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JIMMYS BLOG: Meet a Nominee from Kansas City's Blue Star Awards, Samuel Aubuchon!

This year, a record 86 high school students from across America will participate in The Jimmy Awards, competing for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress as well as other honors and scholarships at the eleventh annual awards ceremony on Monday, June 24.

Jimmy Awards nominees will prepare for their debut on a Broadway stage during a nine-day professional training intensive with NYU Tisch School of the Arts' New Studio on Broadway faculty members plus other theatre professionals. Winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts. Student performers qualify to compete in the national program by winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre awards competitions presented by Broadway League member performing arts centers. Over 1,700 high schools and 100,000 students participate in these annual events.

BroadwayWorld is bringing you the inside scoop on this year's Jimmy Awards with student blogger Samuel Aubuchon- a nominee from Kansas City Starlight Theatre's Blue Star Awards. Earlier this year, he won the title of Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Terry Connor in Blue Springs High School's Side Show.

Read Samuel's first entry below!

JIMMYS BLOG: Meet a Nominee from Kansas City's Blue Star Awards, Samuel Aubuchon!Greetings, BroadwayWorld readers and Jimmy Award fanatics!

I'm Samuel Aubuchon, the Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role winner from Starlight Theatre's Blue Star Awards in KCMO. I won for my portrayal of Terry Connor in "Side Show." I am absolutely THRILLED to take you with me on this throat-coat-and-caffeine-filled journey of singing and dancing over the next week, and let me tell you, it WILL be a week to remember. I can promise that, because I was fortunate enough to be a nominee last year!

This will NOT be an ordinary blog, because I am not an ordinary person! You're gonna get the DIRT (there probably won't be any), I'm gonna give you the EDGE (LOL what edge?), I will make you FEEL the things that WE feel as stars like last year's mentor Natalie Weiss teach us to screlt quarter tones flat while crying to the soundtrack of "Everyday Rapture."

As I write this, it's T-Minus 15 hours before we are wheels up and headed for the Big Apple and I open a frantic text from Janie Carr, my fellow nominee and bestie from the Blue Star Awards:

WHAT are you wearing tomorrow to the first rehearsal?!?

Like should we change...?

Honestly I'm gonna end up overpacking lol but I'M GETTING SO HYPED!

- Received 5:23 PM

I'm sitting in a Sam-shaped couch crevice during my much needed break from non-stop laundry and odd hour Wal-Mart runs when Janie jolts me back to the reality that I leave for NYC in the morning. The struggle of outfit-picking is amplified by the nagging reminder in the back of our heads that we can't just pick "normal" rehearsal clothes. Leggings and an out-of-season shirt from Old Navy won't be making the cut for these rehearsals, because we've got to be stylish. People. Are. Always. Watching (albeit, friendly people). And not just the typical rehearsal personnel of directors and choreographers, but awesome important people will be gazing upon our rehearsal time with eyes of a hawk. The Rita Skeeter counterparts from Broadway.com, Playbill, and BroadwayWorld (as you're already aware) will have their cameras and Quick-Quotes Quills at the ready, looking for the next unsuspecting nominee to be plastered on social media, so outfit picking proves to be a crucial step.

Looking back at the last few weeks has been a true testament to how time really flies. The buildup to our time at The Jimmy's has been a whirlwind of excitement. Our regional awards program took place less than a month ago, and Janie and I were immediately thrust into the madness of picking (only) two songs from our repertoire to compete with. Three music theatre anthologies and the entire Golden Age of Broadway later, our selections were settled and now all we could do was practice, practice, practice!

JIMMYS BLOG: Meet a Nominee from Kansas City's Blue Star Awards, Samuel Aubuchon!

One of the most important pre-Jimmy's hula-hoops was the filming of our audition and topic response videos. As someone who regards himself as a "live" performer, cameras terrify me to no end, but I was surrounded with the most supportive people, and the session went off without a hitch. My topic response was a mouth-watering, one-sided discussion of my love for cooking, touching mainly on my craze for pressure cooking (which may or may not have earned me the title of "InstantPot Boy" from those who were lucky enough to see it) and baking things with varying degrees of edibility.

With every last headshot, bio, and knockoff Rachael Ray video sent off to the Great White Way, there's nothing left to do but board a plane (cue FLY, FLY AWAY from "Catch Me If You Can") and make our grand musical entrance at NYU. Here's to a great week with amazing people!

JIMMYS BLOG: Meet a Nominee from Kansas City's Blue Star Awards, Samuel Aubuchon!

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