Actor and pianist Mike Iveson has been an ensemble member of the innovative Elevator Repair Service (ERS) theater ensemble since 2006. He’s written music for them and then wrote and produced two musicals of his own. He says other performers spent the two years when stages were dark during Covid, honing their skills learning new ones and expanding their range. Instead he found that he was scaling back.

As he talks to Jude it becomes clear that he had been wearing too many hats: composer, lyricist, playwright, conductor, pianist, director, producer and actor. Right now, he wants to put on the brakes. What will he focus on?

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TV show Atlanta right now (not to even mention the writing and the direction).

Bill Nighy is also a favorite actor.

Also Reed Birney. Also Quincy Tyler Bernstine.

I have read a great deal of Muriel Sparks books. Those are just the greatest. Most of her short stories I have read more times than I can count.

I also really love The Group by Mary McCarthy.

I have seen the Sidney Lumet “Murder on the Orient Express” literally dozens of times. It’s kind of the reason you see that icon of Albert Finney as Poirot as my avatar in Gmail.

Am a big fan of L’Avventura by Antonioni too. Not Antonioni generally though. Weirdly dry.

I love the plays of Jackie Sibblies Drury very much. She can do no wrong in my eyes.

There’s too much music to take note of. I like one of the recent Kendrick Lamar singles, I like plenty of his songs, also Destroyer and New Pornographers which are very Gen X of me, and I have had one of those Olivia Rodrigo songs in my head for days (“Good For You”).

Each week in Creative Confidential Jude Kampfner chats to an independent professional performance or visual artist about how they survive and thrive. They share details of moving between projects, becoming more entrepreneurial, finding the best opportunities and developing a signature image and style. Her guests range from lyricists to novelists, videographers to sound designers.

A broadcaster, writer and coach, Jude gently probes and challenges her so that whatever your line of creativity you learn from her advice and the experiences of her lively guests.


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Theme music composed by Gene Pritsker.

Show Producer and Editor, Mark McDonald. Launch YOUR podcast here. Https://