Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
Hello! My name is Matt Huston. I’m a creator, a storyteller, a soccer player, a hopeless romantic… Ok I’ll focus on the entertainment industry. My passion lies in acting and writing. I believe that due to the combination of so many art forms and the collaboration of so many artists, visual storytelling through film and television is the most powerful art form we have available us today. I aim to be a part of stories that have a positive and lasting impact on the audience. Over the years I have had the opportunity to work internationally for various productions both in front of and behind the camera (I also do camera operating, editing, drone operating, and photography). I have worked a LOT in the Bahamas. I like to say Nassau is my home away from home – shout out to the 242 – and I’ve been to Nigeria twice to film a documentary.
Nigeria is notably where I experienced my first (and hopefully last), “Death to the Westerners,” ISIS threat as well as the first time I’ve had an AK47 pointed at me. Long story short, my producer gave the guy $20 and he happily lowered his gun. And that is when I learned just how much my life is worth; $20. (I’m joking, relax). All that said, experiencing different cultures gives you a new perspective. It shines a light on issues you may not have noticed before. Something I hear about a lot when I travel, especially when traveling to 3rd world countries, is the idea of the American Dream. I don’t want to squander that or take it for granted. I want to use my gifts and talents to the best of my ability to be a positive impact locally and internationally. Whether my stories can bring joy and laughter to someone who needs it or tell a deeper story that an audience can identify with and be inspired by, I always want to leave a positive impact. My goal is to be a global inspiration for anyone who wants to follow their dreams.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
Remember when I said I was a hopeless romantic? I love REAL hard. I believe that as cliché as it sounds, if people would listen more and love more, this world would be a much better place and a lot of problems and issues would be easily solved. I’m empathetic and love listening, which is why this industry is so good for me to be a part of. Thanks to Marvel, we’ve all sat down and watched ALL of the film credits. That shows you how many people it takes to make these stories come to life. Collaboration and an ability to listen are so necessary to create the best stories possible. I also love to see the people around me succeed. I believe that if everyone in my circles lifts each other up together, there’s no way that we can fail. Set days can be long, exhausting, and very difficult, so surrounding yourself with the right people is crucial to every aspect of your success. I’ve been an assistant on a lot of major shows and movies. I’ve seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst in the leaders of those productions. I’m tired of assistants hearing things like, “That’s how it was when I was coming up,” or, “That’s just how it is, you gotta pay your dues,” while they being abused and/or taken advantage of. I’m here to bring change to an industry that hates change without profit. I aim to be an inspiration to those who one day aspire to be in my position.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
I always loved movies growing up, I mean, who doesn’t? I always thought it would be fun to act, to escape into an alternate world, an alternate life, and explore the characters and stories there, but I never thought about it as a career choice. I grew up playing the best sport in the world (soccer, obviously) and ended up playing at the semi-pro level. Because of my interest in fitness, I had planned on studying sports medicine or physical therapy in college. In the mean time, I was part of a new program in my high school – the film and television program. After some long discussions with my teacher, who has since become a good friend and mentor of mine, I decided to go to college for film (sorry, mom). I think the first time I visited LA, about a year before I moved out here, is when I really knew that I made the right choice and that this is what I was born to do. As with all artists, I do have my doubts, but I am always reassured in some way that I am doing what I was made to be doing. An easy example of this is when I drove through Chic-Fil-A about a month ago and the drive-through employee randomly said, “Hey you know you look like an actor, right?” I replied, “Well that’s good to hear because that’s what I’m going for.” Meanwhile, unbeknownst to this fast food stranger, I had really been struggling and wondering if I made the right choice to pursue acting and writing. He replied, “Well I just want to say don’t give up. You’re going to kill ‘em with success and love because that’s who you are. God uses people to speak through and I think that’s what just happened because I really felt like I needed to say that to you.” Crazy, right? It was exactly what I needed to hear to keep me going strong. Thank you, Chic-Fil-A drive through guy.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
I went through a divorce in 2020. We had been together since high school, so I was with her for half of my life. I moved out a couple months before COVID hit. On top of that, during my separation I was working on a major tv show produced by Sony and Amazon, which also happened to be the most toxic production office I have ever been a part of. Divorce + toxic work environment + worldwide pandemic = depression. Thankfully I was eventually able to leave that show for a much better one, which kept me alive until July 2020. After that, it was nearly impossible for me to find work. It was the darkest and most difficult time of my life. I am so blessed to have amazing friends and a loving family who encouraged me and helped me push through. That was the first time I had every experienced depression, and to be honest, I am still in the process of healing. Through therapy, talking with friends, and looking inward, I have learned so much about myself. I have grown and evolved personally, emotionally, and spiritually. In terms of my work, my acting has greatly improved, as has my writing. I don’t know why things happen the way they do, but I do believe that things happen for a reason. The past couple years have been the hardest of my entire life and while I don’t know what that reason is, I am doing everything I can to become the best version of myself, both for myself and for those around me.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
My number 1 has to be Steven Spielberg. I love his work so much that I took an entire college course doing deep dives of his films. Everything about his work is inspiring. From the way he tells his story through camera movement, the way he works with his composers and uses music, to the way he works with actors and interacts with the crew. In my mind, he’s unmatched. He also reinforces what I mentioned earlier about surrounding yourself with the best of the best. Next up would be Jon Favreau. He’s a true film-nerd in the best way. He passionately loves movies, he’s a fan of the IP that he works on, and he experiments with and pushes technology in a way that no one else is doing right now. He’s a writer, actor, director, and producer. I have had people tell me that I can only be one thing in this industry, and I strongly disagree with that and love seeing someone successful like him who does it all. And on that same note, Michael B Jordan would be my last one. I’ve worked with people in his circle, but have not had the chance to actually meet with him. They have nothing but wonderful things to say about working with him. I love that he too wears many hats in the industry and is using his platform to elevate others and push for stories that he believes are important to tell, as opposed to whatever will bring the biggest paycheck. I could go on and on with more, but for the sake of this question, I’ll keep it at those three.