Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith was born & raised in a Civil War era farmhouse in central Maryland.
The family boarded horses & goats and occasionally raised chickens & rabbits. The land was leased to corn & wheat farmers.
Smith was very close to his childhood dogs.
Frisky, Pepper & Puppy (pictured below) continue to provide inspiration and comfort.
Jazz, not pictured and not forgotten, was a Jack Russell Terrier whose short life met a violent end.
In high school, Smith discovered acting. His first role was as Ringo Starr, a drummer. Smith acted in at least three plays a year for four years. He co-directed Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child” with Shawn Hatosy in the eleventh grade.
After leaving school, Smith moved to Bentalou Street on the West Side of Baltimore City, about four blocks from “The Corner” of Monroe & Lafayette.
Smith attended UMBC’s theater program, playing the title role in “Diary of a Scoundrel,” winner of the American College Theater Festival. The play was staged at the Kennedy Center in 1997.
(Smith as Igor Dimitrich Glumov, a scoundrel)
In Baltimore, Smith founded Living Room Company. A theater group dedicated to creating dark & funny performances in non-traditional settings. From 1999 until 2005, Living Room Company produced dozens of plays, parties and concerts in warehouses, living rooms, theaters, kitchens, basements and rooftops.
(All flyer design by Dan Breen)
Smith wrote, directed & produced “Fuck You! Let’s Bake!” starring Duff Goldman and leading to the creation of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes.”
He wrote and directed “BOX” which premiered at a party in Baltimore and went on to play NYC Fringe 2001.
Smith starred in “Rum & Vodka” a one-man play by Conor McPherson which was awarded “Best Theatrical Safe Bet” in Baltimore’s City Paper.
Other notable productions include “Smalltimore,” “The Art of War,” “Pig In Shit” and Peter Handke's "Kaspar."
A Living Room Company fan displays enthusiasm for Peter Handke's "Kaspar."
Outside of Living Room Company, Smith worked as a burlesque Emcee, directing several of the first “Trixie & Monkey” shows with Trixie Little and the Evil Tap Dancing Hate Monkey. He wrote “Pirate A-Go Go,” produced by Fluid Movement & performed on the deck of the U.S.S. Constellation, the oldest U.S. Naval Vessel still afloat.
A factotum by necessity, Smith has worked as a stage hand, a waiter & bartender, book store clerk, a receptionist, a construction worker, legal assistant, telemarketer, landscaper, delivery boy, and musician. He became a reverend in the Universal Life Church and officiated several weddings. In 2004, Smith directed Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in Patterson Park.
Smith spent several years researching and writing a play about Woody Guthrie. Research took him across the country from the New York Island to Woody’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma to Topanga Canyon, California.
Smith interviewed Nora Guthrie & Pete Seeger, met Harold Leventhal and Fred Hellerman, played shows with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and spent hours at the Woody Guthrie Archives in NYC, pouring over Woody’s unpublished works.
“Woody Guthrie dreams before dying.” was produced by Living Room Company & presented at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson in several workshop performances in 2005.
(Robert Anton Wilson photo by MPFS)
Smith collaborated with Robert Anton Wilson (Cosmic Trigger, Illuminatus! Trilogy) on updating and directing his play “Wilhelm Reich in Hell.”
(Wilson's wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Anton_Wilson)
The play was produced by Son of Semele Ensemble (SOSE) in Los Angeles in 2004. That same year SOSE was featured in American Theater Magazine. SOSE is currently considered Los Angeles's premiere Avant Garde theater group, recently referred to as "The Tip of the Spear" in LA Weekly's 2010 theater issue.
In 2005, Smith moved to Brooklyn and has since focused on writing fiction and performing as a songwriter/folk singer. His first EP “All the Cars My Friends Stole” was featured as a “New & Noteworthy” release on iTunes in Spring of 2010.
Currently, he is working on a full length studio album with members of Wye Oak, Arbouretum & the Baltimore Afro-beat society.
He is a producer and company member of "From the desk of Sarah Seely."
Smith's new play, "It Ain't No Sin" premiered Off-Broadway at Theater for the New City in August of 2010.