Wrapping up up our introduction to the directors of Fresh Reads 2 is Michael Speck, known by one and all as Speck! This wacky multi-talented fellow is helming the cast of “Asylum in Georgia” by John C. Davenport, in a reading playing Sat 5/19 and Fri 5/25 at the Bath House Cultural Center. Read about him, then get tickets!
Speck was last seen on a Pegasus stage in last year’s Fresh Reads. He does three or four readings a year for various companies and is often found onstage at Pocket Sandwich Theater and Theatre Britain (which unfortunately has now closed). While a prolific performer in the metroplex, he has started to add director credits more recently. He is currently directing the next melodrama at Pocket Sandwich Theater, Captain Blood, which opens June 27th. When not acting or working his day job, he also spends time crafting bottle cap tables. He would like to thank Sue Birch of Theatre Britain fame for unknowingly giving him a master class in directing after acting for her ten times. Whenever he sees a blackout go for more than five seconds, he thinks of her.
1. How long have you worked with Pegasus Theatre?
Answer: I’ve worked with Pegasus for a year now.
2. What appeals to you about this project?
Answer: I love working on readings of new plays, the fine tuning process, the things that only become clear once it’s being performed.
3. How long have you been involved in theatre?
Answer: I’ve been doing theater since high school, so twenty-one years now.
4. What do you do when not working on this project?
Answer: I work as a theatrical lighting specialist for an event company and I also make bottle cap tables on the side.
5. Give an odd fact about yourself, something people wouldn’t guess from having first met you!
Answer: I lived in London for a couple years in my twenties. Great cultural shock when you become ingrained in the society versus just visiting somewhere.
6. Describe your first live theatre memory.
Answer: The first show I ever did was “The Fiddler on the Roof” in high school. I was the Rabbi. I mostly remember the beard itched thinking “I’ll never grow a beard, these are annoying.” For the record, I now almost always have a beard unless a show requires otherwise.
7. What inspired you to get involved in theatre?
Answer: My grandmother used to take me to see the summer outdoor musicals in Galveston. I loved them. It was an outlet that allowed me to release tons of creative energy. (EDITOR’s note: He isn’t exaggerating! This guy is brimming with creative energy!!!)
8. Theatrical pet peeves?
Answer: I couldn’t possibly list them all, but blackouts that last longer than five seconds without music (or even with), leg slaps, and actors who don’t know how to hold for laughs.
9. Favorite play/musical/movie musical (that you didn’t write)?
Answer: Dead tie between “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” by Tom Stoppard and “Boy Gets Girl” by Rebecca Gilman.
10. What is your hometown and where else have you lived? If you’re not from North Texas, what brought you here?
Answer: Originally from Galveston, TX, and lived just outside of London for a couple of years. I originally moved to Dallas to work as an intern at Theatre Three and moved back here when I came back to the states.
11. What would you like the audience to take away from the piece you are directing?
Answer: A reminder that you can learn things about life in the oddest of places.
And for the curious among you, Specks’s resume!
Speck’s Acting Credits (partial list)
Three Musketeers: Panto, Athos
Tomorrow is Forever, Johan Jacob Jingle-Heimer
Death the Musical Part II, Deputy Jessie
Mighty Valkyries, Rick Peeved
33 Variations, Diabelli
King Arthur, Kaye Bonkers
Laserfinger, Johan Jacob Jingle-Heimer
Herbbits, Wizards, and Borks…Oh My!, Gargamort
The Mousetrap, Detective Sgt. Trotter
The Sunshine Boys, Patient/TV director
All the Rage, Tim Sullivan
Wonder of the World, Kip
Noises Off, Freddie
Captain Phantasm and the … To DOOM, Brain
Dashing through the Snow, Tom Walcott
Sinbad, Al Karim
The Cat and the Canary, Harry
The Underpants, Versati
Dick Whittington, Jack of All Trades
Over the River & Through the Woods, Nick
Crowd You’re in With, Dwight
Unnecessary Farce, Agent Frank