A little music, a little comedy, and a lot of the one-of-a-kind Creed Bratton.
The biography of Creed Bratton is two worlds apart if you aren’t careful of the link you click.
One link will tell a story about William Charles Schneider born in California who went on to have a successful career in the acting and music business. Names like Steve Carell or Bernie Mac would pop up as people he’s worked alongside. “The Grass Skirts” or “The Wrecking Crew” would trickle into the search results as a laundry lists of career titles builds.
The other would show a compilation video of a man who is wild enough to have been a member of a cult, but wise enough to know you make more money as a leader. He’s that co-worker who swoops in on someone’s unfinished lunch to chow down the last few bites. And he’s also that dude behind some bar in Scranton, Pennsylvania whipping up fake IDs for the students at the university.
Unfortunately, both of these biographies are true. Fortunately, one is about a fictional character on “The Office” while the other is a quick rundown about the quirky, zany, and off-the-wall man who is headlining the Big Spring Standup Show, Creed Bratton.
But before Creed hits the stage in Independence Hall on March 23, we had him serve up some Creed Thoughts about life before, during, and after “The Office.”
Can you tell us a little about your life to leading up to landing your role on “The Office”?
I’ve been an actor since a young age and I went right back into acting right after [I did] the Grass Roots. I worked; I did a lot of TV, small movies, independent films, plays, and somethings like that. When “The Office” came along, I was working on [“The Bernie Mac Show”] … My gut feeling was this was going to be the one. I knew the director who was going to be there and I lobbied to get put in the background. They knew me, and they thought I might be interesting, but they weren’t sure. They said they were going to try to work me into the show. So I wrote my own character: What would happen if I stayed an adult, drug induced rock guy, nefarious and scheming? So I shot my own submission tape; I edited it down, ad libbed a bunch of stuff…I didn’t tell a soul, either. Didn’t tell my kids what I was doing–just gave it to Greg Daniels…Next thing I knew they threw a script down on my desk. Here ya go, six and a half pages with Steve Carell.
What was it like once you were on set?
You had to stay in character. The characters were wild; my character was wild…I always had to be aware where that camera was…We all did…They’ll come around at any time, shooting a scene, and for some capricious whim or whatever, one of the camera guys would pull someone around. The whole idea was we were acting like it was totally real, in character, and you had to be ready to go at any time. The camera can’t come around and not find you in character.
Did you ever have a moment of realization that you had made it to a big stage?
I was singing up on stage for like 400 or 500 people and I could feel the response and I realized, “You know what, this is what I do. I am very, very comfortable here.” And I think that’s it. You can fake it, but if this is not your thing or calling, it’s going to be a very hard road.
And I think you do that perfectly too, portraying this off-the-wall, zany character. It seems so natural.
They call the guy that comes in with one shot and kills the scenes a “sniper” in the radio business. That’s basically what I did.
So since “The Office” ended, what have you been up to?
I shot a couple shorts, I have an another album coming out on April 6 called “While The Young Punks Dance,” on Label Face Records, and the reviews from the people that I know that know what they are talking about are saying it’s my best album. I was over in Europe for awhile, I shot this movie called, “The Sister Brothers,” a noir western with Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, and Jake Gyllenhaal—good cast, it’s a good cast. I’m still out there just workin’, my friend!
Can you tell us a little about your time in the music scene before your acting career?
I had left the band thing a long time before [The Bernie Mac Show], I have been bouncing around a lot of different bands since the Grass Roots. And when I left the Grass Roots, I went to study acting. I did plays, but it was 25 years until I got a [big] break, ya know, actually making some serious money. That’s a long time to keep at it…I had no other thing that I loved to do, so that was just what I loved to do. I just stuck with it. I did every type of job to stay alive.
So what are we going to see at the standup show? Music? Comedy? A little of both?
It’s going to be comedy, music, and in between there will be bits of comedy.