A faulty blackboard sealed Russell Matthew's acting fate. As he took the prop on stage during a skit, it immediately fell apart.
"I took a chance to save face and ad-libbed a lament on the funding of our public school system," the Silver Spring resident says. "The laughs I got that morning fueled me to pursue acting after school and I never looked back."
Matthews, 25, a native of Bloomington, Ill., has been acting since he was in high school. He is currently on a national tour of "A Christmas Carol" with the Nebraska Theatre Company. You can see him play the part of Fred, Scrooge's nephew, on Sunday at the Lyric. He took some time from his busy touring schedule to discuss how he feels about rude audience members, shows on AMC and more.
Worst pet peeve? Talking audience members. In a movie theater it's bad enough, but when there are performers right in front of you, it drives me berserk! We can hear you.
Last concert/gig you went to? During the rehearsal period for "A Christmas Carol" our cast performed a cabaret for our wonderful artistic coordinator, Lara Marsh. We were raising money to benefit her battle with cystic fibrosis. This cast has pipes! (Be sure to check out cotaforlara.com!)
Your worst habit? If you are on the phone with me I may or may not be looking at Reddit.
What's on your iPod? The complete discography of Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons, Alabama Shakes, the Black Keys, Janelle Monae, and the original cast recording of "Matilda" from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Last video that made you laugh? It's called, "Predator Sings." It contains the loosest interpretation of the word scatting I've ever seen. Enjoy.
Favorite actor/actress? No one can deny how good Daniel Day-Lewis is at disappearing into his work. Also, please give Brian Cranston and Aaron Paul all of the acting awards. Seriously though, have you seen "Breaking Bad" yet?
Food you hate? TV dinners. They're very convenient when you live on a tour bus, but do. not. want.
TV shows you can't get enough of? AMC's got the best television right now: "Breaking Bad," "Mad Men," and "The Walking Dead" all keep me up at night. I am also eagerly waiting for "Community" on NBC. #sixseasonsandamovie
Favorite/least favorite fashion statement? There's only so much fashion you can concern yourself with when you live on a bus for 8 hours a day, but I must say that buying the furry trapper hat was the right call. Least favorite: skinny jeans. I'm glad my lower half looks so good, but can any good come from being that constricted?
Most memorable acting experience? I performed Malvolio in "Twelfth Night" twice in college. The first time I played him I knew I was more in love with that role than any other role I'd ever played.
AS TOLD TO IAN ZELAYA