Syracuse native Michael Judson Berry began his career in the performing arts at age six.
His first ever role was as a comedic Prince in a local production of ‘The King and I’. Michael’s passion for acting continued throughout his childhood and his vision persisted. He has come quite far, receiving a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University and an MA in Classical Acting from the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Michael has extensive experience working in casting agencies for TV/Film/Broadway in both LA and New York. Although after spending enough time in the “business” side of the industry, Michael was reminded of how much auditioning and performing meant to his soul, so he made a worthy return. Not long ago he wrapped up his first feature film, ‘Milkwater,’ alongside Molly Bernard and Robin De Jesus. The film can be seen at events such as Atlanta Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, and Indie Street Virtual Film Festival. ‘Milkwater’ recently won “Best Screenplay” at Brooklyn film festival.
During quarantine, Berry decided to exhibit his humorous skillset on TikTok. His impressions of the Schitt’s Creek character, Moira Rose, blew up throughout social media and put smiles on millions of pandemic-burdened faces. Michael created his show, “QuaranTeaTime with Moira Rose” on TikTok which has millions of views and followers to date. He writes and performs skits of Moira Rose, in many different outfits, wigs, and in any situation imaginable. Not only does he do impressions of Moira Rose, but he also includes cameos of the entire cast throughout his skits. Emmy Award winning actress, Catherine O’Hara, has acknowledged and praised Michael for his impression of her character Moira.
Chilled sat with Michael to learn about his past in the bartending industry, imbibing preferences, upcoming projects, and much more.
Tell us about the projects you are working on.
Currently my big project is my Instagram/TikTok Series called QuaranTeaTime, where I do a parody of Catherine O’Hara’s character Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek.
With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your downtime?
When I finally get a few minutes to relax if it’s warm out I like to sit outside in the sun and knit.
When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
Before the pandemic I saw a lot of theater in NYC, and my go-to dinner spot was Joe Allen’s. These days I’ve enjoyed exploring and supporting more local places in Jersey City. Curry On and Franklin Social have become favorites.
What types of dishes do you typically order?
I am a basic eater; I usually go for a burger and a beer. I also do love Indian and Thai food.
Any favorite bars?
I have a group of friends that I go to Flaming Saddles in Hell’s Kitchen with. We have even become friends with some of the bartenders.
It depends, I either go with a beer or whiskey. When it comes to beer, I typically I go with an IPA. If I am having a whiskey, I usually get Jameson and just sip it on the rocks.
Do you prepare drinks at home?
If you can count popping the top of off a bottle, then yes, I prepare drinks! I’m not much a cocktail guy, so my preparation usually just consists of opening the bottle, pouring whatever it is into a glass, sitting back, and enjoying it.
Tell us about your home bar. What is it stocked with?
Its currently bit dull, but it includes: E & J Brandy, Jameson, Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur, Maraschino Liqueur, Pimm’s, Jacquin’s Crème De Menthe, Extra Dry Vermouth, and Limoncello.
Have you ever been a bartender?
I took a bartending course, but then ended up becoming a server instead of a bartender. I worked as a server in restaurants and for catering events for years. I did jump behind the bar a few times at catering events, but I never consistently worked as a bartender.
If you could share a drink with anyone, who would it be?
Maggie Smith! I am such a big fan! For the last sixty years she has worked in some of the most prestigious venues in the world with some of the most influential people in entertainment history. I can only imagine the stories she must have.