Actor/writer Michael Cyril Creighton’s New York

GayCities New York Editor, JJ Keyes, met up with Michael Cyril Creighton, the writer/actor who just won best web series for Jack In A Box at the Sixth Annual New York Television Festival.

Name: Michael Cyril Creighton

Home: Astoria, NY

Hails from: Long Island

Relationship Status: I got one

Favorite City: New York

Best New York ‘Hood: I enjoy the East Village. I also really enjoy Astoria, where I live.

Spotted on a typical New York Friday Night: If I’m in Astoria, definitely at Vesta Vino. My favorite restaurant ever. If I’m out for a drink, maybe Nowhere Bar or The Phoenix.

We just discovered your web sitcom, Jack in a Box.

I work at an off-broadway box office. So, there is that. Everyday is a constant bit of soul crushing inspiration. The idea came out of necessity to work and create, but the project came about by accident. I was writing a script for a short film about a guy who works in a theatre box office. At the time, I met my friend Marcie Hume, a documentary film maker. We decided to shoot the first episode, which was initially just going to be a teaser for something I’d eventually make in the future (I’m a procrastinator, you see). We posted that “teaser” as Episode 1, and the response was really overwhelming. So I had no choice but to keep making episodes. Eventually Marcie moved to London and the fantastic Jim Turner took over shooting and editing. I couldn’t do it without them. For reals.

You’ve had some great guest stars already: Marylouise Burke, Mary Testa, Randy Harrison.

I’m over the moon about it. I feel lucky. All the guest stars have been even better than I had hoped for. They really get the material and bring so much to the roles. I wrote the parts for them specifically, so thank god they said yes. It really is such an honor to have actors I have admired for so long be part of something I’ve created.

Dream guest?

If I could have anyone, dead or alive, it would be Madeline Kahn. And Patricia Clarkson. I love that voice of hers. It’s pretty much the antithesis of mine.

Where does Jack go on his lunch break?

Jack certainly isn’t healthy. He eats a lot of cupcakes. He probably walks to Cupcake Cafe on 9th. He’s always caffinated, so he probably stops on the way by Empire Coffee on 41st. I’m sure he sweats during the walk and gets all red in the face. (We are, after all, the same person.)

Know of any great places for happy hour?

Nowhere Bar in the East Village.

What’s the best show you’ve seen in awhile?

I haven’t seen a show in a while, sad to say. But I do have plenty of writers/theatre companies/people I’ll drop everything to see. Last year, two of my favorite shows were by Annie Baker, Circle Mirror Transformation and The Aliens. Both beautiful. I will see anything she does. I often work with a company called The Debate Society, but before I was performer with them, I was a fan first.They do beautiful, intricate, funny work that is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. See anything they do (even if I’m not in it). Bridget Everett is always one of my favorite performers to watch, and she often plays at Joe’s Pub. Kenny Mellman is always phenomenal, no matter what he’s doing. Jeffery & Cole are new favorites of mine; they are great live. Some theatre companies I always look out for: Playwrights Horizons, Waterwell, Banana Bag & Bodice,The New York Neo-Futurists,  to name a few. And when Dina Martina makes a rare appearance in NY, you must see her. PS 122, Ars Nova & Dixon Place do some great stuff. More often than not, I have had a better time at a dank dark basement theatre instead of a shiny beautiful fancy broadway venue.

How about after the theater?

If I’m seeing a show in Midtown, I often will stop by the West Bank Cafe. The bar is great to sit at, the staff is really nice and sometimes you can see Joan Rivers lurking in the corner.

You must be getting a lot of attention for Jack in a Box. Do people recognize you as Jack?

It’s always bizarre when someone comes up to me at my day job trying to buy a student ticket with an obviously fake ID, and I deny them. And then they say “Do you have a web sitcom?” I’ve heard from a lot of box office managers around the country. That’s always really satisfying. I’m always REALLY careful about being polite when I pick up tickets. My favorite story, is this:  after I posted the episode where Jack quits, I got a Facebook message from a Box Office Manager in Boston who told me she showed her staff the episode and then subsequently told them she was quitting. I wish I had balls like that.

What’s next for Jack?

We are finishing up the second season. I now have to write season three and then start shooting it. Will he end up back in his box? I really don’t know yet. All I do know is we will see some familiar faces in season three. And a bunch of new ones.

And Michael?

In late October I’m doing a play called MilkMilkLemonade by Joshua Conkel at the Astoria Performing Arts Center. It’s a show I did last year, and they have assembled the entire original cast for a new production of it. I play a chain smoking grandmother with a love for the bible and an effeminate grandson.

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One Comment

  • Michael O'Brien

    4/ february 2012.
    Hello Michael

    I absolutely Loved the you tube series Jack In A Box , written by and  staring the wonderful Michael  Cyril Creighton, it made me laugh out loud , it brought me back to comedys i loved like  MTM, Rhoda , Phillis , and Lou Grant ,BUT,,,,,, i found the acting in Jack In A Box  very unaffected and has a natural flow  , Michael , you and the cast are very funny , i look forward to yet another series ,
    very best wishes  from the other side of the Atlantic ,

    Michael O’Brien ,

    Cork City  Ireland ,

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