Last Cut Conversations With Samantha Paige



Ever felt like a stranger in your own life? Artist Samantha Paige, the creator of Last Cut, did for far too long. It wasn't until she began deep, vulnerable self-inquiry and actively listened to the answers that her life began to change. A young adult cancer survivor and BRCA previvor, who suffered from PTSD and debilitating panic attacks, she finally started making the significant decisions, or last cuts, that made her feel as if her life were her own again. With this new way of being, she began to experience more wellness, happiness and freedom than ever before. Last cut conversations is a series of real talk with others about what they believe in most and how they too have created a life that feels like their own. Freedom, as a word and concept, is still very much on the table for so many and the question of what it means to each of us is the theme of Season 2. This season features engaging dialogue with artists, activists, nature lovers, survivors, change makers and other brave and bold human beings, sharing the ways we each create a life that feels like our own (what we move towards and what we let go of in the process) and the (inner/outer) freedom found along the way. Every Monday, Samantha will share a new episode with an inspirational guest, bravely sharing their last cut stories.


  • S02.20: Eliza Hope Duran & Juno Ishida: Dismantling the Gender Binary

    30/10/2018 Duração: 01h04min

    Last May, Juno Ishida and Eliza Hope Duran joined Samantha Paige for an honest conversation about living beyond the construct of a gender binary. In this special episode, Juno, a trans male university student, and Eliza, a gender fluid prize-winning poet, share their views about the boxes that society places us in around our bodies, gender and sexuality. They highlight what it means to navigate life beyond the gender binary and add insight and perspective to the experience of expressing one’s identity in a manner that lines up who we are on the inside with who we are out in the world. This powerful discussion touches upon what it means to lead an authentic life, how we take care of ourselves and ask for needed support in the face of judgement and how we find inner strength and connection when external, societal beliefs can make us internalize doubt and unworthiness.   In light of the recent leak of President Trump’s memo regarding his administration’s plans to narrowly define gender as a biological, immutable

  • S02.19: Samantha Paige & Lisa Field: Reflections on another powerful season

    03/12/2017 Duração: 46min

    Samantha Paige and Last Cut Photographer Lisa Field reflect on the second season of Last Cut Conversations. They discuss the universal threads shared across the many diverse conversations, and the notable moments that made a lasting impression as well. Each Last Cut Conversation continues to be unique and powerful in its own way, but each season also organically presents lessons that relate to us all. This season’s overarching theme was freedom, which was clearly defined by each guest uniquely and beautifully. These conversations highlighted the power of voice, creativity and vision in the healing process and as a means of activism and service in the world. We covered many powerful stories of trauma, loss and change, as well as our innate ability to overcome and inspire through our personal growth. Samantha and Lisa's conversation reminds us that while each of our stories differs in detail, we connect beyond the particulars through our humanity and common desires for love, connection and community.

  • S02.18: Zoe Buckman: A Beautiful Intersection of Art and Activism

    27/11/2017 Duração: 40min

    Zoe Buckman is a multi-disciplinary visual artist, activist and mother. Originally from East London, she now lives and works in New York. Buckman powerfully weaves together art and activism into pieces that draw viewers in with aesthetically pleasing beauty, while offering an undercurrent that inspires deeper contemplation on political issues. Buckman speaks to the process of transforming what she sees happening in the world around her into thought-provoking works of art. With creations such as “Let Her Rave,” “Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable” and “Every Curve,” her work beautifully weaves together the feminine with the fierce, sparking conversation around feminism, mortality and equality. Buckman shares how her activism informs her art and how both inform her parenting of her young daughter. After admiring Zoe Buckman’s work for years, Samantha Paige was excited to sit down with her to talk about art, activism, the shared experience of mothering daughters in this moment in time and the power of last cuts to w

  • S02.17: Pidgeon Pagonis: Unraveling the lies, myths and trauma around growing up Intersex

