Introduce Yourself! (Name, What Union County Town you live in, and Tell us a little about yourself)
Hi there, my name is Samantha Simpson. I currently live in Plainfield with my husband and our baby boy, Jackson. I am an actress, coach, choreographer, Rotarian, and small business owner who loves working hard, meeting new people and building relationships. When I was a little girl I told my grandmother that I wanted to own a performing arts school and even sketched the “blue print”. That dream is now my reality. A few of my favorite things: my daily phone calls with my parents, my twin brother, my amazing girlfriends, my black cats Willow and Abel, good coffee, naps, and a killer red lipstick.
How old is your son?
My sweet and spicy little boy, Jackson is just about to turn 8 months.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Union County?
I’m originally from Metuchen. My husband and I rented our first apartment together right outside of downtown Summit. We were there for two years and loved every second of it. Our hangout was the Beacon Hill Tavern which is no longer there unfortunately. The BEST blue cheese burger ever! If you know, you know. We currently have a home in the historical district of Plainfield and have been here for 5 years now. We fell in love with the history, charm, and diversity of the area. It’s a lovely little gem.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
When people ask what I do I often say that I “build confidence”. I’m the Owner/Artistic Director of Theatrical Artist’s Prep in downtown Scotch Plains. We are a full service performing arts studio designed to train and assist performers of all ages and skill levels (Youth & Adults). We offer a variety of classes and private lessons in On-Camera, Theater, Dance, Acting and Voice, as well as career guidance, and self-tape audition & college prescreen coaching and filming. We also host workshops and masterclasses in various areas of study led by industry professionals. All T.A.P. instructors are working or retired professionals including myself, a proud SAG-AFTRA and AEA union member for 20+ years. With an emphasis on community service, T.A.P. has held countless clothing, food, and toy drives as well as raised thousands of dollars for charitable organizations. I’m also the resident choreographer for the award winning, Westfield High School Theatre Department (12+ years). My greatest honor and thrill is getting to teach students and watch them grow into beautiful and confident young performers and individuals.
Click here to view the class schedule for the fall!
Favorite things to do in town/Union County?
Scotch Plains has some really nice town events throughout the year that we enjoy attending. The farmers market and the holiday celebration/tree lighting are two of our favorites. We’re also lucky to have wonderful theaters that put on fabulous plays and musicals featuring local talent: Union County Performing Arts Center, Cranford Dramatic Club, and The Summit Playhouse.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Oh, there are so many to choose from! Jessica’s Cafe in Plainfield is an unassuming BYOB with wonderful food. When on the menu, the stuffed rice balls and warm crab meat wild mushroom crepe are two must haves. We’re also big fans of Vicki’s Diner in Westfield. The owner is a great guy.
What is the best advice you have been given about parenting or life in general?
The best parenting advice I received came from my mom and MIL who told me to always be gracious and listen to those who want to share their personal experience and offer advice but to ultimately trust my gut and to remember that every baby is different and everyone’s life and circumstances are different. A mommy friend also reminded me to take care of myself, that a stable and content mother is what is most important and what my son needs to thrive. Another kick butt piece of advice came from my fertility doctor who told me to avoid looking every little thing up on the internet. These are what have stood out to me the most and I think what have kept me sane during the most challenging times.
What are your parenting goals?
My goal as a parent is to raise a confident and happy child. I hope to encourage empathy and respect for others as well as a ‘less is more’ mindset. I hope my son learns to love and embrace experiences over material things and finds happiness in the little things in life.
Tell us the song or artists that put you in a good mood! What song to clean to? ��
I have a few go-to artists depending on my mood. Cast recordings of Broadway shows are an obvious, Billy Joel is always a must in our household, Missy Elliot when I’m feeling nostalgic, and my son is really loving the crooner essential playlist on apple music. The kid digs Dean Martin.
What is the go to piece of clothing in your wardrobe that you CANNOT live without?
I’m embarrassed to say but at the moment my robe is saving me! Not super fashionable but my son is the spit-up king and throwing on my robe at least prevents me from having to change my clothes 2 or 3 times before leaving the house. Honestly though, I love and appreciate the versatility of a good ripped jean. I can dress them up or down and be as lax or sassy as I want wearing them.
Best Show/Series You Are Currently Watching or Just Watched?
My husband and I are obsessed with ‘Yellowjackets’ on Showtime. It’s a crazy, Lord of the Flies vibe and Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis are really fantastic in their twisted characters. We also just started ‘House of the Dragon’ which we’re excited about.
Favorite Book You’ve Read in the Last Few Years?
I really enjoy feel good, quick reads that I can pick back up with ease if I get pulled away for awhile. Oprah Winfrey’s ‘What I Know For Sure,’ and ‘The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations’ are two favs. I especially love the material of the cover and quality of the paper. They’re beautiful to the touch and the perfect book to read all curled up with a blanket and a cup of tea.
We love supporting local businesses. Can you please share your favorite places in your area!
My husband and I really make it a point to support good people. Here are a few of our favorites:
Rosie’s Wine Bar (Garwood) – I used to bartend/serve there for years and I just adore the owner, Josh and the staff.
Schieferstein Farm (Clark) – Fresh produce and flowers.
Fantasy Affairs Lifestyle (Plainfield) – Cute spot for gifts.
John’s Meat Market (Scotch Plains) – Just the best.
Coffee Box (Rahway) – Awesome little coffee shop right in downtown. The owner features local artists in the community.
Chisel & Loom (Chatham) – My husband’s new business endeavor. Reclaimed flooring, cladding, beams, and other custom interior finishes. Coming this Fall!