Meet Matt

Hey y’all, I hope all of you had a chance to read my review of Matt Ferrell’s wonderful book, Thirty Days in the Kingdom: Searching for a Laughing Place. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Matt, actor, author, and eye candy I just happen to know (sorry Matt, I know you are taken but you look better now than you did in high school). In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to tell y’all that I went to high school with Matt and attempted to act in drama club with him. Matt was a great guy back then and, from the interview, he seems to be equally fabulous now. And , for those of you who read the entire interview, there is a chance to win a copy of Matt’s book at the end of this post.

Without further ado, meet Matt…

MattFerrell 1) While reading your book, I noticed that you mentioned living in a number of places while growing up? Can you tell us a little bit about your family and how you grew up?
My father was in the Air Force so we moved around a lot.  From fifth grade until my Junior year in high school (when we were friends)  I attended a different school every year.  Somehow we managed to stay in the southeast for most of the moves.  I was in Goldsboro for first and second grade, then seventh grade and then for the last two years of high school, so it was odd that I kind of knew some people but the friendships always had to be renewed as many years occurred between them.  Growing up, I lived in NC, VA, TX and AL.  My dad was also stationed at Langley in VA a lot, so the same thing happened there.  My mom always made moving exciting and fun and somewhat of an adventure so I never really minded doing it as a kid.  As an adult, I feel like I acclimate myself really well to a number of social situations so became somewhat of a chameleon because of it.  I don’t regret the moving one bit and feel fortunate for all the experiences that went a long with it.

2) Matt, besides authoring this book, can you tell us a little bit about what you do with your life? Would you describe it more as a career or a passion?
I do a lot of different things throughout the year, but always seem to come back to acting and singing as the real passion in my life.  I am currently in rehearsal for a production of Next to Normal at Cape Rep theatre in Cape Cod where I am playing/singing the role of Dan.  After this gig, I will be working backstage at Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas spectacular working in the wardrobe department.  I also work as a commercial and television actor when I am not doing theatre.  I also sub in singing for a wedding band.  Previously I have worked as a Cruise Director, High School teacher, waiter, bartender, restaurant manager and administrative assistant.  I certainly consider what I do a passion.  I don’t last very long at jobs that aren’t creative.  I also think the military upbringing, and all the moving helps me to take on challenges more readily.

3) Do you feel the way you grew up, the things you were exposed to, influenced the career you chose to pursue?
Not really.  I think my parents did, somewhat.  They always encouraged me to do whatever I was passionate about.  I knew early on that I wanted to pursue a career as an actor and move to NYC.  That was always my goal.  I always wanted to travel the world, and luckily, I have been able to do that with my acting career.

4) In your book, you mentioned that you couldn’t imagine having all that down time and not having something creative to do. Have you always wanted to write a book or did the inspiration and desire to write arise from the situation you found yourself in?
I’ve kind of always wanted to write a book.  I’ve always written journals and have shelves full of journals from touring with shows and travel throughout my life that I thought might end up some day being published.  The idea for this book though was really its own thing and developed out of the situation.  When I told people what I was doing a lot of people told me I should just be blogging, but I really felt “it” wanted to be a book.  In my mind, it was a challenge and goal to make it a book and I’m glad I followed through on it.

5) What surprised you the most about the process of writing a book? Was it harder or easier than you thought it would be?
It was a very interesting process for me and from first page to publication took almost five years so it evolved a lot.  The writing of it was easy although I didn’t always know what I was going to write about on a particular day.  When I was working with the publisher was the most challenging for me, particularly the editing and having someone comment on something so personal.  I had to learn to separate myself from the work and listen to the advice of others.  Eventually, the editing became easier and I enjoyed seeing the book come together.  Overall, it was a very rewarding experience.

MattFerrell26) How intimidating was it to submit your book to publishers?  
Well, I self published so it was a different sort of animal.  As an actor, I already deal with rejection on a daily basis and I didn’t want to get rejection letters from publishers as well.  It was still intimidating though, just to submit a final manuscript and knowing that someone was reading and judging my work.

7) Could you ever see yourself writing another book? Fiction or non-fiction?  
Oh certainly.  I’m working on something non fiction now and have a few ideas for a few more.  I’d love to write fiction and try my hand at that, although I am personally so fascinated with everyone’s stories of their own truth.  For me, I am enthralled with someone’s personal observations and take on things.  I’m always writing but now I feel like I know how to focus my writing a bit more.

8) If you had to pick one, would you pick Disney World or Disneyland? Why?
That’s a tough one.  When I visited Disneyland on Sept.1, 2008 it was my first time there.  I had always visited Disney World in the past and absolutely love it there.  For a big extended vacation I would pick Disney World, but if I had only one day I would choose Disneyland.  There is something in knowing you are in the park Walt Disney himself designed and touched.  Some of the attractions have been around since the opening in 1955 and the magic has been around longer.  So I love the nostalgia of Disneyland.  But i adore Epcot center at Disney World and would love to write a book set there.

9) What’s your absolute favorite exhibit or ride at Disney?  
I think I’d have to choose Pirates of the Caribbean.  I love the themes, the boat ride, the sounds, smells and it is incredibly soothing to me and I can always connect to the excitement I felt, the first time I rode it and was totally transported.  The Haunted Mansion or Peter Pan’s Flight are tied for second.

10) Do you have any funny stories about your month at Disney that didn’t make it into your book? If yes, would you share one with us?  
Most everything is in the book to be honest.

11) Did your camera ever turn up? If not, how heartbroken were you to lose your pictures?
My camera did turn up!  Actually the photo on Day 24, Lost and Found, is the picture of the salad I mention.  All the photos at the start of the day were from that day, so thankfully I found it.  I don’t recall where.  Probably somewhere obvious at my house.

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5 Responses to Meet Matt
  1. Lori Lavender Luz
    September 18, 2013 | 1:23 pm

    I’m so glad you asked the Land vs World question, as I’ve always wondered myself.
    Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..To Everything Turn, Turn, TurnMy Profile

  2. Carolyn Savage
    September 18, 2013 | 1:42 pm

    Excited to read this book! Interesting concept!

  3. Mel
    September 18, 2013 | 7:30 pm

    I once got stuck on Pirates of the Caribbean, so that ride also has a soft place in my heart. Though the Haunted Mansion and People Mover are close seconds. And I have great stamina for It’s a Small World.

    Totally agree with you on Epcot.
    Mel recently posted..No, You Can’t Get That Video GameMy Profile

  4. Battynurse
    September 19, 2013 | 12:32 pm

    I’ve been to Disneyland several times but never Disney World. Favorite ride would be Pirates of the Carribean which I can’t seem to spell, followed by Indiana Jones and Peter Pan. At California Adventure it’s totally Soaring Over California.

  5. Christina
    September 20, 2013 | 9:55 pm

    They still have a people mover? I loved that ride! But I heard it was shut down in the 1990s.

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