BWW Interviews: Chloe Campbell
Chloe Campbell is a British actress who succeded in many shows in the UK like On The Town, Mary Poppins, Desperately Seeking Susan, Shoes,... and she was also in the first season of the TV show 'So You Think You Can Dance.'
Last season, she toured the States as part of the ensemble of 'In The Heights'.
From West End to Broadway, she pursued her dream and dared to go beyond so here she told us how she made it!
What was it like for you to tour with In The Heights?
It’s been a journey, specially doing it on tour all across America. You know, we’ve seen so many different places, managed to reach out to different people in many ways, because each of them relate to different things in the story.
There are some people that understand Spanish so they get that part, or they’re Dominicans, or they’re just older so they understand the grandma… It’s the dream show that I’ve always wanted to do.
You come from UK, a very different enviroment from the rest of the ensemble. How did you relate to In The Heights?
That’s actually a really interesting question! Sometimes I ask myself… because as you see, I’m not latin.
The main thing that I like from the show, is the story of home, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from: you can create a home when you’re now. And that’s basically what they’re talking about in this musical, they have their traditions from home, PR and they bring that to Washington Heights.
So for me, I can relate to the story because I bring everything I have from home, in Europe, to America. It’s the same kind of thing, I can really relate to the core of it.
Did you ever think you would make it in this musical?
When I first saw In The Heights in 2008, I really wanted to be there! And as you can imagine, I thought I would never be a part of it because it would never come to London! And here I am, a few years later, in the show, because I moved to New York, so… it’s a dream come true!
What’s been your story before you got In The Heights? And how did you get to work in the States as an actress?
Basically I’ve been working in the West End since 2005, and I came to New York a few times on vacation, I really love the energy of this city, something that inspires me… But then I though, you know what? I should try and move here! Like to see how it goes.
So I got an artist visa, you get it for three years, and you basically have to show that you’re an amazing artist, no matter what country you come from, or they won’t let you in. And that’s what allowed me to moved to New York and pursue my dream!
After your experience in New York and West End, which theatre do you prefer?
That’s a tough one! Well, it’s very different, because there are things I love in London theatre, and things I love in New York theatre. I guess for me, because I’ve been working for a long time in London, I just felt like I wanted to change.
I also feel, specially for my etnicity, they’re a lot more open for jobs here in New York. For example, In The heights has an almot totally Latin cast, so here I just feel like there are more opportunities for me to go further and further in my career.
Did you ever feel like an outsider coming from the UK when working in the States?
Yes, from being an outsider, honestly, I was shocked how inviting the theatre world is, in New York. Cause I just go to class everytime and people are so friendly, and everyone wants to welcome you and support you.
Obviously, this accent doesn’t help, but as soon as they hear it they want to know where you’re from and I feel I’ve experienced a very supportive community here. It’s easy to speak to people and find classes, auditions,… There are so many projects going on in New York, there’s always something to do.
Is it easy to get to work in New York?
Not at all. You have to have talent! And, most important, you have to have determination. Because there’s many people to maybe move, to pursue a career, and they may not get what they’re looking for, but you have to keep going to auditions, and classes, and be driven.
It’s not necessarily easy, but if you really want something, and you work for it, I feel like it’s achievable. I mean, a few years ago, I would've never ever thought I’d be able to work here.
What do you think of the kind of theatre Broadway can offer right now to the audience?
I haven’t seen a lot of Broadway shows because I’ve been on tour, but I like the fact that there’s always a big mixture of things – you can see from Porgy and Bess to Book of Mormon, to musicals from films like Ghost or Once.
For me, I feel like Broadway is very much alive and there’s always new things happening, and people trying to create and inspire. So I think there’s always something for everyone, and, you still go to see a Broadway show and get wowed by sets, and costumes, and the spectacle!
What was your experience with R.Evolución Latina and Luis Salgado like?
He definately opened doors for me. Working with R.Evolución Latina I was in the choir and just from there I ended up doing an Off Broadway show with him, so definately those kind of projects are extremely invaluable for getting contacts meeting people, working with people, broadening your own creativeness aswell.
What have you done in the West End, before you move to NYC?
I worked in the West End since 2005, and I’ve done On The Town, choreographed by Stephen Mear, who also choreographed Little Mermaid on Broadway, and Mary Poppins, in which I also worked in London; Desperately Seeking Susan, and a dancing show called Shoes, which only featured six boys and six girls, and we got to perform at Sadler’s Wells in 2010, where we premiered it, and after it we had a run at the Peacock Theatre.
In 2010, I also was in the first season of So You Think You Can Dance UK. So i’ve been around a bit!
How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I’m very dinamic, and intense in my dancing. I’m bubbly, so you know I like to socialize with people, and have fun. I bring something special to the stage, something different that has not been necessarily been taught to me, and when I perform I perform fom the heart, and something special comes out of me.
What piece of advise would you give to those who like you, want to pursue a career on Broadway?
I think, the main important thing, as a performer, is to remain open. You know, it’s always good to have a goal, where you want to end up and for me I really want to be on Broadway, but there are so many other things and projects where you can fit in,… There’s a lot of them outside New York that you can do.
There’s this exciting thing, that’s nerve-racking… you never know what’s around the corner!