Exclusive Interview with Jamie Campbell/ Storyteller
Jamie Campbell began his career as a stand-up comedian, improviser, and storyteller. For over a decade, he toured comedy clubs and festivals throughout the United States. In 2017, Jamie took a leap into more personal work and wrote a solo storytelling show, The Devil On the Wall or, That Time I Got Kidnapped. These performances garnered critical acclaim in their appearances at fringe festivals and independent venues across the U.S. He began screenwriting as a way to bring that story to a broader audience. That is how the feature screenplay, Call Me Thor, was born.
NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
I have a few feature screenplays I’m working on – a teen sci fi that takes place in Texas and an undercover crime drama. I also have a sitcom pilot and a short horror that I’m polishing up. I’m a little superstitious, so I don’t like to talk too much about my projects ahead-of-time for fear I’ll jinx them.
NY Glam: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
For me, a great film makes you examine your own life through the lens of what’s happening on screen. The best ones do this without you realizing it’s even happening. You are simply riveted by an incredible story, then afterwards, you start to think differently.
NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
I think the best characters are the ones that we wish we knew in real life. They are usually supporting roles that often feel like they could be the lead character of their own, very different film. I believe one of the keys to writing great characters is to give everyone concrete wants, needs, and a personal history. They are more than simply tools to move the story along. Every great character is in search of what they believe will make them happy.
NY Glam: How important is for you being a finalist at International Screenwriting Competition –ISC?
It is a thrill and honor for me to be a finalist at ISC. To be ranked as one of the top entries among such a large number of screenplays makes me feel like I am on the right track. Screenwriting is a career pivot for me, and accolades like this make me feel like I am on the right track.
Before the pandemic, I worked primarily as a stand-up comedian and storyteller, performing for live audiences. When COVID shut down live venues, I shifted my focus and decided to learn to write for the screen. I fell in love with the process and am looking forward to where my journey as a writer takes me.
Now, I’m seeking literary representation and looking to network with filmmakers and producers to take my work from the page to the screen. I hope being a finalist at ISC will be a step towards making that happen.
NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
As a screenwriter, Call Me Thor is definitely my favorite project. It’s the one that I entered ISC with. It takes place in 1991 and follows a chubby, heavy metal-loving pre-teen and his mother as they change their names, go on the run, and live in hiding from the abusive men who refuse to let them go.
As I mentioned above, I am currently unproduced as a screenwriter, so my favorite works have been projects geared towards live performance. I wrote a solo storytelling show called The Devil On the Wall or, that Time I Got Kidnapped that toured the United States to critical acclaim in 2018-2019. Before that, I released an album titled Tell Me You’re Proud of Me containing an hour of my stand-up comedy. I did my first national tour in support of it. The album debuted at #1 on the Amazon comedy charts. My other favorite project was a series of workshops I conducted titled Take the Power Back, where I helped people share stories of trauma for the first time in a safe, inclusive environment. It was a healing experience to help others share stories of difficult times and to see audiences embrace them with love and acceptance.
NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
I am a stand-up comic and storyteller. I am also a freelance writer and perform improv and sketch comedy.
NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
I think this advice goes for anyone looking for a career as an artist. It’s important to learn to separate your value as a human being from the value of your artistic output. It becomes very difficult to learn and grow as an artist if we see rejection of our work as a rejection of ourselves. Also – don’t waste your energy comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s journey is different. If someone is growing faster than you, see that as an opportunity to learn from them.
NY Glam: What can we expect from you in this actual year?
I’m getting married this year, which I’m very excited about. I’m working on a new hour of stand-up material that I hope to debut this summer and start touring with. As far as screenwriting goes – I’m hoping to find a producer who will turn Call Me Thor into a feature film and team up with a literary agent to put more of my work onto the screen.
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website
The best place to find out more about me is to visit my website – https://www.jamiecampbellcomedy.com/
You can also find me on the following social media sites:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/adventuresincomedy
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jamiecampbell79
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jamiecampbellcomedy/