Theatre People Newsroom, this week caught up with Samm Hagen, one of the six finalists in the

2012 ANZ Trustees Foundation: Rob Guest Endowment.


Samm is a former Brent Street Academy student and at only 19 years of age, has already covered the role of Sherrie in the Australian production of Rock of Ages.

Samm has been chosen as one of the six finalist in this years ANZ Trustees Foundation: Rob Guest Endowment, and we sat down with her to chat about the upcoming gala concert and her passion for musical theatre.


Congratulations on your selection as a finalist Samm, and thank you for taking the time out to talk with Theatre People.

What made you decide to apply for the Rob Guest Endowment and what do you hope to gain & achieve by the process?

This is something I’ve been waiting to do for the last four years. For the first two years, I wasn’t old enough, and last year, I was in Melbourne doing Rock Of Ages, so this year was the perfect time! This is an enormous opportunity to show off my talents, and to help further my career in Australian Musical Theatre. Being so young, I knew that getting to work with the amazing mentors involved in the endowment would only push me further forward… You can never stop learning!

It must be an exciting time for you, having been selected as a finalist out of the hundreds who had applied. Can you tell us about your preparations for the upcoming gala concert?

You don’t have to tell me that, I’m so excited! I’ve been making sure I go to my singing classes once a week to ensure I keep up my technique and vocal fitness. I also find that doing dance classes and personal training keeps me very focused and determined.

What excites you most about musical theatre?

Everything! The thrill of performing, never knowing exactly what’s going to happen out onstage every night, and getting to do what I love every day! There’s nothing better than walking out of stage door, and having someone tell you you’re performance made their day, or put a smile on their face. Being able to play someone else and play different characters is so thrilling. It really puts a smile on my face, as well as the audience!

If you had a chance to fulfil a dream role in a Broadway musical, which one would it be?

That’s a no brainer. Elphaba is the dream, and always will be the dream. I will play her one day, I swear to you! There’s something about the combination of the amazing score, her quick-witted personality… And of course, seeing yourself painted green! I feel like that show changes lives, and ever since I watched the show on Broadway at 14 years old, it’s always been on my mind. Let’s not even mention the fact that the greatest musical theatre performers of all time have played this role, and I’d love to be included in the ranks! Other characters I would love to play are Jo in Little Women, Holly in The Wedding Singer, Molly in Ghost, and of course, I would love to play Sherrie again… Except this time, on the Broadway Stage!

If you weren't a performer, what other career do you see yourself doing?

I always find this the hardest question to answer, because I really can’t see myself doing anything else! EVER! When I was little, apart from standing in a spotlight, I also wanted to be a singing veterinarian, and sing to all the sick animals!

What’s the best piece of advice that you have ever been given, theatrical or otherwise?

It sounds cliche, but ‘Don’t give up’. I’ve been fighting my whole life to get where I am. I was never the best, and I’m still not the best. I had to work my butt off to get here, and I’m not even at the top yet! And I don’t plan on giving up on my dreams anytime soon.
What's the one piece of advice you'd like to impart on a younger person who wants to pursue the same career you have?
Go for it, fire's blazing, and don't look back! I feel like if you don't go into something with your whole heart in it, you won't get positive results. Analyse a show inside and out before auditioning, and don't be afraid to make your own choices when it comes to a character. Be patient, and be persistent. If you want it bad enough, it will come to you.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

At the moment, I'm comfortably fitting in as an ensemble member and understudying leads. I'm only 19, I've still got a lot to learn when it comes to the theatre! Over the next five years, I would like to make my way through the ranks. So I'm hoping (fingers crossed!) that in five years I'll be in a featured role or a lead role in a show. I would also love to originate a character in a new show one day.


Thank you so much for your time Samm and we wish you all the very best come November!


The ANZ Trustees Foundation: Rob Guest Endowment Gala Concert, will be held on Monday 19th November at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Tickets on sale now from Ticketek: