The Boy in the Shoebox: How Sammy Taggett Found Hope in the Darkness

Hi, Danette May here and welcome back to
the Danette May Show! I’m so excited to have you and I have to ask you, do you
ever struggle with self-doubt wondering if your dreams are really going to come
into fruition? I know I did for so many years and our next guest is going to
blow your mind, explode your hearts and really help you dive into the
possibility that you are in control of your destiny, that there is hope that
your dreams will unravel no matter what your past is, no matter where you came
from, no matter what you did or didn’t do,
today is for the making. Not what you did yesterday or a year ago or two years
ago. My next guest, I’m so excited to share
with you, you are going to absolutely love his story. You’re gonna become
inspired by him just as I am and I cannot wait to introduce my good friend
Sammy T! I am so excited to interview Sammy! This is gonna be a really vulnerable but also really empowering conversation
I sense, and so we’re gonna get right into this. I’m really really excited. So
can you… because I’ve only heard pieces of your story and I I sense there’s
multiple people watching that are really gonna glean inspiration and feel a sense
of, “man, I can do this too. I can rise up within myself,” and so I want to know a
little bit of backstory about you so we can get to know you from your words. Right
sure, I think the best place to start for me is who I was before I became a DJ for
some of the biggest players in the space Before I was a DJ I actually worked in
the bathroom at a nightclub and I would give mints and napkins and like keep
people you know, looking fly at the club and I was watching these DJs and I was
like, oh my god I gotta do this… that’s like, this it’s not gonna work for me.
Yeah I cannot be working in a bathroom I have too much that I want to do, and like
watching them, I was like this is ridiculous. So I started saving tips and
I was buying their drinks so they would teach me how to DJ and so yeah it was
…it was so funny and it was this little nightclub in Denver. So I would
buy them drinks and lo and behold, one night you know, I get I get the
opportunity cuz one of the DJ’s can’t play. He gets a little too intoxicated
and I was like yes! My break, so I basically log rolled him off the stage
and I was like I’m in! And that was the night somebody saw me play and they kind of opened the door for me and I worked my way into
being a DJ from that experience so some of the kids and the people that I
talked to, they’re always like, “how did you become a DJ?” And I was like I just
saw an opportunity I figured out my step on how to get in
there. That’s really really powerful so you found an opportunity, stepped into it and
I know you’re on a new trajectory but let’s go back to your original story
where you got this name. The crazy thing about my story is I had a really humble
beginning. I’m adopted from the Philippines and I was so called to go
back to my orphanage for whatever reason so I went back to my orphanage and found
where I was from and in that process we found out that I was found in a shoebox
on the first day of my life, and once I had that realization, one of my fans started calling me Shoebox and they’re like, yeah you’re always preaching at us
like Moses, so Shoebox Moses was the name that kind of was given to me from
fans and friends and family and it’s taken this really beautiful turn for me.
Like it’s a fun name it’s a beautiful story, keeps me grounded on my mission
and my mission is really to inspire and educate the kids around the world and
specifically right now we’re working with my orphanage in the Philippines
which I love, and what’s crazy though is kids now talk to me about things
they’re going through that they’re processing. Little kids 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and
20 even share these things and I’ll be fully honest with you, I had a blessed
childhood. It didn’t start great but my parents are angels and the
interesting thing about kids sharing with me all the stuff that they might be
processing and having a really hard time really getting through in life is
because of this Shoebox Moses name and identity, and I would not probably be
able to crack that with them if I didn’t if it was just, hey it’s Sammy. Maybe I
would, but maybe it wouldn’t be the same. Can I ask, when you found out
about your original story was there a moment when it really hit you about this
story? One of the lowest things that ever happened to me through all of this,
because it sounds like oh my gosh, you made it, you did so great, you got your
calling, your mission, you got your name now…
No. I had the hardest time processing all this. I started having
impostor syndrome like crazy. I didn’t feel like I deserved the success. I was
living in this beautiful house, I started doing the most crazy ways to
self-destruct, and the name and myself had this massive gap, and I had this
night after after I found out all the things that were working for me. I had
just gotten back from visiting my orphanage I had shows back to back to
back and I partied all night and I drove home and I hit a car. I don’t even
remember hitting the car yeah I don’t even know how I didn’t get arrested. I
woke up in my own hell the next day. Car was just ripped to shreds on the side
and I was in my own bed and I remember just having that moment I’m like, who are
you? Why are you having such a problem digesting the brilliance of your
life, and that is when the name really started this, right, that’s when it
started to settle in. I was like who is a Shoebox Moses? this is ridiculous. if you
want to embrace a story that has that much power for people, what are you doing?
