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Director Michael J. Weithorn Discusses His New Film ‘A Little Help’

Director Michael J. Weithorn Discusses His New Film ‘A Little Help’

Writer/director Michael J. Weithorn’s is no stranger to the entertainment industry. A seasoned veteran at this point, Weithorn has writing and producing credits under his belt for several television series, including “Family Ties,” “Ned and Stacey” and “The King of Queens”. Now this multi-faceted artist is taking aim at the world of independent film. Serving as both writer and director on the project, the film is set suburban Long Island in the summer following the September 11 attacks. “The Office’s” Jenna Fischer stars as Laura Pehlke, a Long Island dental hygienist whom we meet in the aftermath of 9/11, whose marriage to Bob (Chris O’Donnell) is on the rocks. A fatal heart attack solves her marital woes but opens a whole new set of problems, including severe cuts in income, a distraught 12-year-old son entering a new school and a newfound connection with her brother-in-law. Laura soon finds herself trapped in an ever-growing web of lies that looks to complicate her life even further. Armed with a powerful script robust characters and standout performances from the entire cast, Weithorn has definitely established himself as a filmmaker worth keeping an eye on in the years to come! Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with him to discuss the origin of the project, the challenges involved with bringing it from script to screen, the collaboration with singer/songwriter Jakob Dylan for the film’s soundtrack and much more!

I wanted to give our readers a little background on you, in your own words. What got you started on your journey in the entertainment industry?

Michael J. Weithorn

Oh, you really want to go back, do you? [laughs] I always wanted to be a comedy writer. That was the phrase that they used on the Dick Van Dyke Show to describe his profession. I remember watching that show as a kid and thinking, “Wow! I want to do that!” [laughs] It was always kinda my career goal and I always did a lot of comedic writing and cartooning on my own. Then, when I was old enough, I took part in the school paper, talent shows and that carried on into college. It was always my love. After college, I moved out to LA with the hopes of being able to break into television writing. I taught high school for three years and I was working on scripts at night and I continued to pursue it. Finally, I was able to break in! I got a few freelance jobs and I was hired by Gary Goldberg, the creator of “Family Ties,” for a show that he did just prior to “Family Ties” called “Making The Grade.” It came and went in a minute but he liked me and asked me to work with him on the “Family Ties” pilot and then subsequently on that series for four years. I worked on that and then eventually left to pursue my own things, so that is the sorta nutshell version of it.

Your latest project is “A Little Help.” For those not yet familiar with it, what can you tell us about it?

It’s an indie film that I wrote and directed. I have always loved films that attempt to show what is compelling and dramatic in real, ordinary lives as opposed to films where there is a very heightened situation or big premise or action or broad farce or slapstick. I mean, those movies can be very good but I particularly love the films of Mike Leigh, he is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers, along with Noah Baumbach and Kenneth Lonergan, especially “You Can Count On Me.” I was really fascinated with the idea of making a film like that myself. At that point, I had been working in television for 20 plus years and I enjoyed it and found it very fulfilling but I was also wondering what it would be like to work in a very, very different way — that is without a big studio or network or with big stars. I was interested in a small film, low budget, a very intimate kind of production. What I found is that it is incredibly difficult! [laughs] In its own way, it is as hard as doing a show for a network, just in a different way. Ultimately, I feel like I accomplished what I had set out to do. I made a film that I like very much and that I am very proud of in the vein of the films of the filmmakers that I mentioned. It may not be at the level of those films but I feel that for the right audience that it has merit and hopefully will be enjoyed.

You have some great talent in the cast of this film. How difficult was it to find the right mix of actors to bring your characters from script to screen?

It ultimately wasn’t very difficult because the right actors really responded to the script. There was a first incarnation of trying to get this film made where I was hooked up with some producers who were much bigger, indie producers that had done “Little Miss Sunshine” and other films in the indie arms of major studios. You know, when a studio is involved, even for an indie, you are talking about more significant amounts of money, 10 million, 12 million, 15 million dollar budgets. Originally, the role of Laura, the lead who was ultimately played by Jenna Fischer, would have had to have been an A-list movie star. I went through a year with these guys where we were submitting it to all of the different A-list women who would get the movie financed. I was really torn because I really wanted to get the movie made but on the other hand, none of these women really felt right to me exactly. I had a very specific idea of this character and none of these women felt right, so it was ironic because we were submitting it to these great women but I was secretly hoping that they would pass and all say no! They all obliged! [laughs]

