Monday, August 2, 2010

5 Months is really just a millisecond in God's time. (Whatever helps excuse my neglect)

Um... hi. Hello. What's up? How 'bout them Bearcats? Ok... There's no dodging it. I haven't posted in over 5 months. I don't know what I've been thinking. I could give the excuse that I've been so wrapped up in the "fast life"... but that would only be halfway true. I cannot begin to start telling you in detail of what has been going on these past few months. If I did I would be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for the "World's Longest Blog". That sounds dirty if you didn't know what a blog was. I'll leave that record for someone else... the blog record that is. I'v got the other one taken care of ;)

I can only think to separate the different aspects of my life here and recap the last 5 months as best as possible. 1... 2... ready... GO!


I LOVE IMPROV! I had to yell it. I have, up-to-date, completed three improv classes at The Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). I constantly wonder why I waited until I was 26 to do this. I calm that wonder by knowing that I probably would have died here if I had come any sooner. In all seriousness, doing improv has been one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done. I feel like I'm doing well with it. Of course... I could suck at it, and not know, but that is negated by the fact that it feels so good to learn and perform. I have had three amazing UCB teachers so far. Like the light that leads us to Heaven in death, they are leading me to Improv in pursuit of my dream. That dramatic statement was uncalled for, but true none-the-less. My teachers have been Kate Spencer for Improv 101, Anthony Atamanuik for Improv 201, and Betsy Stover for Improv 301. Their classes, notes, critiques, along with watching them perform at the UCB have been essential in the learning process. I thanked them before, I'll thank them now, and I'll forever thank them.

I've also made a crap ton of friends while taking classes. Yeah I said crap ton. Some of these friends I hope to work with at some point... and others I have already begun to work with. By that I mean I am part of an improv team based here in NYC. We call ourselves The Heathers. **SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT** "Like" us on Facebook and support us in "Performing bitchy acts all over NYC". Everyone on the team is hilarious and we all get along great. I had to take a break from practicing and performing with them while I took 301... but now I'm back and ready to start performing with them. They performed a few times while I was "away" and I went to watch the first 3. Freakin' hysterical. Shout out to our coach, Pam Murphy, who also rocks my face off! I can officially say that I perform improv (no matter the level) in New York City. Never in my wildest dreams... ok... enough about improv. I could go on forever, but I'm pulling the plug. You like how I brought that back around to the light, and death, and improv, and Heaven? You're welcome. Just know that I love what I came here to do, and that is making all the difference.

(A few characters I've been in scenes; a dad, a yoga teacher mistaken for a male prostitute, a biker news anchor, a husband that busts his wife out about having rancid ovaries and uterus, and so many more that I literally can't remember.)


Meh. I mean... what do I say here. I'm an Admission Counselor for a university here in Manhattan and I host at a restaurant sometimes on the weekends. They pay the bills (sometimes), but they also get in the way. As this sounds bitter, know that I am completelygrateful for my jobs and I would be in such a bad spot if I didn't have them. There just isn't much more to them apart from just being my job. It's like going to lunch with someone, or coming home, or going to a party... and all you talk about is work. Booorrrriiinnnggg. Not in this blog sir and/or madam. All in all... work is good.


I'm sitting on my apartment floor (I don't have furniture), I'm watching Robin Hood Men in Tights (you know you like that movie), and I just finished my dinner consisting of a can of tuna mixed with Miracle Whip, mustard, and creole seasoning (thanks for the recipe Jason Butler) and a side salad made of 1/4 of a bag of salad, cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. It's perfect. I just got back last night from a two week vacation to my home Weaver, AL. It couldn't have come at a better time. Time with my family, two marriages- one of which included the above mentioned Jason Butler-, and a reunion of sorts of my college Cross Country team all together made this visit almost unforgettable.

I know people here that have written off their hometowns and people in their life prior to NYC. I don't understand how you can do that with a heart beating in your chest. I've had great times and horrible times. I've met amazing people and horrific people. All of which have impacted me and made me who I am today. I hope to never forget where I come from or who I am no matter where I go in life, and I hope you don't either... whoever you are.

