The 22nd annual Sammys award show is fast approaching, which means the search for the emcees has begun. Auditions to be a Sammys emcee will be held on Friday at 5 p.m. in the James & Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center.
Being an emcee for this prestigious award show is not for the faint of heart. Senior Whitney Ford, past emcee for the 21st annual Sammys, talks about the excitement and exhilaration that she experienced during the audition process.
“Auditioning was one of my favorite moments at Sam,” Ford said. “I remember being so nervous because I wasn’t known around campus, nor was I active. However, I had stage experience and public speaking experience to help me prepare for the audition.”
Ford continued to talk about her own experiences during the audition process.
“We received a script once we signed in,” Ford said. “We were then paired with someone to audition with and we auditioned in front of people from Student Activities.”
The role of a Sammy emcee is considered an extremely coveted position, and many ambitious and driven students audition every year. Ford said there were about 15-20 incredibly talented students when she auditioned, which made her even more surprised and thrilled when she found out she got the part.
“I thought I didn’t get it at first,” Ford said. “Just days before we returned to school in January, I was woken out of my sleep with a phone call. I thought they were calling to say they went with somebody else, but instead they said, ‘We would like to offer you the opportunity of emceeing the 21st Sammys.’ I started crying because I couldn’t believe that I had been selected to follow in the trail of greatness.”
Students audition for the Sammys for many reasons- whether it’s to improve their speaking skills, their acting skills or simply because they enjoy being on stage. For Ford, it was because she wanted to be more active around campus. She also found emceeing to be a fun and enjoyable experience.
“What I enjoyed most was moments with my co-host and announcer,” Ford said. “There were moments I’m sure when we were ready to punch each other, but I can truly say I loved being with them.”
Ford additionally talked about the genuine experiences that she shared with her co-host and announcer.
“We had four months of laughs, tears and vulnerable moments,” Ford said. “We had authenticity and that’s something I wouldn’t change or take back for anything.”
Emceeing for the Sammys can be nerve-racking, and it was no different for Ford. Stepping onto the stage was the most challenging part for her, especially when doubt about her image and her involvement in campus activities came into play. However, she was able to overcome those doubts, and has some advice to give to the students hoping to be chosen as an emcee for this year’s Sammys.
“Be yourself,” Ford said. “Let the judges fall in love with you, not the person you think they want. I had little to no SHSU pedigree and I was chosen. When I asked them why they chose me, they said it was because I wasn’t trying to impress them. Be confident in you and in what you believe. You will be surprised how far it will take you.”
Students who audition may be of any grade classification. A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 is required, and auditions will be first come, first auditioned.