I think the reason was that often when women who are capable of doing big studio movies will do a little indie movie if the director is someone that they really want to work with or has a really big reputation. I had no reputation at all in film, so I took the film back from those guys and put it in a drawer and eventually pulled it back out as a much smaller venture. Even in small indies you need somewhat of a name, not a huge A-list movie star, but someone where the audience knows their name and face.
Jenna Fischer, at that point, was coming into prominence on “The Office.” I just said, “Oh! She is right for this part,” unlike these other women that we had submitted it to earlier. She was really right for this project. She had the right look and the right vibe. I met with her and she really wanted the part very much and had her own take on it that was really great and could really bring something to it. That being said, I was still blow away by how great she was when we started shooting and, by the way, she was able to create so much nuance and inner life for this character that is so very different from her in real life. As far as the other parts, Lesley Ann Warren, I have always loved and she was my first thought for the role that she played and she was eager to do it. Chris O’Donnell was great. All of these people really responded to the rolls that they played and were very interested in doing the film. When I met with them to talk with them, I could tell that they had a feel for it or at least I like to think my instincts were good! You have to go with your instincts at that point! So the cast really came together once we were kinda doing the low-budget version of this very well and very easily.

As a director, what was the biggest challenge in bringing this film from script to screen?

The film was shot in 24 days, so the logistics were really tough. We shot in New York on locations and had a sampler pack of every problem that you can have while shooting an indie film! [laughs] We had a little bit of everything! We had horrible weather, we had union problems where they were sticking us with people who knew that they couldn’t get fired and didn’t want to work, you know all the typical things that you hear about on “The Sopranos!” [laughs] We had scheduling problems and when we found a location, which was somebodys house, the neighbors hated us and called the police because they didn’t want all of these people around their house in trucks. We just had everything go wrong but somehow amazingly we managed to get the whole thing on film! It was stressful and harrowing every step of the way but fortunately I had one of the best assistant directors in the business. The A.D. is the guy who runs the ship logistically once you are in production. Luckily, I had someone great doing that and it kinda saved my butt! [laughs]

Music plays a large role in the film. How did the collaboration with Jakob Dylan come about?

Just a bit of serendipity. I was driving in my car a few months before we were going into production and my iPod was on shuffle. I have thousands of songs on there and anything could have come up but this song by The Wallflowers came on called “Health & Happiness.” The movie was so much in my head at that point I thought, “Oh my god! This would be fabulous to voice the movie.” It was almost like this narrator in a way was talking about or singing about this character and what she is putting herself through. I love the way Dylan sings and writes lyrics, there is an edge to it and a darkness.

So initially, I explored getting that song but it wasn’t possible because the publishing rights are so complicated and expensive. The producer suggested that we see if he would be interested in writing original songs for the movie, better yet! [laughs] As it turns out, he was very interested in getting into writing music for films and he liked the script, so we went forward. That was it! I met with him after we shot the film and tried to describe the vibe that I was trying to get in certain moments. The idea was that he would almost be like another character in the movie when his voice came in, it would be like this spirit, this person, in some vague spiritual sense would be singing about a “What have you gotten into now?” kinda thing. Jakob wrote three songs that I feel work great in the movie. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I can’t stop listening to them quite frankly! [laughs] That was just another one of those things where it just worked out that the person who seemed right for the role, so to speak, was interested in doing it.

The film has been showing at a lot of different festivals. What has the whole experience been like for you?

The festival experience was very good. There are three or four festivals that are useful for hoping to get a distribution deal. Distributors tend to Sundance and SXSW and a couple of other places but we didn’t get into those. I was actually kinda stunned that we didn’t, I was sort of naively thinking that we had a film that we could get in. What I learned, subsequently, was that these festivals have very specific criteria and the movie has to have either a cast member or director who really has strong indie cred already, which we didn’t have, or it has to be about some subject matter like returning Iraqi war veterans or a very specific genre film or have some studio backing that muscled it into the festival, a list of elements that get your movie into a festival. We had none of those things!

But we did get into some very good festivals on the next tier, which are your major city festivals. We did quite well. We won at five different festivals and were generally very well received. It was a very positive experience. You know, the festival crowds are not the same as your overall movie going crowd. They generally tend to be more film lovers looking for more off-beat kinda stuff unlike your mainstream film viewers. But in a way, that is who this movie is aimed at. It is not a mainstream film by any means, it is not intended to be. My hope was always that we would be able to find the audience for the film and put it in front of them and market it in a way to get that group to see it.

