„I do not dare to tell others to be happy.”

Samuel Koch


On 4th December 2010, millions of people in front of the TV watch how Samuel Koch’s life changes within seconds. In a bet to jump over a car driven by his father, the 22-year-old injures himself, leaving him paralyzed. His dream to become an actor seems to slip away.

But Samuel Koch is a fighter: he graduates from the Hochschule für Theater und Medien in Hannover and writes two books about his life. Since 2014, he is an actor at Staatstheater Darmstadt, where he has acted in plays such as Schiller’s „The Robbers“ und Goethe’s „Faust“. Sometimes he enters the stage tied to the body of a colleague. Samuel Koch is an active member of the Deutsche Stiftung Querschnittlähmung and the international spinal cord research foundation „Wings for Life“.

„Had I known that I would be spending my life almost completely paralyzed – I would have run away. But I experienced many beautiful and happy moments, which taught me that life goes on, often further than one thinks.” Samuel Koch moves between these two poles with seemingly endless energy and humour: he trains as an actor “without body”, meets countless new people in surprising, shocking and absurd encounters.

"Every day I seek to have positive experiences: something to laugh, deep conversations, satisfying challenges. I receive – and hopefully give – a lot of love. I don’t take negative things -- which are part of daily life -- too seriously. Acting has helped me to concentrate on what I can do, rather than on what I cannot.”

Samuel Koch talks about his life on Friday, 13th October on the IMS stage.

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