Category Archives: Love a Beard

Tyler Michaels

Know a Beard. Love a Beard: Tyler Michaels

Week four of “Know a Beard. Love a Beard.” Not sure what I can say that countless others already haven’t already said, but I’m going to try.

Tyler MichaelsTyler Michaels. Probably the most recognizable of the Bearded Men, at least around Minneapolis. If you didn’t know it, Tyler is currently one of the most sought after scripted actors around the Twin Cities. As a person, Tyler is friendly, nutty, and creative. He’s always up to try something new or different. People like to be around someone who is willing to put themselves out there and Tyler does just that, time and time again. Tyler has always been the type of person that inspires you to jump in, full body, full heart, full passion, right along with him.

As an actor/improvisor…this is where I don’t know exactly what to say. So many people have written about Tyler in the past couple years that I’m not sure how else to say that he’s talented. The guy is just a burst of energy on stage. It’s an energy that fills everyone up, right there with him. He’s not trying to take the spotlight, he’s trying to make it bigger, so more people can fit within it. From his characters to his physicality to his emotional commitment, Tyler really has a presence on stage all his own. He’s always been an amazing support in creating our themed shows and I know I can always count on Tyler bringing his all to our shows.

Like I said, this guy is all over the Twin Cities theater scene. Beyond Bearded Men, he’s currently performing at the Guthrie and getting great reviews, not to mention the dynamite work he’s done with Theater Latté Da, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 7th House Theater and the list goes on. He acts, sings, dances, directs, creates, I mean I am amazed at how he keeps this all going and still makes time for his friends, family and a board game from time to time.

Tyler Michaels and the Bearded Men

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by:
Joe Rapp
Managing Director

Photos: Ryan Haro

Know a Beard. Love a Beard: Lucas

Boom! Another Monday, another, “Know a Beard. Love a Beard.” This round, it’s the man with that slow walk and smooth, deep talk.

LucasLucas Vonasek. With his beautifully low and mellow voice, he’s the most recognizable of the group if you can only hear us talking. People are so drawn to that voice, but Lucas is so much more than that. The voice draws you in, but his delightfully goofy personality is what gets you in the end. He’s always got a joke up his sleeve, always ready to pick you up when you’re feeling down. He’s gifted at always being a good shoulder to lean on.

As an actor/improvisor, he’s unafraid to play characters with raw emotion and really take the audience on a personal journey. Many of his characters are remembered by audiences because of how real they were, and I don’t think there is a bigger compliment than that. That being said, I’ve laughed more than my fair share at the ridiculous characters he’s played as well. He’s extremely versatile. Lucas was cast in the Bearded Men in 2008-ish when we were still in Fargo. He’s one of my go-to guys whenever I need help with, well, anything. This is a guy I truly rely on.

He’s a poet and he does know it. Like Tyler Mills, Lucas is a writer, but he’s focused more on poetry. It’s what I believe really makes him a fantastic actor, he sees much more of the underlying meaning in everything. If I would read even half of the poetry books he’s recommended to me over the years, I’d probably be a better actor too. Aside from the Bearded Men and other HUGE Theater shows, he performs regularly in ComedySportz at CSz Twin Cities. I haven’t seen a type of performing this guy doesn’t do, scripted theater, unscripted theater, film and sketch. He’s the whole package.

Lucas is the type of person people always like to work with. He’s giving, understanding, but isn’t afraid to share his own opinion. People that haven’t seen this guy perform truly have no idea what they’re missing. Just another hidden treasure of the Twin Cities performing arts scene, but hopefully not for long. Bearded Men has come a long way with Lucas right there with us. Great friend. Great guy.

Lucas_group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by:
Joe Rapp
Managing Director

Photos: Ryan Haro

 

Tyler Mills

Know a Beard. Love a Beard: Tyler Mills

We’ve made it all the way to the second, “Know a Beard. Love a Beard.” I’m pretty excited about that, and not just because I really like Tyler…but I do.