Being a seasoned vet of the film industry, what is the best piece of advice you would give to young filmmakers looking to get into the industry as a career?

It is very, very tough for anybody. The people that you look at and admire their success, you want to emulate, have undoubtedly had very difficult periods in their career trying to get in, during their career and will certainly have more.  It is very much a kind of, “What have you done for me lately?” kind of business. So, you really have to want it with all of your heart and soul and believe in what you have to offer as opposed to, “Oh gee! That looks like fun! I know someone who is doing that and they have a nice life and a nice car. I’d like to have that.” Those are the people who aren’t going to make it because they aren’t getting into it for the right reasons. You have to have a great passion for it.

A really quick story, there is a guy who I knew years ago when I was in LA doing shows. He lived in New York and was the friend of a friend who had sent me his sample scripts because he was interested in TV writing. They were OK, not great, not terrible. He kept asking me, “Do you think I should move out to LA?” wanting me to tell him whether he was going to be successful or not as a TV writer. I kept trying to avoid the question but it kept coming up, “Should I move out?” I finally said to him, “If you have to ask me that question, then the answer is no.” I guess that is, in a way, how I would answer your question? If you don’t know it in your gut that you have to pursue this to the ends of the Earth, then you probably don’t have the fortitude. It will probably beat you down before you conqueror it because it is a very, very tough business.

Thank you so much for taking time out to speak with us, we really appreciate it and all the hard work that you put in on the film.

Thank you for your interest!

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Be sure to check out the official site for ‘A Little Help’ at www.alittlehelpthemovie.com!

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The Office’s Creed Bratton Discusses His Musical Roots & New Album!

The Office’s Creed Bratton Discusses His Musical Roots & New Album!

Creed Bratton grew up William Charles Schneider in the small mining town of Coarsegold, CA. The grandson of a pair of talented country-western singers and son to a father who was a talented banjo player, it seemed that young Creed Bratton was destined to become involved in the music industry. Bratton first began his journey into the realm of music by becoming a highly talented trumpet player throughout his grade school years. Then it happened, the Sears Roebuck catalog came in the mail and from then on Bratton was a guitar player. Armed with a brand new Silver Tone guitar, Bratton learned how to play by ear and never looked back. Fast forward to 2005. Bratton is now portraying the character of Creed on the American version of The Office. While the role started out initially as a bit part, Creed is now a much loved and integral part of the colorful Dunder Mifflin universe. What a lot of fans of The Office don’t realize is that in the huge gap between picking up his first guitar and landing the role of Creed, Bratton became a well renowned musician. That’s right, Creed from The Office was a member of The Grass Roots. Yes, the same Grass Roots who we responsible for bringing us “Let’s Live For Today” and “Midnight Confessions.” Shocked? Steve Johnson of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Bratton to discuss his influences, his experiences as a member of The Grass Roots, his recently released album Bounce Back!, and his favorite “Creed-ism”!

First off, I want to give our readers a little background on you. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a little town below Yosemite National Park in Northern California called Coarsegold, which was a mining community. Of course the gold was gone by the time we were there. It was three hundred people. It’s a little tiny town. I grew up there and took a bus two hours to high school and two hours back again around windy mountain roads. I played guitar and rode a horse. Went fishing and hunting. I did all of that stuff.

How did music first come into your life?

My mother was one of the best mandolin players I ever heard. My father died when I was two in World War II. He also played banjo. They said he was a really, really good banjo player. As I got older I used to come down in the summers to Long Beach, California and spend a month or so with my grandparents who had a semi-professional country and western band called The Happy Timers. There was a steel player, a fiddle, two guitars, and drums. My grandmother played drums and my grandfather played guitar. When I was around twelve or thirteen, he showed me some chords. I played trumpet. I started out playing trumpet in grammar school. I ended up being first chair by the time of my freshman year in high school. I always had the gift for music. At about fifteen I guess, I got a Sears Roebuck catalog in the mail. I went to the Sears Roebuck catalog and got a Silver Tone guitar. The old one with the amp built into the case. So you take the guitar out of the case, plug your guitar into the case, plug the case into the wall, and turn the volume up and play. [laughs] They still have them out there I think. Maybe they don’t, but you can still find them out there. It’s a pretty amazing system. Then I learned by ear. I listened to the radio and figured out songs by ear. By the time I was seventeen I was playing professionally up at a place called Bass Lake Falls. Then I played through college, even though I was a drama major. I was planning to be an actor. I always played because it was something I could do. So I made money playing. Then I was in Europe for a couple of years on the folk trail. Then The Grass Roots stuff happened after that.

