Meet the team of DISTRACTED - Michael Joseph (Lighting Design)

Michael Joseph is a New York based lighting designer who moved to Chicago to attend Columbia College (16’). This is his first show as a company member with The Cuckoo’s Theater Project. Previous shows are THE WATER CHILDREN and ANON(YMOUS) (TCTP); and CCC TEDx TALK (Columbia College Chicago).

Get to know Michael!

TCTP: Jesse gets in trouble a lot at school. Were you a troublemaker as a kid?

MJ: Growing up as a kid, I really relate to Jesse. While I wasn’t as rude to my parents, I did get in trouble at school for being too loud, having to much energy, disrupting the class. So I guess I was.

TCTP: This is a show where characters (and the actors themselves) break the fourth wall. How do you feel about breaking the fourth wall, when you're working on a show? How about as an audience member?

MJ: I love breaking the fourth wall only if it is a comedy. I feel like interactions with the audience during a comedy is more entertaining. I feel drama is too serious and audience members would lose that seriousness if actors break the fourth wall. That being said, as a designer, there are a lot of cool stuff you can do with breaking the fourth wall and even throwing actors into the audience.

TCTP: What distracts you?

MJ: Air....Seriously everything distracts me when I’m not zoned in.

TCTP: In the play Mama has a big decision to make about Jesse’s future. what kind of decision maker are you? You do research? Make a pro-con list? Trust your gut? Something entirely different?

MJ: I am really bad at making big decisions. Even in my relationship, my girlfriend Brigid makes most of the decisions. However, when I usually make a decision, I think about the pros and cons. Then I see how my gut feels before I make my decision….And then worry about if I made the wrong decision for like an hour.

TCTP: Jesse loves rap. His parents don't love that he loves rap. What kind of music did you listen to as a kid?

MJ: So I listen almost everything thanks to my Dad. My dad was in love with music and so was I. Add that to my Mom’s love for reggae and the Caribbean sound, you have my music library. If you go through my music library and put it on shuffle, Big Sean will come on, then blink- 182, then Enya. My parents approved of most music as long as it didn’t have cursing.

Come see Michael's work in DISTRACTED, running September 8 - October 7 at Prop Thtr.

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