The making of a future star

ZZ SamBy Bob Hamill

I caught up with Samantha Hatmaker while she and her mother were traveling to Nashville. Sam was booked to do a show at “the Fillin’ Station,” a popular spot in Music City. The billing was “Decked Out”. It was an all woman venue and the place was packed and they said it rocked.

But the first time I saw Sam was on an opening night with Billy Baker (a very special comic entertainer.)  I saw this skeleton of a young lady that could belt out a song like no body’s business. It’s a cliché, but I do believe a star was born that night.

After the show I invited Sam to be a part of the Bob Hamill Variety Show. It’s not a big deal, we do shows for people that need live entertainment but can’t afford it. It’s a bonus for both parties. The group gets free entertainment and the performers get stage time.

Sam’s first professional gig is one that I would do almost anything for, singing the National Anthem at the Smokies Baseball Stadium. Something she has now done over 20 times.

Everyone needs a mentor or someone to look up to. Sam chose Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. It seems that no matter what they do, it is reverent to what is happening in the world today.

Sam’s first audition song was “Tomorrow” from the hit Broadway Play “Annie.” It worked because at the age of 10, Sam was working at Dollywood in one of their production shows. At 16, Sam is doing something not too many teens can, or will, do; she is signing a song publishing contract with Warner Brothers.

I have had the good fortune of working with true stars in my life. I had lunch with Count Basie, cocktails with Foster Brooks, spent time with Andrea McArdle (the original Annie on Broadway) and mentored Grammy winning artist Melissa Etheridge. In their presence you could feel star power. Some people call it the X factor. I call it the Star factor. Sam has it!

Google her and see what thousands of people are seeing, that Samantha Hatmaker is a star to bet on.

The real hero in this story has not even been mentioned. I’m talking about Sam’s mother, Lisa. In my years of working with kids in a variety show, I have had to deal with stage mothers. If you have experienced it before, your skin is crawling as you read this. I have been blessed knowing Sam and Lisa. They know what they have to do, no problems with show positioning or sound. They make show biz what it is meant to be; fun.

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