Fans of “The Office” may not believe that Creed Bratton found his way to acting through a speech disorder.
The actor, known for portraying a fictional version of himself on the hit NBC comedy, developed a stutter at a young age.
“I had a lot of insecurities and stuff because of moving around,” Bratton said. “I stuttered and had real low self-esteem because of it. They pulled me out of class when I was at the point where I nearly couldn’t talk, and I went to a stutter teacher. She told me the best thing to do was to get in front of people in the classroom, and acting too. … I did a bit of acting and found that I had a knack for it and really enjoyed it.”
The multifaceted artist brings his music to F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, March 21, to celebrate the upcoming release of his seventh solo folk album, “While the Young Punks Dance,” which hits record stores Friday, April 6.
Since he was surrounded by musicians growing up, taking an interest in music and songwriting seemed like a natural path for the California native. Bratton began to play guitar professionally by 17 and joined the well-known folk rock group, the Grass Roots, in his early 20s.
Prior to “The Office,” Bratton worked on films such as “Mask” and “Heart Like a Wheel,” but his role on the popular television show allowed him to flex his comedic muscles.
Those hoping to see the fictional Creed on the Wilkes-Barre stage might be disappointed at first, but they’ll instead get to enjoy the charm and musicality of the real-life Bratton.
“They’re not going to see the character per se, but they’ll see a world traveler and an actor who has been through some amazing stuff,” he said. “I cannot believe what my life has been, really. … They will hear ‘The Office’ stories, funny bits in between songs relating to acting, the Grass Roots and things like that.”
Between older music and the Grass Roots tunes, Bratton plans to perform a number of songs off his new album, whose most notable songs include “Yes Indeed,” “Ready for You Now” and “Heart of Darkness.” He noted many people await the moment when he plays “All the Faces,” the song he performed in “The Office’s” series finale.
“It’s emotional,” Bratton said of the song. “It brings them right back to the finale, with the images of ‘The Office.’ How lucky was I to sing that on the show? Sometimes I have to pinch myself. The show changed my life.”
Bratton wrote “All the Faces” long before he ever dreamed of acting on primetime television. Just after he left the Grass Roots, he found himself sitting around a bonfire in Malibu with his wife and daughter. Unlike other songs, this one simply came out as he plucked away at the guitar and sang along.
The artist recently celebrated his 75th birthday, but he certainly doesn’t act his age — in the best ways possible.
“I am your typical 75-year-old guy,” Bratton said. “I jump out of planes, go hang gliding, zip lining, fishing. … And I’m not even joking. It keeps me young.”