Matthew Ashford: Acting 101By Janet Di Lauro Posted: Aug 8, 2005
He's been a working actor for over 20 years, but now Matthew Ashford (Jack, DAYS) is gearing up for a brand new career as a teacher. Ashford is slated to instruct two acting classes at the Radisson Hotel in Sacramento, CA, on November 5 and 6.
Ashford had been discussing the traveling teacher idea with the late Richard Biggs (ex-Marcus, DAYS; ex-Clayton, GUIDING LIGHT). "Rick and I had been planning to do this together," explains Ashford. "Rick had actually taught classes, years ago, in Sacramento (Calif.,) and enjoyed it. We talked about his experience and it sounded cool. Since we both had similar training, it seemed like a good mix. Unfortunately, he passed away."
So Ashford decided to take his act on the road, solo, after conferring with his ex-publicist, Caren Day. "She has been a tremendous help getting me out to do other things," says Ashford. "Caren had contacts in the Nashville area and put this together."
After an interview with the AMAX brass, it was a done deal. "There are a lot of interested people in Nashville, and it's a good market for DAYS," points out Ashford, noting that his Salem celebrity was "the initial hook" that helped him land the job.
Now that he's got the gig, Ashford's concern is to make sure that "people get something out of [the classes], enjoy it, and learn something...have an experience," stresses Ashford, who conferred with some of his old classmates at North Carolina School of the Arts who teach. He got the lowdown on the basic "how to's" of getting students motivated. "I'll probably start my classes taking a few basic questions from the people there. Then, I'll get everybody up and working on some relaxation and concentration techniques, something that will help them let their imaginations cut loose. That's so important before you do any scripted material."
Students who are DAYS fans may recognize some of the material they'll be acting out. Ashford plans to bring along "some fruitful Jack and Jennifer scenes, and maybe a couple of Bart and Tony scenes, too," he says with a laugh.
Anyone interested in enrolling in Ashford's Sacramento classes should call Intention Entertainment at 818-415-9732. For information about future class schedules or to book Ashford's teaching services contact firstname.lastname@example.org.