We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt O’Brien and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, how do you think about risk?
Starting a career in a comedy is always a huge risk (my accountant, parents, wife, and dentist will tell you that). But taking risks has always garnered new experiences that wouldn’t have happened had I not taken a chance. After building a successful career in Canada over 10 years I took a huge risk by getting a green card and moving to LA with little to no solid connections and restarted my career from the ground up. Some said I was nuts to leave a solid career in Canada (mostly me. I said that. I said that to myself every day for years. I still say it.) but after some hard work I was able to rebuild my career and I don’t regret it for a minute. And I owe it all to taking big dumb stupid risks.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always just wanted to be a fun Comedian. Which sounds weird to say, because all Comedians are fun. But, I wanted to do comedy in a way that showed I was also having the most fun with it myself, and also doing it in a way that made me happy. Early in my career I tried to do things that I thought people would want. Eventually I started doing things that I wanted to do and not worrying about what people thought (sounds cliche but it’s true damnit).
It wasn’t easy at all. I spent years going to open mics and comedy shows all over the country trying to figure myself out. Hundreds of auditions I wasn’t qualified to even step foot in. Hours of acting classes, online classes, and also work outs to get my body back in order after years of comedy club chicken fingers ravaged my insides and inflated my outsides.
I guess I’d like the world to know that my story is another one of those “work hard, be a good person, be professional and eventually great things will happen. And even after great things happen keep being professional and don’t turn into a piece of shit”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the old movie theaters in Westwood. The architecture and grandness of them always blew me away. Any old movie theater in LA is a fun time really. Also if you’re able to find a way into the Tropicana Pool at the Roosevelt Hotel it’s perfect. Great drinks, they keep the pool VERY warm (at least I hope it’s the hotel doing that and not the people IN it) and it’s tucked away off Hollywood Blvd just enough where it’s not crazy out of the way if you still want to slop around town some more.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my family. After I told them I wanted to be a Comedian all they said was “Sure! Sounds great. Go do it! I think you’ll be great at it”. If it wasn’t for that immediate and unquestioning support from my Mom, Dad, and two Sisters I don’t know what I’d be doing.
Photos by Matt Masisco