For Sam Reinhart, getting accepted into the Screen Acting major at Chapman is his proudest accomplishment. Reinhart was told that no one gets to transfer into the major. “This may sound like a brag,” he said during our interview, “but I think a conversation about a proud accomplishment can’t avoid that realm.”
Reinhart requested an audition opportunity for a few months, but he was not given a date. One of his fellow applicants quit during that waiting period. But Reinhart kept trying, and the perseverance paid off. “When I finally got an audition, I was the only man, and they never contacted me about it,” he said, “I came back into the office before the next semester and asked for an update, to which they told me they were having auditions the next morning at 8 am. They had sent another student notice and not me. I prepared that night and came in, and got the call later that day that I was in, and fast-tracked into the program for the next semester, which was starting in two weeks. It was an uphill battle and until that final moment it seemed very much as though they didn’t want me, and nothing was going to go my way.”
Currently working as a self-employed writer and actor, Reinhart does what he can to keep this persevering spirit alive. When asked about what motto he would put on a t-shirt, he answered, “Everything is difficult to do if you refuse to try.”
In terms of his personal hurdle, Reinhart said he has yet to overcome his codependent nature. “I only function at peak performance if there’s someone there to support me or someone to impress. It’s not something I’m proud of, and it makes it difficult to get things done,” Reinhart said.
Reinhart’s biggest pet peeve is a lack of empathy. He thinks there are people who don’t consider those around them when they complain, make decisions, and interact. The way one carries oneself and the decisions they make in relation to the other are very important, especially to someone like him who lives off of the energy of others.
When I asked what he would choose if he had another job, Reinhart said he would pick something to do with leadership or teaching. “It’s very difficult to imagine myself not having someone in the world to pass on my knowledge, values, and loves to,” Reinhart told me, “Perhaps I could be a teacher of rock climbing, one of my other great passions, or something entirely different—I have also taught engineering and robotics. Just something with teaching and education. Something positive.”