MillsTyler Mills. One of our two Tylers, but generally the most “Honest Abe” like of the two. I don’t think I personally know anyone that is more competent on such a wide variety of subjects. From theater to sports to movies to video games to random crap on the internet. The list goes on. This guy is such a wealth of information, I’m constantly in awe. I think that’s one of the main reasons that people that know him, love him. He can talk with you about anything, with an amazing amount of depth and insightfulness.

As an actor/improvisor, he’s always there for you. His characters always make the scene more rich, even if they don’t say much or simply pull out a gun and kill you in the end. He’s a natural born storyteller. It’s how I know I can always count on Tyler to tie back to things in our stories that we or the audience may have forgotten. Mills always finds those little nuggets and polishes them into gold right before the audiences eyes. I credit a lot of those moments to when audience members think we’ve scripted things beforehand. He’s been a such a rock of support as we’ve built the group here in Minneapolis, from shows in coffee shops to advertising on the streets of Uptown with fake beards on, he’s been there.

Being a natural born storyteller, it’s no surprise that this guy is a playwright, and a damn good one at that. His writing is so unique and wonderful, you just can’t help but get wrapped up in it when you see his work on stage. Most recently, he wrote the book for “Jonah and the Whale”, produced by 7th House Theater, and played in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie. Amazing.

Tyler Mills is a quiet storm, in the best way possible. I feel like his already great talents are just on the edge of something bigger and are going to explode out into the world. The Twin Cities arts scene is lucky to have this guy. The praise he has gotten thus far is not even close to what I know he will get in the future. Having Mills as a part of the Bearded Men and as a friend is a privilege that I am fortunate to have.

Tyler Mills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by:
Joe Rapp
Managing Director

Photos: Ryan Haro

Know a Beard. Love a Beard: MJ

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. I always appreciate the group getting exposure, but always think all of the Beards individually deserve some credit. So, here goes the first. Keep in mind, I’m no newspaper man, so I might not come off as eloquent or exciting as I’d like.

MJMJ Marsh. Arguably the most bearded of the group and probably the friendliest person I know. I don’t think I have ever seen him in a group of people where he hasn’t been able to make friends. He’s just got a magnetic presence. When he’s offstage you want to hang out and talk with him, when he’s onstage, you just have to watch him. We always think about MJ as kind of our ambassador with other groups and other people when we travel. All of us can make friends, but MJ just seems to make them faster and in greater quantity.

As an actor/improvisor, he’s supportive, quick on his feet and has the audience hanging on to every word he says. He’s always there to help create that snarky cop, befuddled child, strong-willed woman, or whatever else the show is calling for. I personally know I can always count on MJ to be right there with me, even if I throw out an idea that’s maybe not fully formed yet or somehow doesn’t make sense. MJ can always find a way to make sense of it, tie it together and bring the audience right along with him. He’s also been a big hand in creating some of our workshops, bringing ideas for our themed shows and keeping or short form improv running smoothly.

Looking at all he does, I’m amazed at how he can keep it all together. Aside from Bearded Men, he performs with in ComedySportz at CSz Twin Cities, shows at HUGE Theater including, “Star Trek: The Next Improvisation,” “Creature Feature,” “Cain & Ricks,” among many others, and not to mention his scripted stage and film work. Improvising, acting, teaching, bartending, being a friend. Always with a smile. I can basically never tell if he’s stressed.

MJ is a great collaborator and artist. The Twin Cities performing arts scene is all the better for having a person like this around, even if not that many people know him… yet. Talk about someone who deserves more credit than he’s ever given. I am proud that MJ is part of the Bearded Men, but more proud that I can count this guy as one of my best friends. I mean, who else would shave a jolly holiday message into the hair on his back?

 

Beards_hohoho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by:
Joe Rapp
Managing Director

Photos: Ryan Haro
Laura Posterick