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Creed Bratton @ Voltage Lounge.

November 24, 2015

CreedBratton_JDMousley-22aText and images by JD Mousley.

You may know him as the man who’s feverously been working to gain his scuba license for a paper company in Scranton but if that’s the only Creed Bratton you know, you’re missing out on the other half of this entertainer.

Creed Bratton, the musician and actor most well known for performing a fictitious version of himself on The Office, performed at the Voltage Lounge last Wednesday. Bratton combined music and comedy to create a hybrid performance that left people wondering, “What is this crazy old guy up to?”

The show featured a collection of stand-up comedians and musicians. Brian Six was the first to perform, and the host of the night. Six was also joined by comedians Sonia Zambrana, Chris Wood and Ryan Shaner – all comedians from the Philadelphia area. They offered their own take on subjects like getting a tattoo at age 17 with your mom, getting kicked out of strip clubs and boners that in stretchy pants that look like Free Willy 2.

Tim Raymus gave the crowd a taste of what was to come. Bringing a guitar on stage, Raymus infused his stand up humor with a musical twist. He directed his angst against Comcast into a song relatable to many in the city, titled “Common Ground,” singing “Comcast sucks, and needs to die.”

Shaner was next to take the stage, taking no prisoners. Shaner entered with two cold Miller High Life’s in hand, starting his 20 minute set by chugging the first brew right away. He also indulged demands for him to take off his shirt by unbuckling his pants, and giving the audience a full moon before welcoming Creed Bratton to stage.

Bratton’s show featured a combination of music and jokes. He started the show as Creed Bratton, the musician. While setting up the auxiliary cords for his guitar, Bratton informed one of the stage hands that a cord needed to “go in a little deeper.” Bratton looked up to those in attendance, smiled, and uttered a well timed, “That’s what she said!”

Those coming for Creed Bratton, Dunder Mifflin’s quality assurance manager, weren’t let down. Bratton left the stage briefly, coming back as Creed from the show, replicating the senile and bizarre character that many have grown to love. He added backstory to jokes from the show, like how he wears size 5 shoes after having his feet bound by his Chinese foster parents.

“They thought it would make me more beautiful,” Bratton remarked. “But I really just ended up losing a toe.”

Bratton’s music is melodic and sweet. He played many songs from back in the 60’s, performing hits such “Boxer” and “Live for Today.” Many in the crowd found themselves swaying along to a beat that subtly captured them without their knowledge.

Not all of his music came from before most of the crowd was born. Bratton told the story about how he and fellow actor Ed Helms would often jam together during down-times while filming. One of his less serious songs, “Mose Was A Runner,” spawned from the desire to write a song to subtly get back at Angela Kinsey, another actress on the show.

Bratton’s song “All the Faces,” which played during The Office’s finale. Bratton had written the song long before starring on the show. The song sat unplayed for 30 years, until a conversation with director Greg Daniels about how to end the show. Bratton performed the song once for Daniels. Bratton said he didn’t think Daniels had liked the song. He assumed Daniels had gone with a different ending until the cast sat down for the final script read. Sitting at the end of the script: “Creed plays ‘All of the Faces’ while the characters talk about their time at Dunder Mifflin.” Bratton was surprised to see Daniels holding his guitar at the reading.

“One of my best performances” Bratton says.

Despite his character’s personality on The Office, Creed Bratton is a compassionate performer, often telling the crowd that “Creed Cares” throughout the performance. Bratton continued to embrace fans, allowing those who purchased a meet-and-greet pass to take selfies and sign autographs. Many fans brought their own Office memorabilia, including a $3 bill from the show and custom made signs for the event.

Bratton will continue to perform along the East Coast. He is currently working on producing a television show about a caregiver who helps people pass to the other side, compassionately, with comedic overtones.

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