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Meet Matt Fowler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Fowler.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 2005, I was in acting school, a small conservatory in Dallas TX, and our teacher (T.A. Taylor) told us, “If you’re going to act, you’ve got to develop rhino skin.” That really sums up my story. I grew up in a blue collar family in the woods of Vermont. My mother is a home preschool teacher and my father is a machinist. I like to think that my creativity and imagination were honed by growing up surrounded by other kids and having the freedom to roam the nearby woods and step into countless imaginary worlds. My parents were constantly striving to do good, honest work and I think that helped instill me with a strong work ethic as well. Imagination and a good work ethic. If you have those things along with that thick rhino skin, I believe you can make it as an actor. I like to joke that it’s “the game of a thousand No’s”. The big P, perseverance. When my wife (then girlfriend) and I moved to Los Angeles in 2007, we knew no one and nothing about the business. She was going to makeup school and I was going to be a movie star, with no reel, no agent, and only barebones training. Crazy kids! We lived in a tiny basement apartment in Koreatown and thanks to youth and love, we made it work.

My wife (Kelsey Boutte) was the first to join a union (I.A.T.S.E Local 706). After face painting at theme parks, removing prosthetics on SYFY’s Faceoff, and doing numerous other odd jobs and unpaid internships she finally got her break. She started day checking on numerous TV shows and major films. I owe a great deal to her. Her talent and hard work both inspired me and introduced me to actors and directors I might never have otherwise met. I was the next to join a union (SAG-AFTRA). I have always tried to pave my own way, and the union was no different. We produced a web series called Zombie Whisperer that allowed me to Taft-Hartley myself and some other actor friends into the union. I didn’t need to join at that time so much as I wanted to be able to say to myself, “You’re at that level, you’re a professional actor.” Self-belief is something I’m constantly trying to work on. After joining the union, I was fortunate enough to become very busy doing dubbing and other voiceover work. In my ten years in LA, I dubbed more than 30 titles and also got to do a host of television shows, animated titles, and video games. I also had the opportunity to work with some wonderful, seasoned actors on stage during that time. I’ll never forget doing a play with Eddie Jones (The Rocketeer, Seabiscuit, etc.) and him telling me, “You’re gonna be a leading man someday.” He was an idol to me and hearing that was just an incredible affirmation. I’ve always tried to let people know when I think they are talented or doing good work since then. You just never know how something you say might affect someone down the road.

Then, after a decade of working nonstop in Los Angeles, when we realized that Georgia was quickly surpassing Hollywood in terms of opportunities, we jumped. They say fortune favors the bold. Kelsey started working on the Special FX makeup team of the CW show Legacies the day after we arrived at our new home in Georgia and I was referred to my wonderful agency, Stewart Talent Atlanta, shortly thereafter. The southeast market has been like an adrenaline shot for my career. To come from where I have and be where I am now is truly a Cinderella story. I try to never forget that. I also try to give less experienced people in the business as much of a leg up as I can. My message to them is always the same, never give up.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Ha! Smooth is the last word I would use to describe my career. I can remember one time I was trying to get an agent in Los Angeles. I called, emailed, faxed, snail mailed and stopped by around twenty different agencies and heard twenty versions of “No”. Good thing I had that rhino skin, huh? When I auditioned for the Off-Broadway Tour of Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding in Dallas, I was sick as a dog. The director told me, “You’re terrible, the worst actor I’ve ever seen. I said, “Ok, can I come back and try again tomorrow?” I think he was so taken back by my audacity that he actually said yes. So the next day, I auditioned again, even sicker. Same thing, “You stick!”. I didn’t get the show, obviously, but I did see it because a bunch of my actor friends had gotten in. I started improvising with that same director during the show and the next day he called me and offered me a role. I ended going from not being cast to being the youngest Tony to ever play the role. In the words of Les Brown “Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality”.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Recently, I had the opportunity to act in the feature film “One Night in Miami” written by Kemp Powers and directed by Regina King. Getting to work on that film alongside Leslie Odom Jr. and be directed by Regina was an incredibly valuable experience to me personally and professionally. To be a part of a powerful story like that, is all I ever asked for. I also recently worked on NBC’s “Council of Dads”. Another wonderful experience and great story to be a part of. Aside from acting I’m also a writer, director, and producer and that tends to open up a lot of unexpected doors. My last film “Year of the Dog” which I co-produced with talented writer/director Jeremy Johnson won a host of awards at festivals around the world and is now available on Amazon. Lastly, I’m very proud of my two sci-fi podcasts (Space Ward and The Veil) which are available wherever podcasts are found and have over half a million combined downloads. Check them out if you’re into the strange and unusual!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
No regrets. If not for the darkness, we wouldn’t appreciate the light. Right?

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Joe Funk Photography, Jon Braver

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