Ashkenazi Jewish (with roots in Belarus and Ukraine)
Law Student in 1920-1924; then, may become a film director, actor, lawyer, or legal assistant depending on his choices
Born on April 6, 1901 in the Lower East Side of New York City, Sam grew up in the shadow of his domineering parents, who had immigrated in the late 1890s from Odessa, Ukraine (then a part of the Russian Empire).
Cheerful, mischievous, and blessed with the gift of gab, Sam grows up idolizing Vaudeville and Yiddish theatre.
A bright student, he is eventually accepted into Ambrose College, a prestigious New York law school, where for the first time in his life, he feels like a fish out of water.
Sam must eventually decide whether to become a lawyer, an actor, or something else...
Sam's strict and demanding father. He wants to live vicariously through Sam and pushes him to be a lawyer.
Sam's strict and over-concerned mother. She can be quite hovering and over-protective, although she ultimately just wants Sam to be happy.
● Sam is actually not as cheerful as he appears initially. He feels that he has to be more cheerful than he actually is so he can stand out and get more people to support his acting career, or what he hopes will be his acting career.
● Sam sees acting as a way of understanding not only himself better, but also human nature in general.
● Sam was actually a quiet kid growing up. He changed his personality for his own sake - he wanted to be able to stand out and become the actor he's always felt like he's wanted to be.
● Sam enjoys going to speakeasies not only to meet like-minded people (who are artistically inclined), but also to spite his parents' and professors' conservative views about parties and drinking.