Samantha Goldberg was recently interviewed by TheCelebrity.Online Magazine and below is the Q&A session we had with her.
Samantha Goldberg As Cover Story – October 2023 Edition
How do you introduce yourself?
That is a great question! My name is Samantha Goldberg. I am a Television Personality, Celebrity Spokesperson, Brand Ambassador, Actress, Celebrity Wedding Planner/Designer, Columnist, Contributing Editor Lifestyle Content and….Live Media Host! Some may know me as “Sassi Sam” based on my direct persona in the media and in reality television situations. I never knew what the word “Sassy” really meant until I received this name! I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am Sassy- but more sarcastic…
I have been a part of so many amazing opportunities. Being one of the pioneers in reality television was most teaching and yet amazing…it didn’t define me, however, it was a great beginning to the many great things ahead! I thought of using my platform as a tool to teach people that love to plan events and don’t have the same thought process as a planner. How to splurge or save, what the newest trends are, how to design your home on a dime and much more. This was just the beginning of the platform which I can proudly focus on today! I can speak on many genres and that opens the doors to so much more!!
Childhood to Adulthood – How was your transition from childhood to adulthood and what are the bad and good things you remember?
My transition from childhood to adult should be “Adult to Childhood”!! Ha! I had very few options when I was a child to be a child. My mom was a successful single mother. She was a true beauty and we didn’t see her very often. I grew up in Chicago for most of my life and we had to learn independence quicker than a typical home in the suburbs. It was hard not being able to be a kid and always thinking of ways to find what I was missing in life elsewhere. I was very very lucky to have a family that was there to pick up the pieces when my mom was not available. Mainly, my grandfather, aka “Grumpy” (we named him Grumpy as we couldn’t pronounce grandpa at a young age. It stuck with the family)) My mom/dad got divorced when I was only 2.5 years old. It was ugly and there were periods of time when I did see my dad for long stretches due to my mom and dads dysfunctional relationship.
My sister and I had great grandparents, great “great” grandparents and aunts, uncles etc that loved us like we were their own children. We are so lucky that we were able to be around for grandparents of different generations. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without them. My grandmother on my mother’s side was partially responsible for me being on television as she was also a celebrity during her time here on earth. She loved to sing and dance in addition to modeling.
I was more like a singing comedian- quirky who was busted for making people laugh in school- Let’s say I needed that desk in the hallway…The teachers didn’t dislike me, they could not focus on teaching if I made them laugh. That’s the funny truth. How do you get mad when someone makes you laugh? They had no clue what to do with me. My sense of humor just became bigger and bigger! This was how I survived my home life…”Laughing is good medicine” my grandmother would tell me… I survived a bad childhood by using laughter. Each day living in my home was a new adventure, we didn’t know when things would blow up in the house. To live in fear you have 2 choices, you grow up fast and focus on those who are supportive or you curl up in a ball in your closet and wish this would end soon. I chose the first option. I wanted to SURVIVE.
This thought process made things a little easier during hard times at home. The support I received was probably better and more realistic than growing up in a household where a parent was there, However, my sister and I did suffer in many ways from not having a traditional childhood. Feeling loved and being loved were questions we had for most of our childhood. Today, we know the difference but the memories don’t just fade- You always have to work on yourself so despite what you thought as a child, you have to improve yourself everyday.
I feel like this opened the doors to what the possibilities could be or would be when I was old enough to leave home so I could start a different life. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my family, but I knew leaving home at an age right after college was going to be a challenge, but for me a total necessity. I think if I would have stayed home, I don’t think I would be participating in this interview!!
The best take away from not having a childhood, was to enjoy my life in whatever way that’s available today. I am a child that has grown in age and knowledge but not yet caught up in the process of being an adult if that makes sense. Everyone should visit that child with-in, it brings so much to light with the big things vs the small things in life!
Struggle – What hardships have you gone through in life?
Don’t we always have something in life which would be considered a hardship? Some are just bigger than others. I have had many hardships not just with my childhood, but also in my adult life. I married later in life as I wasn’t sure what I wanted in a partner. We had a decent loving marriage until we moved to the east coast. New Jersey was first… Until NJ, I had lived in buildings in the city, no houses- the lifestyle is so different! We moved into a big house, with lots of land in a semi- private cul de sac . I had NO idea what was in store! I left Chicago 7 months pregnant, left my career in the professional beauty and fashion world, left my family and friends…that was SCARY! I had no idea what I would be doing raising a child in a neighborhood where I knew no one. I had to start over! I was never scared about starting over as I LOVE change…but this was definitely different. The people, culture etc- Wayyyy different than Chicago!
