DVR Under the Helmet with Dave Muse

In this installment of DVR Under the Helmet we profile Dave Muse, one of our team’s soft spoken yet incredibly diverse talents. Dave first caught our attention about two years ago when this phenom started showing up for team rides. He quickly demonstrated his strength and tenacity and became a part of the squad. Now after little over a year of racing, he’s upgraded to cat 4 and found his way on to the podium at the All-American Road Race. Oh, and by the way, he’s directed 4 plays and is the artistic director for one of the most successful theaters in town.

Dave took at break from his busy schedule and sat down to talk with us about bikes, theater and what it’s like being part of the crazy world of the peloton.

District Velocity:  Dave Muse, welcome to DVR Under the Helmet, how has your training been this year?

Dave Muse:  Sporadic and unstructured. Work got in the way lots. But good news is that this year’s mediocre fitness is on par with what I called good fitness a few years ago.

DVR:  When are we going to see you racing?

Dave in his first season of racing at Greenbelt

Dave in his first season of racing at Greenbelt

DM:  July road races: Road Warrior, Coppi, Lost River, Page Valley

DVR:  Let me see if I remember your bio, a Yale alumnus originally from Missouri by way of New York City, right?  How did you find your way to DC?

DM:  I’ve done two stints in Washington. First was in the late 90s – I joined Teach for America right out of Yale and was placed here. I taught high school math in the District for 4 years before returning to Yale for drama school. (Long story.) Returned to DC in 2004 to take a job as an Assistant Director at the Shakespeare Theatre. Thought I’d stay for year, and have been here over a decade.
DVR:  Tell us more about what you are doing nowadays?
Dave taking a moment on stage to talk with the writer of the Bachelorette at the Studio Theater last year

Dave taking a moment on stage to talk with the writer of the Bachelorette at the Studio Theater last year

DM: I’m the Artistic Director at Studio, which means that I select the seasons, direct plays, supervise casting & design, do strategic planning, raise money.
DVR:  When folks think about live theater they immediately think about New York or maybe Chicago, but DC’s theater scene is really exciting isn’t it?  What makes DC so special?  And what about Studio Theater?
DM: DC is one of the most exciting theatre towns in the country, no question. A lot of that has to do with DC audiences: they’re curious, smart, and engaged. And there is enough activity to keep a substantial community of local theatre artists employed – only a few US cities can say the same. Studio is all about producing the best contemporary plays in particularly intimate theaters.
DVR:  Switching away from life off the bike, when did you discover your passion for bike riding?

DM: I started mountain biking in college on a suspension-less steel Trek, spent post-college years using bikes as my primary mode of transportation, bought my first road bike after finishing an AIDS Ride on a mountain bike with skinny tires, and rode just for fitness and fun for a number of years.

Dave on the podium last year at Jeremiah Bishop's Gran Fondo

Dave on the podium last year at Jeremiah Bishop’s Gran Fondo

DVR:  Despite riding and training, hard (I’ve seen your Strava KOMs), for a long time, your first full season of racing wasn’t until last year, right?  What made you jump into racing?

DM: I guess I got tired of people asking me when I was going to start racing.

Double the Dave

Double the Dave

DVR:  As a director, what’s it like becoming a part of the chaos that is the peloton?

DM: I remember last year at Coppi, trying to organize a chase to catch a breakaway group that was getting away. I tried all of my director tactics: reasoning with people, encouragement, leading by example, emphatic circular hand gestures, shouting. No response. Apparently pelotons are even harder to orchestrate than companies of actors.


DVR:  Are you able to apply any of your professional life to your life on the bike?

DM: I hope not. I bike to get away from my professional life for a while.

DVR:  You’ve been busy over the past year haven’t you?  You’ve been a full time artistic director, directed four plays yourself, upgraded to a cat 4 and expanded the colors of your wardrobe to include black, white and now grey too, how do you find the time to do all of this?

DM: I bought a place a block from the theatre – that helps some

DVR's cycling power couple:  Dave and multi race winner Hannah

DVR’s cycling power couple: Dave and multi race winner Hannah

DVR:  What has been the most challenging play for you to bring to life?  What made it that way?

DM: Julius Caesar. Cast of 41.

DVR:  Do you still get nervous when one of your plays opens?  What about when you are standing on a starting line?

DM: Yes and yes. Dammit.

DVR:  Aside from world theater domination, what are your bike racing goals?

Dave and the unstoppable Kevin Cross enjoying an aptly named beverage

Dave and the unstoppable Kevin Cross enjoying an aptly named beverage

DM: Truth is, I ride and race to stay fit and because I like the company. I like to challenge myself, but don’t care too much about race results. Is somebody going to revoke my membership card for admitting that?

DVR:  Any advice to folks, young and old, who are looking to get into theater?  What about for us bike racer types?

DM: My advice: by all means, get involved. See plays, take a class, get involved backstage. It’s a blast. But think very hard before trying to make a go of it professionally. It’s a tough road. Good advice for bike racers, too, I suppose.

DVR:  Dave, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with us here on DVR Under the Helmet, we cannot wait to see you out on the road sporting the blue & white!

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