Sammy Chen: “Being director really opened my eyes.”

Senior Sammy Chen is the assistant director of Hairspray. THE AZTEC/DARWIN TSE
Senior Sammy Chen is the assistant director of Hairspray. THE AZTEC/DARWIN TSE

Q: How did you obtain the assistant director role?
A: I obtained the assistant director role pretty easily, I just asked. I think she let me undertake the role of assistant director because I have been in drama for 4 years.

Q: What are your responsibilities?
A: As assistant director, I had to be on book for actors and work with some of them backstage. Also, keep morale up.

Q: Has the rehearsals process been smooth in your opinion?
A: Originally, rehearsals were rocky but now they are as smooth as butter. There are times when we hit problems, but we remedy those problems at an incredibly fast rate

Q: What would you have done differently?
A: Maybe I would have auditioned to see what role I would have gotten. But for now, absolutely nothing.

Q: Have you been in any other musicals or plays?
A: Yes, I have participated in every musical since my freshman year. My freshman year I was in Flower Drum Song as a dancer, sophomore year I was in Beauty and the Beast as Lumiere, junior year I was in Peter Pan as Mr. Darling, and just last fall I was Jack in Leading Ladies!

Q: Were there any bumps in the road?
A: One problem not only I, but the cast, encountered during Hairspray was when our main director, Page Phillips, was out for a week. The cast got a late start on the acting portion of the musical, but we caught up by taking rehearsals as seriously as possible when we could. Now, the musical is in its best state thus far.

Q: What was your most memorable moment as an actor?
A: I think the most memorable moment as an actor in Mark Keppel was when I had to wear the combination of pantyhose, heels, and a multitude of dresses for my role as Jack.

Q:Why did you join drama as a freshman?
A: I joined drama as a freshman because I was always good at public speaking, but I wanted to do something challenging. That’s when I found out about drama! And the rest is history.

Q: How was the transition between being an actor to a director role? How were they different?
A: Oh man, being director really opened my eyes! I never realized when crunch time needed to happen or how far behind the musical as a whole was when I was an actor. As an actor, I was solely focused on my own scenes. Now, as a director, I can see the show as a whole and determine the progress of the show.

Q: Do you have anything you want to say to the people coming to the show?
A: All I can say is that when you watch the show, you’ll leave without a single regret!

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