Interview: Cam Fuller (Night of Ashes)

Cameron has been active in theatre and dance for many years. Most recently she was seen in the Northwest Children’s Theatre production of The Yellow Boat as the Mother and their world premiere adaptation of The Jungle Book. She performed the role of Little Sally and served at the choreographer in Cleveland High School’s Urinetown. She also directed the CHS main stage production of Finnegan’s. Cameron enjoys backstage work almost as much as performance, and is in her third year as an NWCT Intern. She is currently getting ready to play the lead in Night of Ashes, a theatrical prequel to Hell’s Rebels, the current Pathfinder Adventure Path from Paizo Publishing.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background. Where did you grow up, what do you enjoy?
camfuller-headshotMy full name is Cameron McKenzie Fuller but almost everyone calls me Cam (unless I am in trouble). I have lived in Portland all my life. I have never been a person who just sits and plays video games. In fact the only video games I have ever played were Mario Bros, Mario Karts, and Wii Sports Resort. I was a competitive figure skater for six years and I have played recreational soccer every year except last since first grade. Through figure skating and Da Vinci arts middle school I got hooked on dance and have been dancing ever since. What usually sets me apart from the competition is I will perform through anything. I continued dancing on a broken ankle with torn ligaments that needed surgery for a year, and I did the short run of a show three days after getting a major concussion. Performing is my life. Whether it’s watching it, studying it or doing it. I have a slight Broadway musicals obsession with over 150 different musical cast albums on my phone. I also do a lot of backstage tech work for many shows as an NWCT Intern. When I’m not working on a show I spend most of my time with friends.

2. What drew you to acting?
When I was in kindergarten I won tickets to see a show at NWCT. I saw that show and all those kids onstage and knew that’s what I wanted to do. I started taking classes at NWCT when I was 7 and I’ve been hooked ever since. In the 10 years I’ve been performing I’ve also had the chance to try tons of other types of technical theatre and behind the scenes work

3. What is the best part of acting?
I’m not sure I could name a single best thing about performing. There is something so real and vulnerable when you are onstage and it gives you this high of adrenaline. There’s no better feeling than a standing ovation at the end of a show that you have just worked your butt off for. Each performance comes with its own unforeseen problems but working through them at a moment’s notice while remaining with the overall goal to move your audience is part of the fun. While I love doing complex intimate scenes there is something really awesome about performing for youth. Besides theatre people there is no group a committed and supportive in a show. They believe in the magic they see and that it’s real and that trust keeps the show pure and gives it a whole new life.

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4. What is the worst part of acting?
Anyone in theatre can tell you there are good days and there are bad days. Theatre people can be the most stubborn and annoying people to work with but also some of the greatest and most inspirational. I’d say the days I question my profession most are the weekend early morning tech rehearsals that last for 10 to 12 hours, in which you spend most of your time standing in the same place forever on stage and not talking. It’s also frustrating when you’re called to long rehearsals and at the end they never or hardly used you onstage. Sometimes when I’m working on multiple shows I go all day without seeing the sun or my family. I miss lots of school and rarely see my friends but once I’m on stage performing it all seems worth it.

5. What role has been your favorite to date?
Naming a single favorite role is really tough. Each character brought something new to my life and something for me to learn when I needed it most. It’s hard to pick between Little Sally who I played in last fall’s production of Urinetown at Cleveland high school and the Mother in the incredible show called The Yellow Boat at NWCT last spring. They roles were extreme opposites in all ways, but both roles I hold close.

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