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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Deeper Dish with Michael Cyril Creighton

Michael Cyril Creighton is a very funny guy. I blogged about him and his groovy new web series, Jack In A Box, last week because I just love his sense of humor. He makes me laugh out loud, and anyone who accomplishes this rare feat deserves to be featured twice on my blog.

Besides being the creator/writer/performer of Jack In A Box, which exposes the sordid underbelly of working in a theater box office, Creighton was a host of VH1's Best Night Ever video podcast for two-and-a-half years and a founding member of The New York Neo-Futurists theater collective. I'm quite honored to have him be my second Deeper Dish interviewee (i.e. a fabulous person who will answer pop culture questions along with giving us some insight into their life). So without further adieu, let's get deeper with the talented Michael Cyril Creighton:

Let's start with Jack In A Box. What inspired you to create the web series?
Although the series is completely fictional, I do manage a box office. And that’s sometimes horrible, but mostly okay. I started thinking it would be a good environment for some sad comedy. So I started writing a longer script, what was sort of like a short film, then I scrapped that and made it into little shorts. I love the web format for things, and have enjoyed so many web series (The Burg, Mimi & Flo, Loo In London) that I wanted to give it a shot. I also wanted to completely write something on my own, since in the past I’ve mostly been a collaborator. Also, I realized more often than not, I need to make my own work if I want to work.

What has been your "Best Night Ever" in life?
My 30th birthday this year was pretty fucking great. It involved great wine, great food and a lot of people I love. And something called Little Baby Jesus Cake. So, yes. Best Night Ever.

What was your least favorite job?
I worked at a meat market when I was in high school for one day. I cleaned up the scraps. Enough said. The next day I went in and lied, telling them I was voted president of the student council and couldn’t balance my political duties with shoving my hand elbow deep into a bucket of blood and fat.

If I had to gain 30 pounds for a role, I would eat:
I did have to gain weight for a film, and I gained about 15-20 lbs, and then it got canceled. So I was left with a fat ass and no movie role. That was a bummer. However, I’d do it again in a heartbeat and this is what I would eat: Tacos Al Pastor, deep fried avocados stuffed with cheese, macaroni and cheese, steak with blue cheese, burgers with blue cheese, blue cheese with blue cheese, lots of carbohydrates, Wendy’s chicken nuggets (lots of dipping sauces), pizza, pickles, tons of booze, pork buns, pad thai…and, of course, Baby Jesus Cake.

If I could be part of any TV family in history, I would choose:
The Manzos (Real Housewives Of New Jersey). I’d like to be Dina’s adopted son.

The very first album, tape or CD that I purchased with my own money was:

In high school I was:
Homecoming King. Awww yeah, suck it.

The last really good book I read was:
Veronica by Mary Gaitskill (read it a long time ago, and recently re-read it. Love her).

My favorite "so bad it's good" book is:
sTORI Telling by Tori Spelling or Wake Up, I’m Fat! by Camryn Manheim.

My very first concert was:
Teenage Fanclub. I don’t even think I own one of their albums. I was a freshman in high school, and some seniors took me. The best part of the night was that Tanya Donelly from Belly and The Throwing Muses was in the audience, and she was and still is my favorite musician of all time. I started freaking out, and then I worked up the courage to ask her for a light (this was when you could still smoke at concerts). Then I was like, “I read an article that said you threw up a lot as a kid because of nerves. ME TOO!” Awkward.

My favorite Dusty Springfield song is:
"Guess Who?"

When I was growing up, I never missed a television episode of:
Carole and Paula in The Magic Garden, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Saved by The Bell, 90210 (the original), Melrose Place (the original), Pinwheel and Today’s Special. Now that I’m older, I’m much more into television and this list would be reallllllll long.

If I could have dinner with anyone in the world - living or dead - I would choose:
Madeline Kahn.

Who would you like to have lunch with: Oprah, Chelsea, Ellen, Bonnie, Kelly or Kathie Lee?
Chelsea. Please.

The last good play I saw was:
Naked Angels' production of Next Fall is gorgeous. So beautifully done. Well-acted, well-directed, such a moving play. It ended its run August 8th, but I can only hope they have a longer life in the future. Exquisite ensemble of actors (Patrick Heusinger from Episode 2 of Jack In A Box was in it).

The last good musical I saw was:

The worst play or musical I've ever seen in my entire life is:
My body actually rejected the recent production of Desire Under The Elms. Maybe it just wasn’t my thing, but I actually felt like I was going to rip off my skin while watching it.

If I could give an Oscar for any neglected film performance of the past, I would give one to:
Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures. Or Madeline Kahn in anything.

If I was stranded on a desert island for a year, I would want to listen to:
Star by Belly, 19 by Adele, The CD Version of The First Two Records by Bikini Kill, Exile in Guyville by Liz Phair and Music for Men by The Gossip.

My favorite Mad Men character is:

If I could star in any role in any Broadway musical or play, I would be:
Someday I’d really like to play Mason in Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out. I also dream of a day they do a revival of Nicky Silver’s The Food Chain as Otto is one of my favorite characters ever. And Vera Charles in Mame. Duh.

Who's your favorite: Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Col. Mustard or Prof. Plum?
Mrs. White. Always and forever.

Who's your favorite Golden Girl: Dorothy, Blanche, Rose or Sophia?

Who's your favorite: The Real Housewives of New Jersey, New York, Atlanta or Orange County?
New Jersey. By far. Those girls are my bitches. Huge crush on Dina and Caroline.

What's next for Michael Cyril Creighton? And what's next for 'Jack'?
As for me, I’m doing a play in September called Milk Milk Lemonade by Joshua Conkel, directed by Isaac Butler. Haven’t started rehearsals yet, but I think it’s going to be a blast. Let’s just say it’s a role that no one would expect me to play…

As for Jack, Episode 3 is shot and should go up soon. It features Jackie Hoffman as a manipulative woman who tries to scam Jack into giving her a Student ticket. I have a few more episodes written. Eventually I hope to see him out of the box, interacting socially with people (awkwardly) and delve into some of his anger issues. For example, he might be the kind of person who treats waiters terribly. I am not sure yet though. We shall see.

Thank you, Mr. Creighton, for getting Deeper with us here on the Dish. Episode 2 of Jack In A Box is featured above (and be sure to keep watching after the credits for an extra special scene). To see future episodes, subscribe to Creighton's YouTube channel at or become a Facebook fan of the web series by clicking here.


joshcon80 said...

I love Michael! MilkMilkLemonade is MY play!

I actually found this blog and commented on it a few weeks ago completely separate from Michael of the mention of my own name. How? Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

Jake said...

I loooooooove MCC and "Jack in a Box"!!!!!

Thanks for this interview. More!

Deep Dish said...

I'm happy you enjoyed my interview with MCC, guys! And I hope your play is a big hit, Joshua!