    20/11/2017 Duração: 01h09min

    Samantha Paige first heard of Pidgeon Pagonis’ powerful story of growing up Intersex through a video clip produced by Human Rights Watch. Paige wanted to learn more about Pagonis’ experience of discovering they were Intersex at age 19 and the subsequent deconstruction of a believed identity, gender and (false) cancer diagnosis. In this raw, vulnerable episode, Pagonis discusses a childhood defined by a struggle to conform to a familial and societal definition of “normal.” They had been told a believed, yet constructed story of a childhood cancer diagnosis, built around the notable differences in their body and development as well as the scars on their body. It was not until Pagonis attended an advanced psychology class in college where Intersex was outlined that they discovered they had actually been born with the very condition being taught. Pagonis underwent three medically unnecessary surgeries at age 1, 4 and 11, as well as years of traumatizing interactions with the medical world. They share here about t

  • S02.16: Kyle Knight: Exposing Medically Unnecessary Surgeries on Intersex Children in the US

    13/11/2017 Duração: 01h18s

    Kyle Knight is a researcher in the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch in New York City. A former media journalist who chose to do reporting work with more policy follow through and impact, Kyle is a brilliant motivator for change. Samantha Paige sat down with Knight to discuss the details of his most recent Human Rights Watch report entitled, “I Want to be Like Nature Made Me: Medically Unnecessary Surgeries on Intersex Children in the US.” Written in partnership with interACT, an organization that advocates for the human rights of children born with intersex traits, this detailed report documents the medically unnecessary surgeries done on many intersex children, who make up close to 2% of the US population. Intersex people are born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. Knight eloquently outlines the unethical treatment of many intersex patients, the lasting psychological and physical effects of these unnecessary surgeries and t

  • S02.15: Lily Mandelbaum & Elisa Goodkind: The Mother-Daughter Duo behind the Style Like U Self-Acceptance Revolution

    06/11/2017 Duração: 59min

    Samantha Paige met Lily Mandelbaum and Elisa Goodkind, the creators of Style Like U, at their “True Style is What’s Underneath: The Self-Acceptance Revolution” book signing in Los Angeles. Just weeks later, Lily and Elisa interviewed Paige for their Dispelling Beauty Myths video series with Allure magazine in New York. In this interview, Paige was excited to switch roles and ask the mother-daughter duo powerful questions about their lives. They touch upon life before Style Like U, the last cuts they made to step into this creative endeavor, where they find inspiration for and connection to their work and how they stay open and vulnerable to and during this transformative process. These two women share eloquently and openly about the importance of redefining individuality, the value of staying true to oneself in spite of society’s homogenizing messages and the deep connection all beings share. In the same vulnerable spirit of the intimate docu-style video portraits of Style Like U, Mandelbaum and Goodkind open

  • S02.14: Melinda Alexander: The Life Lessons We Aren’t Taught in School

    30/10/2017 Duração: 01h12min

    “I am always refining my truths, and my truths are always changing.” Melinda Alexander Melinda Alexander, aka Mumu Mansion, sat down with Samantha Paige to speak about love, self-healing, parenting and the gift of learning from life’s most challenging moments. Melinda is an all-around lover, mother, healer and social activist who does women’s work in many forms to heal herself and others. She is dedicated to learning from the internal and external conversation about life, vulnerably and boldly welcoming thousands on her own personal journey. Following the birth of her son and a painful divorce, she revolutionized her life and created a broad platform to show the possibilities born with the willingness to learn from what is not working. Melinda proved to herself that she had the power within to work through anything if she stayed open to extracting the information, and thereby evolution, found in even the most difficult moments. This candid conversation touches upon love, healing, parenthood, race, divorce, tr

