Michael Campanella

actor, writer, culinarian, podcaster

In a Nutshell
I'm currently a junior at NYU Tisch School of the Arts where I study Drama with minors in broadcast journalism, philosophy, and politics.

At the core of all my artistic disciplines is a common denominator: effective and authentic communication. Whether it be by literally embodying another's life experiences as an actor, or through an interview, an article, a comedy sketch, even a plate of food, my goal is to communicate engaging and compelling stories.

At the core of my work is an insatiable desire for human connection. If you ever have a question, a comment, an insight, idea, or revelation, or perhaps some feedback or a dissenting opinion, please do contact me. More than anything, I love to talk.

When I was cast in my first role as a defense attorney in a modified version of Humpty Dumpty in 5th grade, I immediately felt at home on the stage. Before that moment, I didn't know what my passion was, or frankly what it meant to have a passion. My interests had always been... bohemian. My 7th birthday was in an Oreck store (I had quite the vacuum collection) and my 10th birthday present was a phonograph from an antique show in northern Jersey. I also tried nearly every sport at some point in my life, and to say the least, none worked out!

Now, I study Drama at NYU. I'm in my second year of primary training in the Meisner studio. Meisner's pedagogy focuses on having personal, authentic experiences on stage; the first year is dedicated to personal exploration (Meisner said that an actor must know himself thoroughly and authentically before building a character), and the second year focuses on character transformation. The technique hones in on developing the actor's artistic mechanism, getting on spontaneous impulses, and creating work that is honest and original. Part of my goal with Theater of the Kitchen is to translate Meisnarian concepts into a guide for cooking that is creative and without pretense. 

When I write, it is almost always about other people. At the core of my writing is journalism: exploring the world around me through interviews, exposes, or editorials. I took a hiatus from journalism upon matriculating to NYU to focus on my cookbook, but am currently enrolled in journalism classes for my minor and am excited to get back into it -- especially in this difficult but in many ways invigorating climate of a global pandemic and sociopolitical tension. 
I started cooking in 7th grade after feeling inspired in a culinary arts class at my high school. Since then, I never thought of cooking as anything more than a fun hobby, until recently, when I began piecing together the overlaps between the skills required to be a creative cook and the skills required to be a creative theater artist. My perception of cooking transformed from a hobby to an art form, and I began taking the craft more seriously. Not long thereafter, I began writing my first cookbook, Theater of the Kitchen, now available for purchase through my website!

My work in the kitchen focuses on big, bold flavors, irreverence for the recipe, and unconventional flavor combinations. Whatever cooking is, it most certainly is not the art of following directions. If you ask me, it's the art of good technique in tandem with a cultivated understanding of flavor, and the development of an instinctual, intuitive creativity.

My wheelhouse is in the flavors of the Mediterranean, but I love dabbling in all types of cuisine, from Asian to South American to Caribbean. I also love experimenting with techniques and flavors across cultural lines, figuring out how a flavor or technique from one part of the world might enhance that of another. Of course, proper accreditment and acknowledgement is essential to this kind of work. A rich understanding of the histories and traditions that afforded us the food we eat is finally being recognized as an essential part to good cooking and good food writing.

the podcaster
I host Whys and Wherefores: The Arts and Social Sciences, a seasons-based podcast that covers anything from theater arts to culinary arts to politics. Available anywhere you get your podcasts!

Check out @whysandwhereforespodcast on Instagram, and whysandwherefores.com for more info!
Theater of the Kitchen: Cooking with Instinct, Intuition, and Irreverence from an Actor's Perspective is my first full-length book. I started brainstorming for the book in August 2019 after reading cookbook after cookbook and feeling frustrated with their prescriptive, limiting language and approach. After lots of thinking, I decided I wanted to write a book that fosters creativity in the kitchen -- focusing on developing instinct, intuition, and irreverence instead of recipe following -- and using the lessons of my acting training to do it.

Theater of the Kitchen is now available for purchase through my website! It is also available on Amazon.

Regardless if you buy the book through my website or on Amazon, an Amazon review would be very very very much appreciated!

Theater of the Kitchen
Dear New York City

Dear New York City

A love letter to my favorite place on earth, in the heart of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Finding the Human in the Homelessness Crisis

Finding the Human in the Homelessness Crisis

Homelessness and addiction are results of an industrializing society that devalues community in the name of profit and productivity. The history and science is clear: the solution to these societal problems is not criminalization, it's connection.

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Real Estate
I am a licensed real estate agent in New York at the Corcoran group. If you are thinking about buying, selling, or renting in New York, drop me a line! We will have lots of fun, while being efficient and methodical in the process.

Work From Home Under Your Own Terms

We have many open positions that you might be intereted in.