Tim Campos: From Downriver to his own one-man show

Photo by Juan Fernandez. Downriver native Tim Campos opens his “Screw It: Doin’ Time On The Line” Oct. 27 at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor.

Photo by Juan Fernandez. Downriver native Tim Campos opens his “Screw It: Doin’ Time On The Line” Oct. 27 at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor.

Sunday Times Newspapers

Tim Campos began his acting career at Aquinas High School in Southgate, and next weekend he takes his act to Ann Arbor where he will perform 50 characters in 50 minutes in his one-man show.

Campos’ newest venture, “Screw It: Doin’ Time On The Line,” premieres Oct. 27 to 30 at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor. Performance times are 8 p.m. Oct. 27 to 29, and 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 30. Tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at www.artful.ly/theatre-nova.

“The play starts with my first day of orientation to my last day,” said Campos, who works at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago after leaving the Ford Motor Co. assembly line in 2007.

Campos said he left Ford before the recession and took an education buyout. He went to school to get his undergraduate degree in photography and his master’s in art administration.

He gets back to Trenton at least three times a year to visit his parents, Karen and Ralph Campos.

Campos’ father worked for Ford. After high school, Tim Campos tried to make a go of his acting career in Los Angeles. Then his father encouraged Campos to return home and work for Ford. Campos thought he would stay a year and return to his acting endeavors. Yet, he stayed almost a decade.

He credits his time in the Downriver area for the friends he made and remains close with. He said he and about 12 friends used to make videos and nurture their creative oats. Some, he said, still live in Michigan and others are living in Chicago.

Campos’ play is directed by Antoine McKay, a leading Midwest actor and director — currently appearing as “Bunkie” in the Fox drama “empire” — who recently opened his own theater in the Chicago community of Rogers Park. McKay’s father also worked on the assembly line, and Campos said McKay was the perfect person to direct the play.

The show chronicles Campos’ near decade of personal experiences working the assembly line for Ford in the parts plant in Saline and the final assembly plant in Chicago.

Campos’ show, deemed hilarious and poignant, is a daring solo performance that gives a glimpse into the factories of one of America’s largest companies. Campos takes the audience on a no-holds-barred adventure as he shares his intimate portrait of factory life.

It is a true story of how Campos took an assembly line job at Ford and enhanced his acting technique while on the job.

“Screw It: Doin’ Time on the Line” features original music by Ryan Bentley, Ray Smetana (former Ford Saline Parts Plant worker now working at Dearborn Truck) and Quasar. Smetana will perform an acoustic set after the performance Oct. 28.

Campos will perform an acoustic set featuring guitar and the djembe, an African hand drum, after the Oct. 29 performance.

The Oct. 30 will feature a talkback following the performance.

Theatre Nova is at 410 W. Huron in Ann Arbor. For more information call 734-635-8450 or go to www.fivecentsshort.com.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)