Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summertime


Thinking about where I am after my last 4 years in this city, I feel like I just got out of school. I had the very fortunate gift of hitting the ground running when I got to New York. Spring Awakening was the biggest eye opening experience of my life and I pretty much got everything I possibly could have out of that show. I learned the ins and outs of the business, was a swing, a replacement, went to the Tonys...it doesn't seem like it all actually happened. I not only learned the ropes at Spring Awakening, but also at Gossip Girl and Bye Bye Birdie in very different ways. It's been such an absurd ride. In fact, the only times I have ever even left the city in the past 4 years have been work related.

Recently I've been meeting up with some Spring Awakening Alum. It's really amazing to see how far everyone has come. I don't just mean professionally either. When I look back at what that little group was in 2007, I remember completely different people. For me, it's like looking back at my freshman year of college. I don't think I could be happier for any other group of people. They are all so immensely gifted and unique. It is such an honor to be able to witness all them grow.

Both Bye Bye Birdie and Gossip Girl were projects I had begun while in Spring Awakening. When Spring Awakening closed in January of 2009, I knew I was starting rehearsals for Bye Bye Birdie in the summer. Even though I had "time off", I still didn't exactly have time to breath or reflect. When Bye Bye Birdie came to a close, I didn't feel as if a chapter closed for me, I felt as if the little novella I had worked so hard on had been shut tight. Scribbled across the front of the book would be the words "MY EARLY YEARS."

This spring was a relatively scary adjustment period for me. It was less about continuing the journey, and more about starting a new one altogether. Every path was potentially open, and there were many I had to choose not to go down. The spring became less about trying to jump into the first contract that came my way, and more about finding the patience to allow the next little novella in my life to start. I've been blessed with a fantastic set of tools from my "training" over the past few years, and now I have to put those tools to use.

The truth is, I've just been through a few of the most exciting and enjoyable months I've had since I moved to the city. I've forced myself to relax, let my guard down, and get a bit of myself back. I've been able to do some wonderfully goofy things for friends, endless concerts (working with amazing composers and producers), and have had pleasure of being involved with some really exciting new pieces.

This summer, I'll be continuing that exploration. I get to go back to my family's true hometown and teach in Boston for a week. As soon as I get back, I'll start shooting my first leading role in an indie film this summer. I can't wait to talk about it more. It's a really interesting project and I'll get to put to use some of that wonderful classical training I received in London. I'm seriously itching to start. I love the director and am going to be surrounded by a bunch of young actors that are just as eager and excited about it as I am...which is always a recipe for a great time. I've just been informed that I'll even be singing in the film as well. I'll also be cutting my hair...really short. I'll have details on it all soon enough!

Feinstein’s is coming up fast. Looking forward to the show and should be doing a press release this coming week. My guests will be my lovely and talented roommate, Katie Gassert, and also the incredible Lindsay Mendez…who can blow off the roof of any venue. See you on the 26th of July!

19 Comments:

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

It's really been so much fun watching you in your "early years". This new chapter already seems super exciting! A leading role in a movie!!!!!! Oh my god, Matt! That's amazing! I can't wait to here all about it! Ahhhh so excited for you! Congratulations!!!!

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger Suzette said...

Hi Matt!!! Thank you for a wonderful post! It was sooo heartfelt!!! Just reading it reminded me how far Ive come in 4 years as well. I got laid off at my job after working there 5 years. I was completely heartbroken and then learn that my cousin's husband died while serving in Iraq 2 weeks later. I was completely devasted. SA helped me through that period. Meeting you and the SA cast and listening to the cast recording, BARE etc...was therapy for me.
Ive grown alot and experienced soo much in the past 4 years and have become a Huge broadway junkie.

I'm sooo happy for you with this new movie role! Im sooo excited! As always, my sister and I will be there. Wishing you the best!
Have a great summer!

 
At 1:48 AM, OpenID m said...

What/when are you teaching in Boston? I'd love to attend a masterclass or such.

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger Janet said...

Matt - I came across your blog when I was surfing for voice issues and your blog a couple of years back appeared when you worried about the show you had to do.
What I want to say is that as a voice teacher and somebody who rehabilitates voices in the UK, I hope you have not since made a habit of singing through laryngitis etc as this is ultimately death to a singer. Your voice will just compensate and it WILL work for you until the day it just can't.
Voices are veru robust but they need nuturing too. I have just been in NY with my husband and we gave a class to some Juliiard students on voice. You have some amazing voice therapists in the States, so what i want to alert you to is:
Please take time each year to have your cords checked by specialists
get to know your voice so well that you KNOW if it is getting fatigued before it really gets tired
Hydrate like mad
Warm up before you sing or act - this is vital for the longevity of the voice
Take voice lessons every month or so, jusy so you have another pair of ears lietening to you - our ears are in the wrong place as singers!
It looks like you are doing really well, so the pressure will be on you to keep up your standard.
I am sure you get lot sof good advice so forgive me if it sounds full on, but I work with singers and teachers (as well as still singing myself - classical though) and we all benefit from reminding oursleves about how much we require our voice to do.
It has taken me many years to understand that I was putting strain on my voice for a long time because I sang, talked, went out with friends, had a few drinks, talked at parties and events over background noise and geenrally expected my voice to work at high octane level all the time!
Vocal rest is the most important thing you will learn in your career, then you will have a long and happy time!
Thanks for reading - and if you google me you will find me: I also have a website about teachers and their voices where some of the info may work for you too...www.talkingvoice.net
Good luck!
Janet Shell

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger cam-cam said...

