Matt Williams has a curious mind. Originally from the small town of Franklin, Pennsylvania, Matt grew up drawing, writing and constantly playing pretend. That is no less true today.
Since he was a child, Matt has been fascinated by cinema and captivated by performance. He would frequently sit through the end credits of films, seek out long-form interviews with artists, and memorize his favorite monologues and lines. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, the first thing Matt ever remembers saying was, “an actor.”
And yet, the universe had other ideas in store first. More curious than his overactive imagination may have been the passions Matt chose to pursue along the way. He has a masters degree in Business Administration from Belmont University, which he earned in 2011. During that time he fused his creative dexterity with his business acumen by freelancing in branding and design, eventually amassing a sizeable and eclectic client base.
One such client was FOCUS on the 615, an entertainment-based online magazine. Though he was only asked to redesign their brand imagery and website, Matt’s energy and personality caught the attention of the site’s founder, and he was asked if he would like to conduct on-camera interviews. Suddenly, Matt’s business and creative worlds had collided with an epiphanic boom, providing him with the spark that found him an agent (The Block Agency, Nashville, TN) and drove him to enroll in the Nashville Acting Studio.
After working with some consistency for several years, the universe finally decided it was time to hit him square in the jaw with an undeniable experience. In 2015, Matt was cast in Everyday Yeti, written and directed by Motke Dapp, as part of the 48 Hour Film Project. Armed with a brilliant story and incredible collaborators, this short film won top prize in the Nashville competition and went on to be recognized as one of the best films at Filmapalooza in Atlanta. Here Matt was nominated for Best Actor, and the film went on to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.
The following year, Matt teamed up with Dapp again, this time in Cincinnati, to shoot Lessons In Accidental Magic. The enchanting short film won 12 awards in the city competition, including Best Film and Matt took home the prize for Best Actor.
Matt also became known for his roles in films such as Shaken Not Stirred, Introverts Anonymous and the improvised performance art mocumentary, Pieces. He has made an appearance on CMT’s Nashville, and starred in the hit web series WTF?!, as well as appearing in commercials for brands such as Toyota, Valvoline, Zappos, Cotton: The Fabric of Our Lives, ADS Security, Cox Business and Sport Clips, among others.
In 2016, Matt branched out yet again, this time into the world of improvisation. After joining the Third Coast Comedy Training Center, he quickly fell in love with the art. “Improv is the purest form of art I do,” he says. “When you come to a show you’re seeing something that has never existed before and will never happen again.”
Recently, the multi-talented creative completed his first short film, Gateway, which he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in.
Matt went from writing stories in note pads and constantly playing pretend to developing film, television, and sketch projects and… well, still playing pretend. No matter the experiences in between, one through-line certainly remains: Matt is limited only by his imagination… which continues to actively, curiously expand.