You might think Michael Ingersoll is an overnight success based on reviews of his performance in the late Jonathan Larson’s semi-autobiographical rock chamber musical Tick, Tick…BOOM!. Though the actor has only lived in Chicago seven months, it’s taken him much longer to get to where he is now.
Q. Chicago has the reputation of the clique-ish. Has that been your experience?
A. I think any theatre community is going to be cliquish to a certain degree. I purposely don’t believe it defines or limits anyone’s potential. People are more interested in finding someone right for a role with a good work ethic than they are casting someone they’re friends with. Who you know will only take you so far.
Q. How do you comment when you hear people say you’re an overnight success?
A. If that’s what people are saying, I’m flattered and humbled by it. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to be an “overnight success.” I’ve faced mounds of rejection. It’s been difficult but ultimately good for me.
Q. What’s the best advice you could give to someone looking to break into acting?
A. The first rule is simple: Just show up to auditions and keep going out. Prepare. Know your material.
Q. You had a speaking role opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Walk The Line. How was that experience?
Overwhelming. For a short time, I was 2 feet away from what I want to be. It was very encouraging.