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Matt Shevin: “Don’t ever pay a manager or agent to represent you”

I would make acting classes a mandatory part of curriculums for high schools. Imagine an empowered generation of kids who are comfortable speaking in front of groups, very introspective, and able to access their emotions. I think it would change the world. As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the […]


I would make acting classes a mandatory part of curriculums for high schools. Imagine an empowered generation of kids who are comfortable speaking in front of groups, very introspective, and able to access their emotions. I think it would change the world.


As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Matt Shevin.

Matt grew up in New York, then attended the University of Maryland. Upon graduation, he moved to Los Angeles, where he is currently an actor in both television and film. In addition to playing one of the leads in the original Lifetime movie Her Secret Family Killer, Matt starred in The Beneficiary, an award-winning film he wrote and produced, and is currently filming “Hucksters,” a workplace sitcom also created by Matt.

Matt has adjusted well to L.A., happily residing by the beach with a very sweet Pit Bull named Petey.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in a suburb of NYC called Rye, NY, then attended the University of Maryland.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was helping cast a commercial, and had so much fun and a surprising talent for reading lines opposite actors. I then tried an acting class and was hooked.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

On a flight to see my favorite team, the New York Yankees, play a few games in Philadelphia two years ago, I learned I booked a role on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and had to turn around at the airport in Philadelphia and fly back. This past year, I was about to head to Minneapolis to see the Yankees play when I got the role in the Lifetime movie and had to cancel my trip. There’s an old showbiz expression: “Book a trip, and you’ll book a job.”

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I once booked a commercial (to play a character dressed as a bottle of hot sauce!) that was being produced by a very dysfunctional ad agency, who decided midway through the shoot that they should save costs by cutting some actors. So there I was, standing in a red unitard, being fired, and it felt so embarrassing. But the lesson is: it was not my fault and not my doing, and it’s happened to many actors. Get back on the horse.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m currently in production as creator and star of “Hucksters,” an original workplace comedy series set in the chaotic world of a creative advertising agency. I’m so proud of it.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

  1. We live in a true melting pot in America, and our film and TV should represent that.
  2. Producers should consider all types of genders and races for any role now more than ever. They’ll discover talent that they never knew existed.
  3. I think this indirectly applies: Bong Jo Hoon, director of Parasite, in his Golden Globes acceptance speech: “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Don’t ever pay a manager or agent to represent you. They are here to make a commission from work they help you procure. Anyone asking for a monthly fee is a scammer.
  2. Don’t set a specific timetable for when you should give up trying to be an actor. It will take time to get there and you don’t know when it will happen. Just work hard, be patient and persistent. Everyone who wants it bad enough makes it.
  3. Keep exercising your acting muscle. Take classes and perform in casting workshops. Do table reads with friends. That way, you will always be ready when an audition pops up.
  4. When you move to LA, get yourself the best day-job you can, so you can live comfortably and afford acting classes. Success doesn’t happen overnight — make some money in the meantime.
  5. Remember: you chose this business, knowing there is a lot of competition, so you can’t complain about not working enough or why someone else beat you out for a role. We are in a great, but crowded, career.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Have a life outside of the business. Get out and explore your city several times each week. Try new things. I took a glassblowing class a couple weeks ago, and it was so satisfying and creative in a whole new way.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would make acting classes a mandatory part of curriculums for high schools. Imagine an empowered generation of kids who are comfortable speaking in front of groups, very introspective, and able to access their emotions. I think it would change the world.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

It’s unfortunately rare to find mentors as an actor, but I luckily had one in the form of an acting teacher named Stuart K. Robinson. He didn’t just teach me to be a better actor, but a better man. I grew up in his class. He wrote a great book called It All Begins with “I.”

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.” –John E. Southard. Anger never works and will hold you back. We’re all in this together, let’s get after it together.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

George Clooney. He just gets life. Self-deprecating, honest, never wears makeup for any role. He paid himself 1 dollar for the first movie he directed because he knew early on to invest in himself.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I’m on Facebook under my name, and Instagram @mattshevin. I also write a daily blog about life as an actor in Los Angeles called InsideTheActorsStudioApartment.blogspot.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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