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Backstage with Spencer Mickelson, aka Schroeder

By • Feb 22nd, 2007 • Category: Interviews, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

We continue our shadowing of the Springfield Community Theatre’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown by talking with Spencer Mickelson, who plays Schroeder [MP3 6:04 1.7MB]. Or read the transcript of the chat.

Mike: This is Mike with ShowBizRadio and I am backstage talking with Spencer Mickelson who is playing Schroeder in Springfield Community Theatre’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Thanks for talking with me, Spencer.

Spencer: You’re welcome. It’s a pleasure.

Mike: Do you really play piano or is it all acting up there?

Spencer: I played enough piano in college to get me past the proficiency requirement to be a music major and that’s about where I stopped.

Mike: Why a music major?

Spencer: I have just always loved music ever since I was little. I had done it casually up until the point when I was 14 and in high school. My choir teacher really took me under his wing. There is a shortage of male vocalists in the world. I guess he saw some potential there and I’ve been studying voice ever since then. Couldn’t leave it behind.

Mike: So you’re a singer?

Spencer: I am a singer.

Mike: Is a singer your job?

Spencer: I hope it is my job at some point in time.

Mike: Do you do anything musically other than community theatre?

Spencer: I sing in my church choir and I do musical numbers for the congregation with some amount of frequency. As far as formal applications of it, not quite yet. I hope to some day sing professionally as far as a theatrical application is concerned.

Mike: So you don’t see yourself going on American Idol do you?

Spencer: Oh, heck no. Sorry to everybody that loves that show, but that’s just not for me.

Mike: Have you found it easy to be Schroeder or has it been a stretch? What’s different about Schroeder?

Spencer: I’ve never played this young of a child before. It’s fun to have that release, I guess. I’ve had a lot of roles where it’s a lot of heavy emotion and it takes you awhile to get into character or to go to that anger or hate or hurt or pain. Whatever is the requirement for that certain character. Such a release to go and play this 5 year old kid whose biggest care is playing piano on a daily basis. He’s doing well in school. Whose plodding and poking at everyone to kind of make fun of him. As far as difficulties, I don’t know, it’s been a lot of fun. There have been a couple of things that I’ve problems with just in the music and then just getting to rehearsal with everything else that I have going on. Other than that it’s all been a lot of fun.

Mike: What character in the show do you thing you’re most like?

Spencer: I would probably say Schroeder. I think that may just be because I know his character the best in playing him. I think I have a little bit of an ego and Schroeder definitely has that egotistical edge to him. Even though I don’t think he would admit that he has it. And then just kind of that love and passion for music. And kind of life as a whole, I see Schroeder as not just a lover of music, but a lover of many things. A lover of life as a whole. When he talks about Beethoven loving the walks in the countryside. I think he looks for his inspiration everywhere. I identify with that.

Mike: Has it been hard working with Lucy because she’s younger?

Spencer: I love working with kids. The last two shows that I did were a Christmas Carol and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Both of which have a large underage child dynamic in it. I don’t know if it’s more that I’m on their level than with adults. I have a lot of fun. I remember when I was that age and the confidence and the relief it was to find something that I was talented at. It’s neat to see both Cody and Lexi step up to the plate and really come into their own and develop their talents and hold their own with all of us who have been studying theater for years. They’re really two very talented girls.

Mike: It’s been really nice in rehearsals watching everybody getting comfortable with each other and starting to play tricks and do the kid stuff together. It’s definitely appearing on stage when you guys are all appearing together.

Spencer: Thank you.

Mike: Do you have a role that you would just kill to do someday?

Spencer: That’s kind of two fold. I would love to do Sweeny Todd. That’s more of a musical thing. Vocally that music really suits me. As far as an emotional journey that would not be my number one pick. I did Into the Woods in college and I played Cinderella’s Prince. And while that was a fun part, there isn’t too much emotional integrity to him. A fairly one dimensional character. I was exposed to the character of the Baker and I just love the questions that his character asks and the conclusions he comes to. I would love to play the Baker in Into the Woods.

Mike: I could see that. I could definitely see that. Anything else you’d like to share with anybody that might be listening?

Spencer: I just feel really lucky to be in this show. It was kind of a last minute throw together. I had been in a Christmas Carol with Keith and he called me and told me to come to the call back auditions. I went not knowing what the schedule would be. I’m taking a couple classes in the evenings. I was really lucky that they were able to work around my schedule and ask me to do the role of Schroeder. It’s just been a really positive experience and I’m glad that I was able to do it and that they let me.

Mike: It’s definitely been fun watching you so I think it will be a really good show.

Spencer: Thank you very much.

Mike: You’re welcome. Thanks for talking with me tonight.

Spencer: Not a problem at all. I’ll see you on opening night then.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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