Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spotlight On...F. Michael Haynie

Name: F. Michael Haynie

Hometown: Macon, GA

Education: NYU

Select Credits: Band Geeks (Spitz, Goodspeed); We the People (Adams, Lortel, TWUSA); The Twylight Zones (The Bloat, Paramount Pictures); Rocket Science (Heston, Playwrights Horizons); 35mm (Man 3, Urban Stages); Readings Workshops Etc. Fun things with fun people!

Why theater?: Honestly it kinda happened later for me than a lot of my actor friends. I'd done theatre all my life, my whole family did it and supported it, but I never thought about a career in it. I was a musician. I played in the band and wanted to go to school for brass performance. Then, my sophomore year, I did the show "Pippin" and discovered that theatre wasn't just singing songs and moving furniture (though at times it can be). There was this new world of characters, connection, living breathing people on a stage that told me in my heart, "this was what you need to do." So I applied to a couple of schools and was accepted to NYU where I attended the Lee Strasberg studio for 3 years. So now "why theatre" has a short answer: I can be anyone I want to be and play with some of the coolest people in the world.

Tell us about Fucking Hipsters
: Fucking Hipsters is a brand-spanking-new musical about a band from Williamsburg. It follows the story of Mark Twain's Moustache, an up-and-coming hipster band and closenit family of friends. Then a girl named Josie comes into their lives and Lars, the lead singer, falls in love with this beautiful hipster girl: antics ensue. The cast is filled with amazing actor/musicians and we're gettin ready to get crunchy and ironic starting September 27th.

What is it like to be a part of Fucking Hipsters?:
Working on new works is my JAM! I've been so fortunate to work on a lot of new shows in the last few years and I have loved every second of it. There's just something about creating a new character because, until you. He/she/it only existed on a piece of paper or a laptop harddrive. You don't have to stare down the barrel of the ORIGINAL performer or the "WAY this part is SUPPOSED to be done." No one'll say, "Ewwww, he didn't do it the way Ben Vereen did!" (though he is undeniably phenomenal... not the point.) New work is an opportunity to mold a piece WITH the authors. From "fancy" 29 Hour Readings and Broaway Workshops, to sitting with a bottle of bourbon at a friends apartment and sleepover work sessions in Philly, it's about the work. And Fucking Hipsters is providing a place where we can create new people and play instruments and invent a new world. Its a play, and we are!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as artists?: I want to see everything. I want to see things I love. I want t see things I hate. It really frustrates me when people "hate" things they haven't seen. Example: Spider-Man. For people who just blindly HATE it, I have a question: did you miss the part where there is an amazingly talented cast and crew and design team working their asses off? No? Then you didn't see the show. Now hate the script or the music and I'm gonna fight less with you, but I can have a real opinion cause I've seen it. This year I have seen some amazing work! Don't get me wrong I've seen some shows that should get the Old Yeller treatment, but even in clunkers there are gems to be found. There are some actors I would watch read the phone book. As far as "who inspires me as an artist"... I have my celebrity list of folks like Gary Oldman and Brendan Gleeson (and if you say "they're both in Harry Potter"... I'll punch you in the face...). But the people that inspire me the most are the amazing artists I get to work with every day. Now I feel weird saying this, cause it sounds a bit douchy, but I worked on a show called 35mm written by Ryan Scott Oliver. In the cast with me was Alex Brightman, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Lindsay Mendez, and Carrie Manolakos. These are all friends of mine, and they are my inspiration. I learn from watching and listening. You can learn from anyone. I am even inspired by the actors who come in for non-equity calls for TheatreWorks USA when I'm reading for them.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: I don't know. Like I said before originating things is so much fun that maybe that's my answer. I'm dying to play the roles that haven't been written yet.

What’s your favorite show tune?: Ok... Now there are LOTS of awesome songs, but "One Day More" from Les Miserables is so well constructed that literally every time I hear it I get chills. (though the parody of that in "South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut" has a similar quality.)

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Robin Williams. I feel like working with him would teach me so much about life. He is a stunning performer and has a brilliant mind. I watch his films and all I want to do is probe his mind. What must working with him, playing off him, acting with him be like? We see so many "comedians" who make "funny" movies, but watch "Good Morning Vietnam" and see an amazing actor, who also HAPPENS to be a ridiculously funny comedian, give an beautiful performance.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The movie about my life would be called "Songs in the Key of F" and would star Ryan Gosling cause in my movie I'm gonna have abs and look smokin hot. And I'd also rewrite the movie where I'm rich and have a cool car! Everything else would be the same though.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I would say The Book of Mormon, but they don't need the press from me (it is one of the best shows I have ever seen in my life, End Of Story.) and their ticket sales aren't waiting with baited breath for me to endorse them. So in lieu of gratuitously praising that marvelous show, I will suggest this: go see something at NYMF. There are a couple shows that I know about but there are many to choose from. 1) Fuckin Hipsters- yea... The one I talked about earlier. 2) Outlaws- Great production staff and amazing cast. I mean, a Billy the Kid musical with Corey Boardman's rockin as B the K himself... Come on! 3) Crazy Just Like Me- written by the multitalented Drew Gasparini and starring many amazing actors including Andrew Kober, And Mientus, and Lexi Papedo singing their faces off! And that's just 3 of the many NEW shows you could see in the next month.

What’s up next?: Well a few things. First I'll be doing a reading of the new musical of Ever After being directed by Kathleen Marshall. And then I'll be starting the rebirth of Carrie the musical off-broadway at the Lortel Theatre. First preview is on January 31st, and get excited because this ain't your Mama's Carrie. This is a revamped, scary, sexy, killer musical. We are all very excited. And next fall my first feature film comes out. The working title is The Twylight Zones and it was directed by Soprano's creator David Chase.  It will come out some time next year. I couldn't be more excited. Aside from that, I'm working on my own music and playing around the city. To hear my stuff please visit my YouTube page at To keep current follow me on twitter @fmichaelhaynie or just stalk me. Cause who doesn't love a good stalker?