Teamwork is essential. Collaboration is critical in the creative process. We all need someone’s help, and sharing ideas and learning from one another is crucial. It’s the best part of the process, working together to achieve something incredible. Art is a people-to-people process.

As a part of our series about creating a successful career in theatre, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Bruna Sampaio.

Bruna Sampaio (She/Her) is a Portuguese actress who fluently speaks English.

She’s been working across the globe taking part in productions in Portugal, United Kingdom and in the United States.

She went to London to take a BA Theatre Arts. Due to her excellent academic results and commitment, after her first year she received a scholarship to study theatre for one year at Baruch College, in New York.

In 2021, she graduated with First class Honours from Middlesex University, in London.

Her most recent work was E.G.G at Teatro LATEA which was part of the New York Theatre Festival, Nightmare Gothic at Teatro SEA with media coverage from The Sun US, Ecléctica — various forms of Art on stage — and Coordinates part of One Act Festival at Chain Theatre.

She was also seen in:

The Beauty and the Beast and The Little Prince at Centro Cultural Vila Flor, with 700 seats, in Portugal,

Arturo Ui at Ravensfield Theatre, in London,

Death Steps Back at Holloway Prison, in London where she played the leading role and much more.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in Guimarães, a charming little city nestled in the north of Portugal, which also happens to be the birthplace of the country itself. It’s hard to put into words just how magical this place is. The castle, the historical monuments, and the exquisite gastronomy all contribute to making every nook and cranny of the city feel unique and special.

For 18 years, Guimarães was my home, and it holds a special place in my heart. The sense of safety and warmth that permeated the city made it an unforgettable experience. It’s the only place that I can truly call home.

My love for performing arts started at the tender age of four when I discovered ballet. It was love at first sight, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Every year, the Royal Academy of Dance teachers assessed my progress, and I always advanced to the next level with success and recognition. This was the result of many years of hard work, effort, and dedication. Interacting with teachers from London made me even more curious about exploring the country.

Ballet was never just a hobby for me, it was a passion. It required a tremendous amount of effort and commitment. Every spare moment was dedicated to rehearsing and perfecting my movements and choreography. Daily practice was essential to ensure I was fully prepared for the annual shows and exams. This experience has played a significant role in shaping my character, influencing the way I think and interact with the world and those around me. It’s remarkable how our journeys can define us and shape us into the person we are today.

At the age of 12, I discovered another passion, theatre. It was then with 17 years that I decided to leave my country and study Theatre Arts in London.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Sure, I would love to share my story about what inspired me to pursue this specific career path. Theatre has been my passion for as long as I can remember. As a child, I used to create plays for my family during Christmas and loved to play different characters, which sparked my creativity and imagination. At the age of 12, I enrolled in theatre classes, and that’s when I discovered my true calling. Being on stage made me feel alive, fulfilled, and content. It was a transformative experience that I knew I wanted to pursue as a career. Acting became my future goal, and I was determined to make it happen.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am grateful to many people who have helped me along the way and made me who I am today. My parents have always been a strong support system for me and my brother. They wanted us to be happy and encouraged us to follow our dreams, unlike some parents who may push their children to become doctors or lawyers. My parents invested in my education and helped me achieve success in both my academic and professional life. Without their support and sacrifices, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My brother, who is 26 years old and an aeronautical engineer, is also a great source of support and advice for me. He is always there when I need his help.

I am also grateful to my dance, English, and drama teachers who believed in me and helped me along the way. My drama teacher, in particular, told my parents that I was meant to be on stage, and I have never stopped pursuing my passion for acting. Having people who believed in me gave me the strength to follow my uncertain but fascinating path.

You probably have a lot of fascinating experiences. Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

My experience performing in London for the first time was absolutely fascinating. I played a character in the play “Arturo Ui,” which follows the story of a 1930s mobster. At first, I was hesitant about playing a male character, as I wasn’t sure how to bring the character to life. Every detail of the character’s appearance, mannerisms, and speech was important, and the process was quite demanding.

But once I stopped worrying too much and allowed myself to fully embrace the role, I ended up enjoying it tremendously. In fact, it remains my favorite character portrayal to this day. It’s amazing how our opinions can change over time, and this experience taught me to never judge a book by its cover.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

It’s amazing how our perspective of things can change with time. Looking back, I realize that I’ve made some mistakes, but the funniest one was definitely related to accents — my own, in particular.

I used to believe that I would never make it in the industry if I didn’t have an American accent. I was so obsessed with this idea that I watched countless YouTube videos on pronunciation and practiced it tirelessly. While it’s true that certain roles may require a specific accent, thinking that only people with an American accent could succeed in the industry is entirely different.

Now, I’m grateful for having practiced and learned more about accents, but I’m glad that I’m no longer obsessed with it. I’ve come to realize that everyone has a unique accent that sets them apart, and that’s something to be celebrated. The industry doesn’t need more American accents; it needs a diverse range of people with different backgrounds and accents.

In the end, I wouldn’t change the fact that I practiced and learned about accents, but I’m so happy to have shifted my perspective and to embrace the differences that make us special.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

In February of this year, I participated in two science fiction plays simultaneously. “Endings” is a short play that is part of Ecléctica, a show that presents various forms of art on stage, and I played the character of Chryssie. The play is about a crew on a space expedition who discuss personal and scientific topics. Wyla envisions many scenarios about how her next encounter with Orlozz could end, and her friend Chryssie tries to assure her before Orlozz’s arrival. Wyla and Orlozz debate the technology that Wyla wants to set loose, and Wyla eventually states that she wants to begin, not end.

