Five Questions for Michael Cyril Creighton
Name: Michael Cyril Creighton
Title/Occupation: Actor/Writer/Sometimes Comedian
Organization/Company: Frequent Guest Artist with The Debate Society, Founding Member/Alumni of The New York Neo-Futurists, formerly of VH1’s Best Night Ever, Writer/Creator/Performer of the online sitcom JACK IN A BOX
1. Where did you grow up and how did you end up where you are now?
I grew up on Long Island. I narrowly escaped the accent, spent 4 years in Boston where I attended Emerson College. Narrowly escaped that accent, as well. Now I live in Astoria, and sound vaguely Greek.
2. Which performance, song, play, movie, painting or other work of art had the biggest influence on you and why?
Well, that’s tough. Let’s start at the beginning…my first and constant obsession: Madeline Kahn. I am not Jewish. I am not a woman. I can’t really sing, and especially not opera. But at a very young age I remember watching her and wanting to be like her. She was fiercely funny but also had an amazing darkness about her. I love that. In college I read my first Nicky Silver play and my head exploded. He will always be a favorite. After I graduated college, I was inspired by Desiree Burch and Pat Candaras, two performers who’s comedy isn’t just about jokes…beautiful storytellers. Their work is deeply personal and twisted. They are the reasons I ever got up in front of a microphone. And I’m constantly inspired by the work of The Debate Society and feel really lucky to have worked with them. Great people, great play makers. I also get really excited by the work of Young Jean Lee (big time), Clay McLeod Chapman, Kyle Jarrow, Kenny Mellman, Dina Martina, Mike Daisey, Rachel Shukert, Stephen Brackett, Delaney Britt Brewer, Adam Bock…the list goes on and on and on. I’ve realized in order to sustain any kind of happiness I have to 1. create my own work and 2. surround myself with people who excite me not only creatively, but as people.
3. What skill, talent or attribute do you most wish you had and why?
I would like to be able to sing really well. And play the cello. Preferably at the same time. While someone plays the drums and the farfisa.Mostly, because I love music. This,I don’t think, is in the cards.
4. What do you do to make a living? Describe a normal day.
I manage a box office for an off-Broadway theatre company and ticketing agency. It’s fine. I spend the day answering phones, selling tickets, dealing with personalities and trying to keep my patience in check. So far so good. It also involves drinking a lot of coffee and devouring the internet.
5. Have you ever had to make a choice between work and art? What did you choose, why, and what was the outcome?
I’m trying to balance the two. I have a BFA in Acting, so let’s just say my skill set is not overflowing. I’ve been lucky enough to work some good theatre related day jobs since moving here…with a short stint as an HR Receptionist for a test prep service. I had to wear a blazer and pretend to be excited by SAT’s. It was terrible. But pretty early on I realized I was going to have to work a full time job to survive. I just made the promise to myself that I wouldn’t stop performing and creating. So far so good. Sometimes I have to say no to things, because I can’t afford not to work…but usually I’m able to figure it out. This is not to say I want to be selling tickets for the rest of my life, but right now, it’s giving me a lot of material to work with. That is for sure.