LOS ANGELES - Actor/musician Chase Matthews is a different kind of performer. Known for his work as The Phantom in Vox Lumiere’s tour of “The Phantom of the Opera,” his live solo performances and guest TV work in “Workaholics,” and “1,000 Ways to Die” among others, he is today playing the role of dad to his 2-year-old daughter.
Mixing music with acting and live performances takes a different kind of talent and Matthews is one of those taking on the challenge and winning! With a successful run as The Phantom, opposite Alison Janes, who played his love interest, the rock singer-turned actor is today getting ready to record new music, preparing for a fall play and two new films.
Question: Where are you from originally?
Answer: I am originally from Owasso, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, where I studied Music Theatre at The University of Central Oklahoma.
Q: Who inspired you to pursue the arts?
A: I think my biggest inspiration to pursue the arts is my high school drama teacher Mrs. Melinda Stevens. I was always an entertainer, being the class clown of my school. Mrs. Stevens was able to harness that energy for good and channel it into my performances.
Q: Who were your idols growing up and did you model yourself after one of them?
A: I haven’t modeled myself after any one person because I feel it is important to be unique as an artist, but I have been influenced and shaped by actors like Jim Carrey (comedy) and Edward Norton (drama). I was raised by very strict Southern Baptist Christian parents and as such, was not allowed to listen to any music other than southern gospel as a child. As an adult, when I was able to make my own music choices. I was influenced by the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Steven Tyler.
Q: How do you divide your time between acting and music?
A: My career tends to dictate which I am spending more time on. Usually I am doing both at the same time which is always fun! When I played The Phantom in Vox Lumiere's Phantom of The Opera I got to do both acting and music and really enjoyed it. I also got to help create the animated character of Tinkerbill in the upcoming film “When I Dream” for the film’s concept album. It was a lot of fun to be able to do different voices for a character that was part bear, part bird, part computer and part clown.
Q: Do you still perform live or do you mostly spend time recording your music?
A: I perform live several times/month. I'm singing the world's most difficult song, "Gethsemane," from Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Jesus Christ Superstar” at a huge church in Los Angeles for Palm Sunday. Singing live keeps me in shape and on my toes. Live performances are so much more difficult than recording.
Q: What is the difference for you between performing music live and performing as an actor on stage? Which is better?
A: They are both great, but there is a certain excitement/fear/nervous energy when it comes to singing live. It makes the stakes much higher for me as a performer. It's much more scary, but also more exhilarating. I imagine it's a bit like sky diving. I feel like a lot is expected of me as a professional singer when I'm playing a role like The Phantom. It's truly like life or death for me.
Q: What are your upcoming projects, music, acting or other things?
A: I just finished a film called “Occupational Hazards” where I play an international spy. It has lots of action, comedy and special effects! I am working on an album with Claude Schnell of Dio fame and I'm in pre-production for the film “When I Dream.”
Q: Do you pursue other interests too, like sports, rock climbing, spending time with family?
A: I have a daughter that just turned 2 years old so she takes a lot of my free time! It's hard being a parent as an entertainer with a constantly changing schedule, but it's very rewarding!
For more, Chase Matthews is online at is www.ChaseMatthews.net, on Twitter @ChaseMeMatthews and at www.Facebook.com/chasematthewsfans.