There are times here in NYC, and all places for that matter, when the city can beat you down one moment... then lift you up so high the next. You can crave home in one moment... then become gluttonous (in a good way) from the city. To say that you are impervious to this cycle leads me to believe that you are not living "real life" here. It's the rises and falls of this place that make it what it is... and what will ultimately make me who I am supposed to be in my time here.

I'll end this far overdue post with this. As I work here, learn here, perform here, struggle here, LIVE here, and meet people here... I always come back to feeling grateful for every aspect that I just listed. I'm thankful as well for friends, old and new, for the constant love and support I receive

This blog somewhat explains the past 5 months... but barely. I'll be better at this... I promise.

My 101 after our class show

My 201 class after our show.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mattmas 2.0

(A month later, but never too late)

26. 26 years young. 26 years old. The Big 2-6. 26 years after being born. 26 years that much closer to death. However you want to say it… celebrating being born was GREAT! So many fun things happened in my 6 day celebration that to tell them all would be impossible, but to mention some would be ideal. So that’s what I’ll do.

I was blessed enough to have both, three friends from Alabama fly up, and NYC friends to help celebrate. To have a bit of home here for my birthday was almost all I could ask for. I decided that I didn’t want to make plans so that my birthday would be completely stress free and worriless… mission accomplished. I’ll go through some of our adventures to give you a glimpse:

1) I actually had to work a New School event Saturday morning, which only lasted till about 1:30pm. After work I made it back to my apartment and waited on Peach, Christen, and Emily to arrive. When they got to Mt. Everest (The name me and my roommate, Joe, gave our apartment) we made a run to the local Rite Aid to pick up some essentials consisting of Coors, frosted animal crackers, Mountain Dew, blankets in the shape of pigs, and deodorant. Yeah… essentials. I had told some friends that I wanted to karaoke at my favorite place in the city at 9:00pm. After about a 2 hour subway mishap, we finally made it to Iggy’s where my wonderful NYC friends had been waiting since the original arrival time. After my apologies and the mixing of NY and Alabama friends, the dance/karaoke party began. Later in the evening I got to sing my “go-to” song, “When You Were Young” by the Killers. Christen was supposed to sing “Mercy” by Duffy (remember this) but they put her name at the bottom of the stack for some reason. We decided to leave and on my way out, a girl pulled me over to her table. Her exact drunken words to me were, “I like your style. They way you look, the way you sound, the way you move. You wanna grab drinks or somethin’? Can I have your number?” I willingly gave her my number becoming regretful about 2 minutes after. I typically prefer not to make date plans with a drunk girl in a dark bar. I guess I got lost in flattery. Rina texted me the next day following up on my “interest” in getting drinks. I know this is where I sound like a jerk… but I did not reply. Sorry Rina.

2) Sunday was very chill. We woke up late, grabbed brunch at what I’m sure will become one of my favorite spots, hit up some Park Slope (where I live) shops, and checked out a local market. After getting back to Mt. Everest, my roommate Joe suggested that we check out a place called Crocodile Lounge. We got there around 8:30pm or so and just relaxed and had a few drinks that came with your very own personal pizza. Each drink equals one free pizza… you got that? Let’s just say we ate a lot of pizza ;). There were also two skeeball machines in the back where Peach and Emily discovered two guys who realized that one of the machines was broken and if punched correctly, gave out free games. Fast forward a few hours and several “pizzas” later, we had created a skeeball tournament with about 30 participants. We were regulating the free games, keeping the order the skeeballers themselves, and creating the high score benchmark. It was an awesome night of fellowship with new friends and complete strangers. After hopping to a few other joints… the night ended in a dance party. SCORE!

3) I had Monday the 19th off of work (thanks Dr. King) and took some of my friends to Seredipity3 for some lunch. I got to see Mr. Bruce- the owner who I hadn’t seen in a while, one of my favorite ladies in NYC- Miss Lynn the manager, and other great people that work there. Now remember I said my friend Christen had put in a request at karaoke to sing “Mercy” by Duffy cause Christen is somewhat of a HUGE fan. Guess who was sitting at the table right next to us? Duffy was… that’s who. We waited to talk to her while she finished her meal, so as she was leaving Christen turned around and stated that she was a big fan. FYI… Duffy is extremely nice. She said thank you and told us that it sounded like we were having tons of fun (which we were). Then Peach blurted out that it was my birthday though it wasn’t, but close enough. Duffy came and sat on my lap and sang me “Happy Birthday”. Ok… no she didn’t… but she did wish me a happy birthday and asked if I was 18. See folks, I still act like a child.

