Interview: Emma Brock aka Michael Scott in The Office! Musical Parody
The Office! Musical Parody is the first Off-Broadway production to resume shows in New York City post-COVID. Of course, as the title should suggest, the Off-Broadway hit is about the megahit TV series, The Office. We got to chat with actress Emma Brock, who plays Michael Scott, on her return to the stage.
You guys are back!! How does it feel returning to the role?
Oh wow, it feels amazing to not only be back playing Michael Scott in The Office! A Musical Parody, but to be in a theatre again. Theatre has been my career, my home, and my life for years. Having all theatre taken away because of a pandemic has been so incredibly hard for my soul. I feel so grateful to be one of the first actors back on New York stages. And what a fun show to be back in! I hope we can bring laughter and light to audiences.
Are you preparing any differently than before?
Since the pandemic I think everyone has come back to their roles differently. Everyone in the company had to stop acting for a year and I think a lot of us grew and changed in so many different ways. Coming back to Michael Scott I can bring those feelings of fear, anxiety, resilience, joy, and strength that I gathered in the pandemic.
What has the process been like to return to the stage?
We as a theatre community went through a collective trauma. Our livelihoods were taken away in an instant and without real information on when the theatre would return safely. Coming back into rehearsal, and back with an audience has been very healing. That’s what makes theatre so magical; people coming together from all walks of life and creating art collectively on a live stage. There really is no other feeling like it, and I know through that magic and the love of The Office, we can all heal.
What is your favorite episode of The Office you wish you could act out on stage?
My favorite episode of The Office is ‘Cafe Disco’! Michael is trying to convince the whole office to come, drink espresso, and dance the workday away, and I think it exemplifies who Michael is. He wants his coworkers to feel like family, and the way he convinces everyone to let loose is hilarious. I mean, Mindy Kahling and Ed Helms are just HILARIOUS in that episode.
If you could play any other character in the show, who would you want to be?
I would love to play Pam! The writers, Bob and Tobly McSmith, really encompassed Pam’s full series arc into our 2-hour musical and it’s so beautiful to watch. You see Pam as this scared, engaged receptionist at the beginning of the musical, then transition to falling in love with Jim, to knowing what she wants out of a partner, to really becoming a strong businesswoman, to finally standing up for herself so she can feel happy. It’s quite amazing to see on stage.
I’ve seen on social media and reviews for the show some people are utterly confused as to why a woman is playing the role of Michael. What do you have to say to that?
Yes, having Michael as a woman might seem confusing, but this is a parody. We are not trying to recreate The Office tv show on stage. We are trying to heighten the comedy of this show we all fell in love with. As soon as you see Michael as a woman, anything can happen. Some of the actors on stage play 4/5 characters within the show, and I think it just adds to the fun of the musical. Plus, Michael says some pretty raunchy things on the tv show, and maybe saying those lines from a woman’s perspective, will make it funnier.
How did you stay busy during quarantine?
I stayed busy during the pandemic by watching The Office! I have been busy working and touring most of my career. I was always on the go, and in and out of New York. I really got a chance to connect with my family and husband back in Michigan. It was the first time in 8 years where I stayed in one place for more than 6 months at a time! We took advantage of outdoor activities like biking and hiking. But my true quarantine hobby became my nails! I got so good I was doing everyone’s nails in my quarantine pod.
I saw on your resume, you also had a stint on the Disney Cruise Line as a performer. What was that experience like?
I loved working for Disney Cruise Line! I got to play Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and Ursula. Those are such big characters, it was fun to bring them to life every night. We sailed to Europe, and I was able to perform at night, and explore cities such as Barcelona, Funchal, and Valencia!
Get your tickets HERE.