  • S02.13: Charlie Linville: Mind over Matter to the Summit

    23/10/2017 Duração: 01h05min

    “You are what you can mentally achieve, not what you perceive your body capable of.” Charlie Linville Samantha Paige sits down with her friend and inspiration, Charlie Linville, to talk about life-changing last cuts, overcoming trauma, perseverance, adventure and inspiration on the other side of pain. In 2011, while in Afghanistan, Charlie, an ex-Marine Sergeant, was injured on a mission to dismantle improvised explosive devices (IED’s) as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician. After 14 surgeries over 18 months, his injured foot was not healing. Charlie made the ultimate last cut by proactively deciding to amputate his right leg below the knee. Soon after that decision, he committed to training with The Heroes Project and became the first combat wounded amputee to climb Mt. Everest in 2016. Their first attempt was canceled after an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas in 2014. In 2015, the second effort was abandoned when Nepal was devastated by a huge earthquake. Charlie’s combined strength and humility hav

  • S02.12: Mia Sabel: Stitching Together a Meaningful Life

    16/10/2017 Duração: 01h24min

    Samantha Paige sat down with bespoke leather worker and qualified saddler, Mia Sabel of Sabel Saddlery, in her East London studio. The two talked about how one creates a life that feels like one’s own and the freedom found on the other side of our biggest last cuts. Sabel shares her journey from an existence ruled by an overpowering corporate job with no time or space for loved ones, nature or connection to a more balanced life filled with creativity, horse riding, travel and solid relationships. Speaking to the power of the significant decisions, or the last cuts, we make in life, Sabel illuminates the idea that change is most powerful when we elect it, rather than when we react to the things happening to or around us. She honestly and vulnerably speaks to the darkness that can occur when we are disconnected from ourselves and the bravery required to leap from a known state of being to a new one.   For more information on Mia Sabel’s beautiful custom leather work and workshops, please visit

  • S02.11: Lily Parrott and Laura Stahnke of Migration Collective: Changing the Conversation on Migration

    09/10/2017 Duração: 01h00s

    Samantha Paige recently sat down in London with Lily Parrott and Laura Stahnkhe, two of the founders of Migration Collective. Migration Collective is a group of dynamic and creative women who aim to challenge the current, narrow rhetoric on migration. Through events, film festivals and soon cooking programs, they seek to focus on inclusion, what is shared rather than what separates people. This episode highlights the simultaneously increasing number of humans voluntarily and involuntarily leaving their homelands and the rapid rise of nationalist rhetoric around refugees, migrants and foreigners. Using the power of art and expression to examine the experiences and reality within migration, displacement and diaspora, Migration Collective’s founders are broadening the conversation around these issues and facilitating connection by highlighting the humanity behind every story. Parrott, an American, and Stahnke, a Dutch-Italian, share their own personal stories of living in the UK, the potential impact of Brexit a

  • S02.10: Sofia Lindvall: Living Up High With Nature

    02/10/2017 Duração: 40min

    Sofia Lindvall was born and raised in Harads, Sweden (population: ~600), just 60 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle. She is a trained stunt person and daughter to Kent Lindvall and Britta Jonsson-Lindvall, the founders of the TreeHotel. The TreeHotel is a collection of 7 unique tree houses, designed by Scandanavia’s leading architects, where guests can sleep 4 to 6 meters up in the trees and commune with nature. In the middle of untouched Swedish forest, Samantha Paige gathered with Sofia to hear the story behind the TreeHotel and the love of nature that inspired her family to create this magical place. Honoring and embracing nature is the key to the whole TreeHotel experience; incredibly, no trees were cut during its construction. Sofia shares about growing up and living in a small town in a time of globalization and urbanization, why she left for a bigger city and what motivated her to return after one year. This conversation highlights the beauty of strong inter-human connections, the importance of livi

  • S02.9: Arthur Gross-Schaefer: A Man on a Mission to Teach Tolerance, Understanding and Peace