I first dealt with a challenge with my daughter being born with a Cavernous Hemangioma. it was growing at rates which got in the way of her feeding etc. It didn’t take long, maybe 3 months, before she underwent lip and mouth surgery. All we knew was this was a benign tumor growing at rates which made things hard for her to smile, eat etc. My husband and I at the time were a mess. I just remember asking him what if she doesn’t awaken from this surgery? We were trying to get this fixed much like a cleft lip before she started school etc. children and people can be cruel and stare…I know this caused some form of trauma to her even today. It stressed me beyond anything I could imagine. She is my 1st and only child, I wanted her to have the best life possible without people questioning her. I will never know the extent of what it caused for her, I only know how I felt during it all, I just prayed for her to have a better life than me…We just had different issues- I was with scars on the inside, she would be scarred on the outside. i know today we made the best decision for her. People are so hard on themselves aesthetically, the public is much more opinionated and worse.
I then became sick 3 years after my daughter was born…I went to so many doctors for this ‘Phantom ‘ stomach illness that people, mainly doctors, convinced me it was all in my head. I had a stomach disorder that no one could help me with. They began to doubt me- writing things about me that made it much harder to get help. I don’t even want to share what was said, It hurt me and caused me more distress. It made it unbearable to deal with a disease that had no name? It didn’t help my marriage. it took valuable everyday things away from my daughter. I still to this day don’t feel that she understands what really happened to me. It was a period of time where I knew after a while, I had to sink or swim- again, I chose to swim. That opened many new doors despite how horrible I felt and how alone I felt. Work was blossoming at levels I cannot believe the things I did- all successful game changing career opps that made me wonder even at my worst how did I get these??? I made sure to find energy to do this work even if it caused problems for me. It was the only thing I could control. Sometimes in life those special opportunities can be life changing and they absolutely were. Do I have regrets? No. I grew up and out! Those opportunities taught me, I can control many things in my life despite the challenges. i have been in remission for a disease ‘ Gastroparesis”, where it is complete “H-LL” everyday sometimes every other day, —-It’s been almost 5 years now since I have needed medical assistance. People can die from this disorder and it’s so misunderstood. It takes everything away from you- I took this issue and I worked very hard to ensure that would not be my life going forward. I had a daughter that I knew needed me. I didn’t want to not be present for her… I tried all kinds of natural options until I found doctors that manage this differently. They saved my life…and my career also saved my life.
What do people usually not know about you?
I think for many I can be an enigma. I don’t act unapproachable as I LOVE being around people. I love sometimes too hard- and I am VERY soft spoken!! My closer friends know this all too well. I may come off as an alpha female but I am hard to understand for many! I can also cook!! I know I tell America I am not domestic by any standards… that’s not really true, I can cook and I am actually really good at it. However, cooking for one, I feel sometimes “DoorDash” is my saving grace. Would you believe I try to stay calorie conscious and order the kids meals? I cannot even finish those.
Work wise…Many people look at my career one of two ways, I am a Celebrity Wedding Planner worldwide… or a Reality Television Personality. They don’t know, I have been working the red carpets during the Academy Awards for years! I had my own column for 7 years in one of the tri-states most read newspaper ” Star Ledger” which is part of the ‘Ledger family”. I was a contributing editor for a Conde Nast publication “Bridal Guide” for numerous years! I’ve had 5 of my own shows including a talk show which by “Neilson’s standards of rating beat out “Chelsea Late Night” and Samantha B…My 2nd show! They put a box on it for ratings… At the time in 2014-2016 only 2 other women had late night shows! My viewers did not disappoint and I was #1 during this time frame after my 2nd episode!
I have appeared in hundreds/+++ episodes on HLN/CNN, Good Morning America, Better Homes, CNBC, CBS, NBC, Peacock, WGN, ABC, Fox and Friends, GMA, Now, Today Show and so many others. you may recognize me as the “Party Gal” How you can party in any capacity for less! I am hoping this will continue in the years ahead! I am also featured in all kinds of media on a regular basis, usually monthly giving advice for events, hosting and television!! I love sharing knowledge I truly do!
