|Birth Name||Michael Bigansky|
Mini Bio (1)
Blackout (TM) AKA Michael Biggins (originally born as Michael Bigansky) is an American film actor, writer, director, improvisational comedian, radio and TV personality, and ten Periscope (APP) Broadcasteris best known for performing under the name of Blackout in a wide variety of plays, films, sketches, improv comedy, stream of consciousness jams, pranks, prank call recordings, radio and TV shows, films, and original characters created and performed under this trademarked Blackout name. He is the only living entity in the world permitted to use "Blackout" as an entertainer.
While he still retains his Michael Biggins name for dramtic roles and also as a triple threat writer, director editor, he considers Blackout his alter ego trickster persona and changed his name officially to it in 2012 even though he had been using the name professionally since as early as 1988 and registered Blackout.com in 1995 when he was just a sperm (or a few parsecs older).
He performs in various works from plays to feature films, and has sometimes even been credited as both names when he does both talent and technical work in one project. For instance, he might be credited as "Michael Biggins" as an actor, and then credited again as "Blackout" as director or sound mixer in the same film or TV show where he performed multiple tasks or roles.
He starting performing very early, nursery school to be exact and continued on in various plays in both public grade schools in New York City, and very strict private Catholic schools up until 8th grade, when he relocated to South Florida and joined the drama program at Piper High School in Fort Lauderdale.
That school was very rare in that it was and still is one of the very few high schools in the country to have a fully operational FM radio station with an over 40 mile large broadcasting radius broadcasting on 88.5 FM WKPX. His improvisation talent bloomed as a teen at Piper High, and he was given the role of production manager of the station, and his own improvisational show called "No Class". It is there and on that show that he first got his "Blackout" nickname, when during his first time on the air after passing the FCC license examination, lightning struck the station tower antenna while he was on, "blacking out" the entire school and station for several hours, and his teachers and fellow students affectionately started calling him "Blackout", and it stuck.
From there after high school he studied multiple disciplines at Broward Community College, going back and forth between the talent and technical sides of theater, film, mass media, broadcast television, and computer streaming. He was the lead in several of the college's major plays such as Bedroom Farce, Mousetrap, and Greater Tuna, but his true love & calling was always for live improvisational comedy and film making.
"It's weird because I love the live-ness of plays, if that's even a word, but they make me terribly sad as well, because they are not recorded and you can not re-experience them. TV is better, because it's basically a play set up to be recorded, but film, or more aptly motion pictures or digital cinema since film is pretty much dead now... that's my favorite. Some directors don't like it, but I like to do one take as written, and then one or several takes off the cuff, just, me, the universe, the other actors, and the camera. It's electrical. It's what makes me excited." - Blackout aka Michael Biggins
He registered the website Blackout.com in 1995 and was the first person ever to put a streaming prank call on the Internet of that same year, and has maintained and on again off again love affair with talk radio while primarily pursuing film and television, and occasionally theater roles.
His debut breakout film was in 2009's "Film Contest ?" in which, oddly enough, he played an eccentric New Age trickster talk radio show host. The film won best picture at the West Palm Beach Film Festival, and he received very favorable reviews for his quirky spaced out digital hippie performance. After that, he did one last play in Fort Lauderdale, playing the role of "SKYboy", the over the top black sheep artist of the family in the interactive audience participation hit - "Grandma Sylvia's Funeral" at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. While the play received mix reviews - Biggins / Blackout was highly praised and actually received one of the highest honors - the "Red Hat Ladies" award, which is a group of highly successful financiers and backers of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. At one difficult point, when Biggins and then director were at odds at each other over the amount of wild improvisation Biggins was doing, Biggins offered to leave and offered to have an understudy take his role. This is when the "Red Hat Ladies" stepped in and said they would not continue to finance the play if Biggins left. Things calmed down, and he finished the run even though there was much tension on the set.
In 2009 he relocated back to his birthplace, New York City, and remained relatively silent as he re-acquainted himself with the New York artistic scene, and became heavily involved in the independent film community there with the goal of being a triple threat actor / writer / director of his own films. He worked as a freelance sound mixer to support himself as digital cinema slowly matured, and he opened his own production companies - Blackout's Box Studios and Hathouse Films. He is also an award winning sound engineer and was the soul sound recordist & mixer position was on an award winning short film "AWOL" which premiered at Sundance 11 in January of 2011.
After that, he got involved and was one of the pioneers of HD DSLR film making, and shot a slew of music videos that garnered over 300 million views on youtube, BET, and WorldStarHimHop.com all the while working on several of his own projects as actor / writer / and director. He attempted to do a live streaming audience participation show in 2011 and 2012 calling it the world's first interactive television show "Blackout's Box LIVE" that wasn't confined to a person sitting by a computer with a web cam. He used the company Livestream and very cumbersome laptops with dual 4g cell cards to be able to stream live from anywhere while he improvised characters live as the audience directed him and made comments, fed him lines, and participated. The technology was just not reliable enough and he finally threw in the towel in 2013 and went into a depression and removed himself from the Internet and made no comments on any social media sites for over a year or more. Some even speculated he had committed suicide since he did not have any close family that he kept up with regularly.
Such was not the case though. Immediately upon the release of a software app for smart-phones in 2015 called Periscope - which was bought up rather quickly by Twitter for 100 million dollars - Blackout started appearing on it. Spotty at first, and then almost daily, and now usually several times a day. He is one of the top Periscope live Broadcasters according to Perirank.com, an independent site that tracks and ranks top and trending Periscope broadcasters.
"This is the future of what we used to call TV, " said Blackout in an online interview with several other Periscope personalities during one of his shows and also on his facebook page when he pulled a stunt where he dressed up and impersonated a drunken Johnny Depp and caused quite a stir. "Old media is dead. Newspapers are dead. Youtube is supersaturated with what I call attack of the clones, or I should say clowns, and no, not the funny kind. Youtube has become boring - unless you're into kittens and PewDiePie.... I want to bring Comedy & Cosmic Consciousness together into dynamic interactive shows that no one has ever seen the likes of before, and I'm doing it. Periscope is basically a TV station in your pocket and it's the first time where the viewers can actually interact fully with the show host. It's amazing, . and I've got several pockets."
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Blackout.com & Blackout's Box Studios Publishing