Matt Doyle is another one of our next generation performers who rising fast! He made his Broadway debut at age 19 in the Tony Award Winning show "Spring Awakening" as "Hanschen" and has gone on to star in Roundabout Theatre Company's "Bye Bye Biridie" as "Hugo Peabody," and now he's currently starring in Lincoln Center's Tony Award Winning "War Horse." His film and television credits include "Private Romeo," "Once More With Feeling," and a recurring role on the CW's "Gossip Girl."
Matt just released his debut EP "Daylight," co-written with composer/musical director Will Van Dyke, which he will be celebrating with a concert on Monday, August 15 at 10:30pm at NYC famed Le Poisson Rouge! On the day of its release, "Daylight" broke the Top 40 of the iTunes pop album charts. Come hear Matt perform songs off of "Daylight," debut new songs, and cover other soul and pop hits. Special guests will include "War Horse’s" Katy Pfaffl and "Spring Awakening’s" Blake Daniel and Anna Ty Bergman. Le Poisson Rouge is located at 155 Bleecker Street in NYC. Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was always interested in theater when I was a kid. It wasn't until I was struggling with bullying in middle school that I discovered my love for performance. I was seeking a community where I'd fit in and find new friends. I started performing in community theater. I fell in love instantly. It inspired me to work hard and believe that I had something to offer. I knew I had discovered my passion and that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I never questioned it from that moment on.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? There are so many! If I had to pick just one I'd say my best friend from growing up, Beth Behrs. We were attached at the hip in high school and both dreamed about "making it." She lives in LA now and is one of the leads on the new CBS show, "Two Broke Girls." I've never been so proud of anyone. The girl has worked her ass off and is so talented. We've never gotten to do anything together, professionally. It would be amazing.
3. How did you come up with the title and concept for "Daylight" and how did you decide/come to work with Will Van Dyke? What has been the best part about your collaboration with him? First, let me say that Will Van Dyke is a genius. 'Daylight' simply could not have happened without him. I am the luckiest guy in the world to call him my friend and writing partner. I originally wanted to put together a small demo of some sort that I would also be able to sell on iTunes. Will and I had written a song together for my Feinstein's show, so I asked him if he would be involved. When I realized how well we worked together, I figured we should actually explore writing more music. My biggest influences are in soul music, so I wanted to create a soul/pop EP. I grew up addicted to soul legends like Sam Cooke and Ottis Redding. Will completely understood what I wanted. When we raised the amount of money that we did on Kickstarter.com ($21,000) we then had the funds to create something much more legitimate. Most people don't realize that just one day of mixing in the studio can cost several thousand dollars. The generosity from fans allowed us to work with really incredible musicians and engineers. Will had just finished producing his own album, so he was a huge help in guiding me through such an insane process.
4. What excites you most about releasing your EP and performing at Le Poisson Rouge? It's so exciting to create something from the ground up! I look at Daylight now and think, 'That was just an idea last year, and here it is.' I'm really proud of what we've created. We worked extremely hard and I feel that it shows. There was such an incredible amount of support from fans to create this EP. It's wonderful to be able to share something that I believe in so strongly with them. Le Poisson Rouge will mark the first time I perform all of the material live. I cannot wait.
5. What have you learned about yourself from making "Daylight" and from being a performer? What do you get from performing your own music that you don't get from performing in a theatrical show/television program? My songs are extremely personal. Working on my own material has been rather therapeutic. It's amazing how much clarity you can gain on certain issues when you have to articulate them in a song. In the past, my concerts have been made up entirely of covers. This time I will be telling my own stories instead of someone else's. I have a deep relationship with these songs. I think it's an different way of opening up to an audience. When I sing these songs, I'm not playing a part. It's just me.
6. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting an album together? I love being in the studio. I love the camaraderie with the engineers and musicians as we throw it all together during the day. The time flies while I'm in there. Twelve hours will go by and I'll feel like I just got there. It's so exciting for me. If I could do it all day, every day, I would.
7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I head to the gym 5 times a week...and then I do "War Horse."
8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs or Briefs.
9. Favorite website? I'm a big YouTube fan. It can consume my life for hours.
10. "Glinda" or "Elphaba"? Elphaba. All the way.
11. What's the best advice you've ever received? My parents have always told me to go with my gut and trust my instincts. It has lead me in all the right directions so far.
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Hahah. Great question! I'm sure every one would get a kick out of who inspired my song, "If Morning Can't Wait." I'll never tell! Instead, I'll go the non-romantic route and say my friend Marc who I met at school in London. He lives in Paris and I haven't seen him since. He was a really good buddy of mine. I have recurring dreams about hanging out with him all the time!
13. What attracted you to "War Horse" and what is your favorite part of the show? Looking back, what did you enjoy most about being part of "Spring Awakening"? Everything attracted me to "War Horse." I was so taken by it. The story is simple, beautiful, and accessible. It captivates 8 year olds and 80 year olds. The puppetry is absolutely breathtaking and provides for truly magical story telling. Most importantly though, I wanted to be apart of a true ensemble piece. The horses are the stars. We are all there to support them. We must all be completely connected with one another to tell the story. It's a show that depends on every single company member to come to life. That's theater magic to me. This company is my family and has thoroughly changed me. They challenge and inspire me. It has been the most rewarding journey of my life.
"Spring Awakening" was a fantastic phenomenon that I am honored to have been a part of. Musicals that are groundbreaking and fresh are a rarity. I'd say the best part about it was that I got just about every Broadway experience imaginable out of that show. I am so grateful for my two year run with it. I was so young (19) when I started with it and I learned novels. Oh...and "Bitch of Living" will forever be the coolest thing I've ever done on stage.
14. What's the best part about appearing on "Gossip Girl"? I played a gay character on one of the most popular and talked about teen-dramas ever. If it helped make just one person feel more comfortable with who they are, then I couldn't possibly wish for more.