Matthew McCabe

Name: Matthew McCabe

Year: Junior

Major: Broadcasting

Minor: Theater

Hometown: Jordan, NY

If you don’t know Matthew, there’s a good chance you can find him hanging around anything theater related. He’s been in thirteen productions since middle school, lived the dream performing in an “Off-Off Broadway” company for six and a half weeks, and has been in Oswego productions such as Space Pirates of Planet Penzance. Most recently, he played Frank N Furter in the annual campus production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, put on by the Storyteller's Guild,. which happened to be one of McCabe’s dream roles. Here’s what Matthew has to say on musicals, Halloween and his acting career thus far!

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(Matt, pictured here, far left).

On his name:

“Matt” for those who are friendly with him, “Matthew” for professional. (Luckily, interviewers get to call him Matt.)

On getting his start in theater:

“I started acting in middle school in a production of Aida for the high school as a means to overcoming my stage fright,” McCabe said.

He went on to further explain that he knew “when it came to performing in front of everyone, I would seize up and not be able to do it.” So he signed up for the play as way to challenge himself and overcome self weakness. Bold move! Luckily for Matthew, he likes to try to live his life boldly, so at least his bravery isn’t lost on him.

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On Rocky Horror Picture Show:

“I was introduced to it by my dad halfway through high school,” said McCabe.

He then got the chance to see it performed on campus his freshman year at Oswego and then saw a shadowcast performance of it this past summer, which is how the Storyteller’s Guild performs the show, too.  

I know what you’re wondering, yes, they do have to buy their own costumes!

Funny enough, this year, the storyteller’s guild went for a “goth aesthetic” performance of Rocky Horror, due to the fact most of the cast had heavily black wardrobes. Been there, lived that.

Although it was a very low production, McCabe did go big on nailing the right outfit for the leading man, and is hoping that the group will be able to snag the auditorium for next year’s performance, since they had such a large turnout this year.

On playing Frank N Furter:

Frank n Furter has always been a dream role for Matthew and, of course, is his favorite role in the film.

“It was so far fetched from what I normally am that it was fun to let loose,” McCabe explained about his role.

Playing the eccentric transvestite proves to be a mixture of fun and importance to Matthew, and he’s able to pull from his experiences doing drag to really comment on why Frank N Furter is such an interesting role.

“It’s something I have a lot of fun with, but then I like to go into the particulars of why I do drag, the social political meanings,” McCabe starts. “[Doing drag] perpetuates social stereotypes of the other gender and mocks it.” He further explains that drag mocks societal standards for masculinity and basically breaks societal boundaries on gender stereotypes.

He summed up his experience doing drag lovingly, stating, “It makes a statement and it makes people laugh.”

On his dream roles:

Aside from Frank N Furter, Matthew would also love to play “The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” better known as Sweeney Todd, and jokes that he’s covering all the psychopath bases.

In addition, the title role in The Phantom of the Opera would also be a dream, but McCabe is feeling too modest to pull that role off, just yet. “It requires actual good singing,” he jokes.

We’re sure you’ve got the pipes, Matt!

On his favorite role so far:

“Pinocchio from Shrek the Musical," said McCabe of his high school production at Jordan-Elbridge.

“It was my first lead character and it was just a generally fun character to play because he has this high pitched, kind of squeaky-complaining voice. All his movements are loose and floppy. You’re acting sort of human-like!” he explained.

He even had to cut his hair for the role and didn’t mind it. That’s dedication, folks.

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On his best acting moment:

“In junior year of high school I was Senior Harpagon in the play The Miser. It was preview night, which has discounted rates for seniors. During the monologue, I actually made an old man pee himself from laughter,” he said. Matt didn’t realize it happened until after the show. Bummer!

On his worst acting moment:

“I was the main villain in a play and in the first scene I’m supposed to come out and give the lead." Let’s say trouble (wink wink). “I come out, about to say the line and completely forgot the protagonist’s name! I did my best to improvise something and I hope it went well,” he said, while giving props to the lead for handling his improv session well and getting it back on track.

On Halloween:

It’s his favorite holiday!

“Any excuse to wear an eccentric costume!” he jokes. And yes, he did wear the Frank N Furter costume post-show until the corset finally got to him.

His favorite halloween circa movie is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, because, “It’s so much fun and gives people a good reason to be crazy.” But his favorite horror movie is Cabin in the Woods. The man gets Joss Whedon!

His favorite halloween candy is “whatever Reese’s puts out there. I believe chocolate and peanut butter were meant to be together.”

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On one thing he’s really into that he’d hate everyone else to be into:

“I love long coats! It started off with me getting my hands on a navy trench coat and now I’ve worked my way up to this,” he says, pointing out his new “eccentric” black coat.

On one thing he’s really into that he thinks everyone else should be too:

“I wish more people read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It’s about what makes someone human.”

Pick it up from your local bookstore, it’s by Philip K Dick and has pretty good online reviews!

On Oswego:

When asking about his favorite things, he’ll tell you straight up. “The answer that’s going to make people hate me, but the snow. Or the architecture of the old buildings.”

His least favorite part of Oswego, however, is “the party culture.” Luckily, living off campus separates him from it a little better.

On his plans after graduation:

This one is easy for McCabe. “Find myself a film agent!” he states. Matt’s up for any film-related acting job, but he’s definitely steering toward the sci-fi and action genres.

“They’d be a lot of fun to act in and you don’t have the obnoxiousness of romance films,” he says. But his all time favorite is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, so there’s hope for him still.

There you have it, Matthew McCabe, everyone! Look for him in on campus productions over the next few semesters (although he’s working backstage this Fall) and around campus as the kid in the long coat who’s still really enjoying the snow. Introduce yourselves now, so when he’s a big movie star you can ask for free tickets and a trip to the red carpet!