Tyler Miclean is taking southern California regional theater by storm. He is currently starring in 3-D Theatricals THE FULL MONTY, which closes this weekend at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton. A recent graduate of USC’s School of Dramatic Arts and School of Cinematic Arts, Miclean is also a member of USC’s improv comedy troupe, Commedus Interruptus. His previous credits include 3DT’s RAGTIME and Cabrillo Music Theatre’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. I got to talk to Tyler recently about his hobbies, how he approached his most recent character and stripping in front of a live audience!
Hi Tyler! Besides acting, writing and directing, what are some of the other things you enjoy doing?
I really enjoy the time I find to indulge my hobbies, side projects, as well as the unique and surprising opportunities that sometimes come along in life. I was commissioned to design album artwork last year for a buddy of mine and his band. Visual art, sketching, and cartooning has always been something I have cherished doing. I just finished my fourth and final year as a part of USC’s improv comedy troupe, Commedus Interruptus, which was a primary highlight during my college years. I am also a practicing Christian, which involves community services, meditation, historical studies, Biblical studies, and gatherings, all which I enjoy as a path towards peace for me and those around me. I desire to be reading more, always reading more.
What initially drew you to the role of Malcolm in The Full Monty?
I think my being drawn to Malcolm began after I had received the role sometime during the late rehearsal period. I am still getting drawn closer and closer to this character, and I have become the most interested just as the show is closing. I have an understanding of Malcolm now that is sufficient for deeper discovery and creative expansion, a natural realization that the audiences help any actor and myself shape. Of course the character comes with some challenges that I found uniquely intriguing; the sexual identity crisis and the stripping. I was excited to work outside of my wheelhouse a little bit. And I can’t deny that “Walk With Me,” Malcolm’s sobering second act hymn, peaks my musical interest, as someone who loves to sing gorgeous songs. In a play about community and friendship being the remedy to life’s pain amidst the most despairing and humiliating moments, Malcolm is the piece’s prime example of an isolated human being. Malcolm comes a particularly long way in this story. That draws me in for sure.
How do you get yourself into Malcolm’s state of mind to portray the rather complex character?
I channel Malcolm by assuming the unique physicality and mannerisms of Malcolm, carefully selected for certain moments in the show. He is supposed to be pigeon chested and thin. I try to adjust my shoulders and stance accordingly. After the physical work is done, then I attempt to fill my head with thoughts based on what I’m receiving from other actors and from set pieces and props that may mean something to the character. Malcolm’s inner thoughts, movements, and even line deliveries are all crafted beforehand. This is for clarity and consistency’s sake. I get into Malcolm’s state of mind by engaging in the preconceived ritual of Malcolm, something that was collaborated on, not left to chance.
What is your favorite moment from the show?
The final strip is exhilarating. The story has been told, the character arcs are as wrapped up as they’re gonna get, and all six men actually become one with their characters in that moment because we as actors are actually doing what the Monty 6 are doing, stripping on a stage. The audience becomes a genuine character in that moment, and they cheer the whole way through. That kind of support is highly unique.
Please describe Malcolm and Ethan’s relationship.
Malcolm and Ethan have a tender friendship at the core of their relationship that is built on kindness, trust, and common interests. In the scene where that relationship takes a huge step forward, I want that aforementioned friendship and kindness to be what’s expressed rather than any sort of lust or selfishness. Ethan gives Malcolm opportunities in the show to act with conviction, which develops Malcolm’s character, even if Ethan ends up giving more than he gets. Malcolm supports and loves Ethan, which gives Ethan strength. It’s a relationship worth rejoicing over because they make each other better. Their romance in the show is brilliantly understated because I don’t think the writers wanted it to overshadow the ultimate theme of the show, friendship.
The characters in “The Full Monty” work on overcoming their insecurities before taking the stage. How do you deal with your own nerves before performing in front of an audience?
I overcome my stage fright by trusting in and continually honing my marks. I have my body to tell the story. I have worked hard to make sure that my body tells the story. I continue to work hard to get my body to tell the story more clearly each night, reaching more and more audience members with the universally understood truths of this character. If I go into a performance trusting my choreography, meticulously developing my choreography, and seeking to learn even one single thing more during the show that will make the next one better, my nerves will only do good things tor me.
Have you had any funny mishaps on stage?
When we were still making adjustments on the massive lighting cue that shields our genitals from the audience in the final moment of the show, many of us would reveal ourselves too early under the stage lighting and actually bear ourselves to the audience. I suppose that’s to be expected with a show like this. It’s easy to lose count during such an exhilarating moment on stage.
And to end on a light note, out of the 6 of you, which one would be the most likely to strip for money in real life?
I mean we are getting paid for this show, and I imagine that the stripping aspect of the show is in some way a draw for audiences. So it’s not even a hypothetical anymore. In reality, on the weekends I strip for money with my five friends. We’re not professional strippers, but we do strip.
Catch Tyler Miclean as Malcolm Macgregor in one of the few remaining performances of 3-D Theatricals “The Full Monty” at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton, CA. The show is playing Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6 at 8:00 pm, Saturday, May 7 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm and Sunday, May 8 at 2:00 pm. To purchase tickets, please contact the box office at (714) 589-2770 or ONLINE