Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ex-resident excelling in comedy

He might not have been a class clown back in the ’90s when he attended St. Michael’s and St. Francis Schools here, but Maddox Campbell (known back then as Christopher Campbell) began to pursue comedy after university and now has a successful career in Toronto.
“It was a pretty slow transition,” Campbell conceded, noting his brother once took him to a improv show in Cornwall, Ont. and his love for comedy was ignited.

“But I still stayed on course to becoming a computer scientist,” he remarked.
“It was pretty much only when I graduated, I decided I didn’t really want to do computer science and I moved to Toronto to pursue acting more seriously.”
Hailing originally from Fredericton, N.B., Campbell relocated to Fort Frances with his family in 1991 when his dad, a mechanical engineer, took a job with the local paper mill.
The family remained here until 1997, when they moved to Cornwall and then eventually back to Fredericton.
“It was a nice town,” Campbell recalled, though noting since he hadn’t yet got the “acting bug,” he didn’t get involved in any drama while living here.
He went on to graduate from the University of New Brunswick with a English degree (theater minor) and computer science degree.
Campbell appeared in a number of independent/student plays and films in Fredericton, and also had three short plays produced by the NotaBle Acts Theater Festival.
It was in 2009 that he moved to Toronto, where he graduated from The Second City Conservatory program.
“It always hard to be a Canadian actor,” Campbell said. “[But] it’s a lot of fun.
“The comedy community in Toronto is really friendly and a lot of fun to hang out with.”
Campbell has been a member of several improv troupes, including “The Winston Zeddemores,” “Huckleberry Funn, and, most recently, “Interrobang.”
It is with “Interrobang” that he will be performing as part of the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival from March 6-16.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Campbell enthused about the festival.
“I’ve already seen the lineup for both who is going to be in the festival and who am actually performing with,” he noted, adding the show he’s doing is shared between “Interrobang” and two other troupes.
“I’m very close to one of the troupes we are performing with . . . and I’ve seen the other and they’re hilarious, so I’m very excited to be performing with them,” he said.
Campbell also said any young performers interested in comedy should forge ahead with their passion.
“Try your stuff out with every audience—even if they are just friends and family—and remember what works,” he advised.
“Even though you can learn a lot from watching comedy, and taking courses on comedy, in the end, you are never 100 percent sure your joke is going to work until you try it on someone.
“And don’t give up just because one person doesn’t like a joke,” he stressed. “Try it on a lot of different types of people before you give up on it.”
Campbell makes sketch videos under the label “Kicks and Giggles Film,” which can be found on YouTube.
People also can check out some of his stand-up comedy there, too.
As well, Campbell is a co-producer of “Weekenders Present,” a new web series.
“They do film improv,” he explained, noting they even did a feature film in which he was the main character.
“It’s in post production but is supposed to be finished pretty soon,” he added.

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