Creed Bratton is best known for his role as the idiosyncratic quality assurance director at Dunder Mifflin on NBC’s long-running show The Office. Fans of the show may not realize that Bratton’s talents extend far beyond the non sequiturs and bizarre stories of his on-screen persona.
Bratton’s career as a musician began when he was a teenager and stretched into a two-year stint with the ’60s folk band The Grass Roots, with which he co-wrote the songs “Beatin' Round the Bush," "No Exit" and "Hot Bright Lights.” Bratton is touring as a musician and will perform Tuesday night at the Texas Theatre.
“Live shows are what I do,” Bratton says. “I’ve always been singing original songs and telling funny stories. I can’t really talk about the music. You need it to be heard to understand it. My style is an eclectic mix of songs ranging from folky to rock.”
While the Young Punks Dance, Bratton’s seventh studio album since 2001, was released on Megaforce records. The album’s first single, “Heart of Darkness,” is a slow journey through feelings of change and loss. A jarring song for people who only know Bratton for funny sayings, “Heart of Darkness” shows an incredible amount of emotional depth.
Bratton still plans to give the people what they want — the hilarity audiences enjoy. He is reluctant to give too much away, however. The show will include "anecdotes about The Office” and “stories about being on the road,” he says, and attendees can expect to hear some lines from his Office persona, as well as other “character stuff.”
Bratton is looking forward to something else, too, in his first visit to Dallas’ historic Texas Theatre (and his first visit to Dallas as a solo performer) — making a connection with the other side. One of the lesser-known facts about Bratton’s biography is that before he was performing with The Grass Roots, the actor and singer spent time studying and acting as a spirit medium.
Bratton says most of his connections with the other side have been with animals that have come into human form and are scared of the change. But for his Dallas stay, he is interested in a ghost that is said to haunt the green room of the Texas Theatre.
“I’ve heard a lot of people on the road talk about the ghost of a groupie named Alicia,” Bratton says. “People say that she has information about Lee Harvey Oswald, but we’ll just have to see.
"I will be bringing sage and mineral pendants,” Bratton says, explaining that it's the way to bring a spirit to the fore.
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Bratton has made arrangements with the staff at the Texas Theatre to spend the night in the green room in hopes of having a better chance of connecting with the spirit.
BJ Novak, one of the writers for The Office, once said that Creed Bratton in real life was a lot like Creed Bratton the character, except that the real Creed Bratton is good-hearted and likable and lacks the darkness of the on-screen persona.
One thing is for certain: Bratton is every bit as much of an eclectic and eccentric person as his Office character. But the heart and soul that go into his music and stories, as well as his desire to understand a world we cannot see, suggest that Tuesday night's performance will be a primetime-worthy show at which you can expect the unexpected with joy.