Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Yes, it's been quite a while since a wrote on this blog. I have been so swamped I didn't know how to stop and talk about any of it.

July was jam packed for me. It was possibly the best month of my life since moving to New York City.

I wrapped the independent film, "McKinley", last week. It was quite an experience. It was so wonderful to become so invested in something so interesting. This film is about a group of boys that are left behind during a break at a Military Academy. During this time, two of the boys fall in love with each other. The students, who are studying Romeo and Juliet, begin to speak the original shakespeare text within the context of their own story. The characters are wonderful and playing with the text was so exciting. At times it was amazing how well the text would fit. Other times it was incredible how perfectly it could be flipped and approached in a completely new way. The main ideas behind the film are love and brotherhood, not fear or hate. What is so wonderful about the text is how much it constantly reminds us how universal the emotions are. The director of the film, Alan Brown, made this all work. From the beginning, he made the experience so personal and hands on. Our audition process felt more like a rehearsal process than the cold, distant auditions that actors typically go through for film. His attention to the detail of our characters and our relationships, on top of his general love for the project, truly brought us all to another level.

I had the time of my life shooting this film. The chemistry within the cast was insane. We all felt like we had known each other for years and we instantly clicked. There was a mutual excitement about speaking this text and wanting to make it work. I was blown away by how smart all of the actors were and how beautifully honest everyone was in their roles. Working with an actor as talented as Seth Numrich, whom I played opposite, just made everything easier. Recreating deeply important moments like the party and the balcony scene was absurdly exciting and emotional. I was on cloud nine and I'm so excited to see how it will all come together. Honestly, I have no clue what the final product will be like...but everyone involved with the film cares so deeply about it. I know that will make it really special.

On a more personal level, this film brought on such a positive change for me. I was deeply inspired by this project and reminded every day how much I love what I do. It's projects like this one that make everything worth it. I didn't want to go home at night, even after 12 hour days. The film motivated me in really positive ways. I enjoyed completely changing my look and getting in shape for the role. It got me out of my head and focused on something quirky and interesting. There is no time to over-think anything on set. You just have to jump in and get it done. It's such a focused, safe, and intimate environment. I'm mortified to see myself, but loved every second of the process.

I feel renewed. A lot of this energy carried over into my Feinstein's show last week. For everyone that came out...THANK YOU! It was a very special night for me. I won't forget it. It was my most personal and joyful show so far. I really cared about that setlist and was so grateful to be performing in that venue. It was such an honor. I have loved my year full of solo shows and I'm thrilled that they were all successes. This Feinstein's show will be my last concert for a long time (I think I did enough this spring), but I have been invited back to the venue and may return there again in a year or so if they'll still have me. I am so grateful for the overwhelming amount of support from everyone. Truly. I am so lucky to have such amazing fans and friends and I do not take any of that for granted.

As the title of this blog mentions, there has been a great deal of change within me recently and there is more to come. Change is good. It's damn good.

In about a month or so, I'm going to be moving out to the west coast for a bit. I'll only be there a couple months, but considering the fact that I haven't left this city for anything other than business trips in the past 4 years, it's going to be a nice change. It's no secret that I love New York and will always live here, but I do feel like I need to know a little bit more about the west coast and what it has to offer...beyond Nickelodeon boybands. It's going to be nuts putting all of this together (between taking the dogs and renting a car for 8 weeks, I'm already pulling my hair out) but it's going to be a good kind of nuts. I have learned the ins and outs of the theatre world since I moved to New York. It will be nice to be scared shitless again and learn some more about LA. The weather won't be too bad either.

I'm really excited about what's to come this year. I have accepted that I cannot possibly predict where I'll end up next. Makes everything even more interesting.

Here is a video from Feinstein's. Yes, I decided to allow recording in the end.


At 6:08 PM, Blogger Julia said...

LA welcomes you! It's a great place if you look beyond the smog and the traffic and the weirdness of it all :) And this is coming from someone who'll be making the opposite move to the East Coast in a couple of weeks for school. I can't marvel at and thank you enough for how insightful and inspiring your writings (and you) are. Keep on keeping on!

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Peter P.Y. Mao said...

Best of luck with all of your new adventures, Matt. We are all so proud to know you.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Rozzie said...

I'm so happy to have been at your show at Feinstein's. It truly was an amazing show, and the setlist was fantastic, and you really seemed to be enjoying yourself, which is great! I hope you have a wonderful time in LA :).

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Karmela said...

I think it's kind of neat that this is your second project involving the use of Romeo and Juliet (you know, with bare being the first). Looking forward to seeing the final result.

I know Canada's coasts are far different than America's, but as a Western girl chilling out East for school, I certainly do miss life out west every now and then. Have fun in the Pacific time zone!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

Wow. Your movie sounds a bit like Bare! Can't wait to see it (hopefully)!

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Robert McAndrew said...

Great show at Feinstein's! Since you did record the show, are there other clips available? I'd love to forward them to two friends who admire your work but could not attend the show.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger David Baker-@DB389 said...

I can't wait to see your movie and I hope you have fun in the West!

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Blake said...

Thank you for allowing the recording.

Being in South Africa does not exactly make it possible to attend your live shows, at least not yet anyway

At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw, the video clip at Feinstein's. I wish I could fly over there to tell you what a gem you are, personally. You're a gift. Keep shining! :))

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Luca said...

Hi Matt (and everybody)!
I'm a 33-years-old italian mom (sorry, for my english, hope you can understand everything) and I'm writing here, to you, 'cause in june I went to see an italian version of Bare (amazing, by the way) and immediatly felt in love with the show. After searching anything I could find about it on the web I discovered the album and, as for the show, I felt in love with your wonderful, pure and incredible voice. So, I started to read this blog and your past posts. I've just read the one about bullying and I'm so impressed by you, by the courage you've shown writing about your experience and encouraging other people to celebrate their individuality. I was never bullied, but during all my teen years I was emarginated from my school and class mates just because I was a little bit different (different interests, different musical taste...). I just wanna thank you for your clear and supporting words, I hope I will be able to be there for my little girls if anything of this would ever happen to them.

Sorry if I took it too long, I wish you all the best for your life and your career, I'll continue to follow you from here (thanks for your music advices). You're really amazing as an artist and as a person, so incredibly talented that's impossible not to support you.
From your biggest italian fan, con amore
Betty (bettyeluca@gmail.com)

PS: hope to see you performing live one day (never say never), but in the meantime thanks for allowing recording of your show :)

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Caroline said...

It's been a month. Time for a new post.

At 1:01 AM, Blogger Caroline said...

Matt, this is Caroline again. Don't think we didn't notice that the "new blog coming soon" tweet mysteriously got deleted. You're stealth, but not stealth enough

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

I am so excited for "McKinley," I can't even say. I know that when it comes out, I will be having a premiere party :D Good luck in LA, and did you know that Jonathan Larsen wrote a song for "Away We Go"? :)

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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