Buderim's Sam Sheldon, 21, has been accepted into a leading drama school in London.
Buderim's Sam Sheldon, 21, has been accepted into a leading drama school in London. Brett Wortman

Sam sticks his neck out to act

ITCAN be quite disheartening to have the head of the top drama school in the country tell you that your neck is too stretched out to ever make it in acting.

That was just one of the critic-isms Buderim's Sam Sheldon copped when was rejected by not one, not two, but three drama schools across the country.

But his dreams were not so easily deflated, and he persisted.

Now, he is jetting off into the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London, regarded as one of the top drama training institutions in the world, after making it through the audition in Sydney last month.

He said the criticism he copped along the way made him even more determined to succeed.

"He said my neck was apparently too long and that it jumped out too much," the 21-year-old said.

"Initially I thought it was a rough thing to say, but I said to myself I didn't need a perfect neck to act. It was an empowering thing really.

"It never did cross my mind to give up at that point, though.

"When those things happen it is disheartening, but it just makes you say 'you're wrong, and I'm going to try harder'.

"I take these things in my stride."

Mr Sheldon got into acting after a teacher in Year 7 recommended he try out for the school musical.

"It wasn't my idea to audition. I was the class clown and the teacher thought I should have an outlet," Mr Sheldon said.

He went on to perform in other school musicals and productions, eventually joining the Buderim Youth Theatre for two years after moving to the Sunshine Coast.

After his three years of study abroad, Mr Sheldon hopes to gain work in the UK, but would not rule out a return to Australia.

"My dream is the big screen, Broadway and West End, to be part of a big production of some sort. It would be great fun to do," he said.



The Central School of Speech and Drama has produced such actors as:

  • Dame Judi Dench: The James Bond film series.
  • Andrew Garfield: The Social Network and the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man.
  • Graham Norton: The Graham Norton Show.
  • Dawn French: The Vicar of Dibley and French and Saunders.
  • Carrie Fisher: The original Star Wars trilogy.
  • Sir Laurence Olivier: Clash of the Titans, Spartacus and Marathon Man.