Dirty Dancing with Michael Thomas Pugliese
A proud graduate from SUNY Fredonia with a degree in Music Education, Michael Thomas Pugliese (Swing) is making his National Tour debut with the current production of DIRTY DANCING, which is now playing at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre through March 20. We had a chance to catch up with Michael and ask him a number of questions inspired by our favorite Broadway show tunes. Check out what he had to say, below!
We Live On Avenue Q: Before you were on Broadway, what was the oddest job you’ve ever had?
I’ve been really lucky, I’ve never had too many “odd jobs.” I’ve actually loved all my jobs. One summer, I did work as an office assistant at a Urologists’ office, though.
Ten Minutes Ago: What are your pre-curtain rituals?
WARM UP WARM UP WARM UP. I have a hooded onesie that I do all my warm-ups in and it helps me break a sweat and really feel ready for the show.
My Favorite Things: Where are your top five places you’ve performed on this tour?
Minneapolis, Seattle, Austin, Washington, D.C., and Philly.
Now/Later/Soon: Which current shows on Broadway would you watch now, later, and/or soon?
I saw Hamilton before I listened to the soundtrack and now that I actually know the music I need to go back. I’m also dying to see Waitress. I’ve also never seen Hairspray—random, I know, but I really want to see it.
Agony: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment on stage.
There was a time in middle school where I forgot a line and literally said, “I forgot my line” into the mic. Members of the pit fed me my next line, thank goodness.
If I Were A Rich Man: If you just won a TONY, who would you thank?
In my bio in the playbill I give a shout out to teachers and if I ever won a Tony I would do the same. We always remember those that support us but we often forget those that challenged us or introduced us to this industry in the first place. Love for teachers.
The Best Thing That Ever Has Happened: Tell us about your most memorable fan encounter.
As a swing leaving the stage door is always awkward when you weren’t in the show. One audience member stopped me and asked for an autograph and I hadn’t even started rehearsals yet. I said “Oh I wasn’t in the show,” and her mom responded with “Oh, well, you’re handsome anyway.” Thanks?
Now You Know: What would you, today, tell your younger self when you first started in show business?
You’ll never know until you try. Go for it. Take all the classes, take all the lessons, and don’t be afraid to fail.