The Fame Reporter interviewed the multi-talented Rubin Matters starring as Drew in Mad About Theatre’s production of the smash-hit, Rock of Ages.
Rubin studied at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, Ministry of Dance and Howard Fine Acting Studio. Credits include Hello Dolly, Dusty and Showboat (The Production Company), the world premiere of Georgy Girl – the Seekers Musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (TML Enterprises), Michael Ralph’s Hollywood Honky-Tonk (Giving Productions), Wizard of Oz (GFO), West Side Story (Opera Australia), Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Production Company) and more. Rubin was the recipient of the Playbill Future Prospect Award from the Rob Guest Endowment in 2015.
We talked to Rubin about his musical theatre career thus far, what enticed him to audition for Rock of Ages, why audiences will enjoy the show and more.
See our interview below!
Welcome to The Fame Reporter Rubin, what sparked your interest in performing initially?
As a kid I obsessively watched movies starring the likes of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire and wanted to be just like them. Also, my Mum would take me with her to watch musicals and I was hooked from there.
What was your experience like attending The Victorian College of the Arts, Ministry of Dance and Howard Fine Acting Studio and how did they effect your current career progression?
Every part of my training has come in handy at some point through my career and I’ve had many incredible mentors. I’ve learnt so much being on shows working with talented performers and creatives. Getting to do that constantly with different people is really what keeps me inspired and makes this industry so great to be a part of.
What is Mad About Theatre’s version of ‘Rock of Ages’ about for those who don’t know?
Our version of Rock of Ages tells the story of having a dream that doesn’t pan out how you thought it would. Change has to be accepted. (SPOILER ALERT) Each character enters this show with a really solidified end goal, but none of them get it.
They learn to accept that “the dreams you come in with may not come true… but the dreams you leave with, they still rock!”
Drew and Sherrie don’t get what they want, nor do Franz and Hertz, Dennis kind of doesn’t, Stacee REALLY doesn’t, and Lonny and Justice kinda just break even.
It’s real life… fairytales aren’t real life, and Rock of Ages shows that it doesn’t have to be super depressing when dreams shift.. everyone will find their way eventually!
What makes your character, Drew unique and what enticed you to audition for this production?
I saw the original Australian tour while I was still studying and absolutely loved the show and was in awe of the cast. Ever since I’ve always wanted to play Drew, so I jumped at the opportunity. Vocally it’s a massive role and I wanted the challenge of taking it on. I also really relate to Drew, who is super ambitious and thinks he knows exactly what he wants -but then gets thrown some curve balls that make him question it all.
In rehearsals it became really clear how much the music tells the story and reflects that journey of discovery and for me as Drew, it’s about what’s really going on, on the inside.
Do you have a dream role that you are dying to play?
I have many dream roles – Drew is definitely one of them!
What has been the most rewarding and challenging parts about rehearsing this show?
Definitely the music, it’s massive! Stylistically it’s totally different from any show I’ve ever done but I’ve always loved singing this kind of music and I get to live my John Farnham dreams.
You have had an incredibly diverse career in the arts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, World Premiere of Georgy Girl and more. What has been your most memorable moment thus far and what have you learned about yourself through performance?
I’d have to say playing ‘Diesel’ in West Side Story on Sydney Harbour earlier this year. It was definitely an experience like no other. It brought out something in me I didn’t even know I had.
Also working with The Production Company on four different shows was not only the most fun I’ve ever had but also led me to really trust myself as a performer. With a much shorter rehearsal process and completely original creatives you dive into it all fast and have to just trust and surrender to being in the world. That mentality has served me so well in everything I do.
What do you believe is the most thrilling scene or moment in the show ‘Rock of ages’ and who is your favourite 80s rock artist?
My favourite 80’s rock artist has to be John Farnham! No explanation necessary.
As for the most thrilling moment in the show, I’d probably have to say ‘Don’t Stop Believing’.
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Gene Kelly, Michael Jackson and (no surprise here) John Farnham.
Do you have any exciting future projects you can reveal?
You’ll have to wait and see…
What do you hope audiences take away from Rock of Ages and why should they come along?
Audiences will find at least one character to relate to in this show. While this show is outrageously theatrical, it’s grounded in truth. It’s set in a time where social media was non-existent and you were free to be whoever you wanted to be. It’s cathartic and refreshing and authentic and unapologetic.
I know people will leave this show remembering the times they got to be free and uninhibited, rocking and partying with total abandon.
People shouldn’t miss this show. It’s beyond feel good, and the music ROCKS!
Fame Reporter Word Play
Rock of Ages
I WANNA ROCK!
Comedy or Drama
Wizard of Oz
Go-to Karaoke song
I’m Still Standing – Elton John
Any secret talents
I do a great South African accent
Rock of Ages duh
Dressing Room necessity
Rock of Ages constantly
Favourite song in Rock of Ages that you perform and favourite you don’t sing
It is banger after banger but probably ‘Oh Sherrie’, ‘Waiting for a girl like you’ an ‘Heaven’ are my favourite I perform. Eli Cooper doing ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ is KILLER and you simply must see it for yourself. Also ‘Here I Go Again’. Clearly there are too many to choose from!
Playbill Future Prospect Award
‘This’ (quote from the show)
TV Show Binge
Finally, favourite thing about performing
Thank-you Rubin for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for your run of Mad About Theatre’s Rock of Ages in Queensland!
Don’t miss out on the most rockin’ show and get your tickets below!
Follow Rubin’s adventures on social media here!
All photos – Supplied