What influences have helped shape you, the musician, that we know today?

I liked Duane Eddy, The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Love Chuck Berry! Of course I really liked Les Paul. I had heard of that country stuff from my grandparents, so I like the old country. Hank Williams. In college the folk thing was happening, so I was learning folk music. Then of course The Beatles came along and changed all of that.

I had no idea that you were a part of The Grass Roots, as I am sure most people don’t. How did your involvement with the band come about?

I was in Europe. I was with the group The Young Californians out of college. We traveled all the way through Europe, across North Africa, over to Beirut, down through Syria and Jordan, and then to Israel. We were playing in a folk festival in Israel. This guy came up backstage after the show and said, “Hey! I really like the way you play guitar.” He said, “I just graduated from UCLA.” He gave me his telephone number. He said, “If you get to L.A., call me. Maybe we can get together and play.” It was really casual. People did this once in a while for me. His name was Warren Entner. So I put it in my rucksack. A little over a year later I am in L.A. following a girl there that I met in London. I’m at her house and I pull out my rucksack to get my clothes out, and this little piece of paper flutters out. I look down and I tell people, “If I hadn’t seen that piece of paper, that would have changed everything. My whole life!” I saw it and I picked it up and I said, “Oh! That’s that guy from Israel. The guy from UCLA.” So I called him up. He came over to the house. His name was Warren Entner. He and I started playing around. We wrote this song called “Beating Around the Bush.” Next thing you know we put this band together called The 13th Floor. We played around the valley and stuff for a while. Then The Grass Roots came about… P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri had recorded this song that P.F. wrote called “Where Were You When I Needed You.” They had a band that they got together. They did it with a studio band with P.F. singing. They put a band together to go out and tour. The band fell apart in a very short period of time. So they had this regional hit and they needed a band. So our managers said, “You can stay The 13th Floor. Good luck. God bless. Or you can come in and you can be The Grass Roots and we’ll take you into the studio.” So we opted to do that. The very first song we cut, Warren and I played guitars on it. My friend Bobby Ray played bass. The famous Hal Blaine and The Wrecking Crew played drums. That was “Live For Today.” Then the rest became The Grass Roots legacy.

You guys had a couple of huge hits with “Let’s Live For Today” and “Midnight Confessions.” What was that experience like and how often to you randomly hear those songs?

Yep, those were the two biggies,  it’s amazing! It’s really amazing. I remember one time I was driving up the sunset strip and I kept punching the button and I kept hearing my guitar and my voice in the background going la, la, la, la. It was almost like the song was continually going all across the spectrum of pushing the buttons on the am radio. I went, “Wow!” I had to pull over. I thought, “Something could be really going on here!” I’ll be shopping at Trader Joes or a gas station or supermarket somewhere and I’ll hear “Live For Today” playing in the background. I just now, in the last ten years or twelve years or so started getting money from Universal. Back then they didn’t pay you for the stuff. You’d end up owing the record company money. It was pretty criminal. [laughs] I’m not the only one though. I think the Mama’s and the Papa’s owed Dunhill $250,000 when they finally stopped touring. They were in debt. They found a way to do this really, really creative accounting.

What led to your departure from the band?

The thing that I actually got to play in the beginning… Toward the end, we’d come back from tour and the… Again, I have to preface this by saying I have the greatest respect for The Wrecking Crew. We put their names on our records and held them in high regard. I respect them so much, but never the less, I’m still a guitar player. I felt since I was in the band, I wanted to participate in the recording process and it was frustrating. I got vocal about it. They said, “Well… If you’re not happy, you can leave.” So I did. Only thirty years later I get redemption. [laughs]

You just released your new album “Bounce Back!” For those who might not have had the chance to check out the album, how would you best describe it?

Well… I did it for myself because I am a songwriter. I knew all of these people that I wanted to play with and I said, “You know what… I can actually pay these guys to come in and do this thing.” So I was able to do it. So I just did something that I wanted to hear. For me, it’s well crafted pop music. There’s swampy rockers. There’s hippie, hipster jazz things on there like “Let’s Get Lost.” There’s funny stuff on there. There’s straight ahead pop songs. There’s Traveling Willburys songs. I consider it a very eclectic pop record, but I think it’s old school pop.

Tell us a little about your backing band The 3 DVB’s.