There you have it. A very short recap of Mattmas 2.0. It was so great to see my friends and have them spend this special birthday with me. I can’t thank or love them enough. Since I couldn’t get to everything that happened… enjoy these quick blips and use your imagination to find out what happened:

  1. Overwhelmingly smelly homeless man urinates on our stopped subway car with no escape.
  2. Stole a skeeball from Crocodile Lounge.
  3. Girl at Karaoke face plants.
  4. Love followed me everywhere.
  5. Introduced to the movie (500) Days of Summer… phenomenal! The soundtrack… also phenomenal!
  6. Cupcakes galore
  7. Made new contacts

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


2009 proved to be one of the best years of my life. Coming off of 2008 as my worst, I decided that I needed to start making things happen. I had 2 distinct themes for 2009 that would, in a sense, assist with a turning point in my life. I based my themes off of two songs… Jason Mraz’s “Make It Mine”, cause I’m a mega fan, and T.I.’s “Live Your Life”, because I’m clearly a gangsta. Not every word in those songs mirrored what I needed to accomplish… but the titles were right on. I wanted to make “it” mine… “it” being my dream of improv, and clearly stated… I wanted to live my life. So, running with those themes all year, I made my way to NYC, am now enrolled in an improv class, and am, in fact, living.

The theme thing seemed to work well for 2009… so why not continue it for 20-10? This time I only have one song… but I do have two themes.

So again, I go with a Jason Mraz song. This year it’s “Anything You Want”. The words in the title are also in the chorus of the song, which fully states, “Anything you want can be yours at anytime.” Yep. I feel like I live in a place were things can happen if you want them to. Of course, I understand that with this comes non-stop work that I’m completely ready to put effort towards. I already work two jobs, and am signed up at The Upright Citizens Brigade. Though I already have these things on my plate… it’s not enough to accomplish my goals. I have people here telling me that I need to completely submerge myself in improv. Go to shows, good and bad, and take as many classes as I can and that I can afford. So with that… as you know I work at a university. Since I work at the university, I get to take undergraduate courses absolutely free. It was brought to my attention by a co-worker (Thank you Sarah!) that The New School is offering an improv class for this spring semester. So I’ll be enrolling in that, which is a class concentrated on theatre improv as opposed to comedy, staring January 25th. I’ll give myself time to adjust to going to two classes a week while working 5, sometimes 7, days a week before I start going to as many shows as I can. Baby steps my friends… baby steps.

My second theme, as I said before, isn’t a song… just an idea. Mind, Body, and Soul. I’ve found that since I’ve been here… I have had a craving to exercise all three of those things. I have read about 5 books since moving here. I actually like reading for leisure now… strange, I know. I just feel like, in my old age of 25, that I’ve let my mind stay still for no reason. If I plan on staying sharp… I have to get some gym clothes on that cerebellum and make it sweat. I’m sure I can be doing more in that area… but let me have my books to read first… then I’ll move on to more boggling “mind exercises”. Body… duh. I’ll admit it... I’ve let myself go since being a Cross Country runner. By letting myself go I mean gaining 10 pounds since I graduated college. I’m an exaggerator… deal with it. It’s important that I stay physically fit while working as hard as I intend. The more fit I am, the more energy I’ll have to take on what I need to take on. Last, my soul. I’ve always been a believer but in 2008, my worst year ever (I’m not bitter), I was at a point where all I could do was surrender and let someone else take control of where I was in life. In doing that, I’ve gotten to where I am now while still letting this vehicle of a body be driven by the big guy upstairs. He provides for me directly, and uses the beautiful people in my life to show his grace. I’m also in a good environment here with new friends that, as “workout partners”, will only make my spirituality grow stronger.

My themes- past, present, and those still to come- are specifically tailored around my life and what I want out of it. To all of you I say take 20-10 as what you want it to be. Get a goal, or a theme, or your dream, and stick it all up in your 20-10. Some of my friends’ 20-10s for example are:





20Educa10 (Education… clever play one words CL)


And yours?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Look at it as your best friend going on a date, and not telling the details.

