Atwater High School Alumni

Atwater, California (CA)

Alumni Stories

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Mary Sampaio

Mary Sampaio

Class of 1989

I have three boys named Justin,Kristopher and Ocean.I moved to L.A. after some seriously sad and stressful events had taken place in Atwater. My parents adopted my sons so that I could pursue my education and dreams for a better life. In L.A., I worked at the following clubs as a cocktail waitress: DOUG WESTON'S TROUBADOUR, THE ROXBURY, CARLOS AND CHARLEY'S, and THE LAUGH FACTORY. While at THE ROXBURY (which was Carlos and Charley's before that, or C+C) I was approached by an agent to be in a music video which ended up being BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S SECRET GARDEN (which was featured in the movie JERRY MAGUIRE). I am the asian girl in the red room and I also end the video. That's me in the stilleto's shutting the door. I was also in an R.E.M. video for DRIVE which was through a radio contest I won. I was also trying to get into the film industry not as an actress, but as a crew member. I found a position as an assistant to the extra's casting director for a film titled SKEETER. I also designed logos and my first client was SINGLE WING PRODUCTIONS. I sold my artwork and fully poseable scary dolls through a place in Santa Monica called Wednesday's House, a coffee house on Main Street. At the time, I was a starving artist living in a small indoor heated storage shed I paid $12.00 a month for. At night, to go unnoticed, I bathed in the ocean at Venice Beach which was only 10 minutes away. Hunger will drive anyone to succeed in Los Angeles!!! I attended THE ANIMATION INSTITUTE of BURBANK for a little over a year and a half. That is the time Nightmare Before Christmas came out. That film inspired my poseable scary dolls. My first one sold for $600.00 to one of the actual animators for that film. He loved my doll soo much. That doll's name was THE STRANGER.I also play music. My very first bass was a used black, Fender Jazz P-Bass. My friend at that time, Afrika Islam (hip hop producer for BODY COUNT and ICE TEA, is also the son of Afrika Bambaataa)helped me find it. I later sold it to the bassist of STRYPER. Remember them?! The christian rock band in the 80's!! He had a daughter and was going to teach her how to play.In 1996, I was asked to play rhythm guitar for a band in Orlando. So I packed up and went. That fell through and so I started my own band called JOY LIES WITHIN. It was me on guitar and bass, Jimmy Rossi Jr. on vocals, guitar and bass, and Antonio Escapa Jr.( who is with RICKY MARTIN now)on drums. Then later on we added a full-time bassist named Dana Lenza, and keyboardist Gina Trifiletti. We lasted 3 years, from '96 to '99. My friend Joe Skinner helped me manage the band. He had managed bands like FOGHAT and FIREHOUSE. He currently owns Trackspotting Records. We had a big following and were labeled as gothic alternative. We recorded and released singles and were featured on a compilation titled TRACKSPOTTING 1,2, and 3. On Trackspotting 1, Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20 is also featured, though at the time, his band was named Tabitha's Secret. We went on to chart on the CMJs (COLLEGE MUSIC JOURNAL's) at numbers 2 and 22 nationally and respectably, for our song's LOVECRAFT(I wrote, named after H.P. Lovecraft) and ALIEN. I am the model for Joe's band's first self-titled CD, FUNKY BLUES MESSIAHS. I am the $2 whore with long black hair on the cover. We opened up for LYDIA LUNCH and also GENE LOVES JEZEBEL, and have performed live on college radio station WPRK 91.5 FM and the band was invited to promote Trackspotting, and to judge strippers live on WTKS 104.1, real radio.I worked in the film industry as a production designer/art director. I am the head of the art department. My credits are posted at I have also had some photographs and writings published.

Military Alumni

Military High School Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

Have you lost your Atwater High School class ring? Have you found someone's class ring? Visit our Falcons lost class ring page to search for your class ring or post information about a found ring.

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Happy Holidays!