Sam Woodroff  has been a student at flagship school Razzamataz Medway since it opened 13 years ago. After enduring the challenges of lockdown, navigating anxiety issues and even considering quitting, Sam is now 18 and the proud winner of this year’s Future Fund, the company’s very own registered charity that supports young people going on to performing arts college.


The commitment that Sam has shown has seen him be involved in every single add on class, every performance, all the West End casts and he has worked so incredibly hard throughout his journey.


During the last two years, Principal Emily Nachshon has mentored Sam to prepare him for auditions for performing arts colleges, resulting in six acceptances. Sam has chosen the Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts and will use the £3,000 Future Fund winner’s grant to assist him with expenses.


The Future Fund auditions are judged by an independent panel of industry experts. This year, the students were fortunate to perform in front of Peter Reid and Felicity French. Peter attended Razzamataz Carlisle, and his first professional West End role was in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre. He has gone on to perform in various West End shows including Hamilton, Matilda, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and Mary Poppins. Felicity is the Casting Director at Cameron Mackintosh Ltd.


We speak to Sam about his journey and ambitions for the future.


Fondest memories

“There has been so many but what stands out in my mind are all the incredible performing opportunities. These include my first show at Her Majesty’s theatre in the West End performing excerpts from Rent, performing at the Indigo at the 02 in 2018 as a part of Queen of the Night cast and the Shaftesbury Theatre performance in December 2022, playing Barnum in the Greatest Showman.


I’ve also had a lot of additional opportunities such as representing Razzamataz at Move It 2023 and assisting Principal Emily, placing third at the national finals of Destination Dance in 2022, being part of the team at the Franchise Exhibition at the Excel Centre and taking part in many specialist’s workshops by leading industry experts.”


Life skills gained

“I started Razzamataz when I was just five and it has shaped me into the person I am today. There are so many life skills that I have gained over the years including confidence, discipline, communication, teamwork, leadership, tolerance, respect, and acceptance.


“It’s also been instrumental in building my confidence. I’ve learnt to be proud of who I am and share that on stage with others. On a practical point, Razzamataz has given me coping mechanisms and techniques with stress and anxiety.”


Finding your purpose

“After having an extremely tough time in lockdown and coming close to quitting performing arts in general, once I returned to the studio with all of my friends and teachers and was able to once again do what I loved, it proved that I would be able to overcome any obstacle and that this is what I was meant to do in life.”


Going above and beyond

“Being a student at Razzamataz has transformed my life, thanks to the amazing team. While we were at Move It, Emily took the time to walk me around to see each college that I was interested in and ask questions that I wouldn’t have thought of that played a major role in deciding where I wanted to go. Emily has believed in me since day one and pushes me past my limits. The team in general have always been very supportive, offering up studio time to film self-tapes or just to practise. A special shout-out to Laney Wilkins who sat down with me and explored my vocal range and developed my singing repertoire for auditions and college.”


Advice to other students

“Just stick to what you are doing. There will be times where you feel like it’s not right, it’s not working and you should just give up, but in those moments, you’ll learn to love and appreciate life better. Take every opportunity you are given, not just in the industry but in life in general, even if it is outside your comfort zone, you will only get better by pushing yourself past what you thought was possible.”


Future ambitions

“I aim to share my love and passion with millions of people across the world on the stage and to entertain everyone. Whether that be on cruises, West End shows or backing dancing for artists, I just want to do the thing I love.”


A word from mum and dad

“Razzamataz has shaped Sam into the respectful, confident, hardworking and passionate young man he is today. From the age of five they all saw something in him and made it their mission to help him reach that potential and be the best version of himself he can be, which we both believed they’ve excelled in. We will forever be grateful for the impact that have had on all of our lives.”


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