top of page
  • Writer's pictureMatt Pipes

A Fun Little Update

We’re Back! Let’s Update you on What I’ve Been up to!

Today I wanted to get into a bit of an update on things.

It’s been a little while since my last Newsletter, It’s been busy but here’s what we’re going to get into!

  • My Findings While Playing Chris in STRAIGHT by Drew Fornarola

  • My Current Work with The Abbey Theater of Dublin’s Adaptive Program.

  • My Current Work as an Actor for The Sound Company

  • My Current Work as a Videographer for The Sound Company

  • The Balance, or Lack Thereof. Hitting Rock Bottom.

My Findings While Playing Chris in STRAIGHT by Drew Fornarola

I got the opportunity to work with Evolution Theater on this show. STRAIGHT is about Ben who likes, beer, sports, Emily, and Chris. I’m finding that I’m getting really good at playing the home wrecker, I’m the one running the affair. What can I say, they play for some really interesting developments.

During my time in the show my theory was made more and more clear to me and that remains to be the case with each new role. These roles are chosen for me, in the grand scheme of the universe. A spiritual union where for some unknown reason I’m meant to be apart of the portrayal, exploration, and storytelling of this particular character. I was thankful to have been chosen by Chris to share his story, and I can only hope I did him justice.

What I’m most focused on at the moment is voice and physicality. I got hung up a bit with Chris’s voice and I struggle a bit with a few of my recent characters as well. My plan of attack here is to work through Kristen Linklater’s book Freeing the Natural Voice this summer. That and I also have text on The Alexander Technique.

Most importantly, this is hard to admit, but this was my VERY FIRST professional PLAY. It was not a musical. This was a huge step for me as the feedback I got was incredibly positive, and all the work that I HAVE been doing has truly been paying off. My own work in techniques from Ivanna Chubbuck, my work with Meisner, and Uta Hagen. I feel confident to keep stepping outside the musical theater realm and into Film/TV/and plays. I’d like to give a huge shoutout to the cast and team in this, and most definitely would like to thank Ralph Scott and Kirsten Upchurch for genuinely pushing me to continue surpassing my own boundaries. I’m thankful to have worked on this one.

My Current Work with The Abbey Theater of Dublin’s Adaptive Program.

This is my third appearance as director for the Adaptive Programs Extravaganzas. At this one I’m joined by a much needed and much appreciated Co-Director. I’m thankful to have this help as it allows me to balance and work deeply on my project over at The Sound Company, which I’ll discuss in a little. I love this group of students. I don’t have much experience working with Adaptive Students prior to this, but I love how they’ve accepted me with open arms, and also a deep passion and desire to play, sing, dance, and work!

The most important thing I learn from my students are their instincts. They don’t step on them while performing as much as, like, this whole human race does ALL THE TIME. They have a unique ability to connect to the music on this really deep, really emotional level, and just completely let it go. Because who the F cares what you look like, as long as you’re having fun.

The second most important lesson, is the deep passionate desire to express yourself becomes shared with those you share it with the more you can allow your ego to get out of the way. Passion is shared. I assure you. People want to see you to succeed, but most importantly, I really do think a lot of people want to see you having fun, and reaching a particular depth within yourself. Make sure to have fun, and don’t step on your desire to go out and dance in that rain, or jump in a puddle. Act on it, I dare you!

My Current Work as an Actor for The Sound Company

I originally saw The Sound Company perform On the Exhale, A one woman show, played by Jess Hughes, who’s character told their story about a personal perspective and experience from gun violence. An incredibly well written play, engaging until the very end, and a hero’s journey where there was something that you walked away with. Though we didn’t walk away, and THIS is what’s most important about The Sound Company. We were invited to hold a dialogue about gun violence and the effects of it on our nation, and we were offered the opportunity through our own autonomy to find ways to create change within our community, nationally, locally, and worldwide. I was so inspired by the work of Jess Hughes that I was lucky enough to snag an opportunity to meet her for coffee, and talk all about the acting realm, and yes that included the business of acting as well. The theater company is about a year old, but the work that they do held such an impact on me that I knew I wanted to work with them. Lucky for me they were holding auditions for Machinal, which funnily enough I worked on one of the scenes with my dear friend Analise Scarpaci back in college, so I had some hazy knowledge on the character I was going for.

I myself haven’t really auditioned for a show in awhile. I’ve done sides for film and TV, but I haven’t performed a monologue in quite a bit. I went into that room, and I swear to you, it was awful. It was forced, I lost my point of focus, I accidentally looked into the eyes of Jess Hughes probably in a plea saying “dear god please help me.” But I must not have done as bad as I thought (Or we had a really great coffee sesh, either one) because I was invited to the call back. Eventually I was called to read the scene for the character I knew and it felt really good I was able to land the role of.

