My name is Mike Doyle. I was born in Bay Ridge Brooklyn on June 8, 1986 and lived there until I was 6. We moved first to Glen Rock, NJ (North Jersey), and then when I was 14 to Pennington, NJ (Near Princeton). I go to Hampshire College in Amherst, MA with the intent to study Music as a concentration, but also to study writing, literature, film, and religion. I am Irish Catholic by blood, but raised to believe what I felt was the right path for me.
I began taking an interest in writing song lyrics in 8th Grade when I was exposed to Rage Against the Machine. The powerful message of their music that was articulated in such rhythmic bursts of passion with their unique funk metal sound spoke to me in such a way that I began reading all I could in the fields of political and religious oppression, like Vonnegut, Heller, Sherman Alexie, and the prison writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
When I entered high school, I began reading Shakespeare and Tolkien, two authors that have influenced me greatly. Intrigued by English literature, I began reading romantic poets such as Wordsworth, Keats, and Byron. As I read more, I found my words beginning to sound and feel less like lyrics and more like poetry.
In my first semester of college, I took 2 writing courses, one with a fiction approach and one with a non-fiction, analytical approach. Both introduced me to the writing world beyond poetry and I find it just as inticing, though not my passion.
For as long as I can remember, I've had a gift of writing words in a rhyming fashion and usually with whatever inspiration I can find. It was from bored doodlings in class that I began to seriously consider writing and producing my current writing project, "Malaise!: The Jimmy Carter Story." I would find an idea entering my head and then my paper would be filled with verses.
Though I spend most of my time on my music, I am still in love with writing and reading, and especially with the concept of stories. To tell a story in any form, be it oral, novel, poem, song, or whatever else there is, I love stories.
Once again I attribute inspiration to Rage Against the Machine. In listening to their music, I became truly absorbed and fascinated with the sounds Tom Morello was able to produce with his guitar so much that I started playing guitar myself. At first only learning to play some of the songs I liked, I eventually felt I was good enough to play with others. My friends Josh (Bass), Brian (Guitar), and Dan (Drums) got together and formed a band, Big American Party.
I was clearly not as talented as my friends, but with their help (especially from Brian who had and still has an incredible grasp of music theory) I began to grow as a guitarist and then as a musician.
Though the band broke up sometime during our senior year of high school, I began playing as a solo musician. I focused my efforts toward the acoustic guitar and learned to make a full sound that it and my voice were all I would need.
Still on friendly terms with the band (we were still best friends, we just didn't play music together anymore), Brian introduced me to an internet-based community of solo musicians who arranged video game music, recorded, edited, mixed and released polished songs in almost any genre you could think of. I picked up my electric guitar and learned how to write a bassline and joined the already rapidly growing community.
The best venue for my work was the Dwelling of Duels Competition, were artists had a month to produce a song that fit into that month's particular theme. It has since been a forum of people who have given me advice on how to improve my music, recording, arranging, and producing skills.
All this has given me a very direct focus with what I do with my time, but there's not a huge market for the video gaming-musician. I've used my production skills to another field that has long interested me... the theater.
Strange as it may seem, I owe getting involved in theater to Young Frankenstein, completely. In freshmen year of high school I would watch movies every Sunday night with my girlfriend's family, and a favorite of ours was Young Frankenstein. I would always do my Igor impression (which was apparently decent enough) and her mom suggested I take an acting class.
Next thing I knew, I was in Performing Arts II, writing skits, editing scenes from movies and adapting it for the stage, directing, and acting in every single performance I could. It was on stage crew that I met Brian, Josh, and Dan.
Given that unlike most of my peers whose acting inspirations came from the stage, I always drew from the screen. For my first Performing Arts night performance, I edited a scene from "Dogma" and adapted it to the stage. Having to tinker with words to be told like that gave me the idea of telling stories through performance. I never had any really solid projects.
One summer vacation, my family and I were driving somewhere talking about Jimmy Carter and peanuts and the words "What's peanuts to you is like gold to me" came into my mind. I joked about writing a musical number about Jimmy Carter. It sort of ended there. Three years later, while at college, I really saw for the first time what it was like to put up a show. And at my particular school, student-written and directed shows were the norm. And by some happy coincidence, I was reminded of my Jimmy Carter musical idea, and it fluorished.
Meanwhile, I continued acting, never a lead, but I always made myself memorable (I refuse to not be noticed, EVER). I usually performed comically, it's what I did best, but I always wanted a dramatic lead. I got my wish in Hampshire College's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" when I played Lysander, the closest I'd ever come to a lead.
It was less than I'd hoped for, and I was best when I was funny during the play. But I knew I could be more than just amusing. I got another chance for a serious role (though they were small) in 2 one-acts. An Irish teen in the 60s and a French general come to save Napoleon. It was as General Feres that for the first time, I truly felt like I was doing more than just making an audience laugh.
By this point, I had decided, to hell with theater, I'm doing music. My disappointment in myself after Midsummer and my growing interest in music made me decide I might as well focus on one thing. But General Feres convinced me otherwise. I'm sticking with acting, because if I came up with a truly great story, I would want to be the one telling it.
I've always been philosophically minded, whether it relate to the nature of man, of God, life, love, friends, and most importantly, recreation. Having read some (I won't pretend I'm an expert in the field) of Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Shakespeare, Milton, and others for answers, I found myself dissatisfied.
My answers came not from further reading, but remembered reading. The works of Bill Watterson, the mind behind 'Calvin and Hobbes' has so influenced the way I think, act, and perceive.
I've also learned to keep everything in perspective, following the mind set of a great character from the modern age, The Dude, from "The Big Lebowski." "The Dude abides," is a mantra I think we can all follow.
More recently, I've discovered the works of Douglas Adams, author of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Two words from his book that have since always been a guiding light to me are "Don't Panic." I suggest you do the same in your life.