WARNING: The following is longer than 140 characters.
Over the past few months, I’ve been telling people that I’m in the process of taking a step back from acting. I haven’t really been that specific as to my reasonings why, because I honestly wasn’t sure of what they were myself — I just knew that I was no longer drawn to acting the same way that I once was.
I’m taking a few moments to share my thoughts on the matter because I have received such incredible support from many of you over the past decade, that I feel I owe you all some insight as to where I’m currently at with my acting career…
When I started acting, I did it because I was compelled to do it – I had to do it. I read books, I studied performances, developed theories, and entirely immersed myself in the art. In the years that followed, I honed my skills, strengthened my relationships, and put my all into the profession.
So, what changed? When – and from where – did this apathy suddenly creep in? At some point, I began acting for the paycheque, rather than the passion; and for the past few months, I’ve been doing a good amount of soul searching, asking myself why…
Long answer short: I accomplished my goal.
Long answer long: The soul searching has allowed me to reverse-engineer my acting career and look back on why I got into acting in the first place. It sounds simple enough, but hey, I never really did that.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I got into acting for the same reason that I wanted to become a professional wrestler (my original plan leaving high school): because I had no idea who the hell I was, and until I did, I wanted to be someone else.
I honestly never really cared about fame or fortune – which I think most people think is a weird thing to not care about when you’re an actor, but hey – I was always more interested in character exploration, finding myself within that, and over the past decade of working within the art, I feel like I’ve slowly done just that, I’ve found myself (which is quite possibly the hokiest sentence I’ve ever written).
Acting is a tough career, any career in the arts is, and I admire any person who has that fire within themselves, whatever it is, to fight on and hone their craft, but I personally have reached a point where I am no longer compelled to sacrifice for my art. I like my art, I think it’s fun and exciting and interests me deeply, but it makes no sense for me to push on when I’ve already received what I bargained for.
I’ll probably look back at this one day and roll my eyes at the potentially (almost definitely) self-indulgent / self-important nature of this note, but you, my friends and family, are all the shareholders in “Glen Matthews Incorporated”, you’re responsible for my success, you’re the people that I answer to, and I owe you this, my personal insight.
And to be very clear, please know that this is not me quitting acting (calm down, everyone, please, CALM DOWN) – I’m simply taking a step back, so that I can focus on other things, like setting new goals and continuing to grow. I love acting, I truly do, but there are many other things I think I will love as well.
Thank you for your past and future support everyone. Let’s grab a drink sometime. Cool?
After playing at what seemed to be every state and province in North America, Cory Bowles‘ short film, RIGHTEOUS is now online for your viewing consumption!
A young black man’s complicated day that starts with a sibling argument, a profiling, and an explosive face-off… only ends up more complicated when it all lands close to home.
Very proud of this one, you guys. Enjoy.
H’oh boy, the time has come! I am so damn happy to be releasing my latest directorial effort, SAVING FACE!
This film has an incredibly personal story to it for me, which I’ve shared further down the page, so for those of you who might be into that kind of thing, keep scrolling when you’re done watching.
SYNOPSIS: With the world watching, a mild-mannered pro-wrestler transforms into what he’s always fought against: the bad guy.
Ring the bell!
Writer / Director / Editor: Glen Matthews ( GlenMatthews.ca ), Producer: Andrew Hicks ( fairfield-creative.com/ ), Director of Photography: Liam Higgins ( jellyphresh.com/ ), Assistant Director: Ian Burns ( ianburns.sqsp.com/ ), Wardrobe / Costume Design: Bonnie Archibald-Awalt, Sound Design & Mix: Dave Johnson, Data Management: David Fulde.
Red – Glen Matthews, Blue – Bob Mann, The Wife – Becca Babcock, Red Jr. – Ethan Beck, Boss – Kevin Gerrior, The Ref – Chris Fitzgerald, Manager – Ralph Walton-Bone Urquhart, Flatbed – Troy Merrick AKA Sexton Phoenix, Big Rig – Jason Collier AKA Lumber Jack Johnson, Kontra – Chris Cooke AKA The Big Picture, Slambo – Ryan Mader AKA Lincoln Steen.
