Michael Easton was born on Feburary 15, 1967 in Long Beach, California, when his parents came to the wedding of his father´s best friend there. His parents are Irish and they took him to to their native Ireland when he was 2. Due to his father's engineering travels the family commuted between Ireland and the United States throughout his childhood and he went to seven different schools. "I dropped out a few times, got tossed out a couple times. In fact, I never really had good friends until I was 15 and stayed in the same school for a few years. I was extremely shy as a kid and it was more in my character to be a writer," Michael recalls, "yet something about watching old movies such as "From Here to Eternity" and "A Place in the Sun" moved me. I wanted to be like these characters."
After high school he felt a need to break away from everything. "I had a hard time dealing with what I wanted to do with my life," Michael Easton once said. "There was a lot of uncertainty there. At the time, the only thing I ever wanted to be was a poet." Michael´s poetic bent surfaced during a high school creative writing class. His teacher gave him a lot of encouragement. One of the first poets he read was Charles Bukowski. And Bukowski turned him on to Raymond Carver. The whole thing snowballed, and he realized how much he loved literature. In college Michael Easton ended up with a double major of English and history, with an emphasis on Greek History. But he wasn´t quite ready to put his all into academics and he eventually decided college wasn't where he wanted to be. He left the school and went traveling around Europe for a while, taking copious notes along the way. "If I was sitting in a restaurant IÂ´d write on a napkin. I put all these scraps in a box, but didn´t finish a lot of the stuff. That was always the hard part for me. But in the course of time I finished all of it. I had this need to put a close on the part of my life." The close resulted in a book Michael Easton called "Drift", "because I wrote it while drifting. I opens with the Indian quote, 'You can carry heaven and hell with you', and has 60 poems in it. It´s contemporary poetry. A lot of it has to do with relationships, alcohol ... Parts of it are raw, but it´s honest."
Michael Easton made his TV movie debut in 1992 in "Shadow of a Stranger" with Emma Samms and Parker Stevenson. To prepare for this role, Michael spent six weeks working out with a personal trainer and followed a strict no-starch/high-protein diet. "I ate nothing but tuna, salmon, fruits and vegetables. I lost 11 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks. I wanted to look lean and hungry for this part, what I used to be like as an actor before I started working. A lot of people advised me not to do this character. They were reluctant about it. They told me I created a romantic hero-type lead on "Days" and should continue to go with that. But IÂ´m an actor. I don´t care what anybody thinks of me for taking this part. I have a responsibility to choose the best parts."
After playing in "Shadow of a Stranger" Michael Easton quit acting for almost two years. He moved back to the family home in New York State. The move was precipitated by his mother´s declining health. She died in January 1994, after a two-year bout with cancer. "My mom was the most wonderful person. I was closer to her than anyone. I had no desire to work during or after that time. Fortunately, I have an understanding agent. The only good thing I can draw from losing my mother is that I got to say all the things to her that I needed to."
When Michael Easton did go back to auditioning (1994) he ended up jumping into various projects at that time - the short lived FOX show "VR5" (he played opposite Lori Singer on the network's first virtual reality series), the Judith Krantz miniseries "Dazzle", and he landed a guest role in "Diagnosis Murder" (CBS). He filmed a pilot episode for a new television series "SHE" (a HBO TV series), but the series was never broadcast. Michael followed his numerous creative muses in all directions. He wrote, produced, directed and edited the award winning festival film "Daedalus is Dead," and he has starred in "The Door" at the Tamarind Theater in Los Angeles (1995). "Daedalus Is Dead" premiered at the British Short Film Festival (1996) and took home the award for best dramatic short film (1996) in The Sea and Sky Festival in Canada. The film, about a young girl´s hitchhiking adventures from Tijuana to Nothern California, took six months to post-produce because of Michael´s tight budget. "I have a buddy who has an inside track at an editing facility, so IÂ´d get calls at three in the morning saying I could come in for three hours," recalls Michael. "Then IÂ´d ride my motorcycle over in my pajamas to edit."
In 1996 Michael Easton was cast in the role of identical twin brothers in Stephen J. Cannell's action-adventure series, "TWO". He was already familiar with the world of high-tech visual effects. "My experience on the series VR.5 gave me a solid background in acting against blue screens," Michael remembered, "but the process we use to create scenes with the twin brothers is the most bizarre thing I've ever done." Motion control is responsible for incredible moments, such as the scene in the pilot episode where Gus is seated on a park bench and Booth crosses behind the bench and pats his brother on the shoulder. No doubles are used, only a cast of his shoulder, which is rigged to the bench. "As Booth, I'm acting to this shoulder. I have to establish an eye-line to where Gus' face would be and hone in on it. I walk around behind the bench and put my hand on the shoulder. Then, as Gus, I sit on the bench and slide my arm into the shoulder harness. I have to remember what I did as Booth, where I walked, so Gus can follow the movement with his eyes and react to having his shoulder touched, even though no one's really touching it at the moment. You have to be very precise with all your actions and emotional responses. It's a little like choreography." Though Michael described Gus as "a nice guy", he admitted he preferred playing Booth. "The bad guys are always more fun to play. You can be more over the top, and Booth is definitely a little over the top." In addition to starring in front of the "TWO" cameras, Michael managed to stay busy behind the scenes as well. He co-wrote the second episode of the series, "AD", together with writer Kathy McCormick, and wrote the episode, "The Reckoning."
Following the cancellation of "TWO" after the first season, Michael joined the cast of "413 Hope Street" (1997). He used his downtime between "TWO" and "413 Hope Street" to read scripts, although he wasn´t sure he wanted to return to primetime immediately. "I wasn´t planning to jump back in TV, but then "Hope Street" popped up. It was a great script, and I said, 'I want to be a part of it'". He portrayed "Nick Carrington", a former drug addict-turned-counselor who oversaw the sports program at 413 HOPE ST. Michael found the part of "Nick Carrington" on "413 Hope Street" to be his most potentially rewarding to date. The fictional setting of the show was based on an actual, privately sponsored rehab facility in New York called The Door, which treats everything from HIV to drug addiction.
A few weeks after "413 Hope Street" debuted, Michael Easton became a published poet. Eighteen Straight Whiskeys, a 91 page collection of raw, hard edged emotional musings on drinking and drugs, was published by Bowery Press in October, 1997. This book marked an important milestone in the actor´s live. "I got interested in writing poetry in Vancouver (B.C.) when I was doing a show [TWO]. One of the writers was a local poet, and I attended some readings. So I wrote some poems and read them at their meetings. One night an agent for a New York publishing house said, 'I think your stuff is pretty good. Would you mind if I send them in?''' Thereafter Michael Easton began writing poetry in earnest. "There is no glory in writing poetry, and very little money. I figure I'd sold my soul to the devil doing TV shows. There is something very honest about poetry. I think I express myself better than I do writing scripts or acting. I have friends in New York who are die-by-the-breath poets who never try to sell their poetry, which is crazy too. You need to get it out there. I chose the title 'Eighteen Straight Whiskeys' because it supposedly was the last line Dylan Thomas ever spoke. I'm Irish, and as a Celt there is poetry in my blood, you know? I think there's something noble about it to balance out your life in the fake world of TV.''
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