And that’s when it started to really sink in.
Oh thank you for sharing that because I think when we find out even just like
these raw moments, but yet we also know the gravity of our life, we do go
through this like, almost dark night of the soul. Oh, it was so dark! It’s
important to realize it’s not like you just go, oh I can totally see what I’m
meant to do. You would go and you raffle a little bit with the with the truth of
your life. Yeah it was it was, it was such a hard thing, and I’ve heard stories from
like Will Smith and those guys going through the same thing, right? He released
an album he was doing great and then he didn’t understand how to keep his money,
he’s riding the bus to his shows like you know, doing stuff. That’s what I was
doing. I had the police calling me because they were ready to arrest me
because they had me on camera as a hit-and-run and they said we know where
you’re playing because it’s all over. If you don’t at least call, you
know, that whole process. And I just remember thinking how upset I would make
everybody, mainly my family, and I was so just rocked with that. And that was a
great turning point for me. I love that. I’m gonna go even one step deeper
because I think once again as humans, we think we hit one moment… one moment
rock-bottom, got through it, moving on, but as humans, we hit them and there’s
moments even like maybe yesterday for somebody that you’re like, what am i
doing? Do you feel like you bump into that on this journey as you keep
evolving into the more fuller expression of who you are? Constantly yes! What are
some of your vices if you don’t mind sharing? Sure, there’s a couple that I
think that are not like substance vices but they’re they’re vices of feeling
acceptance and love. Did I make you happy, did I do good
enough, why am I actually given this opportunity, I’m not good enough to be
here, a lot of self doubt Like inner critic? just
go on rage… Yeah on a rage, just like oh my gosh so much so much inner critic. I
get I do that a lot. I’ve been doing a lot of work on that but that’s one of my
biggest vices now. Like so, when you’re in this moment what are things that
actually work for you when you get into a moment… say like you get done
DJing, do you ever get this, where you’re like on that high and then you’re like,
do I even really matter? Yeah and again constantly! Like for real, anybody
that is probably in a zone where you get to perform and impact people it’s it
always comes like a day or two later when I’m just back same old person and
having the same old challenges and problems, but what I’ve learned to do, one
of the things that has really helped me and it’s so funny you’re gonna think
this is random and like not random but just weird is that it’s music. And a lot
of times I didn’t realize I would turn off music. I would have these problems. I
would just be able ha and I would stop and I would… there’s no music. My world
would be silent. I’d just write in a journal but there’s no music. And what I
started to realize was that I need to find the music that I wasn’t always
playing, and find new music and share it and so that’s one of the things I do is
I’ll share it music. Like people are constantly getting music and playlists
from me. Like hey I actually have one for you. I was like compiling and that was
that’s been one of my big therapeutic ways to get through it cuz what will
happen with me, and this is ridiculous, I’ll play the set of my life and
people will just be like, oh you didn’t play that song. And I’ve played for like
three and a half hours or four hours and that’s the only thing I’ll remember from
the whole night, and that’s not the best way to go through things. So to fix that
for myself, I was like, I’m just going to give you some more music and so I share
as much as I can. And probably second to that is meditation. Meditation with the
music that really moves me I have a meditation playlist. It’s a
beautiful one because it’s been put together by some of my favorite people
on the planet, my friends, and we did a big, thing at Yoga on the Rocks and I’ll share this playlist with your
audience. I’ll put it on there. And this
is what’s beautiful you being in Colorado, this is gonna come straight
from Red Rocks, you know. It was Yoga on the rocks and my boy Manos
who is the most incredible music sage, he can find music anywhere from any place
but he’ll just find these ways to put this music together and he made this mix
that I used to do a four and six phase meditation. one for the six
phase meditation and then a four phase meditation that I use from my best
friend Jessie Elder. I do know Jessie. Yeah Oh his four phase meditation has
been one of the saving graces to how I learned to meditate. I’m gonna link
that below, absolutely and your playlist. How incredible. Oh it’s insane, it’s
the best thing I’ve learned to cope with it. And sharing that
playlist Yoga on the rocks has been so
therapeutic and I didn’t know that I was shutting off music, and I think one of
the things that happened is I would get in trouble when I was younger sometimes,
and you know, as kids they’re like, stop. Be quiet.
