Michael J. Asberry talks about his love of acting

His voice is rich and deep like a flowing river; he stands over six feet tall with an acting portfolio that includes roles in feature film, television and stage.

Michael J. Asberry is pursuing his dream of acting, full time.  Presently, he is cast in the west coast regional premiere of “Superior Donuts,” written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), opening this week at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in Menlo Park.  For tickets and information call (650) 463-1960 or visit www.theatreworks.org.

I have known Michael for 20 years and this is the first conversation we’ve had about his career–

Sandra Varner (Talk2SV): You have built an impressive acting career, how did you get started?

Asberry: I started off strictly to do voice over work and it has evolved into video games, industrial and commercial video, film, television and theatre. It’s been a wonderful ride, a wonderful rollercoaster ride.  I’ve discovered things about myself that I never thought I’d learn.

Talk2SV: What things have you discovered about Michael Asberry?

Asberry: That I like to live in several different worlds. That I always knew that I had a vivid imagination and much of that I inherited from my older brother who tragically passed away about five years ago.  He had a fatal heart attack.

Talk2SV: Oh, I’m sorry, at what age?

Asberry: He was 48 at the time and he had this incredible imagination.  He could draw pictures, he could do impersonations…he was just gifted.  He was a wonderful storyteller and he used to entertain me as a child and well up into our adult life. I certainly took on a lot of his qualities once I started acting; I’ve taken on his persona, by and large, since I started doing this because he was the one who had all of the artistic gifts as we were growing up. I was the athlete at the time.  I was a student athlete and he was the entertainer so I certainly credit him with much of the influence that I’ve been able to bring into what I’m trying to do now.

Talk2SV: We have seen athletes make the transition into acting and some have done well, Jim Brown and Bernie Casey come to mind.  When did you realize acting would be your destiny?

Asberry: Actually, acting was the very first job that I got; it was a video game called SFPD Homicide.  I had not long signed on with my agent and she was sending me out on camera auditions.  I was very disappointed about that because when I met with her I had specified that I only wanted to be a radio personality and do voice over work.  I had no interest in acting, at all. Clearly, she saw something that I couldn’t see.  I went because she said I should go. I was fortunate enough to book a role in this video game (SFPD Homicide) where they used live action footage along with video game technology.

I studied the script as if I was studying Shakespeare.  I was nervous because I didn’t know what to do if I didn’t get it right.  I made sure that I knew it inside, outside, upside down and from the first shoot, when they got me into wardrobe and told me where to stand, to the time they said, “OK, action.”  They instructed me to deliver the line and they would take it from there. From the moment I did that scene, and it worked, I was stuck, absolutely bitten by the bug.

Read the full interview at www.Talk2SV.com.

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