Meet Outlook Podcast presenter Sam Smith

The client magazine Outlook has changed mediums and will now be a podcast – meet presenter and producer Sam Smith.
 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a married father of two boys, originally from Christchurch, but have lived in London, Nelson, Auckland, Dunedin, and Wellington. I originally worked as a dentist until I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2015. In 2017 I woke up one morning with severe optic neuritis meaning I have 75% vision in my right eye, and 25% in my left. Despite that I work as a comedian and TV writer, and I do the audience warm-up for lots of shows, including 7 Days, Dancing With The Stars, The Project, and Taskmaster NZ.
 

Why do you want to be the presenter of the Outlook podcast?

I’m pretty new to the vision loss game, and I’m so keen to learn more about the community. It’s so nice to get to talk to others about it – it’s healing. I love meeting and talking to new people, and this is a great way to meet others who have gone through or are going through exactly what I’ve been through.
 

What do you hope to achieve with the podcast?

I want to take the great work that the Outlook magazine was doing and build on it. I want to create a database of episodes with topics and discussions that will be a great, comforting, and easily accessible source of information for people who have been diagnosed with vision loss. I want to show them, their support people, and everyone else that you can still do amazing things when living with vision loss.
 

What would you like your listeners to know about you?

I love music! I dabble in pretty much anything. I love to sing and play guitar, bass, keys, and drums. I want to showcase blind musicians on the podcast – so if you know anyone – of any age – please email me and we’ll get them on the show.
 

What experience do you have in podcasting?

I’ve worked in radio, produced podcasts for Radio NZ, and I co-host a rugby podcast on Rova called Currently Untitled Rugby Podcast. I love the format – it’s so free and open and it’s ideal for people with vision loss to listen to on the bus.
 

Sam Smith, smiling. Why do you think it’s important to share experiences of what it is like to be blind, deafblind or have low vision?

It’s so important for everyone to have someone to confide in. And when that person is someone who has been through it too, they can empathize. It just makes the world a better place.
 

What will you bring to your style of presenting?

It’s going to be light-hearted and fun. We will deal with some serious topics, but in a playful way. I never want people to come away from an episode feeling like it’s been a drag – we are what we are so let’s celebrate that.

If you have a story about vision loss, or anything related to it, email podcast@blindlowvision.org.nz and get in touch with Sam.