I started young working on camera…whether it was at 3 years old with my mom during a “Dodge Car” commercial, Miss IL/ Miss America in 1989, I’ve Modeled for OP swimwear, Marshall Fields and more!
The camera and I just worked well together and the opportunities have always become much bigger as I gained more experience!
When I speak of honor…Being the Celebrity Spokesperson for Hilton Brand of Hotels beginning in 2009 was amazing! I remember thinking this call was a joke. I was noted with presence on television for maybe 4 years at the time, I remember asking their PR agency, why me? They said I was 1 of 3 Celebrities they wanted…That was when I finally realized, I guess that is me…i never called myself ‘Celebrity” anything…I thought, I am only on TV and it’s not even scripted. I never found out who the other contenders were but I was beyond excited and maybe a little nervous. It was a great experience and I love the Hilton Brand dearly. It definitely did not hurt my career…it just kept going.
I am not Paris Hilton, but our relationship caused tremendous growth in a short time! In addition and around the same time as Hilton, I was asked by Party City to be their “Celebrity Spokesperson and Celebrations expert”. Working on new trends and getting exposure was so exciting. I learned so much about retail and being the brand. Since these opportunities, I am offered brand ambassador and spokesperson positions almost monthly! I LOVE helping brands expand. It’s a gift I was born with and it truly brings me great joy to be needed in that capacity! My commercials with Party City are still getting great reviews!
During all of this excitement, I was asked to be Bloomingdale’s Celebrity Spokesperson for their wedding and events registries dept. I would travel to stores in the US mainly flagships and would speak on behalf of brands and share decor ideas for the home!
I know this probably seems like a lot at once…omg…it was overwhelmingly amazing!!! It was crazy but i wanted to enjoy all of it! I never said no…
I also absolutely LOVE working with charities that assist in helping children go to college!! I was a Celebrity Spokesperson for “United Way’s Night of Miracles Gala” . It was amazing and we did so well!! I love animals and being a headliner with “St Hubert’s” was the icing on the cake. Especially during hurricane Katrina. I was able to assist them with not only getting more vehicles to rescue dogs, but enough was raised during our events to build another shelter!
How rewarding to be somewhat responsible for helping others??? What a high! The best was being a Celebrity Spokesperson for the Caribbean! Yes, for 32 countries on the American side. My job was to increase the amount of travel, especially those who wanted destination events/weddings. The organization was called CTO…I was on the board for a short time and met so many great people.I also was able to visit these beautiful countries. I never felt more accepted and well received. Again, I asked myself..but I am just a gal on T.V. who shares her weddings for people to watch and get ideas…
The best opportunity was being one of the first organizations for assisting those who want to marry the ones they love before passing or being deployed with no finances. I started my own non-profit ‘Dream Team” weddings back in 2005. I still to this day have teams in over 34 states! I have worked with plural presidents in the United States that without any hesitation helped me grant beautiful days for such a beautiful grouping of people. Yep, you heard it, I have worked on events with a specific president for several years… I never share and hence why these things are possible. Sometimes, those who help like to remain silent- Just like I have by not sharing who I work with publicly unless given that permission. Sometimes being silenced is not a bad thing. Look at all of the people we helped? I work with many different forms of celebrities and that is another reason why I keep things to myself- Some things are better left unsaid…
What sets you apart from your competitors in the industry and in life?
In the events industry you definitely need qualities and knowledge which make you different. One would need to be open to anything and lastly, there is no such thing as impossible. If I was going to be different, these are the skills I have been working on since over 3 decades ago.
Firstly, I have strived to be my own person since childhood. I am nowhere near normal and honestly, I don’t want to be normal- I want something bigger… Competition- keeps me on my toes and yet, do I really have competition if I am ONLY trying to sell me? I don’t think this thought process is typical for most. I think that it most certainly sets me apart. I am not looking to steal or compete, I want to be known for what I do best or how I contribute content to those who need it. My persona is also not typical when I am interviewing or being interviewed, I share more of my personality along with my stories as I want to be understood and not misunderstood and without knowing me, you might sometimes misunderstand my motives.
