Nov 16

Interview with F. Michael Haynie

F. Michael Haynie, an up-and-coming Broadway star, recently landed his first gig on the Great White Way after an incredibly successful run in some of Off-Broadway’s most popular recent shows. Currently playing Boq in WickedF. also appeared in Carrie, We the People: America Rocks and Dogfightand is swiftly gaining popularity with young theater-lovers. As huge fans ourselves, we reached out and got him to answer our get-to-know-you survey (last completed by the fabulous Maddy Trumble):

Full given name: Franklin Michael Haynie (I was Michael until college then F Michael and now most people just call me F)

Hometown: Macon, Georgia

Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

Current audition song/monologue: I use a Jason Mraz song that I really love. But I think that’s what’s important. To sing something you really love to sing and that you connect with.

Special skills: I was a band geek in high school, so I play: trumpet, trombone, tuba, baritone, French horn, guitar, bass, piano, and a few other knickknacks. I also do a pretty convincing bird sound.

Something you’re REALLY bad at: I’m epically bad at relaxing. I cant even stand massages. I find that I try to book my days off with other things cause I get stir crazy when I’m not doing anything. When I’m at home, I have my TV on while I do work. The noise helps me feel like I’m making better use of my time.

First Broadway show you ever saw: Well… It was Cats on a 6th grade trip to New York. I do remember loving the sets and costumes. But at the time, I didn’t have any inkling that I would be an actor.

If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? I think it would probably be Sweeney Todd. To see that show in its grandeur would be magnificent. Also the joy of seeing a show in the Gershwin Theater knowing I would perform on that stage years later would be really neat.

Favorite showtune of all time: “One Day More” from Les Mis is one of the best show tunes I’ve ever heard. That full orchestra. Full company. Just a thrilling moment of theater.

Some favorite musicals: Big River, Pippin, Drood, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and, come on, Wicked!

One performance – attended – that you will never forget: I’d seen Wicked 3 times prior, but the night I went to see my best friend, Alex Brightman, play Boq will forever be one of my favorite memories. He was spectacular.

MAC or PC? I’ve been a PC man all my life, though I just got an iPad recently and it is AMAZING!

Most played song on your iPod: I promise I’m not too much of a nerd, but it would assuredly be from “35mm” by Ryan Scott Oliver. That cast recording it WHAT’S UP!

Most-visited websites: If I said or I’d be telling a lie. Someone look me in the face and tell me it’s not Facebook! Guilty as charged.

Last book you read: I am in love with the Game of Thrones series on HBO. So I decided to work my way through the first book the series that the show is based on. Fascinating book and a good read.

Reality TV guilty pleasure: Sports. I’m a University of South Carolina football fan, but I’ll watch just about anything that’s on. That’s as close to reality TV that I get. Most of the other things I can’t stand. Though my friend Ben Thompson and his wife Kat got me hooked on The Bachelorette last season and almost convinced me to apply for the next season.

Favorite cities: New York. End of story. Though I’ve enjoyed London, Dublin and Edinburgh. I still have yet to visit the west coast, so who knows where my travels will take me.

First cast recording you owned: I didn’t really have any interest in doing theater as a career until late in high school. The show that turned all of that around was Pippin. So that was the first REAL cast recording I bought. I listened to Ben Vereen and was enthralled.

When did you realize you could sing? Hahhaha. Everyone can sing. I did it for fun since I was a kid. Though I still am learning every day from my friends and colleagues. Listening to the amazing cast of Wicked each night has taught me so much.

First stage kiss: Hummm… It might have been when I played Finch in How to Succeed. I kissed Benton Persons and Madison Moore. Though I haven’t had too many stage kisses since. Boq kinda swings and misses with both ladies.

Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: I got to perform in Les Mis with my brother. He played Marius and I was Enjorlas. It was so much fun and the most recent time we worked together but hopefully not the last.

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Sophomore year of high school when I did Pippin. Changed the way I looked at theater.

How you got your Equity card: I got my equity card on the first national tour of The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks with Theatre Works USA. I met some of my lifelong friends there and TWUSA was my first theater family here in New York. Since that show I have and will continue to work for that amazing company. I’ve done workshops, readings, and even their Off-Broadway summer show.

Favorite liquid refreshment: Seltzer. I have a soda stream in my dressing room as well as at my home. I’m kind of obsessed with it.

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: If I told you that, I’d have to kill you. 😉 Though I did improvise a Shakespearean speech I couldn’t remember in one performance of Much Ado About Nothing during high school.

Worst costume ever: I won’t say in which production, but there was a time in my life where I looked HORRIBLE in a black unitard.

Worst job you ever had: Every job I’ve ever had has made me the person I am today, but that being said, I was not cut out to be a bank teller.

Leading lady role you wish you could play: Playing that green girl would be quite fun. Though the Wicked is a demanderating mistress.

Something about you that surprises people: My good friend Andy Mientus and I are both obsessed with Pokémon… And we’re both VERY good at it!

Career you would want if not a performer: The arts are in my blood. If I was rich, I would produce. Though I would likely lose my money because I would spend it all on the art and not the business. But the best producers can balance the two. So luckily I get to perform.

Three things you can’t live without: My friends. Art. Love.

Words of wisdom for aspiring performers: Be a good person. Be someone people enjoy working with. There are successful divas and arrogant actors that make it big, but being a good person is invaluable. Cause one day that stuff will catch up to you.

F is currently playing Boq in Wicked at the Gershwin Theater. You can follow him on Twitter at @fmichaelhaynie.

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