Friend a Day – Matt Allex
In the old days, we didn’t have amateur shows to try out new performers. I put them on stage at the festival and waited to see if they would succeed or fail. Most of the time, it took more than one show to figure out how well they would do.
That’s how Matt Allex joined the vilification tennis cast and unlike many of his fellow performers, he was impressive the first time he set foot on stage and he’s been impressive almost every time since.
What amazes me is knowing that Matt is terrified of stepping on stage and he does it anyway. The more an idea scares him, the more willing he seems to be. His ability to rise above his own fear and consistently be one of the best people on stage is an inspiration.
Matt has a remarkable intellect that, I fear, goes unrecognized behind all the dick and fat mom jokes. He is blunt with an opinion when the direct opinion is required. He is unflinching in his ability to laugh at himself.
He’s also one of the most emotional people you will meet. You want to find a guy who cries at the end of movies? Matt is your guy. Make fun of him all you want but how many people do you know who are that open with their emotions?
When I was in college, one of my professors talked to me about the “um” meter. Simply put, if you are speaking in public, pay attention to how many times you say “um.” Most people say it more than once a minute.
When Matt starts speaking, he hardly says “um” at all. He can engage in stream of consciousness talking for minutes at a time and he will remain interesting the whole time. It’s a skill that few people possess and because I always have the “um” meter running on myself, I always notice how frequently he beats me.
Matt will do whatever it takes to make something work. If he only gives 99% to something, he will view his participation as a failure.
I’m glad Matt walked on to the Vilification Tennis stage that day so many years ago. My life would be a great deal less interesting if he hadn’t.