    25/09/2017 Duração: 38min

    “For me, it’s [freedom] about taking it as a gift that I have been given privilege, I’ve been given certain assets, certain abilities. How I am going to use those to affect others and to make my life, honestly, a life of meaning? That’s how I define freedom.” Arthur Gross-Schaefer Arthur Gross-Schaefer is a man who literally wears many hats. He is a husband, father, rabbi, lawyer, CPA, professor, mediator and murder mystery author, amongst other roles. What comes through most beautifully in his conversation with Samantha Paige is how he threads his commitment to honoring tolerance, kindness, thoughtfulness, vision and intelligence through all he does. Gross-Schaefer shares in detail how he works with his students and community members to establish conversation and connection with controversial and polarizing issues, such as DACA, racism, climate change, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and party politics. He speaks to the importance of creating a personal mission statement, knowing your core values and rememb

  • S02.8: Annie Hawkins: Living with Heart on the Soccer Field and Beyond

    18/09/2017 Duração: 34min

    Samantha Paige dialogues with her dear friend, professional soccer player Annie Hawkins, in this touching episode about living life from the heart. Hawkins opens up about losing her father to pancreatic cancer six years ago and how his passing, and possibly more profoundly, how he lived the last months of his life, inspired her to deepen her own dedication to a meaningful, service-filled, and connected existence. She shares what soccer has taught her over the years, her unique relationship to time and how she has opened her heart and schedule to traveling the world to connect, explore and inspire others to live their fullest lives, while remaining radically true to herself. Paige and Hawkins also address the importance of community and friendship when one is living a life outside of the box. To stay connected with Annie Hawkins, please visit her website,, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @anniehawkins.

  • S02.7: Jenna Tosh: Planned Parenthood California Central Coast’s CEO Talks Health Care Reform, Women's Rights, Parenting & Self-care

    15/09/2017 Duração: 35min

    Jenna Tosh, CEO of Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, speaks to her dedication to her work and to her other major role as conscious parent to three. Tosh oversees 5 Planned Parenthood locations and is part of the team advocating for health care access for over 800,000 individuals annually in California. In the wake of the ongoing attempts to reform Obamacare, she opens up about why she chose this career, what she is passionate about and how she takes care of herself, and encourages her staff to do the same, to stay focused and energized. Tosh also beautifully shares about her hopes for her children and how she is teaching them to be the change through kindness and tolerance in action and words. For more information on Jenna Tosh’s work with Planned Parenthood, please visit or Planned Parenthood California Central Coast on Facebook.

  • S02.6: Jennifer Yashari: Coping with an Ever-Evolving Disability and Living with Presence along the way

    04/09/2017 Duração: 52min

    In this moving episode, Samantha Paige reunites with her childhood friend, Jennifer Yashari, who opens up about living with hereditary inclusion body myopathy (HIBM), a rare degenerative disease that causes muscle cells to weaken progressively. Diagnosed in her early 30’s, Yashari, a psychiatrist, has learned to cope with the massive loss delivered with the disease and all the subsequent losses that have come in its wake over time. She started a blog, “Living with HIBM,” in 2011, and writes beautifully and with a piercing rawness about the experience of a living with an ever-evolving disability that affects how she moves, parents and interacts with the world. Yashari details the importance of mourning each and every loss fully, so that we can then do our best to be present in life, and fostering strong, loving relationships to support us on the ride. In telling her own story, she provides guidance and vision for how to speak with others about differences and how to maintain a connected mindfulness in the proc

  • S02.5: Mallika Chopra: Living Life with Intent

    28/08/2017 Duração: 24min

    Mallika Chopra joins Samantha Paige for a powerful conversation about living life with intent and conscious parenting. In her humble and authentic manner of sharing, Chopra details her self-defined "somewhat messy journey" to deeper purpose, peace and joy in all aspects of life. With anecdotes from her life and conversations with her father, Deepak Chopra, and friend, Eckhart Tolle, she models how we can set clear intentions to create greater balance in all areas of our lives. She shares her belief that conscious parenting requires mindfulness in speech and actions with our children as well as a continuous reflection on our deepest desires for the journey as parent. We discussed how she is raising two empowered, engaged feminists through her family's honest sharing of what is happening in the world and how she is always modeling the need to connect with self in order to navigate everything with grounded confidence. Mallika Chopra is a mother, author, speaker and entrepreneur. Her books include “Living with In

