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THEATER BUFF: Matthew Steffens of “The Tempest” & More

November 28th, 2012

Every third Wednesday of the month (or thanks to the holiday, the fourth Wednesday), a fabulous actor/singer/dancer will fill out my nosey little questionnaire and offer a glimpse of what they look like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. For November, we’ve got someone to be thankful for…

Matthew Steffens. Photo by Leon Le.

Name: Matthew Steffens

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA (I was a Navy brat so I moved around my whole life.)

Current Show/Role: The Tempest at the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway Varietease (at Stage 72 every other  Monday), BC Beat, appearing in NBC’s Smash (season 2).

The best part of the shows I’m in now are: For The Tempest, I get to be in hair and makeup for 40 minutes and then run around stage acting like a crazy monkey as one of Ariel’s mischievous fairies, but more importantly the cast is the most amazing group of supportive performers to work with. And for Broadway Varietease, the sound of people laughing hysterically!

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: The second national tour of Contact. The dancing in that was the most exhilarating/challenging part of the show, but I was the Servant in the first scene with the swing, and the swing had a mind of its own…especially since we were in a different location every week. I would come back to the hotel most nights and put heat on my back, ice on my knees and order Dominos!

If I wasn’t an actor, I would be: A college professor during the school year, and Camp Virginia counselor during the summers.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?  PLACES. I love seeing the full cast before places and try to do so before every show. When I did Promises, Promises we all started on stage and it was awesome. Subsequently, during Women on the Verge we did an energy/prayer circle before every show. I love that community.

Matthew Steffens. Photo by Ron Rinaldi.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at: Lillies (on 49th between Broadway and 8th). If it leads to late night drinks/dancing, I like going to Industry (on 52nd between 8th and 9th). But usually you’ll find me just hanging with friends in someone’s living room…eating.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:  Is The Highline now on the list of traditional sites? Regardless, I love that little piece of creativity and nature in the middle of the concrete jungle. Also, Cafe Forant on 51st street. Makes you feel like you are in a parisian cafe. Carolyn and Lea run it and are the most welcoming hosts!

Matthew Steffans in Broadway Bares. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:  I would live in the mountains of Virginia and then I would teleport to my beach home in Barcelona.

When I travel, the one thing I can’t leave home without is: The little baby Jesus that was my grandmother’s. I like to have it with me on all my journeys…and my Clearasil face wash.

My workout “secret” is: Well, I ride my fixed gear bike everyday, everywhere in the city, so that is a good workout. I think it’s really important to have fun and challenge your body in new and different ways in your workouts. People often look at me at the gym cause I’m doing some ridiculous balancing thing while doing bicep curls. BOSU balls are my best friend.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than: A killer smile, an infectious laugh, ambition, honesty, and adventurous spirit.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is: I am a SUCKER for a bargain and it has GREAT deals!

My friends would say that I belong on Santa’s Naughty/Nice list because: Probably depends which friend you ask, but I think most would say Nice. I really try to make the world a better place than I found it and help others who are less fortunate.

Matthew Steffens. Photo by Michael Hallenback.

People would be surprised to learn that: This is my second career. I worked in advertising for 7 years producing corporate and political TV and radio commercials. I have scouted most of the country having shot commercials in 35 states. It was a great job, but I feel very blessed to do my life passion!

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like: 10?!? I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday! I think I probably wanted to be like my dad who was a Navy SEAL, or like Bo and Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard! I would always try to slide across the roof of our car.

Ten years from now, I’d like to be: I’d like to continue to be a working actor performing for Broadway audiences and continue to do work for such great organizations like BC/EFA. I’d like to still be singing down at St. Joseph’s in the Village and doing things that bring light and love to my life and others’ lives.

My favorite holiday season memory is: I have ALWAYS watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with parents. Also, every Christmas Eve my mother gives us an ornament that somehow symbolizes something from the past year we’ve each accomplished (I have a brother and sister) and then we go to Christmas mass as a family (and usually start laughing as someone tries to harmonize to a song and it doesn’t go so well.)

Matthew Steffens backstage at "The Tempest". Photo by Marty Sohl.

Matthew Steffens in "Broadway Varietease". Photo by Jamie Midgley.

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