The Fame Reporter featuring Ellen Goddard
The Fame Reporter interviewed Australian singer and actor Mat Verevis. He is currently portraying the iconic Barry Mann in the current Australian touring company of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Mat Verevis is a singer, songwriter and actor who was born and raised in Cairns. After graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with a Bachelor of Music Theatre in 2012, Mat became a well-loved contestant on The Voice Australia playing and singing his way into the top 4 on team will.i.am and as a result, signed a major recording/publishing deal (Universal) which lead him to writing and recording for himself and other artists ever since.
Some of his stage/film credits include ‘David’ in Torch Song Trilogy (Darlinghurst Theatre Comp), ‘Aladdin’ in Aladdin & His Wondrous Lamp (Bonnie Lythgoe Prod), National/International Tour of Boys in The Band (SMA) and most recently the Australian film Down Under (Dir. Abe Forsyth). Mat is honoured to be telling the story of such iconic songwriters who were responsible in shaping much of in his musical/writing upbringing. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is his professional music theatre debut.
We talked to Mat about his reaction when he landed the role of Barry Mann, dream roles, experience on ‘The Voice’, inspirations in music and more!
See our fun and exclusive interview below!
Welcome to The Fame Reporter Mat, What was it that sparked your interest in acting/performing initially?
My singing teacher pushed me to audition for an amateur production of Les Miserables when I was thirteen years old and I’ve had the music theatre bug ever since.
How was your experience attending WAAPA? How did that experience affect your current career progression?
Fantastic. WAAPA was some of the best years of my life. It gave me a lot of tools to go out and tackle the professional world. It also gave me a better understanding of how the industry worked and what’s expected.
What 5 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with and why?
…because they all have shaped me as an artist.
Growing up in Cairns, Queensland what was your theatre experience in Queensland like and why do you think local audiences will enjoy this show?
I haven’t performed in Brisbane but the theatre community is very tight in Cairns and I assume the same in Brisbane too. I think Queensland will absolutely love this show – Carole’s story is universal – just like her album Tapestry.
How did you react when you were cast in the leading role of music icon Barry Mann in Beautiful the Carole King Musical and what did you like about the role?
I was shocked and overjoyed. I’d loved the role since learning about it. I was really drawn to the character’s arc and role of comic relief in the show – as well as the sing. I get to sing a lot of fantastic songs in the show.
What is the most challenging and rewarding part about playing Barry Mann and what do you think of the relationship between Cynthia and Barry throughout the show?
Barry’s a pretty big sing so I have to keep on top of vocal rest. Barry and Cynthia’s relationship is one of my favourite parts of the show. It takes a fantastic true story journey – and they’re still together to this day!
Do you have a role in any musical theatre or straight theatre piece that you are dying to play?
Barry Mann was one…Frankie Valley in Jersey Boys is the other.
What did being a contestant on ‘The Voice’ teach you and what do you love about writing and performing your own music?
The Voice taught me many things. A big one was how to deal with pressure and nerves. It was a massive pressure cooker and I was pretty green when I did it.
Has the likes of Barry Mann, Carole King, Gerry Goffin and Cynthia Weil influenced the way you act, perform or write music today?
Yeah, Carole has a really unique sensibility when playing the piano and accompanying herself to her own songs. It inspired me to look into how I did that and make it unique to me, like she did herself.
What is a future dream of yours and can you reveal any upcoming projects?
Just to continue paying the bills doing what I love. Unfortunately I can’t reveal my future projects just yet, but keep an eye out!
Lastly who or what inspires you?
My family and beautiful partner, Michelle.
Fame Reporter Speed Round
Bilby (that one is for Lucy Maunder and Naomi Price!)
Thank you Mat for being our guest at The Fame Reporter we wish you all the best and chookas for the Australian tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Book your seats here – https://bit.ly/2tX55hE
Interviewed by Founder of The Fame Reporter, Ellen Goddard.
Production Photos – Ben Symons
Headshot Photo – James Green