wall that I could duck in and out of between sessions. My room basically looked like a blanket fort for a few days, but I’m not complaining!

How would you describe the show? I’d describe it as an ode to curiosity and a tribute to power of both given and chosen family.

Why would you say people should tune in and take a listen? Because honestly it’s just lovely. It’s sweet, funny, often quite silly, and I reckon you can hear the fact that everyone involved is having tons of fun. It’s worth listening to just to participate in the joy that went into creating it.

By Emma Clarendon

The Giant Pacific Octopus Maritime School is available to listen to by visiting: https://www.forty-fivenorth.com/the-giant-pacific-octopus-maratime-school