Michael Raynor
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Michael Raynor

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Spoken Word

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Rarely does a piece of theater move me to the point of wanting to run through the streets and tell everyone… cab drivers, people on the subway, even my dentist…that they will regret it for the rest of their lives if they don't go see it. Who Is Floyd Stearn? is such a piece of theater.
Who is Floyd Stearn? is brilliantly written and performed by Michael Raynor, brilliantly directed by Larry Moss, brilliantly designed by Peter R. Feuchtwanger and Jonathan Spencer and brilliantly ushered by the person who took me to my seat.

Who Is Floyd Stearn? is the question writer and performer Michael Raynor began asking himself the day he received a FedEx package telling him that Floyd Stearn was dead. Who Is Floyd Stearn? Floyd Stearn is Michael's father; but this, Michael already knows.

Who Is Floyd Stearn? is a deeper question, and the second Michael finds himself close to an answer, a whole new set of questions arise.
According to Michael's grandmother, Floyd Stearn was a saint. According to his mother, Floyd Stearn was the devil himself. Floyd Stearn seems to have been someone to everyone in Michael's life; so why was he no one in Michael's?

Who Is Floyd Stearn? is a question anyone with a family has about someone. Maybe he isn't as close a relative as Michael Raynor's Floyd Stearn; but your Floyd Stearn is out there.

He's the one that's spoken about in whispers… she's the lady you have a flickering memory of from childhood…he's the person who's in only half of the family photographs…. Floyd Stearn is out there if you're willing to look.

- Reviewed by Armistead Johnson


The Sidewalk Studio Theatre is an intimate 39-seat space with full lighting and sound capabilities.

Quotes & Highlights

* Director Larry Moss "teases out an emotionally coherent performance that seems direct, unadorned and deceptively without artifice." --New York Times

More Information

Who is Floyd Stearn? is the question that Michael Raynor asked himself for over 20 years. When he received a FedEx note that his estranged father had died 5 years earlier, he decided to find an answer. Last seeing his father on his 7th birthday, Michael thought that he abandoned him without a second thought, never wanting to see him again. After a freak meeting with his favorite cousin from when he was little, he discovered that his equally estranged grandmother was still alive and thus his mission began. The true story unfolds, causing a rebirth in Michael's relationship with the memories of his father through a nearly fantastical odyssey of a back-story he never knew. - Sidewalk Studio Theatre


That's my father and me,' says Michael, pointing over his shoulder to a photo of himself as a young boy, in the opening line of 'Who is Floyd Stearn?' And so begins a solo narrative that is, in fact, not a narrative at all, but rather a solid hour of non-stop dialogue and action.

In this wonderfully powerful one-man show directed by Larry Moss, Michael Raynor sweeps us up in his emotional quest to decipher conflicting information about who his father Floyd was and why he disappeared from Michael's life during early childhood.

From the start, Michael speaks directly to the audience. He looks each person directly in the eyes easily accomplished in the intimacy of the two-row Elephant Space theater. Just when you think Michael is about to engage you in private conversation, his gaze turns inward as he retreats back into his memories. And the story continues.

We learn that Michael was born in New York to very young parents. Early on in his life, his parents go through a bitter divorce. His relationship with his father and paternal grandparents ends there.

Now an adult, Michael humorously relates to us his chance discovery that Gramma has moved to Florida. An emotional visit to Gramma's ensues and Michael learns the answers to all the questions he has held inside for so many years.

Despite the serious, even heart-rending backdrop of the storyline, Michael shares his tale of discovery with great humor and intensity. At sometimes breakneck speed, Michael travels back and forth in time as he relives different moments from his past through the voices of his family.

His diverse range of accents and expressions are hilarious. He is constantly in motion as he uses every inch of the stage. He pulls a white handkerchief from his pocket now and then to mop his glistening brow. Is it the intense activity or the extreme emotion?

One minute Michael is playing basketball with friends or riding a bicycle with sister Margie. Then, in the blink of an eye Michael is speaking as Grampa from the living room chair, as Mom who describes Floyd as a deadbeat dad, or as Gramma who instead describes Floyd as a wonderful, hardworking and dedicated father.

Michael Raynor is absolutely engaging. His autobiographical show is a must-see.

Playing through December 29th on Thursday evenings at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $20 each and well worth it!

The Elephant Space
6322 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038

Tickets: (323) 960-1052 or www.plays411.com/floydstearn

Photos courtesy of Laurie Sheppard.


About Michael Raynor
(Author/Performer)

The New York Post named Michael to its 2005 Galaxy of New Stars - 25 Fresh Faces to Watch, after 'Who Is Floyd Stearn?' ran to critical acclaim Off-Broadway. Most recently, Michael directed Bruce Hammett's 'Southern Discomfort' which played at the Hudson Mainstage Theater in Hollywood (see L.A. Splash Magazine's review by Jane Emery). Click here to go to Janes article.

Michael's New York theater credits began in a basement cabaret opposite James Gandolfini and continued on as he originated characters for emerging New York playwrights. Michael has numerous film and television credits with top-notch stars such as Eric Roberts, the late John Ritter, Leslie Ann Warren, Heather Graham, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Chiklis, Jennifer Tilly, Nicholas Turturro, and Alan Arkin.

Michael's Story-Yard Productions provides support and a foundation for individuals to create, develop and promote real-life stories that energize theatrical, film and television audiences by expressing the richness of the human experience. As he prepares to tour 'Who Is Floyd Stearn?' nationally, and write the screenplay, Michael is actively developing other one-person stories for the stage to screen journey as well. - By Karen Freedman


Discography

List available upon request

Photos

Bio

Michael Raynor’s theatre credits began in Greenwich Village with James Gandolfini, and continued on to Off-Broadway. His film credits include SHADOW BOXING, THE WAITING GAME, TRIP FALL, REUNION, THE FIRST MAN, A BROTHERS KISS, FEDERAL HILL, RAILS & TIES, THE PAVILLION, SONIC IMPACT, THE TAX MAN and WOLF.

Television credits include FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, BELLA MAFIA, IN THE LINE OF DUTY: HUNT FOR JUSTICE, COMPANY MAN CSI, ER, LAW & ORDER, COLD CASE, SHARK, NYPD BLUE, BROOKLYN SOUTH, BRIMSTONE, EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS, and MY OWN WORST ENEMY. Michael developed and directed SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT. He also co-wrote the screenplay version. In addition, Michael developed and originally staged SURVIVING DAVID. He developed and directed SWIMMING NAKED and worked with Jay Sefton for THE MOST MEDIOCRE STORY NEVER TOLD. Raynor’s screenplays include the adaptation of Mark Kriegel’s award-winning novel BLESS ME, FATHER, PROUD HARRY, WILDING, THE RUN and DEAD WEIGHT.