The Working Actor's Journey: Chats on Lifelong Careers

Ep #12: Dakin Matthews on Acting the Classics and Your Artistic Family

March 13th, 2018

Episode description

Dakin Matthews is an actor, playwright, dramaturg, director, teacher, and scholar. He has 150+ credits on IMDb, has taught Shakespeare around the world, worked on Broadway and won awards, and was artistic director of several theatres—and he started out to be a priest! We talk about feeling confident and intimidated, why the classics are important, what being a professional means, and more. This episode is sponsored by Audible: get a free audiobook and a 30-day trial at


Dakin Matthews around the web

IMDb | Wikipedia | IBDb | Actors Access | His former Andak theatre company


  • Dakin's father as an indentured servant
  • How acting in a Shakespeare play gave him a more intimate knowledge of it
  • The situations when he feels in awe of people
  • How he approaches working with or teaching younger actors
  • The production of Shakespeare he saw that really changed his view of what theatre could be
  • How he ended up teaching at Juilliard and eventually performing in The Acting Company
  • Why he feels acting is his primary skill, above being a teacher or scholar
  • Why there aren't great Shakespeare acting classes online
  • How he approaches playing real people, and the roles that he couldn't quite figure out
  • The out-of-left-field offer to get involved with Rocky the Musical
  • How Dakin has had time to be involved in so much
  • Working on the "Come vial" speech from Romeo and Juliet
  • Why many actors either shy away from or miss the mark with emotional moments
  • Why it's so important to find a group of like-minded creative people
  • Quotes that matter to him


Selected People and Items Mentioned


For complete bio and other links, check out the full show notes!



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