Educating actors through humor

Hi. My name is Matthew Cornwell, and I’m an actor.

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like you need a 12-step program just to cope with being an actor?

I’ve only been in Atlanta for 11 years, but in that time it has been a constant struggle to not become jaded as an actor. Being an actor alone would be enough, but being on the other side of the camera only exacerbates the problem. I worked behind the camera at Houghton for a couple years, I’ve been teaching beginner actors for over 5 years, and I’ve even run casting sessions at Stilwell when Brian Beegle was sick. What I’ve seen from both sides of the industry often infuriates me, saddens me, frustrates me, and constantly makes me question whether any of it makes sense.

However, this past May, I finally figured out how to channel all that negative energy into something positive. My wife, Brooke Jaye Taylor, and I decided to create a web series about all the nonsense that happens in this industry. Initially it was meant to be an educational tool, but it quickly grew into more than that. We call it Becky & Barry, and we launched our first episode yesterday (9/15).

If you’re an actor, don’t just watch it for the entertainment value. Realize that everything you see is based on an anecdote from real life. In fact, through discussions with Brian Beegle and Kelly Tippens, we quickly realized that no idea was too far-fetched. And after getting a sneak preview of the series, Mystie Buice gave us the perfect quote that sums up the series:

“It’s a ringside seat to the industry and all the lovable and maddening things in it.”

So enjoy the first episode (and many more to come) and share it with your actor friends, but ask yourself whether you are currently making the same mistakes as the actors you see in Becky & Barry:

Matthew Cornwell