But where to start? How 'bout at the beginning.....
"On a cold winter's eve,......"
F- that! You will all be bored out of your minds if I give you the full run down of me and who I am. Instead here's a shortened version:
My name is Bryan. I come from Buffalo, NY. I graduated from the University of Dayton and got my degree in French (oui oui) with a double minor in Spanish and Communications. Though I love my languages and speak them well, I have 2 main passions in my life I am really focused on currently:
2. Cooking - I am an avid chef extraordinaire! Ask me to cook anything, and I will do it. Just yesterday, I made a homemade loaf of sourdough bread, along with an eggplant timbale, an Italian fritatta and homemade sticky buns (Hello calorie train, choo choo, next stop my thighs...)
This is where I may get longwinded, but hear me out if you will. (You might want to grab a box of Oreos, or make some popcorn for this one)
Since 5, I have been dancing. I danced in Buffalo at different academies and even competed garnering trophies and medals. For some reason, I stopped dancing and began to focus more on the theater side of the arts spectrum. Having been in Oliver and Pete's Dragon, I thought I'd give more and more a try. Luckily, I had found my calling! By age 14, I was a living-breathing theater nerd. I had just seen Starlight Express on London's West End and couldn't stop singing the songs. I would secretly go to the basement, put on my rollerblades, and belt out "There's Still Me" pretending to be Rusty. Any show that came to Buffalo the next few years I had a ticket to. If we were on vacation, I'd beg to see what was being played there.
My true theater calling came when I was playing the "Leading Player" in Pippin. It was my senior year of high school and I was having the time of my life having a lead part in one of the most interesting shows Stephen Schwartz had done before the critically acclaimed Wicked took stage. Not only did this show have a fun libretto, but there was hidden darkness and black comedy - the first show I had done where I became aware of this and really tried to take it to the next level. One night of the performance, a little girl afterwards asked for my autograph. HOLD THE PHONE SALLY! Did someone really want to remember little, young Bryan Campione, aside from being this drama-dork?! It was an awakening - a moment that hit me square in the middle of my heart, mind and body in one-tenth of a second.
I remember smiling, and signing my horrific signature on the front of the second-hand playbill bursting from the insides with a true feeling of pride joy and accomplishment. To hear from someone I had never met before, that they truly enjoyed my acting was something I still cherish. All things aside, she was a little girl and it was a high school musical, but every actor and actress knows what I'm talking about when I say there is a definitive moment in a young persons life when they know that their true calling is - whether to the arts, the sciences, education, etc. This moment forever changed my feelings towards what I intended to do at a later point in my life.
College at Dayton was a ball, yet, theater was not a key point for certain reasons - A)- it was the first time I was on my own and decided to rock out like a German rocks his lederhosen at Oktoberfest - B) - the theater department, aside from the musical aspects, lacked major emphasis on the good from the bad - C)- I thought I wanted to do something different.
If I had only realized my "purpose" (thanks Avenue Q) who knows...I could be on Broadway already! But that is not the point. My life has taken a path amongst its own and I am SO very grateful for all I have seen, done and accomplished. I interned at Walt Disney World, studied in France, Europe and Quebec, made some of me BEST friends in the world, and grew into an adult I am honored to be.
Come to May 2007. Following a year off of school/work to pursue "Side projects" as I like to call them, I began to work for Cisco Systems. I travelled from California to Nashville, Maine to Virginia creating marketing plays for the company and demonstrating and showing customers the power of their technology. It was a great gig, but it was not my destiny. What was, however, was New York City. I was there almost every weekend for over a year - going to concerts, hanging out with friends, reveling in the joys of the Big Apple, but most importantly, BROADWAY.
I had only seen my first actual Broadway show in 2006 (The Times, They Are-A-Changin') when in the city auditioning for Hairspray - I was too tall, let's move on people...
To date, I have seen 68 Broadway performances ranging from the latest shows- Shrek, to classics like The Phantom and Chicago . When in NYC with Cisco, all the feelings I had had growing up flooded me with a resonating force unlike anything I had experienced. I knew, once agin, but this time as an adult, that Broadway was it for me. Now just finding where in the mix I would fit in.
I A) had not danced in forever B) had not acted in forever C) had not sang in forever. Now, most would say, "You're washed up, Bryan. Don't consider doing this, or you'll look like a fool." I am happy to announce I take much pride in looking like a fool during certain moments on a daily basis, but this is NOT how I am going to take my passions and turn them into my life ambitions.
October 1, I moved to NYC into the BEST APARTMENT EVER! Harold (my brother from another mother and current actor), and Tracy (model, actress, BFF) are my wonderful and loving roomies. It is so great living with people who love and cherish theater like I do. To sit down and talk hours os theater news and "show talk" is great - I have not had this in the past, so it is an awakening of sorts. What's also great is, for the past 3 months, I have seen how hard it is to be an actor in NYC channeled thru no only those 2, but also the many other friends I have on Broadway, off Broadway and just making it to survive.
This has put me in not a dilemma, but another awakening. With the ABC's from above and what I have learned, I love theater to the ends of the world; BUT I do not need to be on the stage to be part of the community. I have backgrounds in marketing, communications, linguistics, theater, dance, acting, singing, sales, foreign travel, and SO much more! So, why not take the backstage theater lovers side of Broadway!
I am currently interviewing at different Broadway-related positions around the Manhattan scape and it is SOOO exciting. I get to be a part of what i so love, yet, I'm not taking the easy or hard way - I'm taking this path that I like to call my own. Though it has twists and turns, and I'm sure more on the way, it is the BEST thing I have ever done for myself. I have begun to dance for fun again at Broadway Dance Center, and I get my singing fix when I go to Second-On-Second karaoke with my cronies and friends. I act when I put on a happy face when I'm stuck next to an annoying, snoring passenger on the subway and sign autographs when writing checks for my landlords. I am living my dream and my destiny. It is mine and I like it. Only God knows what the future holds for me, and if I can grab onto one of these great jobs I am trying to line-up for myself.
And what about this blog? I told you it would be long this time around, but have no fear, the rest I PROMISE will be shorter. I needed to allow myself a real introduction to this little thing called "blogger.com" that everyone but myself has had until now. So I ask you to please comment and keep looking to see what I write and post on here. It is going to be an interesting ride so make sure to hold on.
And on the last note, this is "Camp Campi" - the place where friends come to have a good time. Aside from no cabins, swimming lake, or campfire, it will be just as fun - I promise. So buck up little camper, things will look better as time goes on!
Peace, love and jellybeans, I'm out.