Born in New Mexico, raised in Oregon and Hawaii, schooled in Illinois, and a current resident of Philadelphia by way of Houston, Michael’s first professional show was at the Enchanted Forest Storybook Theatre in Salem, Oregon playing the Wicked Queen (RuPaul eat your heart out) in a send-up of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. After receiving his degree from Willamette University, Michael spent time in Portland and Seattle until finally setting up shop in Berkeley, California. It was in the Bay Area where Michael got his legs. Working with the likes of Impact Theatre, Crowded Fire, Berkeley Rep, A.C.T., and most prominently the California Shakespeare Theatre, he soon realized that he wanted to expand his skill set by going to graduate school.
After several auditions, callbacks, and meetings Michael chose the MFA program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There he was taught by Bob Anderson, Robin McFarquhar, and Tony award winning director Daniel Sullivan. It was at UIUC where he connected with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and went on to spend 6 seasons working in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
At Utah Shakes he was able to significantly expand his skills as an actor. Their repertory structure allowed Michael to run the acting gamut: from Lysander in Midsummer Night’s Dream to Ariel in The Tempest, or from Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice to Christopher Wren in The Mousetrap, Michael played a massive range of characters allowing himself to go against his type and challenge conventional casting.