The Short Story
Matt McVay grew up in the coastal town of Harbor, Oregon.
Went to school in Tacoma, WA majoring in Broadcast Journalism/Film &Theater.
Worked as an Online Reporter & Videographer at The Olympian Newspaper.
Moved to Los Angeles, CA to pursue his career in writing and performing for stage and screen.
He is now living in Atlanta, GA. Doing pretty much the same thing as he was in L.A. ...but with humidity.
The long Story
I grew up in a small town on the Oregon coast. Harbor, Oregon.
Harbor, OR is an idyllic place to be a kid, our beaches looked like The Goonies, and our forest were that of Endor (Literally... as Return of the Jedi was filmed just south of Oregon).
Both of my parents grew up there and on my dad's side, they were one of a few families who settled the area during the Oregon Trail. You know, like the game...but real.
It's a town where everyone knows each other. Azalea Festival in the spring, swimming the Chetco River in the summer and the Cider Press in the fall. Grandparents were just up the street , and friends a short bike ride away. A place to have adventures as big as your imagination can make them.
Song performed by Cameron McVay -
My family was a pioneer family. We raised cattle, grew gardens, hunted & fished. There was nothing better than milk toast with my grandma's homemade bread. (I found out much later that most people have no idea what I am talking about- because no one has made this meal since the depression, but you're all missing out). We also had the typical childhood- Soccer in the fall, Baseball in the spring, summer was for swimming or working (There was always something to be done on the ranch, or at the shop, or you can always chop wood for grandpa).
As a kid I was incredibly shy. When I would open up though, I could become a rambling jabber mouth that mainly spoke gibberish.
One weekend, I watched my brother's Boy Scout troop perform a bunch of skits as part of one of their dinners. My favorite skit of the evening was titles "BEANS" ( Apparently it is a skit that is a Boy scout staple... if you would like to watch a version I found on YouTube- I do not know these people) click the button.
Because of the repetitive nature of the skit, it was easier to memorize and it hit all the hallmark comedy crescendos, and it might actually be a perfect piece of work (Did you watch it? If you didn't, you should) . The next time my class had show and tell, I performed the bean skit, playing all of the parts. It was one of the first times I really opened up in front of the class and my teacher suggested to my mom that we should checkout the community theater,
The Chetco Pelican Players.
This version is not exactly what I did- but you get the idea
The Chetco Pelican Players are an amazing group, that I can not thank enough for giving me such an amazing place to learn and grow as an actor.
In my first show, I was cast as the understudy for Oliver Twist in the summer musical Oliver! I wanted the lead so bad and cried uncontrollably when they said I was not Oliver. My mom sat me down and explained rejection to me (a lesson that is learned on daily basis in this business). However, within a few rehearsals, the actor playing Oliver decided he no longer wanted to perform. Time to step up, I had my shot to perform as Oliver that summer. After that, anytime a production needed kids, I was there.
Pictured above is the cast of Fiddler on the Roof.
See if you can spot me.
It wasn't until high school I started seeing acting and filmmaking as a possible career path.
I have 3 teachers to thank for that.
Mrs. Victoria Weller- who worked as a professional actor before teaching and always encouraged me in performing as well as gave me confidence in my writing.
Mr. Art Dingle- Who pushed me as an actor in every high school production and was always encouraging me to do more.
Mr. Joe Morin- Who forced me to learn all of the technical aspects of filmmaking- I learned how to run the camera, lighting, how to edit on a non-linear system.
Now I had many more amazing teachers at BHHS- but these ones really prepared me for life as an artist.
But if there was something I loved more than the theater it was film. (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has hands down one of the greatest performances in film history (Alan Rickman- Sheriff of Nottingham... Seriously, I will fight you about it).
For a school project, I decided to make a movie based on a short story I had written, ZORDON.
Using our VHS camcorder I figured out how to make sets, edit in camera and rig some special effects.
I made a movie for every school project that would allow me after that.