Creative Spotlight #004 – Michael Maury
April is all about the love! This month we’ll talk to Michael Maury. Michael is one of those people that just radiates love and good energy. When he’s not busy with his music, you can probably find him on an improv stage or doing some form of meditation. Let’s talk with Michael to get to know him and see what he’s up to these days!
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your background?
My name is Michael Maury. I am a Libra who loves when the world is in Harmony! When the boat’s a-rocking, I can feel it and I do my best to calm the waters no matter who is making the waves. I am a lover and peacemaker at heart, always have been, always will be!
I was born and raised on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. I currently am living in Normal Heights here in San Diego and loving the peaceful flow and energy that this city has to offer. I made my way to SD through the trials, victories, and defeats of an adventure known as “Hollywood”. Yes, I, like so many, moved out to Los Angeles about 10 years ago to pursue a career as a TV and movie actor. My dream was to use my talents and skills to make a positive difference in the world through projects that were creatively uplifting and inspiring with a purpose. Unfortunately, playing the ‘business’ game of Hollywood became more difficult and made me continually question my efforts and intentions. No matter what connections I made or progress I created, my heart began to lose focus in the shuffle. As I became more knowledgeable and involved, the world in which I dreamed of making a difference no longer seemed genuine. I began to question where else my talents could be used to make a difference and add value to the world. I am still creating that career and searching for answers. Along my path, no matter what I am doing, I will continue to uplift and inspire all around.
I moved to San Diego a little more than a year ago while searching for that new path as well as to foster the Love of a beautiful partnership I had shared. The relationship with this woman brought me the toughest, yet most valuable lessons that I have received thus far on my journey. Through much pain and heartache, I have come to a much closer understanding of forgiveness, acceptance, surrender, and ultimately unconditional, unattached Love. While I still heal, I do my best to embrace the incredible new connections and opportunities that have been presented to me here in San Diego. I have been fortunate to connect with, and foster incredible relationships with a wonderfully conscious and loving community. I am truly blessed to be here in this moment. All my new experiences have helped me focus my purpose: “To creatively harmonize people of the world by empowering them to Love their true self and live their own true purpose through uplifting education and inspirational performance with the use of music, laughter, and positive encouragement.”
As I search for my proper place in this nutty world, I always enjoy seeing a movie on the big screen! I still get a magical rush while watching an inspiring story with a tub of popcorn and soda in my hand. I am also quite found of Nature and can often be found hiking any number of trails around the area. (If you see an individual climbing trees and meditating on branches… well, that might be me.) As a sports enthusiast I love a live Major League baseball game. (I cheer for the Red Sox, but will enjoy any team live!) I am also quite found of the Zoo. Love those monkeys!
National Comedy Theater – rehearsals!
You’ve got your hands on a bunch of creative projects right now. Want to give us a rundown of what you’re focusing on currently?
My main focus right now is ‘Self-Love’. That may sound cheezy, but it is the path toward true understanding. After all, the universe is a mirror image of our inner world. I know that if I can understand and love my Self to the best of my abilities, the more I will understand the world at large.
My main goal in moving to San Diego was to create a life of value for myself. I am doing my best to find the balance within my everyday routines. I am searching out a day job that brings value into my life as well as others and affords me a comfortable lifestyle of which I am worthy. I am looking for stability, yet flexibility that allows me to pursue my creative passions with fantastic energy. While making “performance” a business in Los Angeles, I began to lose the drive that I once had. Since moving to San Diego, I have found that dedication once again.
