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  • Summer starts early

    My summer started earlier than usual this year, in May. I got to head up to my usual place, a summer camp called Camp Bravo. I started at Camp Bravo back in high school because I was curious about this brand new theatre camp. Over the years the people there have become like family to me. Last week I got to go up for a camp alumni reunion over Memorial Day weekend. And, of course, I took some photos.

    I actually didn't get to take as many pictures as I would have liked. The weekend went by fast and I spent much of the time in the theatre workshops we had there. I managed to get a few workshop shots in there.

    Keep in mind this is a performing arts camp that's normally for middle and high school age kids. So we look really dorky remembering how to be theatre nerds again.

    Overall the weekend was a huge success with many different alumni from about 15 years of Camp Bravo. I'm excited to be back up at camp in a couple of weeks. I'll be working as a dance teacher during our normal program, but I'm hoping to take more photos.

    More from me:

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  • You are the band

    An artist graduates from school and gets told to go for it. Mind the gatekeepers, and you might get a lucky break, go on to success, and the school gets fantastic PR.

    The industry shifts and everyone decries the fact that in the business of putting on a show, you lose to the so-called influencer who has 30,000 followers. Seems like the only person they are influencing is the casting office.

    We moan. We stamp our feet. We hem and haw because for some reason we didn’t even think that promoting ourselves is part of the gig. This is the gig. You’re not with the band--you are the band. And the band has to work hard to pack an audience into that show.

    I can’t stand the selfie-obsessed popular culture either. I don’t care to see straight up your nostrils. What I do care about is getting my work scene and the channels are wide open. Go where you can be seen.

    Matt

  • Many things

    You are many things to many people.

    You are a role model. You are a failure.

    You are unique. You are pretty basic.

    You are dozens of books read. You are well un-read.

    You are the sum of many thoughts--thoughts that matter and thoughts that don't.

  • What is that you do?

    It's the question I hate the most.

    A very sweet and wonderful friend of mine wanted to set me up on a date, which is a huge compliment if not always a successful outcome. While describing myself and what I'm like, the intended date asked what I do.

    "I didn't know what to say," she said.

    I always find it odd that people seem perplexed at what I do with my time. I get it, but I still find it odd. I get that not having a single, full-time job doesn't necessarily compute in some people's brains. When I get the dreaded "So, what do you do?" question at gatherings (or it's cousin question, "So, what have you been up to?"), I try to summarize my life as easily as I can before the looks of confusion set in. I've failed at that more than a few times.

    "I do a lot of different things..." is how I usually begin--the subtext being, I hate this question.

    Despite posting regularly on social media and having websites devoted to my work as a photographer, along with this blog, people still seem to have no idea what I do. Again, it's understandable since I have always done more than one thing with my time. If you would have asked me what I do a few years ago, I would have grumbled something about being an actor/waiter/temp/barista. All sorts of non-committal "slashy" jobs. Los Angeles is full of people like this.

    I've recently toyed with new words to identify what I do besides simply using the word artist--words like freelancercreative-type, and content maker. I don't mind these words all that much, but they don't do much by the way of networking. I don't want to perplex people anymore. I'd rather open a conversation, one that doesn't wreak of some hidden agenda to get more clients or an interview with an agent.

    A term I heard recently that I like is living the "portfolio life" (linked here for some more info). I like this term because it goes beyond a singular identity, and it's one that many of my early millenial peers seem to be grasping onto more than not. Having lived the life of the struggling actor, the cubicle dweller, and the boomerang kid, it's refreshing to know that other freelancers are out there going through a lot of the same things I am. The portfolio life is less about describing an occupation and more about all the numerous things in my portfolio:

    I make beautiful photographs of people and places.

    I'm an actor and dancer who has worked in theatre, film, and television.

    I have been mentoring teens in the arts for the past 16 years with one of my favorite non-profit arts organizations, Camp Bravo.

    I am passionate about living a healthy life and I'm pretty darn good in the kitchen.

    I am longtime vegan and I love animals. Check out some of the organizations I support and have volunteered with.

    There it is. It's a start, but by no means all there is. A few years I took a huge risk in leaving the cubicle, moving out of the zaniness of the city and back to the burbs, and working to create a life that allows all these wonderful things I am passionate about. This website is an ongoing experiment in keeping friends and followers updated on everything I do.

    Dating...now that's a different story.