Years ago I played the Whiskey A Go Go. At the time the band was supposed to be called The Grass Roots Revisted, but The Whiskey put up The Grass Roots on it. It was an old drummer from the band… Anyway, Rob wasn’t participating. Rob, which was our bass player and lead singer. He was in Florida. He didn’t come out for the dig. Anyway… we used Dan Schwartz. Dan Schwartz had played on the Tuesday Night Music Club for Sheryl Crow and Black Cadillac for Rosanna Cash. The old analog sound of it was what I was going for on Bounce Back! I wanted that old spacey, a lot of air around the voice, instruments, and stuff. I hate that new everything is crashing together sound. I just don’t like it. So we did the gig. I stayed in contact with him. I’d get together every once in a while and play some songs and jam. I’d play acoustic. He played bass. I had a chance to do a corporate party and he said, “Well you know the guy that I played with?” I said, “Brian MacLeod.” He said, “He played on the Rosanna album.” I said, “Oh yeah!” We rehearsed and I got on stage with those guys and I went, “Wow! This feels really good!” I’ve played with a little of people through the years. A lot of different people… I felt really good playing with these two guys. Then Dan said, “You’ve really got some good songs. We should really cut these songs.” So Brian introduced me to Dave Way. I liked Dave. I felt really comfortable in the studio. I had worked before was a thing called the Scrantones, where I played a convention in Scranton for The Office convention. I recorded this one song called “David Watts” with Bob Thiele, who now does the Sons of Anarchy Soundtrack. I thought Val was one of the best guitar players I had heard. At the convention he brought along, not Val… I was playing lead at that time. Dillon O’Brian… I loved Dillon’s keyboard playing. I just liked his energy, so in the back of my mind I thought, “OK! This is the band!” So when they mentioned it. He said, “Who do you want to use?” I just said, “I want to use Brian, and Dan, and Dillon, and Val.” I kind of already knew… I thought in my mind it would work and it did as you can tell. It really worked well.

Your co-star from The Office, Ed Helms, also helped you out on the album. How did his involvement come about and what did he contribute?

He played on “Rubber Tree” and “Drivin’ the Drags.” He played the banjo on those songs.

Were there any challenges while making the album?

None. None. I got Dan Schwartz some really old classic mics. We recorded all acoustic guitars with really good mics in front of them. Some of the stuff like “Matters Like This”… I’m sitting there just playing my Martin and Val would go, “Oh, that’s beautiful!” Dave would say, “That’s lovely. Play it again.” We threw a mic in front of my voice, in front of me, and then onto my guitar. Stuck one in front of Val. We finished the song. He said do it again. We all played it together and he goes, “OK. I think that sounds great. I don’t think we’re going to improve on that.” We tried it one more time. He still liked the second take. We all liked the second take. That’s how it came out on the album. It’s just totally live. We did overdub the accordion. Everything else is just live. A lot of the stuff on the album is that way. Again, that’s why it has that old fashioned sound.

Being in the music industry as long as you have, are there still surprises? What has been the biggest surprise?

I think the demise of the record company was a big surprise to me, although you could see the writing on the wall for years. I just went to SXSW and played with Tara Holloway, who appears on my record. She’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s from Canada. She’s got an amazing, unique voice. She sings “Let’s Get Lost,” The Chet Baker song with me. She also does background on “Drivin’ the Drags.” I went and I did three gigs at South By with her. What I heard when I was there was so refreshing and so exciting. It reminded me of being on the strip in the old days when all of these different bands were coming up and nobody sounded the same. You could hear somebody and go instantly, “Oh! That’s so and so…” Now for the last couple of decades, each song that comes up on the radio, they all sound the same. They really sound the same. It’s the record company that made that happen. They had to fit into this cookie cutter thing to get the gig. That’s wrong. For me it’s wrong. So for me, I think the best thing that’s happened is that people are rediscovering their individuality. They’re just trying to do what’s organic coming from the band, their voices, their instruments, their writing, rather that forcing themselves to fit a formula. I really believe that very sincerely.

What do you consider the defining moment of your musical career so far?

Gosh… I’ve got to believe it’s this album. I’ve got to believe that this album is a throw back to the old well crafted pop songs. I believe this is a really solid, honest, well crafted album with really good players and a honest approach. I’m happier with this thing than anything I have ever been involved in musically.

You are currently playing some live shows. Where can people catch up with your band?

The first time they can see us coming up will be May 8th in L.A. at the Hotel Cafe. After that I know we’ve been talking to The Caves and Cafe Largo. Of course it’s hard because of The Office to find the time to go out and do a tour. If I can get the right agent to book… We can plan ahead and get the show together for the next time we go on hiatus, then I will definitely tour with this band. Of course it will be surrounded by the doubt if I have a movie that I’ve got to do. It’s going to have to be setup between films and The Office, but I definitely am planning to go out and tour for the album if the opportunity is given to me.

