Thursday, August 7, 2014

Spotlight On...Chris Camp

Name: Chris Camp

Hometown: NYC

Education: Collegiate School (on 78 & Broadway) and Yale

Select Credits: Moritz in Spring Awakening, Sancho in Man of La Mancha, Rod in Avenue Q, Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Why theater?: My acting debut was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and I’ve been chasing that performance in vain ever since.

Who do you play in Dust Can’t Kill Me?: I play Abraham, who’s an incredibly good-natured brother and friend. He wouldn’t hurt a fly except to defend those he’s close to. I like to think of him as the type of guy that would strike up a conversation with a random stranger, no matter what the situation.

Tell us about Dust Can’t Kill Me: Dust Can’t Kill Me is a folk musical, with music that is sometimes stripped down to a single guitar and voice. When we did the production at Yale, the set was comprised almost entirely of moveable elements, which emulated the wandering aspect of the characters. The show is about a group of strangers that get drawn away from their failing farms to a “land of plenty” in the desert. A mysterious prophet comes to each of them promising an end to their misery and depression, and they follow him to what they believe will be a better life. Once they arrive, however, the so-called paradise is nothing like they’ve ever seen, and they must rely on each other to carry on.

What is it like being a part of Dust Can’t Kill Me?: Being a part of it when we first put it up at Yale was actually very challenging. When you’re putting up an original musical, there are so many obstacles that come up that you just don’t face in a regular musical. There’s no original recording to refer to if you’re unsure about a note in the score. There are no photos of previous productions that you can use for inspiration. There’s just no point of reference. But at the end of the day that was one of the most rewarding aspects of being a part of Dust. The roles we’re taking on are truly our own, and it’s cool to think that we might be the point of reference for this show someday (*fingers crossed*).

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like a show with a really inventive set. Something about an immersive, creative set really transports me in a way that acting performances sometimes can’t.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Honestly, something Shakespeare. I did a few Shakespeare plays in middle school but not since, and I’d love to get back to it. Maybe Iago from Othello.

What’s your favorite showtune?: “Memory” from Cats. No, not really. Too hard to pick. Do people even still call them showtunes?

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Kenneth Branagh (kind of goes along with the “any roles you’re dying to play” question).

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and it would be called "Hercules".

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Honestly, for someone who does theater, I see surprisingly few shows, so I’m not the person to ask about this. I used to recommend War Horse, but that’s closed now. Definitely check out the music from Parade. And Dust Can’t Kill Me!

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: “Somebody to Love” by Queen. I’m a huge Queen fan.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Getting out my old blocks from childhood and building with them. Which is especially funny because I have a 5-year-old sister and she always thinks we’re going to play with the blocks together (because they’ve kind of been handed down to her at this point). But no, I build alone.

What’s up next?: Back to school, I guess! I’m actually super excited to go back. I’m planning a spring tour to St. Louis and Chicago with my singing group, so if anyone knows of cool things to see in those cities, hit me up!