  • S02.4: Get Lit Poets: Monique Mitchell and Vanessa Tahay: Peace and Power through the Spoken Word

    21/08/2017 Duração: 45min

    Get Lit Poets Monique Mitchell and Vanessa Tahay bravely and vulnerably share how reading, writing and speaking poetry has paved a path to freedom and happiness in their lives. In this raw and moving conversation, these two powerful women detail where they came from and the ways in which they have used their art and voice to cultivate freedom, self love, empowerment and joy from pain and hardship. Mitchell, a Get Lit graduate and now Get Lit Education Coordinator, and Tahay, a recent Cleveland High graduate and 2017 Classic Slam winner, hold nothing back and boldly recite their own original poetry. Their raw eloquence and strength give me hope for the future. For more on Get Lit, please visit or @getlitpoet on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. For more on Monique Mitchell, please visit or @mnqmtchll on Instagram and Twitter. For more on Vanessa Tahay, please visit @vanessa_tahay on Instagram and Twitter, or Vanessa Tahay on Facebook.. Get Lit was founded by Diane Luby Lane in 2006

  • S02.3: Alejandro Ameijeiras: From Communist Cuba to the American Dream

    14/08/2017 Duração: 57min

    Santa Barbara, California based Pilates instructor and dancer, Alejandro Ameijeiras shares his long, sometimes dark, road to personal acceptance and embodiment of his sexuality, sensitivity and inner power. Born in Communist Cuba to prominent Diplomats in 1963, he grew up in a culture, beautiful in many ways, but far from accepting of individual differences. He studied first as a professional swimmer, then in military school and eventually as a dancer. Being the son of a top General was at times in contrast to who he was and knew he wanted to be. Alejandro left Cuba in his late teens to train with the Bolshoi ballet in Moscow and traveled with the Tropicana troupe in East Germany and Italy right before the Berlin Wall came down. After further exploring his dancing and modeling career in Cuba, he finally left for Panama in 1995 and arrived in Miami on Christmas Eve in 1997. Years, and much dedicated internal work, later, he has created a dream life in California with a loving husband, thriving Pilates business

  • S02.2: Sara Mills: Beyond the Boobs--Deconstructing Body Image, Autism & Societal Norms

    07/08/2017 Duração: 01h21s

    Model Sara Mills, best known as “Sara on the Internet,” reached widespread international acclaim with a viral YouTube video highlighting her twerking her breasts to Mozart. Her global Internet fame focused greatly on her silicone implant enhanced breasts, as well as her tattoos and distinct voice. However, along the way, Mills has also openly shared about her relationship to her body, autoimmune ailments that increased with the implants and an autism diagnosis she received two years ago. Finally, in 2016, after moving towards a healthier lifestyle in an effort to feel better, Mills opted for an explant surgery. Not concerned about what effect this decision would have on her following, she did what she does and made a YouTube video announcement. Sara’s direct and outwardly vocal style around her choices is what drew Samantha Paige to her story. When they finally met in person to share this conversation in LA, Mills shared so much more with Paige, including her take on the effects of chronic illness on creativi

  • S02.1: Ever felt like a stranger in your own life?

    31/07/2017 Duração: 27min

    Artist Samantha Paige kicks off Season 2 of the Last Cut Conversations podcast with an honest reflection on this tenuous moment in history and the need for human connection beyond technology. She shares her belief in the importance of raw self-inquiry as a means to healing, connecting and growing in spite of what is happening around us. Samantha speaks to freedom, Season 2’s theme, and how, even though this word means something different to each of us, there is great beauty in the art of reflection and conversation around what makes us individually feel connected and free.

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