One important focus at this point is my music. I was singing in an A Cappella band, Evolution, in LA and loving it for some time. Before that, I had concentrated solely on acting and my craft as an “actor”. I neglected my talents and abilities as a musician and singer while writing songs that ended up on pieces of paper and on garage band files. I have made it goal of mine to share these songs with the world in some way shape or form. Thanks to my opportunities as a Host at The Wine Lover’s, “Sunday Lovin” with Nick Z, I have been given the chance to share my songs, music, and antics. It has been empowering to let my music be heard and felt. I plan to do more of this as I gather my band mates. I have been fortunate to have met great people like Katie Bunker (my harmony girl!) and Rachel Pomeroy (my vibrant, ‘in-sync’ Bass player) to help bring my music to life. I connect so well with both of these fantastic musicians and love the sounds that are created from our collaborative efforts. My goal is to cut an album of my music by the end of 2012 and be gigging regularly around the San Diego community with a full band. I have the players on the bench ready to jump in the trenches. Now, I just have to create the environment of freedom within my schedule to allow it all to unfold.
Another passion and focus of mine, has been Improv Comedy. I have been fortunate to have become part of the community of improvisers found at the National Comedy Theatre. Having done much improv as an actor in LA, I knew it was an important aspect of my career that I did not want to give up. I found the NCT and was happy to take classes at the theatre. After finishing all the levels, I was given the opportunity to perform with their Sunday Company team. We perform the last 2 Sundays of the month and rehearse each Sunday. It has been a thrill being a part of the NCT and I hope to be called up to perform with the Professional team soon. I am also fortunate to be a part of a musical improv troupe called “String Theory”. With these awesome individuals, I get to create a full length musical from one simple suggestion. It is pretty amazing when it all unfolds and comes together.
National Comedy Theater – show time!
You have a great positive energy and seem to radiate it to everyone around you. How much do you rely on the energy from others for what you do, whether you’re at an improv show or performing your music?
Although I am a true “empath” (feeling other’s energy), I do my best to never rely on another’s energy. As a performer, of course I am fueled by laughter and applause; however, to rely on something outside of oneself can be debilitating as a spiritual being. I for sure read the energy of the crowd and work with them accordingly. There are nights as an improviser when the audience is asleep. This can be a huge hurdle to overcome. Luckily, all that Libra energy within me feels the imbalance and tries to bring harmony to the situation. I used to make the mistake of thinking I could make up for the imbalance. My energy became way too big, uncontained, and erratic. I had a wonderful acting coach in LA by the name of Chris Holder who helped me focus that energy. With his guidance and through careful personal study, I have learned to understand my own energy as well as others and how to deal with it accordingly. I have realized, and over time, accepted, that I am not responsible for anyone else’s energy and emotions. Indulge me for a second, and let me bust a little math on you! In any relationship, there are 3 entities: you, the other person(s), and the combination of the two groups. Each party must bring 100% to the equation. If one party is kicking at a lower frequency of like 56%, then that is where you’ve got to meet ‘em. You can’t make up the other 44%, because we are incapable of 144%. It is unbalanced! It’s like this algebraic equation. A = B = C (A is me, B is you, C is the entity created by the relationship.) If I am low on energy A – 44% then the other two will match it. A – 44 = B – 44 = C – 44. So, in summary, I rely on my own intuition to fuel me for any performance and take responsibility of understanding the energy of the crowd for which I am performing.
Even though you’re a very high energy person, you have a very spiritual side to you. What do you do to feed this side of you, and how do you bring it into your projects?
Spirituality is one of the most important aspects of my being. It is a major part of my purpose here in this world and in this lifetime. I do so many things to feed this side of my Self as it naturally makes its way into all my projects and life happenings. Because it is such an important aspect of who I am, it magically flows into everything I do. As I mentioned before, there are many things I do to fuel this part of myself. I am constantly reading and studying to understand my spiritual Self. Weekly, I attend Maria Sirriya’s “Hip-Hop Tantric Yoga Class” at Malashock Studios in Point Loma. Maria has given me wonderful guidance and has brought me to a greater understanding of my Self and my relationship with the Universe. As I have said at shows before, giving her the plug she deserves, “Her class will blow your Chakras wide open!” It is a must for my spiritual, mental, and physical health and I am so thankful for her talents. It is because of her that I have become more involved with the Music community here in San Diego. She introduced me to Nick Z and the Wine Lover and from there my new adventures have been flowing!
