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Meet Jalon Matthews

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jalon Matthews.

Jalon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started acting when I was in the third grade. We did Hansel and Gretel where I played the Witch and ever since then I fell in love with the magic of theatre. I started to do musicals outside of school and singing became my second love. Since then, I have been doing shows in and out of school. Currently, I am getting my Master’s of Fine Arts in Acting from UC Irvine and will be graduating in the spring of 2020.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have been fortunate enough to have a mountain of support from my family and friends since this journey has started. However, as a person of color, it is always harder to navigate not only pursuing a career in the arts but one that focuses so much on type and “product”. Especially as an African American actor, I find myself fighting through stereotypes – how I should dress, behave, sing, present myself. It’s become my dual job to show the many facets of African American culture, expressiveness, and spread that message through my work. There are so many different kinds of people in my community and I’ve made it my personal mission to honor all them with love, respect, and honor.

What should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I consider myself a musical theatre actor first and foremost. It’s my first love and I put a lot of my training and energy into making myself compelling on stage for that art form. Inside that pocket of theatre, I specially have an inclination for comedy. I think its a universal language – everyone wants and needs to laugh and I’ve found that work to be particularly rewarding. There is always something to be revealed in the truth of laughter so my job is to bring that truth and do it from a place of understanding, light-heartedness, and vulnerability.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My definition of success is living a life of purpose. I want my work to fulfill audiences and reveal something to them they didn’t know about themselves or sparks new conversations with others. If I know, I’ve done that in some form for them, then I know I’ve done my job well. Theatre is a contact sport as far as I’m concerned in that way – it takes actors and an audience and the people that give them the tools to experience that one on one interaction (directors, designers, crew members, etc.).

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