We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Gallagher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matthew, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from Atlantic City, New Jersey. My family is large and Irish. I had six sisters and I was the only boy. My mother’s family owned a bar and hotel in Atlantic City and my dad’s family owned a bar in South Philadelphia. Some of my fondest memories were in bars listening and telling stories. Those feelings of holding court in a tavern ultimately led me to the stage. I had a great upbringing but I never felt completely comfortable in my home town. I love my family and where I am from but who I am today is a revolt against that life. It took me a long time to accept that a conservative Catholic local mind set was not for me and that that’s alright. I am a devout atheist and a citizen of the world. My special, A Stumble In The Woods is available on Prime Video for rent. It is the story of my journey from Catholic school to rehab with stops in Boston, Arizona, Los Angeles and New York. My stand up and writing history is a direct result of what I was taught as a child in South Jersey and what I’ve come to believe as a married father of two on the other side of the country.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My entire career has been overcoming challenges. The funny thing is most of them were self inflicted. I was so full of self doubt in my early years that i turned to drugs and alcohol to a near fatal degree. After rehab and a lot of hard work my stand up career started to take shape in New York. I could get laughs but that wasn’t enough. I did not enjoy the road or what material worked best traveling the country. I started taking long breaks form performing. Each time I returned I’d try to bring more personal stories with more profound insight. For one year I only did story telling shows and did the Moth story Slam three times. I’ve thrown myself into philosophy to see what wisdom was left behind that I could use today. My next project is the next step in that evolution. I am calling it, Stoic Lunatic, and it will involve stand up, story telling and philosophy.
This is the lesson I have learned. Many of the best artists are late bloomers and that is do to many reasons. For me it was not just about what I could do, it was about being ready to do what I wanted to do.
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?
Jazz Night at LACMA Sunset Ranch Horse Ride under the Hollywood Sign
Natural History Museum walk in the garden
Malibu Beach at Sunset to watch Dolphins
Little Tokyo for Ramen
Mariachi Plaza for music and food
Shakespeare in Griffith Park with a picnic basket
Hollywood Bowl for a live show
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife Theresa Burkhart Gallagher is the person I owe everything to. We wrote the movie, Honey and Clover: A Recipe For Disaster, that just screened at Cannes Short Film Corner and Diversity In Cannes. She is also the person who produced my comedy special. Plus we have two amazing kids that make everything seem better.
Other: Prime Video – A Stumble in the Woods @honeyandclovermovie