So my last post was December 10th… and it wasn’t even an update on anything having to do with my journey here, but again… kudos to Nate for the title picture on my blog. A few more people than I expected actually read my post… so it’s time to get back on the horse. I guess I’ll start with December. After all, it proved to be a good month. Exciting things happened…

I moved to New York to attend a specific improv school, The Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). It’s a very famous program that has birthed several comedic stars that we all know and love today. With that, classes are, or seem, to be really hard to get into. The moment they are posted, they are filled. It’s like losers hover around the UCB’s website waiting for them to post classes or something. So there I was one night… hovering over the UCB’s website waiting for them to post some classes. To my surprise, there was an Improv 101 class open with three spots left in it. I HAD TO GET IN THAT CLASS. Knowing I was short on money (stay tuned for a blog on that), I immediately had to figure out what to do. So I did what anyone else would do. I went to my Facebook and Twitter accounts and let the world know that I needed to figure out how I was going to come up with $350 to take an improv class at the UCB. In retrospect I can now see where my social website updates could have been mistaken for pleas for help… which in all honesty… was not the intention.

Not 5 seconds after I posted on Facebook, an old high school friend, Emily Pontero, sent me a message. Emily, I hope you don’t mind… but here’s our conversation and what she offered. Just to preface… Emily and Jessica’s Pontero’s BEAUTFUL mother has passed away…

“EMILY: Matt, take the class if you can! I’ll send you $350 out of some life insurance money of Mama’s… she would want you to do it! So do it! Money is not an excuse. Let me know.

ME: Emily! I did not mean for that to be a pity status! Ha Ha. I could never do that! But thank you SSSOOO much!

EMILY: I know you didn’t mean it for a pity status! Matthew Morgan dag nab it!! You better let me help you if I can.

ME: Emily… you have no idea how much you moved me tonight… pretty much to tears. I really do appreciate it. I just can’t d that. You, Jessica, and Mama are such beautiful people!!!! And you’ll never know how much just that suggestion means to me!!!!!”

Now when I told her she about made me cry, I wasn’t joking. I couldn’t believe someone would do that for me. Thanks again so much, Emily!

So minutes, literally minutes, after the convo with Emily… I get a phone call. It’s Joe, one of my new friends here in NYC. I’d only known Joe for maybe a month and he calls and says something along the lines of… “Take the class you wuss. I’ll give you the money and you can pay me back.” (Oh Joe… he’s abrasive at times… but I’m ok with that.) So after about a ten minute conversation of Joe paying for my class and me saying no… I made a promise that if I couldn’t find the money by morning… that he’d spot me the mullah… and I’d pay him back.

After the call with Joe… I had a conversation with my mom too trying to find a way to help me pay. My parents had just bought my $600 plane ticket home for Christmas break and I just couldn’t have them dishing out more.

After all the beautiful people in my life trying to offer help…I manned up and just used me own money (The “me” in that sentence is a typo and I left it as “me” cause when you read it out loud it makes you sound Irish. You’re welcome for that… ha ha) Now… paying for the class caused me to get behind on a few bills, but I have to make sacrifices every now and then in pursuit of my goals… and this was one of those times. So, as most already know, I am now enrolled at the UCB!!! I start classes on January 26th which will be the 6th day that I’ll be 26 years old. Got that? Has a cool ring to it.

Ending the improv talk… I got to have a great 10-day break back in Weaver, Alabama for Christmas. You REALLY don’t know how much you can miss a place until you’re not there for months at a time. I never thought that’d I’d actually miss Weaver… but by God I did. It was so stinkin’ great to see my family AND my friends. The break replenished the love, fun, relaxation, and laughter from home that I left months ago. I got to see my family and some of my friends… but didn’t come close to seeing everyone I wanted to. I’m sure I will next time though!!! I got some much needed things for Christmas, including help with the deposit on my first legit NYC apartment in my name! Thanks Mom and Dad… I’ll rethink putting you guys in a “home.” KIDDING!!! I move to Brooklyn with my friend Joe (from above) this Saturday and I’m crazy stoked.

Well I’ll wrap this one up. It’s getting kinda lengthy and I wanna keep you all on your toes. Thanks again for all the prayers and wishful thoughts. I couldn’t do this without knowing that there are so many people behind my efforts. I love you all so much! Till next time…