…Things got pretty weird there, eh?
Those of you who know me are well aware that I have a long-standing obsession with professional wrestling. It started when I was a child, continued through my teens, then, after high school, I sold my car and moved to Moncton, New Brunswick to pursue training in the squared circle.
After a week of my grappler-education, I called home from a terribly depressing pay phone at a Moncton strip mall, telling my parents I was quitting wrestling. Why? Long story short: my body sucks (bad knees, bad back) and I knew I didn’t stand a chance if my body was crapping-out on me already. The dream was over before it even began.
After a bit of career-experimentation (ie. working at Bluenotes for a year), I eventually found my way to acting, which I really enjoyed, and people told me I was good at. Acting eventually lead to filmmaking, and eventually, thanks to SAVING FACE, filmmaking brought me back, full-circle, to professional wrestling…
Our shoot consisted of seven days of straight shooting. It was a gruelling process for all involved (I owe many people on that crew many beers). Our final three days of shooting were in the Halifax Forum, where we would be shooting all of the wrestling scenes.
We spent hours setting up the ring, exhausted, but knowing it had to get done before the next day, and when it was, I started running the ropes, and all of a sudden I just started laughing my ass off. It hit me like a ton of bricks: this was the very definition of a dream come true.
The next couple of days, we had four professional wrestlers come in, all of whom I sincerely respect (and have long admired); they worked with us, we worked with them, and I was in absolute heaven getting tossed around.
Honestly, I could go on for hours about how much making this film meant to me, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who had a hand in helping me get to whatever point in my career that I needed to be at to say, “Hey, I don’t know if anyone’s gonna dig this, but I’m gonna go make this weird wrestling film anyway.”
There’s a lot of you who’ve contributed to my career, either directing me in a short, handing me a water bottle between takes, or just saying something nice (don’t forget you wonderful people who donated to the Saving Face IndieGogo), thank you for playing a part in allowing me to live this dream.
On to the next one.
Struan Sutherland‘s THE HOLD UP is now online after a boisterous festival run, picking up awards and special mentions, all along the merry way!
The comedic short, features myself, Dave Rossetti, Pasha Ebrahimi, & Mike McLeod, and tells the tale of four aspiring criminals discovering that they have wildly conflicting, ludicrous opinions on how their bank robbery should go down.
Most recently, the short won Best Ensemble Cast at the Austin Comedy Short Film Fest.
Check it out, already!
The Screen Nova Scotia Awards were this past Saturday. LURE (directed by Jesse Harley) was nominated for four awards: Best Picture, Best Lead Performance by an Actress (Andrea Lee Norwood), Best Performance by a Supporting Actor (Richard Donat), and Best Actor in a Lead Performance, which I was nominated for.
Congratulations to Mike McLeod, for picking up the Best Lead Actor Award for his work on Thom Fitzgerald’s FORGIVE ME. I totally don’t hate you. I swear.
In all honesty, it was an incredible honour to be recognized for our work in light of the past few weeks spent battling the NS Liberals, trying to save our homegrown industry. Thank you to Screen Nova Scotia and everyone who had a hand in the evening. It was an excellent celebration of everyone’s hard work.
Update – June 15/15: Who needs Screen Nova Scotia’s stupid awards when you can get one from from the Eastern North Carolina Film Festival? That’s right, I picked up Best Actor honours from the folks down south! Thanks, kindly.
I’ve decided to do something fun: I’ll be hosting an acting workshop next month (Sunday March 15th & 22nd). I’ve called it WHAT WORKED FOR ME because it just that, a collection of things, big and small, that have worked for me in the acting profession.
This workshop will focus on self-promotion and auditioning technique. It is built to give actors at all levels the skills to (1) promote your work efficiently, by converting self-promotion into opportunities, and to then (2) capitalize on those opportunities with strong auditioning habits.
If you’re in Halifax next month and want to take part, send an email to email@example.com to reserve a spot (spaces are limited).
For more info, head over to the Facebook event page @ https://www.facebook.com/events/1540750282866249/
Thanks guys, should be fun.