Moving Stories with MAYA SAMAHA

"Feeling connected to others, collective healing, shared energy, it’s all changing the world everyday."


Portrait of Maya Samaha non-binary model, black queer, artist, actor, dancer.

THE STORY


Profession:

Model, Movement Director/Coach, Actress & Artist


Current Location:

New York & Los Angeles


Early Career:

I grew up in my mom’s ballet studio. Everything I know about movement and expression started with dance. I’ve always been immersed in art, with influence from my mom and the women in my family. Music, choreography, painting, photography, all were a part of my life early on so I knew my purpose and path at a young age.


Maya Samaha grew up in her mom’s ballet studio.

Current Works:

Right now I am in New York building momentum in this amazing city! I am starting a Self Tape Deep Dive online course which is exciting. I am also doing private movement coaching for models and actors in need of getting comfortable in front of the camera, on the red carpet, stage, auditions, etc. Exploring my role behind the camera this year has been so fulfilling, I really enjoy it.


People/Brands/Companies/Organizations you have worked with:

It’s a long list but I will name some I’ve loved working with recently: Milk Cosmetics, Nike, Lulu Lemon, YSL, Google.



The work you are the most proud of:

The music video I directed & produced for Aliek called “Pillow Talk”. This was the biggest personal project & story I had the honor of telling. It’s a queer story, and a powerful one that taught me and our entire team a lot. This was the first project I felt extremely proud of, and executed exactly the way I envisioned from start to finish with the most incredible team. It’s been the most meaningful thing I’ve been a part of, and gave me the confidence and fearlessness to know I am capable of powerful storytelling.



THE Qu & A


What are 3 relevant problems that you wish to solve through your work?

What are 3 values that you wish to mediate through your work?


I want to encourage all creatives that they can pursue their dreams fully with no fear.

I want to challenge the gender binary and how people perceive each other.

I want to create safety for others to be their authentic selves, no matter what room they are in, and to teach others how to feel confident and safe in their bodies to express themselves both in front of the camera, and in their day to day life.



GENESIS, Gateway


Why do you create?

I create to express feeling, purpose, energy, and to connect.


How do you create?

Through many forms of expression…movement, poetry, art, words, clothing, and collaborating with other artists with shared values.


What do you live for?

Food, Women, Freedom, Laughter


How do you live?

Like a queen!!


Maya Samaha - dancer, street fashion, tank top, tomboy.

The Conversation

Maya Samaha answers questions raised by Creatives from all around the world posed in our #ASK Campaign


How can art heal people/ are the artists healers of the world?

Question asked by Rachel van der Nacht, Visual Artist & Creative Director, NYC


Artists are my superheros. Art brings us all together. We collectively feel, and for us to express those feelings and share that with each other through art is the power of connection and ultimately love. Feeling connected to others, collective healing, shared energy, it’s all changing the world everyday.



We usually reference the past in our creativity. What trends, references, etc. from the current situation can you imagine seeing in the future?

Question asked by Marcus Petaccia, Makeup Artist, Sidney

I really love how queer people have been and are continuing to challenge fashion and what we believe people should wear based on their gender. I do love where the modeling industry is going. It’s great that everything that once was the standard for beauty is being challenged. We have people of all demographics making waves in the fashion and entertainment industry which is how it should be.



Are words more important now than ever?

Question asked by Bosco Shane, Artist & Writer, London


Yes, words have always been important. What we say to each other and ourselves matters, and we all need to be conscious of that. Speaking positively to yourself can rewire your whole system for better, and the same effect can happen if you speak to yourself negatively. What we say to others can impact them for the rest of their lives. I think we would be a lot more careful & intentional if we were actively keeping that in mind.



This interview contributes to a new media format, where Creatives are in full control of their narratives. By exploring alternatives to narrative journalism, GAHSP starts unconventional conversations, emphasizing values and problems that shape our lives collectively.


Written and Edited by Julia Horvath

Image Courtesy of Maya Samaha