Drama School Antics: Matthew Merritt

 

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What is your name?

Matthew

 

What year are you in?

First year at the RCS

 

How old are you?

18

 

Where are you from?

Scottsdale, AZ, USA 

 

Twitter or Insta?

@mattgmerritt

 

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Inventive, quirky, organized.

 

Describe your previous acting experience.

I started doing theatre in middle school (12-years-old) and then that continued into community theatre, high school theatre, and even some summer courses and shows at the Community College in Scottsdale. A lot of my resume is musicals (just because they are the most commonly put-on shows).

 

What do you love about acting?

Ugh, this is such a cliché question, but truly vital for the profession because we all need a drive (and all have such different ones). The fact that I always knew I would never be a great doctor, lawyer, scientist but I knew that I could play a great one has been a really interesting thought. The fact that it is such a collaborative art form is probably my favorite part; I easily see myself in 10 being a writer, director, or producer. As long as I’m being creative and occasionally getting my hands dirty, I’ll be happy.

 

Who is your favorite actor and why?

Oh this is a toughie; do I go stereotypical “guilt pleasure” actor or sound like an artistic-prick!? I would’ve said guilty pleasure was Emma Stone, but after seeing La La Land (twice), I actually have come to appreciate her as an amazing actress. The big doe eyes and her laugh KILL ME. But I’ve also been a long-time favorite of Emily Blunt… She’s one of the more under-rated names in Hollywood for “seriousness” and I think that in The Girl on the Train she actually got a shot to prove it to everyone. But there are like twelve million other names bouncing around my head. I think every actor has some great films and some bad ones.

 

Why did you want to go to drama school?

I knew that I was ready to go “all-in” on acting and theatre, so I figured to get the training instead of being risky and moving to LA. I also knew that I was FAR from perfect so that training was necessary because I didn’t really have any sense of it. I had been planning on doing a Creative Writing major, but then came home from rehearsal one day and knew that I couldn’t leave the theatre community.

 

Can you identify some of the challenges you’ve faced whilst studying acting and outline how you’ve dealt with them?

Accents/dialects class kills me. But it is something that takes time and requires a lot of work. I’ve started taking independent study more serious in this regard (whether listening to sound clips on different accents or by watching film/television clips to see the smorgasbord soundscape that exists in the world).

 

What are your dreams for the future?

Graduate from RCS, head back to the USA, live in LA and get a job in the profession (as previously mentioned that could be in acting/directing/tech/etc.) Honestly, just being a part in making “art” would be ideal.

 

What are your tops tips for getting into drama school?

Know your monologues like nobody’s business! I spent 4 months working on mine, held mock auditions with my family before I went to all my auditions, and made a monologue binder too. I had the text of my monologue, a copy that had objectives written in and punctuation analyzed, and then a document with: show synopsis, character key points, and things to keep in mind while performing it (e.g. moment before, who I’m talking to, etc.). I think because I was so prepared I never really got worried when in the room auditioning, but was able to enjoy the experience of auditioning. That was key.

 

What do you hope to achieve during the rest of your academic year?

I really want to get better in dancing (granted we have very little dance classes, so that’s unlikely). I also would like to work on my physical strength/stamina. The workout in dance class was killer, and a life-saver… But now that it’s going away, I’m going to have to hit the gym more often.

 

 

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