By PT Russell / November 25, 2023

Photo Credit Sam Borowski

I started my  podcast driven solely by an unction and a passion to freely give voice to expression.

 It was definitely a labor of love in the beginning. 

I say that truthfully because the very act of starting a podcast seemed daunting and intimidating in the beginning.

Initially, I considered it completely out of the realm of what I would have deemed a comfortable fit for myself as an artist


After the first podcast episode of Journaling With PT  went smashingly well for a novice, in my opinion at least.

 I decided to reach out to a gentleman who had been most accommodating  to me in the past. 

More specifically, back in 2018 when I went through the  great challenge of writing a screenplay about my brother’s murder.

Why a screenplay? 

Well that’s  just the way my brother’s story demanded to be  told and perhaps, should be told.

Sam Borowski and I are members of  the same online screenwriting community, and he  contributed  script advice quite frequently in our group.

He appeared to be approachable and brimming with knowledge.

 One day in 2018, I  sought Sam out and sent him a private message on Facebook about a rather elementary inquiry. 

In retrospect, Sam wasn’t at all phased by my badgering. Instead he reached back  out to me and most generously acquiesced all of the information  I required. 

Because of Sam’s generosity I was finally able to begin the  vomit draft of my script. 

His willingness to assist me couldn’t have come at a better time.

 During our chats at that particular  juncture, never once did Sam ever ask for anything in return ,  he always made  himself accessible. 

I remember him  telling me that if I ever needed him  that he would be there. 

 Of course, shortly thereafter my life veered into an entirely different direction,  and as a result we lost communication. 

Quantum leap to October 11, 2023, I decided to reach out to Sam Borowski once again, but this time to invite him to be a guest on my new podcast.  I knew that Sam was well versed in all things film and would speak candidly about his experience in the industry. On that  day I contacted Sam but I didn’t expect a response because it had been awhile since we last connected. I wasn’t  sure if  he even remembered our conversations.

 Like a trooper Sam responded quite enthusiastically and was excited  about recording the podcast episode.

We had many conversations after that about upcoming projects, the strikes and film. 

On the day we decided to do a  test run there were some technical difficulties causing our line of communication to be broken multiple times. 

There seemed to be a personal vendetta levied against us or the podcast. 

Sam and I plodded on despite continued interruptions even on the day of recording.

 Though the interview was riddled with sound interference, we were steadfast  in completing our session successfully.

The end result was a fantastically fulfilling memoir, punctuated by Sam’s cinematic ingenuity!


 Sam retold a story of his life as a child growing up on Staten Island, New York with a view of   the Verrazano Bridge.

It was just a few blocks away from the epochal Corleone home from  Francis Ford Coppola’s classic, The Godfather. 

He reminisced about  the walks past the landmark as a child with his family, and how it informed his interest in movies and film .

He also spoke of his maternal relation to Oscar nominated actor Danny Aiello who was also instrumental in shaping Sam’s career.

Another memory Sam shared was of   his desire to see the 1977 disco classic,  Saturday Night Fever that starred 70’s icon, John Travolta.

Below is a short excerpt from the interview in medias res.

PT: “That’s awesome!

The Corleone home, the whole deal, it sounds like a good time.”

SAM: “I always say the reason I became a writer, director. Producer  you  know, filmmaker, was actually John Travolta, because I grew up wanting to be him.

I was too young to see Saturday Night Fever in a theater, my mom wouldn’t take me, you know, it was rated R. It was a different world back then. We didn’ have the internet like we do today.

In the same way like we have an internet today where everything but they had a lot of commercials.  You  would buy the record album for a movie and we would listen to the songs and I saw the pictures , and they had commercials left and right  about the movie…” 

 So there’s no surprise that Sam’s favorite film is John Travolta’s Get Shorty, a film he dubs a ‘New Age Classic.’

Not only is it his favorite Travolta role but it’s also his most favorite film of all time, and one that influenced his interest in starting a career in film. 


Photo Credit IMBD

Sam’s short film, Mandala Maker was submitted for Academy Award consideration in the live action short category and helped to give his career a significant boost.

 Mandala Maker stars Courtney Hogan, Daniel Roebuck and  Terrence Mann.

PT: “…Speaking of accomplishments, we were talking about accomplishments earlier. your accomplishment with your short film, Mandala Maker…”

SAM: “Oh, yeah, we qualified  for the Oscars with that. that help break me out in the industry. It’s a very special memory and I really enjoyed making  that. 

It was not an easy film to make on our budget…”

Sam has directed, produced and written a number of independent short films and also full  features.  


Photo Credit IMBD

Nightclub a 2011 comedy written and produced  by Sam,  stars Academy Award  winner,  Ernest Borgnine, Zachary Abel and Natasha Lyonne. Paul Sorvino also stars as himself.

 As an independent filmmaker, Sam’s  filmography on IMBD is quite extensive.

He has filmed both shorts and features including, Rex, a film  shot on location in Georgia which stars Daniel Roebuck.


Photo Credit IMBD


Sam served as director and producer on Maniac.

 The short film is about a disturbed citizen who takes the law into his own hands, after a tragedy pushes him over the edge.

