Welcome, to Seven Questions With…
Hal Samples; enigmatic, eccentric and eclectic as you can be. He’s been the inspiration for some Lush perfumes, he has an interesting relationship with one known only as Iamesh and he’s currently editing the final version of his long-awaited documentary.
1. What are you reading at the moment?
A book called The Sixth Sense, another book called F*ck It Theory, and I’m going back and I’m reading Matt Haig’s book again; Reasons To Stay Alive. It reminds me that when you’re stacking yourself up, or things are stacking up against you, just to do it anyway.
2. Where are you currently drawing inspiration from?
I’m returning to the original things that inspired me. There’s this one movie called Dark Days. The director won a Sundance Award for it - he depicts the stories of homeless people living in New York City, underground in the train stations. It was a two year relationship and he emerged with an amazing film and he was then able to provide housing for a couple of them.
Drawing inspiration from my early tapes, too. I like to call them my Street Shamans; they’re at the place where there’s a toll in the road; a fortune cookie sized bit of wisdom, or something a little bit longer. It’s been helping me return to the source of inspiration for the film that I’m currently editing.
A mixture of other people’s documentaries and then raw tapes of my early years.
3. What are your top three reasons to be cheerful in 2017?
I think activity breeds activity. There’s plenty of other moods to be in. People could say fake it till you make it, I like to say why be so serious?
My body responds well to happiness. It’s a lot easier to be nice than it is to be mean. It’s a lot easier to be happy than it is to be mean. I practise escaping or tuning out quite a bit.
I’m also pretty quick to turn to comedies, or things that could be talking about the same heavy things but are delivering them in a light hearted way.
4. Who are the people you’re admiring the most right now?
There’s this guy that I used to wash cars with, we both shared a chammy as we washed cars for $3 an hour in 1990. And nowadays, he holds the Chairperson position for Volkswagen Motor Company. The Hendricks Group gave him millions of dollars to open up his own dealership and he’s the sole dealer, owner, proprietor of Volkswagen store in an upscale part of Dallas.
So, thinking about my story and going back, he was alongside me as I was coming up and he just kept coming up. He stayed in that industry, his dreams are coming true.
Another person who’s really inspiring is a guy called Yossi Ghinsberg. Daniel Radcliffe is finishing up taping this year a life story of Yossi Ghinsberg. Yossi was the last guy I saw when I was drinking; I saw him sitting on the edge of my bed in a hotel room in Hollywood.It was his question; Hal, what’s wrong with you? And he brought me back to Dallas, to my Grandma’s. He was finishing up writing his book In The Heart Of The Amazon, which is the inspiration for the film that Daniel Radcliffe is in.
So, he’s seeing his dreams come to fruition.
Waleed Rashed. He was part of the Arab Spring. He ran Twitter and Facebook for Egypt that helped raise the revolution that incarcerated the President and overthrew the government, in 2011. Today, he’s an entrepreneur and he’s focussed his platform to be able to give this message, which aligns with Lush’s Error 404 campaign, as well as providing other services to deliver content.
He’s released an app called VOO.
It’s just one of the several businesses he’s opened up. Of the five others that were part of the core group of that revolution; they’re all in prison. He managed to be a revolutionary and then survive all of the mess that came after, and then continue to use his voice and piece his skill sets together. He’s now an entrepreneur whilst still using his platform for giving speeches and talks about the freedom of speech and sharing the internet.
5. If there was one thing in the world you could change, what would it be?
I’m welcoming all of the stuff and I’m excited about the way that social media and the vibe has divided us, today. It takes that division to ignite the revolution. I’m excited about the mess; it’s forcing people out of their complacency, it’s making them choose or not choose to have a voice, I’m excited.
I’m excited about the wave of art that’s going to come from it and we’re going to start noticing this in films and in music where social content is going to become more popular in a way that’s going to help people come together.
6. What’s your most important life lesson?
Whatever it is, just do it anyway and that we never stop learning lessons, no matter what age we get.
7. With the Lush Summit in mind, do you have a message you’d like to leave?
Yeah, it’s not mine and it’s not Mother Teresa’s but she said it best.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
You can see full premiere Hal’s documentary at The Lush Summit on February 8th-9th, and you can read more about Hal’s collaborative efforts with Gorilla Perfumer, Simon Constantine here.