Up close with David Campfield

Playing a nameless salesman looking for an available girl in a bar in City Theatre’s Ah, Wilderness!—and doing so quite effectively—is David Campfield, one of the busiest community actors in town.

Campfield has been working as an actor almost constantly, with many companies, since 2002. Just this year, he’s played a terrifying stalker in Boy Gets Girl, an impulsive cowboy (who kidnaps a showgirl, intending marriage) in Bus Stop, hot-headed swordsman Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, and a small-time hoodlum (who became an early fatality) in Wait Until Dark.

That’s quite a gallery of rogues. “They’re not nice guys,” Campfield admitted. “But you can’t see yourself as the bad guy [when you play them] … that throws your character.”

The surprise, when you encounter Campfield off stage, is that he’s mild mannered and younger (only 24) than the heavies he’s played on stage of late.

Campfield sort of happened into acting. “I grew up in Wilton,” he said, “and I went to Elk Grove High,” where he appeared in three shows, picking up an award.

That led Campfield to Cosumnes River College, where director Frank Condon cast him in several River Stage shows, including a memorable leading role as a horny young quadriplegic in Disability: A Comedy.

In 2004, Campfield got an Elly nomination as Best Actor for Synergy Stage’s Fat Men In Skirts, which remains a favorite part.

Campfield makes ends meet with a job at Fat Mike’s Pizza in Elk Grove, where the boss gives him the flexibility to pursue acting.

“I’m not going to kid myself that acting is going to pay the bills anytime soon,” Campfield said. In fact, Campfield still doesn’t have a professional head shot (typically submitted before auditions).

But Campfield has plans. “I’ve only done two Shakespeare shows,” he said. “I’d like to do more comedies. Comedy is what I enjoy.”