We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Ritchey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matt, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started STORYCRAFTING because it combined all of the things I loved to do and that I knew could benefit others. Human beings are natural storytellers and I knew that my experiences could help artists bring their work to the next level. I studied and worked as an actor, a writer, a director, and a producer for years – all in service to telling stories.  I wanted to help others take their ideas and craft them into the kind of personal, surprising, universal entertainment that audiences crave. I work with artists at any stage of their process, from an idea to a full script. I’m here to help craft your story into something extremely personal that audiences will connect to and rave about.

What should our readers know about your business?
I’m in the business of helping create the most commercially successful version of YOUR story. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had diverse theatrical training – acting, directing, screenwriting, stage management – at some great places: New York University, Playwright’s Horizons Theatre School, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Director’s Lab West. I will use all of that knowledge to help make your product as spectacular as possible.

Look, when I was in second grade, I took an after-school acting class where I wrote, directed, and played the lead in a detective play. I’ve wanted to do this for a while. When I made the decision to put it together as an all-in-one service, I knew that helping other artists create a story structure with their clearest and strongest ideas, was what I was meant to do. (Cue superhero music.)

I’d like to say the journey was easy. It wasn’t. But it was fun working with so many great people along the way. So, the hard work FELT easy. I give the same advice to new artists all the time: “try to do as many jobs in your field as possible.” Here’s an example: I always suggest being a stage manager in theater or a Second Assistant Director on a film set because these people work incredibly hard doing the work necessary to keep everything running smoothly. They’re essential to a quality product. They also have to deal with talent. If you’re an actor or a director and you know what it’s like to deal with the stress of these jobs, you’ll be more aware on set and make it easier for them. As far as I’m concerned, this is guaranteed to get people to work even harder with you on your project.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I first moved to Los Angeles, my favorite thing to do was play tour guide for friends or family who visited. I’d do a multi-hour driving tour of all the big sites, make sure to have a coffee at Chateau Marmont, and a cocktail at Duke’s in Malibu watching the sun set. It may be a while before some of these places are open again, but most should start reopening soon. I hope!

My favorite L.A. drink spots have long since closed (R.I.P. Lola’s and Daddy’s) but some great spots have opened to take their place – The Umbrella Company on Melrose, and both The Plunge and Three Clubs on Santa Monica and Vine which are huge Hollywood Fringe hangouts and great places to meet other artists.

The Griddle Cafe is always a must when friends come to town. Explaining the pancakes at the Griddle is fun, but actually eating the three-stack Pumpkin Pie pancakes at 9 a.m.? Heaven.

And this is Hollywood – ya gotta watch a movie. I moved here when WIZARD OF OZ was playing at the Mann Chinese and I thought “This is PERFECT! I’m gonna have this classic be the first movie I see at this historic theater!” Aaaaand then it left and I wound up seeing MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III there instead. Yeah. But! WIZARD OF OZ came back when the Chinese went IMAX and I DID see it then. And, using some handy Strasberg technique, I played the whole day as if I was just experiencing the building for the first time.

While we’re on movie houses, by the way, my go-to was always the ArcLight. The history of the Cinerama Dome, the best popcorn in town, the parking… just the best. I’m gutted that it’s been shuttered. Fingers crossed that someone comes through and saves it!

Then I’d head over to Jar on Beverly for dinner. Ever had food so good that when you chew, you have to close your eyes and not pay attention to anything else? That’s me with the filet mignon and lobster béarnaise.

Oh! And the Village Bakery in Atwater. Any time. Go.

And weekends are for theater! There are so many great places, many of whom are itching to and struggling with reopening right now. I recommend checking out stuff at Sacred Fools, LOFT Ensemble, Boston Court, Antaeus, and A. Noise Within for consistently great companies, as well as smaller theaters like Theater of NOTE and places on Theater Row like the Complex and the Hudson for quality independent productions. And ooh! Those are right down the street from The Plunge! ; ) Look for theater to come back hopefully by end of year and patronize fellow artists! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family. It sounds cheesy, but yeah – my family’s the best. Both of my parents are in the medical profession, so clearly, I had to be an artist, right? It’s like karma for them or something. They’ve always been supportive and no one ever suggested that I give up and “do something more realistic.” Also, the Hollywood Fringe Festival community. I found a huge group of people who were supportive in both word and deed and helped raise each other up in a way I hadn’t experienced since college.

Website: mattritchey.net

Instagram: mattritcheyla

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/matt-ritchey-8665543/

Other: #storycrafting

Image Credits
photos by Matt Kamimura

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.