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BWW Interview: Ian Campayno Talks TRIP OF LOVE and BROADWAY BARES

Ian Campayno

Last Sunday, BROADWAY BARES: ON DEMAND raised $1.48 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Musical theater dancer and actor Ian Campayno personally raised over $3,000 as a member of the cast for this years show. Just before this years BROADWAY BARES show, I sat down with Ian Campayno to talk about his current show, Trip of Love and BROADWAY BARES.


How did you get involved with the Off-Broadway revue Trip of Love?

Ian Campayno: I originally auditioned for Trip of Love when they were casting the show here in New York. I was in initial auditions for it, and then had a callback. Nothing really happened from that. Then, a few months later I had an agent appointment to go in for placements, and I auditioned that day. It was a long day. It was three hours worth of dancing. I made it down to ten boys, and then I got an email with an offer a few days later.

Apart from Trip of Love, I saw you in Houston when you toured with CHICAGO. What was it like transitioning from CHICAGO to Trip of Love since they are both dance-heavy shows?

Ian Campayno: They are, actually, in such different ways. They are both very difficult and both very challenging because of the styles that each show uses: the Fosse style in CHICAGO and various 60's-style dances in Trip of Love. I think, the way I transitioned was just trying to really watch Jimmy Walski, our director and choreographer. I watched how he moved and pick up as much of the style as possible. Also, I had to get very used to the cardio aspect of the show. CHICAGO is tough in a simplistic way. It is still hard, and your heart still pumps, but not like the athletic cardio dance numbers that we do in Trip of Love. So, that took some getting used to.

Dancing is something that you do a lot of, but you also understudy some of the featured roles in Trip of Love. Do you have a preference? Is dancing something that you prefer over being vocal features?

Ian Campayno: I guess that is just how it has worked out. I have always loved to dance. I actually didn't start training professionally until college, so I feel like I kind of got a little bit of a late start. But, I always had a sense of rhythm. I always loved dancing at graduation parties and school dances. I come from a big family, and everyone in my family loves to dance at weddings and whatnot.

When I got to school, and we had to take dance class, I already had a natural ability. I was able to start crafting that a little bit more with technique. So, dancing was always a strong suit. To be a male dancer that is proficient in many styles is very helpful once you get to New York. It's a good way to get into shows and into auditions. It's a good way for people to get to know you. Once people figure out that you can sing as well, that is an added bonus.

You're lucky enough to be in Trip of Love with your boyfriend. What is that like?

Ian Campayno: It's fun. We actually first met when I did the CHICAGO tour. So, we had previously worked together. But, I think it's fun. A lot of people asked me initially if I thought it was going to be a problem, if we were going to have any issues being around each other all the time. But, we get along very well, and at the theater there are other people around - other people to talk to - so it's not like we sit backstage and just talk only to each other. Other people are around, and we chat with them too. It's more fun than anything to get see him. He's a great performer as well, so to see him excel the way he does as a Swing in the show. It's fun to see that at work.

And Swing is such a thankless job because you have to know all of the tracks.

Ian Campayno: It is. It really is. But he's great at it.

Ian Campayno in BROADWAY BARES: ON
DEMAND's "Scared Stiff."
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia.

You are also involved in BROADWAY BARES. This is not your first time doing it, what is it like getting to work on such an exciting and cherished event?

Ian Campayno: This is my third time doing Broadway Bares, and it actually is one of the most fun events I have ever performed in. The day of the performances is a very long day because we start teching through the show at about nine in the morning, and then we do a dry run of the show. This year is the first year that I will be in my own show as well as doing BROADWAY BARES, so after the run we will go and do our matinee. As soon as we are done with our matinee, we will go back to BROADWAY BARES and do a dress rehearsal followed by the two performances that evening. So, the day of the show is a very long day, but the energy and the excitement that is involved with BROADWAY BARES is like nothing I really have ever experienced before.

Performing in BROADWAY BARES makes you feel like a rock star because it feels like you are performing a rock event for thousands of people. You have to do it twice, which is even better. The energy that we are putting out for the audience they give right back to us. It's really cool to have so much fun and to be able to raise money for such an amazing organization is the cherry on top.

For you as an actor in Trip of Love do you have a favorite part of that show?

Ian Campayno: As an actor in the show, I have a couple different parts that I enjoy. Dance-wise, my favorite number in the show is "Wipeout." I think it's the longest number we do in the show. I just really enjoy the choreography, and I think the whole audience just gets a big kick out of the beach party theme, the swimming, the surf boards, and the short, short bathing suits. It is the most fun dance-wise.

Just a couple of days ago, when Orlando happened, I had a Facebook status about a moment in "California Dreaming" when our LED screen says "Make Love Not War." I'm actually singing backstage at that point, but at that moment in the show it always feels good to be sending that message out in the world. That was so relevant in the 60's and continues to be relevant today, in 2016.

In your opinion why should people get tickets for Trip of Love?

Ian Campayno: I would tell anyone who is ready for a fun night at the theater to buy a ticket. The songs are going to take you back. For some people, it takes them back to their childhood. For others, it takes them back to their teenage years. Some younger people might not even know that they are familiar with the music in the show until they watch it. Then they realize "Oh yeah, I know this song." Everyone who comes is having a great time. It is a visual spectacle as well. Anyone who wants to have a great time should go see Trip of Love.

Catch Ian Campayno in Trip of Love at Stage 42 (422 West 42nd Street, Between 9th and Dyer Avenues). Tickets are currently on sale through Sunday, September 2016. For tickets and more information, please visit http://tripoflove.com.


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