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Filed under Student Life

Ryan Campbell is a theatrical triple threat

Many people out there are good at singing, dancing, or acting. Well, Ryan Campbell, junior at Colonia High, has expertise in all three!

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Early Life

Ever since Campbell was young, his life was predominately performing arts oriented. This is due to the fact that the majority of his family are apart of this field. “My grandfather is an opera singer my cousin a professional dancer, my other two cousins photographers, and my sister a dancer,” Campbell says.

With Campbell’s father always working, the bulk of his time went to his mother and sister. His sister is a dancer, so naturally, he began dancing as well. He reflects that he grew up in her dance studio, and that’s where his love of dance was born. Campbell would try to imitate the dance moves his sister would perform. He says, “My mom always tells me a story of when I was very little and told her ‘look, mom, I can tap’ and then I would flop my feet on the floor like a fish out of water!”

Dancing and Theatre

Photo Credit: The Declaration Staff
Playing the part of Uncle Jacko, Ryan Cambell spoke in an accent.

Campbell started competitive dancing when he was only 8 years old at the Woodbridge School of Dance. At the age 11, a teacher asked him to audition for Woodbridge Community Youth Players. Woodbridge Community Youth Players is is a local theatre program. He decided to step out of his comfort zone and audition for the musical Pippin that WYCP was producing.

“I was surrounded by twenty-year-olds who knew what they were doing. As an inexperienced eleven years old, I felt so out of place and self-conscious.” Ryan says as he reflects on this audition. This show helped him improve his singing and acting skills. He later went on to do WYCP’s productions of High School Musical and Hairspray. After doing these shows, he decided it was time to move on from this theater program and to fully invest in his high school theater career.

High School Theatre

In 2015, Campbell started going to Colonia High School. At first, he didn’t have high hopes of getting a good role since he was only a freshmen. The other talented people that were auditioning alongside him also made him nervous. Despite all of this thoughts, he was cast for two roles in high school’s fall play; “I still remember the feeling of surprise I had when I saw the cast list and realized that I got cast for two main parts in the Directors showcase my freshman year.”

He goes on to say the highlight of his high school experience was performing in the short scene “The Tarantino Variation” as “Mr. Fuchsia.” Due to the high school theater experience, he gained something he never really had before, a sense of community. He later went on to audition for the spring musical of 2016, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, in which he portrayed the role, Linus. Campbell has gone on to perform in every single one of high school’s fall plays and musicals since. He is very grateful for his experience and journey in the theater program. “Now it is my junior year and I am one day away from my opening night of my fifth show at Colonia High school, and I can’t wait for the sixth,” he comments.

The acting advisor/director at Colonia High who helped guide Campbell is Ms. Montalvo. She’s said that his acting skills are, “Very versatile. He can play a multitude of characters, and is good at intuition when making acting choices.” For example, he can be playing a humble and charming character at moment, but in a split second, he can switch to being a total villain. Which according to Montalvo, is something most actors at his age aren’t that great at doing. So the fact that he’s able to do this proficiently is astounding. In addition to this, she says that Campbell is always positive and can “bring out characters in others.”

On the subject of Campbell’s future, Montalvo believes that he’ll be very successful. If he were to choose to study theatre, she thinks that he’d probably go towards the technical and directing side of things. Montalvo thinks this due to Campbell’s good intuition when it comes to acting. And since he’s able to bring out characters in others, he’d probably be good at guiding other actors such as himself.

High School Choir

Campbell came into high school knowing plenty of people involved in the choirs within Colonia High School. Before he got into Colonia High School, students from the school’s acapella choir, called the Acapatriots told their choir teacher, Alaine Bolton, that he should be invited to join this choir. The Acapatriots are the most well-respected choir within CHS, so this was considered an honor. Thus, he joined this choir when he was a freshman. He is known for doing all the beatboxing throughout the songs and has become the leader of the basses.

Campbell is known to be one of the most professional members of the Acapatriots. Bolton, the adviser of the Acapatriots, said that “Ryan is always at the right place at the right time. Throughout the years, he’s become much more confident and a good leader.”

With this, Campbell is also in Harmony in Motion, which is CHS’s show choir. Kelly Branco, a fellow member of Harmony in Motion says that during show choir, he shows a lot of ‘confidence and energy.’

When he was a sophomore, Campbell saw a poster in his choir room that advertised auditions for Broadway Papermill Playhouse Show Choir. Campbell hesitated to audition for this choir after learning about its professional status. But, he also learned that the choir needed more boys. He decided to attend the callbacks in which they were holding auditions and grew nervous. “I️’m thinking ‘oh my god these people are all better than me what am I doing here’”, Campbell said. He was later happy to hear that he had a callback for the choir. After singing the song “Tomorrow” from Annie, he waited weeks until he finally received a phone call saying that he had made it into the show choir.

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About the Writers
DeAndre Oglesby, Senior Editor

DeAndre Oglesby is a 17-year-old from Colonia New Jersey. He was born on December 7, 2000 at JFK Hospital. His nationality is African Bajan American (his mother is from the island of Barbados). Oglesby is the youngest of four children. He has two sisters and one brother. Currently, he is a senior at Colonia High School. Oglesby is quite active at school. Some of the clubs that he’s in are newspaper club, LGBT club, SLAC, Anime, and many more. A few of his favorite hobbies are art, photography, poetry, writing, and YouTube. Oglesby identifies as nonbinary, and wants to change his name legally to Andie J. Lewis after high school. One of his biggest dreams is to open a school for children who are more gifted in the arts rather than academics.

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Jada Davis, Senior Editor

Jada Davis is a senior at Colonia High School with a creative mind and a love for literature. In her free time, she sings for her school’s Concert Choir and is the president of the LGBT club. Aside from this, she is an anchor for Patriot Television and an active member of her school’s Poetry Club and Interact Club. She is also apart of Student Council, Student Led Action Committee, and is a Safety Ambassador as well as a Peer Leader. Davis considers herself to be the most quiet extrovert you could possibly imagine. She is also an animal lover who believes that animal lives are just as important as human lives. She hopes to pursue a career in communications in the near future, and hopes you all enjoy her articles.

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Ryan Campbell is a theatrical triple threat