YAY!!!!!!!!

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger SternReviews said...

Hope all is well. Sorry this is the only way I know to reach you. Just mildly accosted you on the subway (I always hate bothering someone listening peacefully to music) but have indeed been a fan since purposely attending your first performance as Melchior (yeah, yeah, laryngitis, you were still dynamite). “Bare” has since become my go-to gift for friends, and I have been blown away by your performances at Joe’s Pub. But more than all else, your blog on bullying made it so very clear just how articulate, decent and heartfelt a human being you are. Meant to give you my business card, but the doors were closing – I’m a VP for Politics at NARAL Pro-Choice New York during the day, but also serve as the Board President of the Long Island GLBT Services Network, where I grew up and dealt with quite a lot of bullying and torment as a kid (I ended up dropping out of high school when I was 16). Please be sure to add me to your mailing lists, and let me know if I can ever be of help to you and/or your career in any way – it would be a sincere pleasure. Can obviously be reached through this email, or at astern@prochoiceny.org. Sending you my very best. Andy Stern

 
At 2:41 AM, Blogger Annissa said...

Hi Matt :)
I dont know if you read or reply to the comments people leave here, but I just want to say that as a longtime reader of your blog, I truly appreciate all of your musical suggestions. You have kept my ipod well stocked with interesting and eclectic artists. So please keep the reccomendations coming!
The other thing I just want to say quickly is that, though I'm not an actor/singer like a lot of the other readers, I am an aspiring writer (who has mad appreciation for musical theater) and I had to let you know how inspiring your blog is. You write with such a defined voice that is rich in both personal and insightful nuances. Its the kind of voice that I as a highschool student am still struggling to find. Not only are you a talented performer, but you are a gifted writer as well. Thank you so very much for inspiring me in so many ways. =]

 
At 10:42 PM, Blogger Jonathan Matthew Gilbert said...

Matt, I'm a bookwriter working on a new show and looking at doing a reading at The York...Any chance we can talk? I've had you in mind while writing for some time now, it'd be amazing to actually have you involved. jonathanmatthewgilbert@gmail.com

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Harry Lang said...

Hey Matt! First off, you are my biggest broadway idol/ you are my celebrity doppleganger! :)
Also, the arts (theater, musical theater) are diminishing in my school. I was wondering if maybe you would be interested in coming to my school in Great Barrington, MA for one day and just singing and talking to kids who are interested in the arts and others on how to make a living out of the business but also to push for more support in the arts. If you are e-mail me at harrbear140@aim.com
It would mean so much for me and my school if we made this happen because I'm all for getting support for the arts out! :)

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Bianca said...

Matt- I wanted to say that your last post was one of the most heartfelt and sincere things I have ever read. It's funny, because I came across a little show called BARE when I was a high school senior. My duet partner and I performed "One" as a duet for district thespians in South Florida. Instantly I became obsessed and bought the two disc CD. Watching the DVD just made me ball in tears. Hearing the sincere feelings and the incredible experience you and the cast had with BARE was so touching an inspiring. I've been following your blog for about a year, and you are just amazing! You have so much raw passion for what you do. My dad is also in the business, so I've seen my share of the fakes and the liars. But your work is so genuine that I have to thank you. I am an aspiring actress at Florida State University and sometimes when I'm having trouble with a role or I'm just having a rough day, I pop in BARE and the music fills my soul. I congratulate you on all your success. You absolutely deserve it! Please keep us updated as to where you'll be performing in NY. In would love to see you live someday! Good luck this summer :)

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger Momma said...

I am new to your work but saw you singing in the movie Once More With Feeling. I love the song you sang at the end of the movie "When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New" is there a version of that available?

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger Momma said...

Would love to here more of your music.

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger Francesca Amari said...

Hi Matt,
We recently heard you sing "When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New" at the end of the movie, "Once More With Feeling" and love it! Is the soundtrack available, or do you have a CD out? Please let us know! We loved your voice.

 
At 10:38 PM, Blogger Megan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger Megan said...

If anyone needs a ticket for Feinstein's, I have an extra that I can't use - $35, general admission - feel free to email megsig@bu.edu if you are interested!

 
At 9:15 AM, Blogger Molly said...

I'm sure you'll make a blog post about it, but Feinstein's was a FANTASTIC show - I can't think of anything else I would've rather been doing that evening. It was so meaningful and joyous and classy, and you had a marvelous band to back you up.
(Also, I hope you weren't offended by the fact that I said I "didn't want a picture" - it wasn't meant to be negative! I just already have one from the post-show SA stagedoor and didn't want to keep you much longer.)
Please keep up the wonderful work, solo and otherwise - the way you're going, seats will start becoming even harder to get! ;)

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Caroline said...

New blog post please!

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger The-Hangman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger The-Hangman said...

Matt,

First time listener... Lifetime Fan!
"If Morning Can't Wait" did it for me. Thank you! Looking forward to buying your upcoming CD. Keep reaching for the stars brother.

 

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