|Memories of Matt||
I'm not sure when I may have first met Matt, but I got to know him when he directed me in David Stevens' The Sum of Us at NDSU in the early 90s... later to be adapted to a film starring Matt's favorite singer (not!), Russell Crowe. I believe that he was to have been graded on the production. It's been too many years now, I don't remember those details. Matt was just a few months younger than I. We were both 21 or 22 years old... I know this for sure because we were legal to hit the bars afterwards! If memory serves, the powers that be did not appreciate his production. I don't know if it was the subject matter (a young gay man's relationship with his father), because it was a very well-done production. I had done theatre in high school, and I later did community theatre into my 30's (I think my last show was Jesus Christ Superstar, Matt's first upon moving to Boston). In that time I worked with some good directors, but Matt was by far the best. I think I had some natural talent as an actor. Growing up, when watching movies and TV, I thought about how I might have delivered a line or played a scene better than the actor onscreen. I pretended I was acting; I pretended I was pretending to be someone else! But in the plays I had done in high school, I never had a director really sit down and talk about the character I was playing. Matt was the first director I had to do that, and we did it throughout the rehearsal schedule. The notes he would give after rehearsal were the most insightful, constructive of any director I've worked with. I could really see the show come together over the course of rehearsals. It never really plateaued, every rehearsal was a leap forward. I've never done theatre professionally, but Matt's production of The Sum of Us was the only professional-quality show I've been a part of.