Michael Damian Talks His New Movie, His Love of Directing, Projects, The Young and the Restless, and more! Check it out here --->
We got the wonderful opportunity to chat with the jack-of-all-trades, Michael Damian about his new film High Strung Free Dance, his love of directing, new projects and if we’d ever see Danny Romalotti in Genoa City again!
Michael Damian’s High Strung series is getting another installment in High Strung Free Dance!! Free Dance tells the story of “a breathtaking dancer, a brilliant piano player, and a mastermind choreographer.” Throughout the film, we see the journey of how their drive and passions lead to their paths crossing. High Strung Free Dance has the perfect combination of layered characters, original music, and phenomenal dance sequences. It’s a must-see movie!
Free Dance was inspired by Michael’s love of music and his wife, Janeen’s incredible dance career. Janeen has danced on tour with musical icons like Michael Jackson, Prince, Cher and Diana Ross. “We wanted to make a movie about our two loves and passions. We love romance. We love telling a story that’s inspiring, and hopefully will entertain and leave you walking out of the theater feeling really good.”
Michael and Janeen have worked on fifteen movies together and writing and directing Free Dance together was just as exciting as their first film. “We have this incredible synergy. When we’re writing we finish each other’s sentences. It’s a great balance. We’re individuals, but we have this synergistic work approach. We feed off of that.”
Another key part of a film’s success is its cast, and Free Dance hit the motherlode with their actors! “The casting process was really wonderful. We auditioned all these amazing actors and dancers. It’s really exciting!” It certainly seems like their audition process was vastly different from the one set within the story. “Ours is a little more fun!”
Michael talks highly of his cast. As he should! The performances of Juliet Doherty, Harry Jarvis, and Kika Markham are wonderful and dynamic. And having veteran actors like the Golden Globe-winning Jane Seymour, Ace Bhatti (Eastenders, Bohemian Rhapsody), and Desmond Richardson (Chicago) only elevates the film to another level. Michael was especially very impressed, and I think everyone else will be as well, by Thomas Doherty’s portrayal of Zander. Thomas, who you may recognize from Disney’s Descendants 2 & 3, pulls out all the stops for his role. “He’s an amazing talent, and I think people are going to be blown away by his performance.”
Thomas also released a song and music video from the movie titled “Masterpiece.” Which you can check out below:
It’s clear that Michael has an eye for writing and directing, but did he always know he wanted to work behind-the-scenes? “Subconsciously I think I was already having a class from my nineteen years on The Young and the Restless. I was always observing and watching on the set.” His work with Garry Marshall on “Young Doctors in Love” also inspired him to go in this direction. “It’s as creative it’s just a different side.” Crediting his acting experience for his style of directing, “for me, as a director, I feel like I hopefully have a good take on what an actor will respond to. So, having been on the other side I think that it does help me.” He loves being fully immersed in the creative process from the very beginning. “As an actor, most of the time, you’re not in that position. I’m more involved than I’ve ever been!”
Michael has had immense success on screen, the charts, the Broadway stage, and behind-the-scenes, but he doesn’t forget where he got his start. He can often be found sharing throwback pictures of his time on The Young and the Restless on social media, and every now and then he checks in on the soap to see what everyone is up to. “Phyllis is always in trouble.” Yes. She. Is!
I along with many other Y&R fans would love to see Michael bring Danny Romalotti back to our screens. “I’d loved to pop into Genoa City and stir things up!” He noted that the show has reached out to him on a couple of occasions to make an appearance, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out timing-wise. But never say never! We are keeping our fingers crossed for the day that he’ll be back!
As for what’s next for Michael, he just finished up a screenplay for a Christmas movie that they are working on getting into production. He also has a few other projects in the works, and you didn’t hear it from me, but he might have an exciting announcement in the next few weeks!!
Michael and his lovely wife, Janeen have put so much time and love into High Strung Free Dance. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to check it out when it’s released into theaters on October 11th! Be sure to check out HighStrungTheMovie.com to find out where the closest theater playing Free Dance is to you!
Thank you, Michael Damian, for the chat! I was so honored to speak with you about this amazing film!
Please make sure to follow Michael and High Strung Movie on social media to keep up with all the exciting things coming up!