You know like I was a maniac as kid… I don’t blame them for telling me
to shut up, to be quiet, like, they never told me to
shut up, but they definitely were like please calm down, calm down. And so probably
anchored deep in there was like, oh I’m mad at myself.
Shut down, be quiet, and that’s absolutely the 180 degree wrong way to go. So yeah I
found this beautiful way to share music. And it’s so easy for me
because that’s what I do and it’s like you know, you’re familiar with like the
the levels that Tony Robbins talks about of experience as a class one experience
two and three right? Like the best class experience you can
have is one that is good for you. It’s good for the greater cause and everyone.
It’s healthy, and I was like what is a class one experience for me to get
through this? So I’d always ask myself. These are really powerful questions, what is
the class one experience for me that I can do? That I can do that
makes everything else easier, not for necessarily Dannette, or class one for
your sister your brother but for you. Yeah so I was like, you are the music
person and there was probably a gap of three years where people were asking what are you gonna play what are you gonna do and I would just, I was like oh my god, stop
asking me that! And I started to just get into it. I was
like, I am so excited to go find out. I can’t wait! What do you guys want to hear?
And I started asking and people started telling me, and and that was another
thing that I realized, is like when people tell you what they want to hear,
it’s not anything personal about me being a bad DJ, it’s like dude, I just
love this music. I want to share it with you, and one of the things that I didn’t
realize until just even recently, the last two or three years, is that one of
the gifts that we give people that especially me, someone who’s always putting
out music, putting out music, one of the biggest things I can give my audience,
is for them to give to me. that that’s the gift that I didn’t
realize I wasn’t allowing them to give to me. So be thinking about
what is the way that you like to give to people and can you do that back to
yourself. Well I want to ask one to two more questions… You can ask me
whatever. I want to ask, what do you feel is starting to rise up within you? It’s
not the question of what is next, but what do you feel is another part of your
mission? A lot more of a leadership role that I didn’t realize that I was capable
of doing or or being a leader, because I as a young entrepreneur, and just
somebody that’s fumbled and effed up so many times
in my life, I didn’t realize that all of those things have served me so well, and
I think celebrated so much of my growth through so much of the uncomfortable
things that I’ve done that ultimately, it’s made me an incredibly compassionate
connector and leader in a lot of the spaces that I’m at. And am I there? Nope
not even close, but I’m really on that hockey stick learning curve and
accelerated exposure to it. I mean look at where we’re at now. I am talking to you!
Actually I think you are already in it, even though you might
say I’m not there yet, I think you actually are because of your ability to
see so much within people whether they want to be seen or not, you can see it.
Which is such a beautiful gift I believe you actually have. So I’m excited
for you to just start expressing it more So that’s that’s one of
the things I see… I also feel the ability to manifest things so much faster now,
and I think manifestation for me isn’t like, oh my gosh…
I go crazy when people like, look what I manifested. I’m like, spare me. I cannot
do this… you did not manifest, you put the intention out there but I believe in a
much higher power that gives you the ability to stay safe and true towards a
message and a calling, so when you go I manifested this, I believe it comes with
a lot of faith, a lot of hard work, but being so loud and so clear about why
you’re doing the things you’re doing that things do move for you That’s what I see with manifesting
what’s in my life right now. Right I kind of feel like you just kind of
answered something so powerful for people ‘Cause I was gonna say, if you could say one
thing to a million people, what would that thing be? The one thing to a million
people would be just to stay rooted in love. Wow, what an honor to be with you.
Thank you for sharing all this wisdom of what you do, reminding us to honor
that first class seat for ourselves and really like the
things that you’re seeing in others, the potential. Also, you don’t have to put on
the mask…’cause most people can see it anyway So grateful for your message. Thank you
for spending time with us. Thank you guys. thank you for tuning in if you love this
show make sure you share it out and I cannot wait to see you on the next
episode hey I woke up to that and I was terrified I was so scared I didn’t know
what to do obviously at 8 years old I wasn’t sure
you don’t question an adult a lot of us are walking around with stories past
experiences and a lot of us are not even realizing how it’s affecting our
decisions on the day to day it’s obviously a hundred times better now but
it still affected me and I didn’t realize how much it had affected me
we’re gonna get really raw and real about someone’s past trauma and how
she’s overcome it so that she can step into the fullest expression of who she
is you


  1. Stay Tuned for the Next Episode, "It’s Not Your Fault: Healing From Your Past and Moving Forward," on my Youtube channel. Subscribe now to get notified.

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