Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm starting to realize that I have never made rational choices. Now, I can see how that sentence may not sound great, but looking back on everything that has happened to me over the past couple of years...I'm pretty happy with the way things have worked out.

I have never let attractive and safe packages presented to me influence my decisions. To be honest, a "safe" decision usually scares me the most. Safe is boring, unproductive, and predictable. I just got back from a year of training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in a post-graduate program. This is something I chose for myself over a wide range of options most actors my age would have killed for. I was one of ten men accepted into Cincinnati’s musical theatre program, one of ten accepted into Carnegie Mellon's acting program, and I received a 10,000-dollar scholarship to Boston Conservatory. I was also selected to attend other respected acting conservatories and colleges, including Emerson, AADA, and Marymount Manhattan. The choices were overwhelming. Suddenly...I snapped...I started to recognize what I wanted and what I didn't want. I hated the idea of attending a university being surrounded by people my age in a drama program (there is already enough drama within a group of ordinary 18 year olds). I also had no interest, and no motivation towards academics. A degree was not my first priority. Neither was a program that offered 4 years of musical theatre courses. I had been training in musical theatre for the previous four years of my life working towards everything that was then sitting in front of me and suddenly I realized...I didn't want it.

At the last minute, I was offered the one-year classical theatre program for post-grads and professionals at LAMDA. I took it. I took this offer because the curriculum was intense, focused, and something I had never studied. I was terrified of classical theatre! The idea of studying it for a year was exciting. It was a challenge and something new. It was something I could learn from. I didn't want my career to only be in musical theatre. People were telling me Cincinnati would be a one-way ticket to the Broadway stage, but acting has never been about finding a one-way ticket for me. I want to explore, I want to do projects that inspire and excite me. LAMDA proved to be everything that I wanted. 10-13 hour days of intense training, brutally honest tutors, mature peers, and 6 presented workshops over the course of 8 months. Top it off with a showcase in New York City that landed me a dream of a first-job...

I am currently living in the New York City area ready to pursue acting at full force. Within the first month of being here I landed a lead role at Ariel Tepper's SPF theatre festival in a new play called "The Butcherhouse Chronicles." I worked with an incredible writer, director, and an unbelievably talented cast of players. The people I have met have been inspirational and genuine. I am already working with actors who have done major stage and film work and a production team that has been encouraging and motivating. I'm here pursuing what I want. I'm young. I'm taking another leap. I have no idea what's going to happen next...

...It feels so right.


At 9:50 AM, Blogger M. Alice said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. Terrific blog, this.

You were amazing in "The Butcherhouse Chronicles"! Who WROTE that?! There is some phenomenal bloody writing in that play -- whoever wrote that is going to be a force to be reckoned with, mark my words.

You've a brilliant future ahead of you. Filled with as much danger as you can stomach.

Just try not to forget your friends, buddy...

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Stever Robbins said...

Hi, Matt,

You write:

I have never let attractive and safe packages presented to me influence my decisions. To be honest, a "safe" decision usually scares me the most. Safe is boring, unproductive, and predictable.I do a podcast ( that currently reaches several tens of thousands of people per episode. I am writing an episode on pursuing dreams vs. taking "safe" choices. I found your website via some BARE soundtrack site, clicked randomly, and the sentence you wrote above jumped out.

Would you be interested in doing an interview attached to the episode on living your dream versus making "rational" choices? Especially since you wrote the above line three years ago, you might be able to talk about what it's been like from then (when you didn't know what the future held) for the intervening few years.

If you'd be amenable, drop me an email at:

Meanwhile, keep up the great work!


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