Matthew Barrera

How long ago did you graduate from The Meisner Technique Studio?
I graduated in June 2015
In your time away what is the #1 thing you’ve learned about going after your acting dreams?

That I need to love and own my own acting!

Since you graduated tell us about the different projects you’ve worked on and are currently working on. And please share any links from your current and past projects.

I fired my agents in January 2016 and called up my friend to make a pact that we’ll make one movie a month for an entire year. So for the entire 2016 year I made 12 movies. We wrote, learned about sound, location scouted, shot, acted, edited and executed everything that goes into amateur movie making. They are my ugly babies. Although, some are cute.

If you’ve taken a break or stopped – please talk about that decision and what you are doing now.

I took a break last year because I relied on my agents to supply my creative wealth. Horrible dependency. It was an awful feeling.
To fuel my own artistry I made 12 movies last year and now I’m auditioning and headhunting a manager :)))!!!!!

I was just offered a lead role in a mutual friends’ movie, which came from someone I met making a movie two years ago, who saw my work in my latest project and now wants to work with me.
You never know who’s watching!

What do you read/listen to – blogs, books, podcasts, resources – that help you personally and professionally as an actor?

I listen to hip-hop, jazz and rock n roll
I just finished the play Blue Surge by Rebecca Gilman
I listen to Smart Drug Smarts Podcasts
Joe Rogan Podcast
Jocko Podcast
I receive newsletters from brainpickings.org and thedailystoic.com

What groups or connections have you found in your market that have helped you stay artistically healthy.

Jim Jarretts newsletter were incredibly refreshing and a good dose of artistic health.
I have a pool of about five people, my best friends, who I speak to on a regular basis. We all keep each other accountable and elevate one another to find love in our own art.

Sanford Meisner was…

One of the greatest gifts to the craft of acting and humanity, and I am so proud to be a student of his artistic lineage and brilliance.

The #1 thing I learned in class was…

How difficult simple was.

The best advice I can give current students at the Meisner Technique Studio is…

Not to worry about a career yet. That happens after you train and learn and become a student of the technique. Student, then career!
The teachings are literal and simple. Leave your preparation at the door means leave it at the door. Prepare for the first moment means only for the first moment and so on. Don’t think it means anything else than what you’re taught. Those are ideas and not teachings.
While beginning to work, If it’s not fun, scratch it and make sure you come from a place of joy before you start again.
Also, relax before you prepare. I’ve learned that when you’re not relaxed you’re coming from fear and you’ll be on yourself and unreceptive.
Hunt for meaning!!
Learn to looooove how moments reveal themselves!!!!!!

The #1 thing I learned personally about myself through the training was…

How little I knew about myself before I started.

The hardest adjustment since I graduated was…

Moving away from the “actor version” of myself.
And using my real self.

The #1 thing I miss about being in class is working…

With Jim and Melissa on a regular basis.
I didn’t realize till now but learning how to act at your school was really a collaborative process in it’s entirety. Jim and Melissa were helping me, help myself act and it was a lot of back and forth like a project. My questions, your answers. My confusions, your clarifications, my ideas, your green lights and no’s, so on and so forth.

The #1 thing I don’t miss about being in class is…

Being in class with people who don’t care.
Toxic vexactions.

The #1 thing I now know that I wish I knew while going through the training is…

How important doors and activities are. I wish I made more stimulating choices. There’s a door and an activity in every scene we’ll ever play and see. Someone is always coming to someone with a need.
To be patient and listen to the teachings more literally. And not think about my career until I was done training.

My biggest obstacle in my growth during the training was…

Learning how to relax

If I could go through the training all over again I would…

Definitely!

The funniest thing that ever happened in my class was…

When I fake cried hahahahahahaahah

Melissa’s face…….>:O

My best activity that I ever did was…

When I cut watermelon for my grandfather.

My “aha break-through moment” in class was…

When I learned that I am the character. But I still wish I knew that as much as I do now.

Could you share any advice/tips about getting an agent?

I got my agent because someone saw me working on set and referred me. Referral is best.

Could you share any advice/tips about how to maintain a solid, healthy working relationship with an agent?

Don’t be desperate in talking with them.
Be responsive to their emails and calls. No delays.

I had a horrible relationship with my first agent. So I’m still learning how I would maintain a good working relationship with one.

Could you share any advice/tips about auditioning?

Connect to the reader or the person you’re talking to.
And if you’ve had a bad audition. Leave for a few minutes and come back and ask for another one. Confidently. And it must be done CONFIDENTLY.
I’ve always gotten another chance.
Auditioning takes a good dose of shamelessness.
Also, casting directors/producers/directors can smell your authentic or unauthentic self the moment you walk in. So get good at getting rid of any version of yourself and being the real you.

The # 1 thing I took away from the business of acting class was…

Your probationary years are going to be wonderful if you create your own work and audition at the same time.

One year from now I’ll…

I’ll have the manager I’m head hunting.

Five years from now I’ll…

Still be acting my ass off!

The best thing about where I am in my dream is…

I’m feeling pretty impressionable about life.

The worst thing about where I am in my dream is…:

I’m not a working actor.
The hustle isn’t boring.
But it’s daunting.
It’s the most difficult fun I’ve ever had.

The #1 thing I wish directors knew about working with actors was…

We hate when they call “Action”

I tell directors I have good relationships with not to say it. Some listen, some dont haha!!

Are there any resources you can share in your marketplace – photographers, classes, private teachers, websites etc. – that you can highly recommend?

wix.com is free and awesome fore websites.
Other than that I’m still learning all market stuff.

One year from now I’ll…

I’ll have the manager I’m head hunting.

If I could work with any actor, it would be…

Shia Labeouf

If I could re-cast a Hollywood movie role with myself, it would be…

Myself 20 years from now as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

My greatest influence(s) are/were…

Starting to be Marcus Aurelius
And I’m trying to be my best influence.

I first knew I wanted to be an actor when…

When I saw Indiana Jones playing Han Solo.
I then knew Harrison Ford was an actor and wanted to be one.

I’ll always be grateful for…

Having the opportunity and freedom to express.

My greatest strength as a dreamer is…

My feelings and meaning vs. my intellect

My greatest weakness as a dreamer is…:

I rush

I wish…

I was all guts and no head.

Someday I’m going to…

I’ll be a master of acting!

My favorite film is…:

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Best website for actors is…

wix.com

My favorite book is…

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

When I get overwhelmed I…

Try to bring myself back to my feet.
Or look off into the farthest distance I can and focus on an object to keep my sights outside of my own head.

The biggest waste of time is…

facebook

If I were not an actor I’d be…

miserable

Courage is…

Making friends with fear

I’ll never…

be an actor who doesn’t make a choice.

Is there anything ese you’d like to say?

Risk Everything!
And we suffer a lot in our imaginations.
A lot more than we do in reality.
Don’t do that!

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