In November 2018, I went to a Doug Benson show in New Orleans at Cafe Istanbul. I had tweeted about my excitement the night before the show and Doug ended up mentioning my tweet on stage. He started reading my Twitter name aloud and said : “Hey wait, is your last name really Galactica?” I huffed loudly and just said: “NO.” I’m kinda delighted to say got a laugh or two from Doug and the crowd. Needless to say, I have been asked more than a few times if Samantha Galactica is my real name. In the interest of transparency and honesty to the people who have supported me, I’d like to clarify and share a few things:
My given name is Samantha Hayslip, I was born in 1987. I grew up in Lisbon, Maine. (Never heard of it? I’m not shocked.) I went to the local public schools and graduated from high school in 2005. After high school I moved to Cambridge, MA and started attending the Art Institute of Boston. I went there for about 2 years and learned about a few different types of art in a short amount of time. I studied art history, I learned about photography, I was taught how to paint in oil and how to draw. I struggled with the practicality of my decision to study art pretty much the whole time I was there. I left AIB sometime in 2008 because I thought I wanted to get into nursing school and secure a practical career. I had a crisis of thought about studying to be an artist because I couldn’t figure out how I’d make money or start a career. I didn’t have anyone mentoring me in one way or the other so I caved to the thought that I needed to choose something more practical. I started exploring nursing programs in Boston and applied to several schools. I got into exactly zero of those schools. Struggling to find a direction, I took the advice of a friend at the time and enrolled in some exploratory classes at Harvard Extension school. Harvard was in very close proximity to where I was living and working so it made sense to study there. I never declared a major and lasted 2 semesters. I wasn’t asked to come back after my grades dipped below a B- for too long. It was an interesting experience but now seems like time wasted because I didn’t pursue anything specific.
I ended up moving back to Maine in 2009. I took a job at the nursing agency that I had previously volunteered at and where my mother also worked. In 2009 I became certified as a nursing assistant and was able to work in many different areas of healthcare, including:
Somewhere around July 2017, I had decided to leave Maine and formulated a plan to move. I came to Louisiana in late August 2017 and it’s been a great choice so far. I feel grateful for the people I have met and the connections I’ve made. I can now be an artist again and it feels natural to be working in the way that I do. I’m always going to be Samantha Hayslip, but becoming Samantha Galactica has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.