I know I am a “Character” in my field and that is what sets me apart from the typical world of events- or other T.V. personalities. Characters make waves I know I have!!…That is why competition sometimes is not applicable. In my outside work life, I might be the person with a bigger personality but be soft spoken at the same time and it does work. Loud enough to be heard, soft enough to understand.
What are your upcoming major events?
I am working on so many things right now. Sadly with the strike which was necessary, many projects are on hold! I am in the process of planning some Academy Award parties…We are currently working on a project with much support for humanitarian efforts and veterans celebrating in “Hollywood”. We are working with the Veterans of America staff to showcase the true veterans of the United States…and also have worked in Hollywood! I have a great team on this project which will be showcased live. I cannot share network information at this time. I hope I will be able to showcase this soon!
I have several film projects where I am producing, but also making cameos. “Sinister City” a published book currently on tour by Matthew Campbell. he is also an accomplished Actor. We are working on a reality series about the tour. I look forward to hosting this one! Just read the name, it will give you an idea about the book! Here’s a hint…”Las Vegas Lifestyle” and behind the scenes….GREAT READ on amazon! I have many others, they are still in production and sadly, I cannot share them at this time. The strike hasn’t been super fun…too many rules and not enough support for the industry and people who make it work every day!
I also tend to be a regularly used celebrity brand ambassador of major brands and have some national opportunities yet again with health food items and skin care!! I cannot wait to share what’s ahead!
What are your food preferences and physical attributes?
Food preferences? That’s a scary open ended question! I LOVE FOOD. I am a typical “foodie”. I love most foods that do not require a fan or washcloth while I am eating. Too spicy doesn’t work for me! Sadly, that stomach issue I have doesn’t give much space between somewhat spicy and OMG I need a firetruck now! I would say I prefer to eat food that agrees at minimum with my stomach…The rest and other issues it may cause, I may not have strong will power around Krispy Kreme Donuts, BUT, I haven’t let it affect me yet!
My physical attributes I try my best to stay looking young! I am told on a regular basis girls half my age are next to me on the red carpet interviewing…i say, they look very similar to me 🙂 Depending on the angle, if you want to use my age as an excuse, find another reason. I take very good care of my body, hair and skin- I use Korean skin care as honestly, it’s the best I have found! I am known for my eyes, smile and ‘I cannot hide anything emotional via my face”…Physical attributes are subjective in my world. I try to be as independent when it comes to makeup trends and hair… I am known for my hair probably almost as much as I am known for my abilities on television! I worked in the professional beauty and fashion world starting at 16! I think my smile and eyes have not hurt me!!
Your love life, relationships and family?
Right now I am dating. I was married for a long time and had one daughter, Sydney. She’s amazing and in college! I am so proud of her and her accomplishments thus far. it’s hard to allow your children to leave for school or their first apartment. You miss their essence and I really do miss her! My family is spread around the US, but I do my best to stay in contact as much as possible. I think family is important regardless if you have been born into it, or chose it on your own!
What expert advice would you like to give?
Taking advice in this industry is always valuable! Even if you don’t think it is. I have learned so much from so many sources. My first snippet of advice would be ” Stay Open to Learning”. One thing I have practiced for decades is to be open to what you don’t know or what you could/should be doing to prepare for later! You might be doing well today, tomorrow and maybe next week, but things change every minute in the world of television and Hollywood. You need to remain awake so that you are always ahead of what you may not know! I have always been told by a good friend who was photographed more than most actors today! “Vinnie Vella Sr.” ( RIP my friend) ‘ If you choose to stop learning, your career is pretty much over”. Vinnie is one of the bad men from Sopranos or Casino to name a few… He is 100% right! Thank you to my wise friend who still inspires me today.
It’s important to know who YOU are. I am constantly trying to renew things about me as I want to be a source for what people cannot find. i don’t want to repeat after someone more accomplished…i aspire to do those things, i also aspire to do more. It’s OK if people think you’re crazy for the challenges you choose to take on. If you feel strongly about this adventure, the world and their opinions don’t matter. DON’T EVER allow someone to steal your passion! That is what Hollywood looks for everyday!
Lastly, learn to be comfortable in your shoes. Confidence is important, knowledge is equally important. However, if you cannot be you and be comfortable with that, you shouldn’t be working in this field. it’s hard work to “make It” and confidence needs to be there. Otherwise, how are you any different than the typical?
Your social media handles and website links?