Michael was inspired to move to Los Angeles and become an actor after a very successful performance in a Paris Gibson Middle School play entitled Tied to the Tracks in his home town of Great Falls, Montana.  Many of his mom’s friends said he was good, and Michael took them seriously.  He went on to high school where he really fell in love with theatre, which further solidified his desire to act, direct, and write professionally, while simultaneously solidifying his social position in the caste system that is high school. 


Michael attended UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television, and while there, he studied performance primarily, in John Hall’s Musical Theatre Workshop.  He appeared in John’s productions of Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party and West Side Story (not by Andrew Lippa).  He was the 2004 recipient of the Carol Burnett Award for Outstanding Male Performer. 


In 2005, Michael earned his Master’s degree from UCLA’s TFT under the guidance of Dr. Pat Harter.  He created a program that paralleled the California Arts Bridge program, using theatre and art to help younger students access the core curricula. 


After college, Michael began his career as an actor by waiting tables at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, where he performed Forrest Gump themed trivia nightly, and acted as though he cared about whether the temperature of the guests’ fare was to their liking.  He worked a slew of odd jobs, became a certified yoga teacher and a credentialed high school English teacher, and eventually found his home as an actor at The Groundlings’ Theater in Hollywood.  


Michael found The Groundlings at a moment when the LA audition process was taking its toll.  That place and the people in it breathed life back into a ten-year-old kid who used to stay up to watch SNL, then perform Mike Myers’s bits in front of his fourth grade class.  At The Groundlings, Michael met his sketch group, Big Boss Comedy, and a slew of other mind-blowingly talented people he gets to call his friends. 


Since his turn in the Groundling’s Sunday Company, Michael continues to write and produce original work with his writing partner and fellow Sunday Company Alum, Patric Cagle.   He has toured Southern California with Kevin Broberg’s Quote/Unquote show, was a featured performer at Chicago Sketch Fest 2014 with Big Boss Comedy, and he appeared on television as WWE’s anger management specialist, Dr. Shelby. 


For information on upcoming shows, follow him on twitter: @m_aspi.  Or for more information on Michael’s improv classes at the Groundlings or private coaching, send him an email.