“Coordinates” is a short play that is part of the One Act Festival at Chain Theatre, and I played the character of Tolisa. The play is about two astronauts, Tolisa and George, who are traveling through space. They discover that the map they are using no longer makes sense, the ship’s parameters have changed, and the rest of the crew has disappeared. They decide that they need to search manually and wonder if they will find anything.

Currently, I am working on my first film project, which I’m very excited about. As someone who has always been involved in theatre and live performances, discovering the magic of the camera has been really fun.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of rejection, lack of support, or failure?

Life is short, and we only get one shot at it. So, it’s up to each of us to believe in ourselves and take action on our dreams instead of just dreaming about them. It takes courage and faith to leap forward, but there’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing our efforts come to fruition.

Rejection and failure are commonplace in this industry. We must view them as opportunities to improve rather than taking them personally. Most of the time, it’s not about our talent or our work but whether we’re the right fit for a specific character. It’s a lesson that comes with experience, and as we grow and mature, we won’t do well on the roles we didn’t get. Instead, we’ll celebrate the auditions we landed because that’s already a victory. Getting the role is just the cherry on top.

My advice is to enjoy the process and not be afraid to fail because good things don’t just happen to others. The secret is to work hard, be humble, learn from others, and never give up on your dreams. Don’t let rejection crush you, but rather focus on achieving your goals with the right tools, determination, and persistence.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in the live performance industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Live performances can induce fear and anxiety, leaving performers feeling nervous, insecure and scared. To overcome these emotions, it’s important to adopt techniques that help you control these feelings before your performance. Engaging in activities that you love can help to calm your mind and free your spirit. It could be exercising, reading, or simply taking a walk in your favorite neighborhood. Developing healthy habits is crucial for maintaining your sanity, especially in the performing arts industry.

Personally, I follow a daily routine of physical exercise and a balanced diet. I go to the gym, practice Pilates, and spend time outdoors to inhale fresh air. These habits have helped me build self-confidence, determination, and self-esteem. Mental health is a significant concern in the industry, as it affects our overall performance. Although our job is crucial, we must never forget our needs as human beings.

Thank you for all that. This is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career in Broadway, Theater or Live Performances” and why? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

Firstly, it’s essential to have Training. Investing in training from a young age and studying at a reputable university is crucial. Acting involves more than just memorizing lines, and it’s important to understand the craft. With so many methods and approaches to acting, learning about them can help you find the best path and method that suits you.

Secondly, Meditation can be beneficial. I tried it during one of my acting classes, and it made a significant difference. Knowing yourself and your limits is essential before you can develop a character. With meditation, you can discover your inner self and accept it, making your acting journey easier.

Thirdly, Movement is critical. Acting involves your physical movements and facial expressions, not just your words. It’s crucial to be comfortable with your body, and you can achieve that by taking dance classes, gym exercises, or any other physical activities. I personally found dance classes like ballet, contemporary, and jazz to be helpful.

Fourthly, having a Portfolio is necessary. Headshots, resumes, and showreels should be updated and readily available to show to anyone in the industry. A website is a great platform to showcase your work and press, and a business card can be handy for personal encounters.

Finally, Teamwork is essential. Collaboration is critical in the creative process. We all need someone’s help, and sharing ideas and learning from one another is crucial. It’s the best part of the process, working together to achieve something incredible. Art is a people-to-people process.

For the benefit of our readers, could you describe how the skill-sets you need in a theater performance are different than the skill-sets you need for TV or Film?

Script analysis, character development, and performance are all essential components of both theatre and TV or film. However, it is important to recognize the differences between them. As performers, we must comprehend the type of script and the type of performance required to deliver it effectively. Despite belonging to the same industry, there seem to be two distinct worlds, each requiring specific courses of study.

With a degree in Theatre Arts, I possess greater skills in that area than in TV or film. Theatre acting is considered the foundation of the craft, where there are no retakes. Performers must be prepared to improvise in case they forget their lines, which demands a high level of focus, discipline, and preparation. Actors also need to use their voice and body in an exaggerated way to communicate equally to the entire audience within the theatre.

In theatre, we engage closely with the audience. We witness their expressions, their eyes, and the emotions that our performance evokes in them in real-time. We have direct contact with the public. All emotions are conveyed on stage, both ours and theirs. Suddenly, it feels like everyone is a part of the play. This is a wonderful experience that only occurs in theatre.

On the other hand, in TV and film, actors must understand what the camera is capturing and doing to adjust their performance. Unlike theatre, where the audience is stationary, the camera moves and has a flexible focus. Actors must be aware of the camera’s position and what it is capturing, without looking at it directly.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to people that would be the kindness movement.

We never know what someone is going through. We all have our problems and it’s not because we are not shouting them that we don’t have them. We should always treat others the way we want to be treated.

So please be aware of that and spread your kindness. The world would be a better and happy place.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One “Life Lesson Quote” that I appreciate is “Never stop learning!” This lesson has opened many doors for me in the industry. Although I’m an actress, I have also learned about backstage roles such as lighting, sound, costumes, and front-of-house positions. Understanding these aspects has granted me access to theatres, which ultimately led me to the big stage and the opportunity to perform.

Having knowledge is critical. It’s essential to learn as much as you can because you never know when you might need it in the future.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

There are many people in the entertainment industry whom I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, but if I could choose only one, it would be Selena Gomez. She has been my number one inspiration for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching her thrive in the entertainment industry, and she inspires me every day to not only grow as an artist, but also as a human being. She sets the perfect example of what a good human being should be: kind and respectful. You don’t have to step on others to succeed; kindness is always the answer!

How can our readers continue to follow your work online?

You can keep up with my work by visiting my website at or by following my daily journey on Instagram at @brunalisasampaio.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.