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AMDA Alum Camille Burford To Host "Design Wars" on HGTV!

November 18, 2011 -

AMDA Alumna Camille Burford graduated from the Studio program in NY in 2003. Camille will host the upcoming “Design Wars” on HGTV beginning on November 21st, however you may already know her as the host of “Food Wars” and “Best Places I’ve Ever Been” on the Travel Channel. We spoke to Camille to find out more about how she parlayed her adventuresome spirit into the job of a lifetime.

Was there a specific moment in your life when you realized you wanted to be a performer?

When I was younger I would go to the bathroom and put the little decorative soap gels in my mouth and watch myself in the mirror to see what my reactions would look like. Afterward I would try to mimic those reactions without the soap. It was pretty soon after my mom realized all the decorative soaps were missing that she decided to get me into acting.

How did you decide to come to AMDA?

When a teacher told me about one of her students going to AMDA, I got this strong gut feeling and I knew I had to go to there.

What was one of the most valuable lessons you learned at AMDA?

To create good habits and choose carefully the people with whom you associate. The habits that you learn while you are at AMDA will help you later juggle your life and your dreams successfully.

You are the host of “Design Wars” on HGTV, as well as “Food Wars"and “Best Places I've Ever Been” on the Travel Channel. How did you move into the direction of becoming a sought after TV host?

I went to every audition I could get into and took every job that I could manage. I made it a priority to continue to educate myself in what I found interesting, whether it was relevant to “the craft” or not. I read and took classes in everything I had an interest in. I studied taxidermy, how to rebuild an engine, languages, sewing, cooking, orienteering, mountain biking, skyscrapers and the list goes on.

You also have several of your own business ventures that you run. How do you manage it all?

My sister helps me tremendously. Her strengths balance my weaknesses. I am lucky enough to be around people with a strong work ethic and amazing creativity.

You seem to have parlayed your own adventure driven spirit into a career that reflects that. How did you focus your energy to attain that?

I don’t think anything has come easy, but I have always been determined to get what I want. This made it possible to set the goals necessary to achieve what I wanted at the time. For me it has been a matter of doing all the work, delving further to get all of the background information for a character, learning something new and being passionate about that.

Camille Burford

What has been your most exciting adventure to date?

Life! Everyday is such an adventure. Just breakdown a few minutes of any given day and take a step back and you’ll discover…holy cow the things we do! I get such a kick out of everything and anything, its fair to say I am overly enthusiastic about 99% of what I see, hear and do. That being said; traveling alone in Egypt was a life changer. It was dangerous, beautiful, filthy and full of history.

Do you have a memorable episode from one of your shows?

We filmed an episode of “Food Wars” in Arizona and my family got to come to the set to watch me work. Eight years after I had moved to New York alone and broke, I finally managed to come back to my home state and show my parents that I had found a way to make a living doing what I love. INCREDIBLE!

What is your ultimate career goal or dream role?

As an actor I would really like to do a series of adventure/comedy films. As a host I would like to work on a syndicated Network TV Show that teaches kids and families how to be adventurous.

Do you have any advice for current AMDA students and recent graduates?

Listen to yourself, not the ego or the fear, and always fight like hell for what you want.

Check out Camille on her new show “Design Wars”, the all-new makeover series where three cutting-edge designers battle it out for the chance to overhaul a family’s desperately drab room. Premiering on Monday, November 21st at 8 pm EST/ PST on HGTV.

Camille Ford in Egypt