By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
QUITTING his daytime job to become a full-time artist and actor was not easy, chasing a dream in an entirely new city ever tougher. However, fear of the unknown did not stop Matthew Wildgoose from moving to Atlanta and the Bahamian actor is confident that his relocation will help launch his career as a world class performer.
Matthew made the decision to pack his bags and move to the United States last month to position himself as an internationally respected actor. And three days after his move to Atlanta, he was cast for a lead role in the Urban World Film Festival in New York, one of the largest running African American film festivals. The performance took place at the Paramount Theatre on Broadway.
“As far as the Bahamas go, home is home and I can always go back,” he said, “but at this time in my life, I want to be a world class actor and I know that I can achieve that here in the United States. I have been acting for 15 years and having a career as an actor in the Bahamas has not been easy, so the next step in achieving that is here in the US.
“Every day, I am sharpening and exercising my acting muscles and applying myself to more reading and becoming educated in the craft. As an actor, you can never stop learning and already I have created the platform to have leading roles in blockbuster movies and TV shows through years of experience in the Bahamas. While working, I would also like to teach and inspire other aspiring actors/actresses to pursue their careers.”
Matthew has been acting for over 10 years in stage plays, commercials, movies and sitcoms. He told Tribune Arts and Entertainment that relocating was the best decision he could make.
“It was always necessary for me to have a steady job while acting in the Bahamas because it was always viewed as just a hobby and not a career. There are many reasons why it is difficult to pursue a full-time acting career in the Bahamas, but for right now, this is the reality. This is the primary reason why moving to the US at this time in my life is the best and wisest decision yet.
“I do not think there is a better place to move because this is where the entertainment industry is flourishing. It is more lucrative and coming here and jumping into the market is worth a try.
“Acting is already a competitive industry to break into. There are not many Bahamians in the industry to reference other than a few pioneers. That being said, one would have to have the faith to believe that they can do it, be fearless to overcome any obstacles and the courage to keep going,” he said.
Though he is focused on his acting career, Matthew said he has not given up on his passion for fine art.
“Before relocating, my manager, Ty Johnston, already co-ordinated a stream of concrete resources for me and working with a curator is one of them. I recently joined an Atlanta Visual Arts organisation with other like-minded artists. Art shows proof of God working through men and as an artist we can’t be selfish with our gifts, we have a big responsibility.
“There is quite a bit in the pipeline for me. My private celebrity acting coach, Tracey Moore, has already given me an opportunity to get my feet wet in an upcoming film in LA that she is producing. All I can say is that time moves fast on this side of the world. I did not realise that things would speed up as quickly as they have. I have a busy schedule and I am not complaining,” he said.
Matthew is also studying at the Alliance Theatre, in Atlanta.