Michael J. Mesmer began his acting career appearing in faculty-directed feature productions at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Florham-Madison (NJ) college, where he received a B.A. in Theatre in 1974. His roles included Cootie in "Moonchildren" and Solyony in "The Three Sisters". As a senior, Michael wrote, acted in and directed his first full-length play, "A Night At The Theatre (with popcorn)", an absurdist drama.
Michael worked in 1975 for Howard and Irene Sterling's The Learning Theatre (TLT) in Paterson, NJ. Known in part for its use of large puppets, TLT presented audience participation theatre for children, teens and adults throughout New Jersey and the greater NYC Metropolitan area. Michael acted in all productions, including the parts of Noah, Moses, and John the Baptist in "Mary's Feast" (presenting the high points of the Old Testament in about an hour) and, his favorite, Anansi the Spider. As part of a summer state- and federal-funded SETA program administered by TLT for inner-city teens, Michael led a "street theatre" workshop whose members performed throughout Paterson.
In 1975 Michael studied at HB Studios in New York with Herbert Berghof. In the late 70's, Michael returned to playwriting and wrote and produced in community theaters two full-length plays, "ES301: A Dramatic Environment" and "Chu No Tsuchi (The Instructor's Assistant)", playing a supporting role in the latter.
In 1985, Michael joined the Off-Off Broadway Theatre Co. in Greenwich,
CT, where he appeared in a leading role in Sam Shepard's "Curse of the
Starving Class" [Wesley].
In 1986, Michael "also starred" [Uncle Mike] in the
full-length feature film "Deadtime Stories", which has achieved cult
status among comedy-horror movie afficionados (www.answers.com/topic/deadtime-stories)
and in which Michael has "some darn funny moments" (www.culturecartel.com/review.php?rid=10003354). Its Facebook page is at: http://www.facebook.com/deadtime.stories1.
In 1991, Michael presented his workshop, "Acting for Psychotherapists", at the annual conference of the Association for Humanistic Psychology at Evergreen College in Olympia, WA.
After 22 years pursuing and then beginning a successful career as a licensed psychotherapist, Michael returned to acting in 2009 after enrolling in Terry McGovern's scene study class at the Marin Actors Workshop (www.marinactorsworkshop.com).
In October, 2009, Michael played guitar during a performance of his song, "Men Like You" in his production of "ACT To End Family Violence", an evening of theater, poetry and music honoring National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Since then, he has been editing a film of the production, currently scheduled for release in late summer, 2010.
In March, 2010, Michael appeared as "Lloyd" in the "Got To Sing Karaoke" Season 1 episode of "I Almost Got Away With It" on the Investigation Discovery Channel.
In June, 2010, Michael appeared as "Richard" in the Scary Cow production of "Worms & Butterflies", a short film by Vasco Monteiro. See the film here:
In November, 2012, Michael appeared as himself in the Scary Cow documentary short film, "Real Men", directed by Sion Shankel.
In November, 2013, Michael appeared as a "background" actor or "extra" in the Scary Cow short film, "The Waiting Room", directed by Kira Trinity.