Maniac stars Paul Sorvino, David Harris and Joseph D’Onofrio.


Photo Credit IMBD

 Sam lent his talents as writer and producer to the 2014 documentary, Creature Feature 60 years of the Gill-Man.

The film chronicles the marketing, distribution and creation of 1954 monster flick, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and its subsequent sequels.

The movie is narrated by actor Keith David, and actor Benicio del Toro  also makes appearances.


 Sam continues his mentorship in the  tutelage of several  emerging actors. 

 For those willing to commit to the craft, he offers acting classes and workshops. 

SAM Borowski’s ‘So you Want to Be an Actor’ is available virtually and online.

Sam gave us a little insight into the criterion he considers for recruiting potential acting talent. See excerpt below. 

PT: “Is there something specific that you look for when you’re scouting talent?”

SAM: “You know it’s hard to pinpoint. 

I look for several things like passion for the craft. Sometimes they show you and sometimes you could just see inside someone. The eyes are the window to the soul. And you’re like  this person cares, they care about the backstory. 

That happened like with Alex. 

Kevin was so exuberant, I met him at a movie  theater. He was managing  a movie theater the Cranford theater  at the time  and a great theater by the way.  

We did a premiere for Lucky Louie the New  Jersey Premiere there and I went to go see the  last James Bond movie  with Daniel Craig. If you  haven’t seen it, it’s an incredible movie  and   you know what they did with it. It was great  No Time to Die.

So  I went in and I had a t-shirt  with like all the different Bonds on it, a black  T-shirt. It was September and shorts. And he’s like  I was dressed down and he’s like let me  guess you’re a James Bond fan. when I went to get  popcorn and we’re talking and he’s like, are you a  filmmaker and then he said I want to talk to you  more. 

I said after the movie I’ll come the… theater  was closing. I stayed in the lobby for an hour and   talked to Kevin. And he said to me I’ll lose my job. I don’t care, I want to talk to you right now cuz. I said I don’t want to get you in trouble. And right  when he said that I was like this guy is the kind of guy I would work with you know.

 Alex, I saw  her Talent immediately, but there was a passion  there you know.

In a movie when something’s not  mentioned but you have to read into it, it’s called   beneath the subtext. And I believe and this is not  nonsense that beneath the subtext of her, there was  a passion for the craft.

 You know Danny Roebuck, I  mean he’s much bigger than me I mean he helped me  

when I was younger.

He was like an older brother  to me but yeah he was a bigger name I was not  a name at that time at all, not even in the Indie  world. But you know he’s a collector of like horror  movie props and memorabilia and when you have that  kind of it’s like these are the people I want to  work with. 

Mary Dimino, she you know, she’ll ask to  go over pronunciations of things in her standup act. She’s been the host at several Film Festival  Awards and she’ll go over every name with  you, even the obvious ones.

Because she doesn’t  want to make a mistake.

She’s professional.  

I’ve often said Mary Dimino was one of  the three funniest women on the planet along with  Aubrey Plaza and Aquafina, three very funny women.

I’m a big Aubrey Plaza fan but Mary’s right there.  

…she calls me the Pitbull Buddha because she said  on set, what she says you’re like a pitbull. You’re tough you know, you’re like the toughest  director like David O Russell, but then you’re  wise in ways that a pitbull wouldn’t be. Like in  ways that the Buddha would be, you’re the Pitbull.”


Sam is a consummate professional, diligent in his trade, and his ever expanding  filmography knows no boundaries.

An excerpt from the  transcript continues below.

 PT : “So What’s in the pipeline for Sam?”

SAM: “All right so I am in development on a feature  called Stay Fresh.

I have been for a number of  years, the pandemic slowed us down and then  this injury which was real bad. 

I almost lost  my foot.

I couldn’t walk for seven months, but  I’m walking again which is great.  But between  those two things it slowed me down, but it did not  stop me. And I’m getting closer from moving from  in development to pre-production on Stay Fresh.

In the words of Chili Palmer, John Travolta, that’s  all I can say about that for now.

I am going to be doing a short called,  After the  Rain with Kevin Brodie the aforementioned Kevin  Brodie,  the aforementioned Alexander Dogette. We  have a lot of people in that one, Danny Roebuck was attached. I gotta work out of scheduling…”

In addition to his classes Sam also does script rewrites and consults on Independent films.


My experience interviewing Sam Borowski has proven to be a truly enriching one.

As an artist exploration and discovery is as intrinsic as breathing, and the medium of podcasting is another artform I’m relishing. 

It was an absolute honour to have been a student of Sam’s for an hour. 

I Look Forward to speaking with him once again on Journaling With PT after the release of his new film.

We have every faith that Sam’s wonderful gifts will continue to make room for him!


*Stanley Tucci is the name of the actor in the Devil Wears Prada, referenced by Sam in the interview.

Please  contact  Sam Borowski:

Email – 

Facebook – Sam Borowski

Instagram – @borowskisam

Interview with Sam Borowski in its entirety.

Journaling With PT Podcast

Please excuse the occasional sound interference in the recording.

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