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Sam Faulkner is a George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS) senior who caught the “acting bug” at a young age and was recently in NBC’s television broadcast of Hairspray Live!

He acted alongside a star-studded cast including Harvey Fierstein, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande.

“I was itching to get on stage at a very young age, but I started specifically pursuing musical theatre at age nine,” Sam said. “By the time I was 10, I had signed with my agent in New York and began to pursue professional opportunities.”

“If it weren’t for online school, I would have had to choose whether I wanted to sacrifice my passion for performing or my studies,” Sam said. “Online school gives me the flexibility I need to be able to wholeheartedly pursue my artistic aspirations while still being challenged academically.”

He has starred in over 25 regional productions in Charlotte, North Carolina. Some of these productions include his roles as “Billy” in Billy Elliot the musical, “Ralphie” in A Christmas Story the musical, and most recently as “IQ” in Hairspray Live!

In auditioning for Hairspray Live, Sam went through a quick two day audition and callback experience and make it to the final group. He heard back within a week that he got a part.

Just turning 18-years-old, he was the youngest member of the adult cast. This made him a bit nervous going into rehearsals, at first.

“But on the first day of rehearsal, all those nerves went out the window,” Sam said. “My cast mates were immediately warm and welcoming, and if anything, they celebrated the fact that I was doing this at such a young age.”

“I appreciate the flexibility online school provides, because if it weren’t for that I’d be unable to fully pursue my craft while also maintaining my academic studies,” Sam said.

Sam especially enjoys his English class because he loves to read. “As an actor, I love storytelling, so that explains why I connect so much to a good read!” Sam said.

His biggest aspiration is to originate a role on Broadway. “Being able to create a character and have it catered specifically to my gifts and talents is the ultimate dream!” Sam said.

He is currently in the process of auditioning for Bachelor of Fine Arts Musical Theatre programs at colleges across the country and is also being considered for a few other upcoming projects and shows in New York City.

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