On top of the focused Tantric Yoga that I practice, I do my best to meditate daily and feed my spirit with the things I love. Believe it or not, Improv is a spiritual practice for me. Connecting with others in a “group-mind” setting to bring laughter to the masses is a wonderfully healing process. In fact, any performance outlet I am given helps feed my Spirit. I am so thankful for any and all opportunities that I am given to raise peoples’ vibrations through my performance
the space for creating music
Tell us about your music. How long have you been writing for? What inspires you to sit down and write something new?
I have been writing songs for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, I would sing and make up ditties on ‘toy-pianos’. In high school, I began to understand music more deeply and started to delve into my own song writing abilities. I would transform Jimi Hendrix poems into piano-accompanied ballads and would attempt to write ‘folk-like’ love songs on the guitar. I would often frustrate myself, as my ear was always much more advanced than my actual abilities to play. As I have progressed through time, however, I have learned to judge myself less and let the music flow through me.
I am inspired by my emotions. Whether it is joy, sadness, longing, or hopefulness, my emotions light up my songs. I am also moved and inspired by the creativity of others. Some of my greatest inspiration comes after watching an awesome movie or taking in an incredible live performance. I am very often inspired by the creative flow of my peers. Hearing people deliver their beautiful talents makes me want to deliver my own. I am inspired by the risks that others take to share their beauty with the world.
What performers do you admire or draw inspiration from? Are there any that you dream of working with one day?
There are so many different performers whom inspire me. In the acting world, I am always in awe of actors like George Clooney, Tom Hanks, and Matt Damon. There’s a genuine, down to earth quality that all these men share both on and off the screen. They are humanitarians as well as incredible performers and I admire all of their work (even the occasional “Batman” or “Turner and Hooch”. Such movies show great persaverence.)
Musically, I have always been inspired mostly by “singer/songwriters” and musicians who, “Bring the news!” Joni Mitchell, Glen Hansard, Justin Timberlake, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, James Taylor, John Mayer, Jonatha Brooke, Damian Rice, Harry Connick Jr., Eminem, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, U2, Nina Simone, and Nora Jones are just some of the many musicians that fuel my sound and influence my songs. If I could perform with any of these individuals (even the ones that have passed on if it were somehow possible) I would be honored. I would especially enjoy a duet with Nora Jones. Her voice melts away so much heartache and singing with her in harmony would be quite an awesome experience.
You do so much to support others’ talents, but can we expect to see you perform your own music more in the future? Do you have any upcoming events related to your music that you’re looking forward to and can tell us about?
My goal is to create enough balance in my life for me to share my music and talents more regularly. Right now, I am performing twice a month at “The Wine Lover” with Nick Zubel and our “Sunday Lovin” show, but I am looking toward the summertime and putting myself out into the San Diego scene. Please stay tuned for my launch expansion.
Can you give us 5 little-known facts about you?
Hmmm, let’s see… 5 Little known facts about me.
- I sang Lead in a barbershop quartet named “Willie and the Wailers”
- I played the recurring role of Deputy Lloyd on NBC’s “Heroes”
- I was Co-Captain of my high school football team
- I am a middle child with a sweet tooth for anything gummy
- I am loyal, honest, sincere, and Love deeply with devotion, dedication, and optimism.
going live at the Wine Lover
Thanks so much to Michael for opening up his life to us!
Please go visit Michael on his Facebook page, “like” it and say hello! You can also learn more about Michael’s acting experience (and boost his star rating!) by visiting his IMDB page. If the improv comedy shows are more your style, be sure to visit National Comedy Theater’s page for more info on upcoming shows. I can personally tell you that Michael’s Sunday night performances are well worth the ticket price!
Do you know a creative soul/business owner in San Diego/OC/LA County that would like to be featured? Contact me! There are still spots left in 2012!