The show that we are performing is called Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, a story about a Young Woman who crumbles under the pressure of society, society that is deep seeded in patriarchy, misogyny, and capitalism. My Character’s name is First Man, and Man. My friends. I am once again playing a home wrecker! But in this case, I inspire quite a ruinous desire to “be free” in the Young Woman. Would you like to see how? I’ll place the ticket link right here. 😉

Like I said earlier, I was so inspired to work with this company, and my whole being is changing as I go through this process. I’m thankful to Nikki Davis offering me literature in feminist theory. Works from Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Judith Butler, and many more. It’s my constant search in how I can best serve this story, and it still continues. It’s something special to be playing with incredibly talented individuals and also to be working in a space that is collective, safe, accepting, and divisive. Our work has included technique from Anne Bogart, Viewpoints, Checkhov, and I myself have been able to bring in my own work.

One of my primary lessons with this character has been an empathy towards my character’s desire to be free. That message has been permeating through my own soul, hence my journey towards artistic and spiritual freedom. There are parts of him I truly admire, as I continue diving further into his life. This is what get’s me excited about my characters, trying on different shoes, and exploring what’s pertinent to learn within my own life, developing my soul, and what is different between us, that I believe should remain different. A constant learning of never to judge your characters.

My Current Work as a Videographer for The Sound Company

I’m developing their social media, or, really, most of their videos. I wish for EVERYONE to see this show that we are working on, and my want is that more people will be sparked by the inspiration I had when I was first introduced to this company. We want to share our message and we want to tell our story, so my work with developing media for them has been really rewarding. This is my chance to create amazing content and also solidify my ability to help companies create videos that express their message and share their story. This has bee the side hustle to work freelance on video projects for people who wish to reach a greater audience and people who wish to grow and develop their brand. I’ll showcase these videos as much as possible on my website, but feel free to check out TheSoundCompany’s instagram as I’m posting most of my work over there!

Though I’ve been enjoying this work so much, I’m enjoying my life so much, I’m still not free, which brings me to my final section.

The Balance, or Lack Thereof. Hitting Rock Bottom.

The fact of the matter is. I’m broke. I’m not going to sugar coat this, and I’m not going to glam it up at all, my default is optimism so just know we’ll get there. But for right now, I have to be honest with my journey or else no one is going to learn from my mistakes. I’ve maxed out my credit card. I have nothing left in my bank account, in fact I’m overdraft, and I’m back on the grind looking for a new job. It sucks to say all that, but you can’t hide from numbers.

It’s odd though. On the one hand, I’m doing something I’m genuinely passionate about. I pour my heart and my soul into it, but it’s NOT because I’m chasing money, it’s a divine duty, it’s the deepest WHY I’ve had in my life, and I’m never going to apologize for chasing that passion. Yet passion doesn’t pay all the time does it. It’s quite selective. I’m happy too. I still feel quite strong, and mentally I’m holding on, but yes I am stressed. I’ve sent in quite a few applications but currently my search continues. There’s a lot to learn about this, and I want to describe, FIRSTLY, that I’m privileged to be living with my parents. I gotto swallow my pride, it’s hard, and it’s a hard living circumstance, but I’m LUCKY, I must recognize this. Secondly, I will make it out of this. Let me tell you my plan, and let’s see if it comes to fruition yea?

  • GET A JOB!!

    • It’s alright, and no one is going to look down on you for this, this is actually the most socially acceptable form of conduct in this capitalist driven world, you’re fine.

  • Continue developing your personal brand

    • This is my work on my newsletters

    • My work on YouTube

    • And my Social media presence.

    • I have some new ideas that I can’t wait to share with you, all with a focus on my acting journey.

  • Eventually work towards monetizing your art.

    • Accept the capitalist society FOR NOW. You have to learn how to ask for money, and you have to learn to be alright with it.

    • Value, value, value.

  • Continue developing your ability in filming so as to work freelance on weekends while you’re not at work

    • Yup, there’s a potential for three forms of currency

There’s great potential here, and I’m close. I have a feeling I’m at the edge of the storm now, but shit I’m holding on for dear life. If for some reason this moved you and you feel you wish to donate a few bucks towards gas in my tank (Literally gas for my car) it would be greatly appreciated, I’m not about to go begging to ya’ll for dough though.

Part of this email newsletter is that it’s my journey. So I’m going to keep you all updated on everything and I’m going to be making sure I let you know how things turn out. As long as I got a computer to write on. I know that I’ll be able to keep chatting! I’m not about to find myself sleeping in a car anytime soon, trust me! I got this!

I do feel it’s interesting because I have hit my emotional rock bottom, I’ve hit a spiritual rock bottom, and this right here is this weird rock bottom that isn’t effecting my mood as much. Trust me when I say I’m stressed and I’m spending every second working to get out of this bind. But I still feel alright. I feel calm. It’s really strange, but I’m just thankful for my health, the roof over my head, and the healthy habits I myself have developed that keeps me going and keeps me fighting in trying times like these.

This is a pivotal moment everyone. How I go about this could truly change the way I think about money forever, and the way I approach it. I’m fighting for a more conscious understanding of it, an acceptance of it’s current necessity, and also a budget. Build your budget Matt!

Much love everyone and I can’t wait to update you on how I turn out, because I believe I’ll turn out just fine. I got this!

Matt Piper

PS: Enjoyed reading this and want to be the first one to know on my updates, stories, lessons, and advice? Follow my email newsletter. Dropping hopefully more and more compacted ideas in email format every Monday 11:00am EST. CLICK THE LINK AND FOLLOW ALONG!

22 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page