Chance for local artists to shine as Sam puts on a show
SAM Thompson hopes to one day have his name up in lights.
But before he achieves that, he must complete his Up In Lights cabaret show in Gladstone.
The intrepid and talented performer is entering into his second year of musical theatre at a university in Ballarat, Victoria.
He was fortunate enough to score a spot in a university renowned for this particular course, where out of more than 1000 applicants, only 45 made the final cut.
While on holidays from uni, he has been busy organising a stellar show for the Gladstone region, where he will be joined by other brilliant local performers.
The show will feature a number of performances, including singing, dancing, cabaret and monologues, and Sam will be performing a few drag routines.
"I always liked acting when I was a little kid but then when I did my first musical, Boyfriend, I started to get into singing," he said.
"I watched more musicals and I realised that is what I really want to do."
He said musical theatre is a way to further his talent as an actor, by combining it with singing.
Despite having significant roles in numerous local and school musicals, he said he would never get rid of the nerves.
"Nerves are a good thing; I used to think it was a bad thing, but now it's like a combination of nerves and excitement, I get it every time before I go on any stage."
But once he is on stage, gaining a reaction from the audience, he is unstoppable.
"I like it because you can be somebody else, you can get into the head of different characters.
"I just love making people laugh. I loved that kind of performing, being the quirky or abnormal character; those are the roles I see myself in.
"And the audience, when you have that connection with the audience, that's why you do it, and the applause at the end, I love that, it's the best feeling."
And as for drag, he said he would have never imagined years ago he would be performing drag.
"It (drag) is very weird, I always thought nope, that's too out there for me, but I think the reason I do it is because to me, it's another craft. Drag is definitely becoming more prominent.
"I really got it from Priscilla (Queen of the Desert), I love that movie - it's just a great Australian film.
"It's like playing around with makeup; I just see it as art really, no real other reason for it.
"People who know me in theatre know I'm just artistic and it's just normal … in a way … kind of," he laughed.
He said the show was a good opportunity for the young performers to show off their talents.
"I just want people (the audience) to sit down and see what Gladstone has to offer.
"Gladstone is a very artistic town, there are a lot of performers here and sometimes they don't get much of a chance to get out there. So I thought why not give this a go and let them perform."
The event is child-friendly, although the littlies may not understand all the jokes.
Sam will be joined by about seven other performers from Conspire Isis.
Up In Lights will be held on January 31 at the Gladstone State High School hall.
Tickets are $10 at the door.