BEDFORD — Behind every great performance, there are a lot of hard-working people.
That's what Sam Daly, 18, a senior at Bedford High School, figured out May 4 as he was completing his senior project — producing and performing in a variety show that was a mix of stand-up comedy, live skits and videos.
"I had a lot of my friends help me out with this," he said. "I learned that it takes a ton of hard work to put something like this together. It also taught me that I've got some of the greatest friends in the world."
Daly estimated that anywhere between 20 and 30 of his friends and fellow students put some time in to his project, assisting behind the scenes with lighting and stagecraft, rolling film for videos, giving pointers on what content was working and what wasn't, and selling tickets.
"They gave up a lot of their free time to help me, and it showed that they've got my back," said Daly. "I couldn't have done this without their help."
The variety show took place at the Bedford High School auditorium, and it was a fundraiser for an organization that is close to Daly's heart – the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Each ticket sold went for $5, and the variety show raised $1,200, all of which will go to the Dana Farber Institute.
Daly chose Dana Farber to honor the memory of his mother, who died of colon cancer three years ago. "She was a great lady who touched a lot of people," he said. "The amount of support we got from Bedford was amazing. We got a ton of condolence letters from people I didn't even know. That was really cool to see."
One person who helped in producing the variety show was Daly's brother, Scott, a sophomore at Bedford High. Daly said his brothers inherited his mother's math skills while he inherited her sense of humor.
The hours of practicing and honing his delivery didn't prevent the butterflies in the moments before the lights went up on his show, which included a standup routine that lasted more than 40 minutes. "About 20 minutes before, I got real nervous," Daly said. "But once I told my first joke and people started laughing, I felt a lot better."
Despite his ability to make people laugh, Daly believes the variety show was his last foray into the entertainment arena. "This was probably a one-hit wonder kind of thing," said Daly, who plans on studying business when he attends Fairfield University in Connecticut this fall. "It's not out of the question that I might do something with performing, but I don't really think so. If something presents itself, then maybe, but I'm not planning on anything."