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/ 15 October 2018

Reality Check

For me, acting was the career I always wanted to pursue from a young age. From stagecoach to studying drama at school and college, then getting a degree in theatre arts I was very passionate about learning as much as I could. I wanted to be the absolute best I could be and knew that was by learning and doing as much as I could.

Throughout my journey, I’ve had some wonderful experiences in film, television and theatre but the one that sticks out for me is winning National Connections 2013 with Jigsaw Arts Youth Theatre. This meant I got the once in a lifetime chance to perform on the Olivier Theatre stage. Yup I know, so crazy. Words really can’t describe what it’s like but this really motivated me to power through with acting and go from strength to strength. I really had stars in my eyes and believed that I would one day call the National Theatre my home from home.

But that’s where the reality of being an actor kicked in. For me, that meant understanding life in the arts means the next project isn’t always much bigger or well paid but that it could be smaller, or worse that I’d have to wait months for the next audition let alone project. That part of the arts can be hard to stomach. Before I realised this, I was insecure in myself and wouldn’t know where or who to go to. I would know that I couldn’t do every or any role but when the phone doesn’t ring for months, I question, why? Why now? Why me? What am I doing wrong Lord?

But when I’m reminded of those times, I’m so grateful for Jesus. Jesus gave me those tough times to build my character up as Matt Blagdon. I learned to use the quieter times wisely, whether that was workshops, playing sport or seeing friends and family to catch up with. Simply, learning to manage life better and to stop acting ruling my life.

More importantly than life skills though, I really started to question my purpose. I started to realise that behind the motivation to learn and excel through education and then in the real world, was actually a really selfish motive of wanting to be the best for myself. So instead of using the gifts Jesus has given me to glorify him, I was primarily using it for myself. I would say “When I hit it big and get that huge pay cheque, I’ll be able to tell people about Jesus and give loads of money to the church.” I’d brand it as that to convince myself my attitude was good. But as the jobs didn’t come in, I had a reality check with myself and found that big money and fame was my real idol. That was sobering in an industry where self promotion and self branding is key.

And so, I’ve been so grateful that the Lord Jesus has taught me to have the right attitude to use my gifts for him. How have things changed for me since? Well, I’ve started a position at Clownfish Events. A company with a great team, in which we aim to deliver outstanding events of all kinds. The transition has been tough but life changing for me. In short, it’s about putting others first which is why it’s so good.

That’s my brief journey in the arts so far, I’m look forward to the new challenges and joys ahead. The challenge now is to keep the changes up and keep improving, for Jesus.

Check out Matt’s new place of work here: https://clownfishevents.com/

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