If there is one thing we’ve all learned about life thus far, it’s that we don’t always get to control the pitfalls that are lurking on the road ahead. Even the things that we can control, can sometimes prove to be a roller-coaster ride. This is where our wisdom is born and our strength is heightened. In the moments where we can learn from our mistakes, try again and grow from our past, is where WE are built. So often, we not only get to see our peers travel on their journey through life, but we get to see those that are in the media spotlight as well. A celebrity puts their life on display for us to observe, to have opinions on and to critique every detail, from what they wear, down to what they eat. They put themselves on the line for praise and judgement alike, but what you don’t always get to see is their personal struggle to come back from the pitfalls that may have overtaken them. I’ve been determined to have Maia Campbell join the Dreamworld, since she is someone who’s experienced life at its best and has overcome tragedy right in front of our very eyes.
At a young age, she became a familiar face to many, on and off the screen. Maia played the role of “Tiffany” on the hit show, In the House, featuring LL Cool J. She’s been featured in other projects such as: Poetic Justice, Thea, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Moesha, just to name a few. Her success took a tragic turn when the world began to see her in a much different light. Hidden from the big screen for years, tabloids and home footage began to quickly surface of Campbell, looking taken over by drugs and displaying irate behavior. No one knew what had happened, but what we saw was heartbreaking. Our young starlet was no longer young and it seemed her path had deviated from being a star. Since then, she’s done a pretty good job staying out of the media and has taken major steps towards her recovery and improving her life. Maia was gracious enough to share her story with me; take a look at what life has been like for her, how she got there and what she advises up-and-coming stars to be aware of:
First and foremost, how are YOU doing?
I have been doing great, working on a few projects and enjoying my family now more than ever.
Going back to when you were first introduced to the world and this industry, how hard was it for you to be discovered?
I actually loved acting and singing but never knew I would be famous. I was introduced to a lot of legends when I was young and worked with them and didn’t realize the seeds that were being sewn. Breaking in to the industry wasn’t difficult for me when I look back on it.
There are so many people who fight hard to get noticed and make it on television and in movies, what was your motivation to keep going and sticking to your career goals?
The generation has changed DRASTICALLY. Talent is what used to be required now its like anyone can do television. It was important for me that young girls looked at me in a positive light. I never wanted to be seen throwing glasses, and food across a table.
How do you determine what roles are right for you?
I have a saying that I live by and that’s, “if it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not for you” so when I audition or roles are presented I always think about how the character will make me look. I am very selective!
So that others can see YOUR words, what do you think contributed to your hardships in the industry? Should other aspiring actors beware of anything specific on their journey to the top?
Not having REAL people around, and not realizing how blessed I truly was. I took so many things for granted. I would tell anyone make sure you know who you are and have a solid foundation because you can get so lost in the world of entertainment.
How did it make you feel when the world got to see you in the midst of your struggle? Did you feel violated?
It took for me to step back and see the person that had become so bad. I used to blame others, but there comes a point where you have to be responsible and accountable for YOUR actions. To me, that is where growth comes from because I was at a place in my life where that type of life is what I felt I deserved.
What new projects are you currently working on and what would be your dream role moving forward?
My dream role is to play Whitney Houston and I have a few awesome projects I am working on that I can’t speak on right now, but I think people will be so proud when they see the finished projects.
How can the fans show their support because we certainly miss you and have been cheering you on?
Make sure you follow me on Twitter (@MaiaCampbell); the love that I receive daily, I couldn’t ask for more. To see some people create accounts just to show me love, it means so much.
If you could go back in time and offer the “younger you” one piece of advice what would it be (based on what you now know about the industry)?
Enjoy being a kid, don’t rush to be an adult.
What is one funny/quirky thing about you that the fans may not know?
I am quite the little comedian and I am so sarcastic. My friends and I just sit around imitating people on TV shows and movies and we laugh for hours.
No matter what we may face in life, it’s never too late to pick yourself up and bounce back. Thank you for visiting the Dreamworld! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Maia Campbell’s journey…it’s sure to be a great lesson for us all!
(Remember him? He played “Austin” on In the House)
(Mari Marrow from How to Be a Player)