“Other Desert Cities”, a comedic drama currently playing at the Actors’ Playhouse at Miracle Theater in Coral Gables, Fla. will run until Feb.10.
J. Kenneth Campbell, an actor whose career has spawned across various mediums of the performing arts, will star as Lynman Wyeth, a father stuck in a tense situation.
Finding some time in his busy rehearsal schedule for an interview, he revealed some secrets to succeeding in show business and gave a behind-the-scenes look at the show that the “New York Times” touted as “The Best New Play on Broadway!”
Written recently, but set in 2004, “Other Desert Cities” is a dramedy that Campbell says features many twists and turns At a turbulent family gathering, the daughter of Campbell’s character, Brooke Wyeth, returns home after six years for Christmas and announces that she is going to publish a novel based on a tragedy within the family.
“Initially, the family is excited, because it is her book. But they are terrified of what’s in it, because it is a memoir,” said Campbell.
The tension leads to highly comical moments, which Campbell believes could be easily seen in an old, clever English TV show.
In preparation for his role as a patriarch of a family with an explosive past, Campbell researched every aspect of the show, from the playwright to the time period.
“I have done a lot of research. I also saw the show on Broadway, and I really liked the performance,” Campbell said. “The way I prepare for anything is that I keep asking questions.”
Campbell has advice for students who are considering careers in show business.
“Kids often come up to me and say ‘Um,I kinda thought I’d maybe like to do…’ and I just say ‘forget it’. And then there are those kids who say ‘I have to do this.’ and I say ‘Well, you probably will.’”
Campbell stresses that amateur actors who want to go professional have to be truly passionate before they commit to a life in the performing arts.
“It is a tough business, full of rejection,” he said. “You have to be incredibly persistent and thick skinned, but passionate. Always remember, cracking the nut is the hard part. Once you get work, work will bring more work.”
Campbell has used his own advice to build a career. His film roles include “Mars Attacks”, “The Abyss” and “Guess Who.” He’s also had guest roles on many popular TV shows, including “Frasier”, “Charmed”, “Melrose Place”, “Ally McBeal” and “L.A. Law”. “Other Desert Cities” is Campbell’s first production at the Actors’ Playhouse.
For more information on “Other Desert Cities”, including ticket sales, call 305-444-9293 or visit www.actorsplayhouse.org.