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Local singer-actress gets her big break

'This still doesn’t feel real'

A Widdifield Secondary School graduate is getting a big break in show business.

Samantha Mbolekwa (Kerry) has been cast as Joanne Jefferson in the Rent 20th anniversary tour.

"So happy that I can finally share this news... I am going on the 20th Anniversary International Tour Of RENT as Joanne!! This still doesn’t feel real. We’ll be touching down in Canada and Japan also!!", she says on her Facebook page.

She says she decided to move to Harlem and she wanted the experience of going through the audition process and the last one was for Rent and she got the job.

“For me, I have to trust that every time I go into the audition room those at the table want me to do my best and whether or not I get the gig I’m getting my name and face out there,” she told CKAT News.

She says in high school she had a lot of stage fright and credits a couple of former instructors who worked with her sister in TOROS. (Theatre Outreach on Stage)

“She worked with Mrs. Bell-Summersby and Mrs. McDermott a lot in those shows. When I got to high school I took dance with those two teachers. Without those two women I don’t think I would be in the arts right now,” Mbolekwa says.

According to its website, RENT follows "an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love."

Tickets go on sale tomorrow and the show has a few Canadian stops including one at the Ottawa National Arts Centre next month from October 22-27.