Most people recognize you as Creed from The Office. How did you get involved in that project?

I was working on Bernie Mac. I had done one episode where I played piano on Bernie. I was playing live, bluesy piano. Like a lounge lizard kind of guy. It was a funny little bit. I had another bit with Carl Reiner. So I had been doing just kind of little bits. A lot of them had to do with music. It was really funny. I played a few different characters on the show. Mostly just musical stuff. This guy came on, director Ken Kwapis. He was a big Grass Roots fan. He knew all about it. He sent out for some albums and I signed a few album for him. We chatted a lot. I found out he was directing the American version of The Office. I actually had… Mr. Balls here… Mr. Balls Bratton. [laughs] I called him up and I said, “Hey Ken! It’s Creed!” He goes, “Hey!” I said, “I hear you’re doing The Office. I would really love to come and participate in that.” He said, “Well were cast man, but you know what, you are such an interesting character. If you want to come and I’ll stick you in a suit in the back ground, I promise you that I will see if I can work you in.” So he literally did on the pilot in that first season, even though I did act in one and I did a voice over in another. I was basically in the background. I saw it. I saw all of these talented people vying for time. I wrote my own talking head. I shot it myself. I adlibed a bunch of stuff, cut it to about five minutes, and gave it to Greg Daniels. He thought it was funny and he liked it. The next thing I know they gave me a shot with “Halloween” and the I’m on the show in a year or so as a regular. I was on the show from then on as a guest star. Now for a couple seasons I have been a series regular.

Do you have a favorite quote from the show?

God… There’s so many! Where to start Steve? “Which one’s Pam?” “Someone’s Making Soup.” “Cool beans.” Also maybe perhaps, “During the sixties I made love to many, many, women. Often outdoors in the rain and the mud. It’s possible a man slipped in. There would be no way of knowing.” It’s such a bizzare line! [laughs]

The Office is currently in its sixth season. To what do you attribute the longevity of the show to?

I have no idea. Obviously we’ve got a really great cast. We’ve got Steve Carell. We’ve got Rainn Wilson and John and Jenna and a really good supporting cast. We all work together well. We’ve got some of the best writers in Hollywood right now writing for us. Of course we’ve got our wunderkind mastermind guiding us all through these storms, Greg Daniels, who has been at the helm of many, many great things before this. Of course we were almost canceled the first season. We almost didn’t make it to the second season, but we finally found an audience and it seems to be building to in increments every year. So that’s a good thing.

How do you find the time to juggle between your commitment to The Office and your musical career?

I can only go in the studio to do an album because you really need to go back and forth every single day when we’re on hiatus. So I can’t go out and tour or record an album. I can go out and do weekend gigs. We work twelve hour days man. It’s tiring five days a week. I have to do all of this stuff as soon as we wrap. For this one here… We wrapped on Tuesday, I took a red eye to New York, and I’ve been on a press junket all week for the album. I haven’t had any chance to rest at all, but hopefully when I get back to L.A. I’ll get a couple of days.

What is the best piece of advice that someone has given you along the way in your career?

Always have gas in your car, air in your tires, current plates, and a drivers license so that anytime anybody calls you to go to an audition you can do it and not say, “Aww… I didn’t have a car and couldn’t make it.” That’s really important. People don’t know about that stuff. You’ve got to be able to make a gig. For me, I’m just a workaholic anyway. I’ve always, even all of those years in between The Grass Roots and The Office, I stayed in workshops and stuff. Every week I would memorize a script and do it live in front of people. So when my opportunity came I was ready. I guess that’s the advice. Be ready. Have that muscle working and tuned up. If you get an opportunity and you go, “OK. Let me go back home and kind of dust off the chops…” No. You don’t get time to dust off anything, you better be ready to go. That’s the best advice you can give anybody.

Is there anything else you want to add or say to your fans?

I just thank everybody so much for embracing the character. I know the young crowd has taken Creed as some weird kind of cult figure. I’m so happy about that. I hope everyone likes the album.

Thanks for your time Creed and best of luck!

Thank you, buddy!

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Get Creed Bratton’s new album ‘Bounce Back’ online at the official website located at www.creedbrattonbounceback.com!

Buy.com coupons might be available for Bounce Back as well as past seasons of The Office.

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