It’s hard to not look at some of the interesting and innovative ideas coming out of Hamilton’s theatre community without coming across an INDUSTRY project. From exploring gentrification, a surprise podcast and interview series to confessing love for the Wentworth Stairs, INDUSTRY is examining- and changing- the way art is made and experienced in Hamilton.
I posed 60 questions to one of INDUSTRY’s founding members, actor and playwright Matthew MacFadzean and asked him to pick and choose a minimum of 15 to answer. The unedited responses formulate the interview below.
1. What are three things that make you love living in Hamilton?
The people. The vibe. Nature.
2. What are three things that Hamilton doesn’t have, but should? A professional black box theatre. A really deep collection of a record store. A teleportation system back and forth to Toronto.
3. Default drink of choice?
4. Who are your role models?
The risk-takers and rule breakers. Current heroes are Greta Thunberg and Jacinda Ardern.
5. What makes you the happiest?
6. What makes you the angriest?
What we do to animals.
7. What musical instrument do you secretly long to play?
8. What is your favourite sound?
My boy’s laugh.
9. Under what circumstances would you join the army?
None. Also, it’s the only life I would pressure my boy to avoid.
10. Describe your artistic style in three words.
Bold. Soft. Zeitgeisty.
11. What is your favourite smell?
12. What is the strangest road you’ve ever travelled?
13. What stage or performance work could you watch over and over again?
I’m sure anything by Marie Chouinard would be amazing on multiple viewings.
14. What is your favourite animal?
15. First thing that comes to mind when you think of Hamilton.
16. Name three books that you read that have really made an impact on you/your life/your career.
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder.
17. What television show could you watch over and over again?
The Six Feet Under pilot is hard to beat.
18. What are the first three things you do every morning?
Coffee, coffee, emails.
19. Name the first play that made you love theatre.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
20. Where was the last place you traveled for work or pleasure?
Montreal to shoot a TV show.
21. If you could board a plane today, where would it be taking you?
22. What is the one place you have the least interest in visiting?
23. What is the game you are best at?
I will beat you at Catan.
24. What is your biggest phobia?
Flying. It’s not incapacitating, but every time I get on a plane I’m pretty sure I’m gonna die.
25. What is your favourite piece of art?
Impossible question but I like to keep asking it.
26. If you had a motto, what would it be?
27. What is your signature meal to cook at home?
I make a reliably mean stir-fry.
28. Where did you go to school?
Earl Haig SS, McGill U, National Theatre School, Canadian Film Centre.
29. What did you major in as an undergraduate?
30. What is the strangest talent that you possess?
I can recite the first ten lines of The Canterbury Tales in middle english.
31. What talent do you wish you possessed?
I wish I could draw.
32. What relatively normal piece of clothing do you believe you look ridiculous in?
33. Different career path you could have gone on?
Architecture. (had I the brain for it)
34. What sport did you give up and why?
Skiing (hadn’t the wallet for it).
35. What is your ancestry?
English Scottish French.
36. What are you listening to as you answer these questions?
SOMA FM internet radio. (channel: Cliqhop)
37. What are your three favourite films?
Synecdoche New York, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stop Making Sense.
38. What is your major character flaw?
I love Survivor.
39. What character flaw in others can you not stand?
40. How do you know when you can trust someone?
They start calling me Matty.
41. Name the artist whose work you most admire.
42. What is the best way to die?
Asleep, please, after a life in which I’ve attempted most of what I dreamed.
43. Have you ever fired a gun? If so, what were the circumstances?
Onstage plenty of times.
44. What are you the most proud of?
The life I’ve made with my wife.
45. What are you the least proud of?
Selling CDs for drugs back in the day.
46. What was the luckiest moment in your life?
Getting found in the jungle.
47. What was the unluckiest moment in your life?
Getting lost in the jungle.
48. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
Trying to conform.
49. What is the best thing about your work?
It empowers me to make more.
50. What is the worst thing about your work?
Not everyone has experienced it yet.