Series 1: Episode 3 – Matt Young


As a highly experienced actor, and performer Matt Young knows the value of a good story and his personal tale could easily form the basis of Australia’s next Oscar winning screen play.

With all the twists and turns of a gripping plot Matt’s hero’s journey starts in Gardner, Massachusetts (an hour outside Boston) in the United States. His love of community theatre lured him to New York where he studied at New York University, and he quickly became a working actor shortly after graduating.

Romance was written into the script when he took a gig performing Broadway on a cruise ship and serendipitously wound up at a bar on Oxford Street, in Sydney. It was here that Matt met the love of his life Peter – a bloke from Blackall…a tiny town over ten hours from Brissie.

“We landed in Sydney a week before Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and we had the night off.  So all the girls from the spa and some of the other dancers, we all went out to Oxford Street and saw a drag show. I then went to another bar, and I met a man there who is now my husband and we’ve been together 23 years now.”

Series 1: Episode 3 - Matt Young - Image 1


Moving from place to place for Peter’s work, Matt didn’t make it out to his husband’s home Blackall until Peter’s mother passed away, which drew the whole extended family back to the place they’d grown up.

Having worked in many major cities in Australia and overseas, Matt wasn’t sure what to expect from a bush town like Blackall, but when his feet finally hit the red dirt the reality wasn’t too different to what he’d envisioned “the rural existence when you can stand on the back of your Ute and just look out across the horizon and see sort of the bend of the earth, like that feels like the ‘real Australia’, the romantic Australia that I’d always imagined.”

While the backdrop was breathtaking, the reality of the move meant that Matt had to resolve how to sustain his thriving career and make himself available for performing arts pursuits from a highly remote place in regional Australia.

“I’m still self-taping all the time, I’m in a film which is in post- production right now so I’m going down to Brisbane to do post- production recording for that next week. I’ll send tapes in and then if I need to go somewhere I’ll either drive or fly to get there. I think that because of Covid things have shifted in for regional artists – we used to have to have that face time in the city – you have to be in the theatre foyer, or be at the industry events, but because those have been online for the past few years, it’s easier I think for me now to live out here and to still make a lot of noise online.”

Keeping himself front of mind for exciting opportunities through digital technologies is not the only thing that has helped Matt remain creatively active and inspired out in the sticks, “the other incredible thing that’s happening now that I’m regional is that I’m starting to put myself in the centre for all of my creative practice. So, I used to be an actor for hire waiting around for somebody else to come up with this great idea to jump on board and maybe get hired as an actor. Now I create things that are around me.”

Despite being small, Blackall is known as the Arts Capital of the West and Matt is passionate about the story telling potential that exits within the community and loves connecting with the many different people who possess unique creative talents.

“People have this perception that everyone’s going to love country music and go to the rodeo, which is true, but then there’s also people who have a keen interest in Shakespeare or in Opera… you just never know who you’re going to run into in a small town and what their skills are going to be. The wonderful thing about the Arts – is that some of us are fortunate to pursue it as a career, but the Arts is for everybody, so a lot of people have a passion for it, even if they chose to have another career.”

Series 1: Episode 3 - Matt Young - Image 2


Long-time experience in show business and exceptional creative skills are not the only things that Matt brings to Blackall – as one of the families featured in the internationally acclaimed documentary GAYBY BABY, Matt brings star power that is globally recognised, “nobody would expect that you come to Blackall, Queensland, to this small population and you’re going to run into these people that had this big part in Australia’s gay history through this film and through the adoption and all the advocacy around same sex parenting and fostering to adoption that we’ve been involved in. So yeah, so it’s kind of humbling and unbelievable.”

While his impact is wide reaching, Matt doesn’t chase fame or the fickle things associated with it, he’s a genuine artist who believes that down to earth Blackall perfectly complements the way he likes to live, “we’re like a big family out here, which means that everyone knows each other’s business and we fight but we have to make up because we’re going to run into each other at the IGA. We’re going to run into each other at the butchers. I guess the sense of family and of belonging has been so strong since I’ve moved out here and it’s really made me reflect on my own relationships, with my husband, with our kids and with my parents, my siblings and really value that so much more.”

The invaluable relationships he’s formed with people in the community means he also enjoys a dynamic social life with activities scheduled almost every night of the week – drinks with friends, nights out in town, local events, dinner parties at home and everything in between.

So, while the streets might not be as densely populated as the avenues in New York, and he’s miles away from the glitz and glam of Tinseltown, Matt Young is actively living the Disney-dream from his own Hollywood haven in the middle of the bush.

Series 1: Episode 3 - Matt Young - Image 3

Matt’s regional rouse:

Lights up on a small country town – tumbleweeds travel across the main street as the sun rises in the distance. You will hear a tinkling of a piano and a bit of a song. “Oh, oh – is that people on their way to work?” It looks like it! The shops are opening now! “It’s good to see you today!” Sounds like a Disney musical! So, if you ever wanted to live in a Disney musical, I’d say come out to Blackall. It could be your own version of the town from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST or UNDER THE SEA. I mean…the possibilities are endless.

Aussies are relocating from Capital Cities to Regional Australia in record numbers.
We could give you all the stats about better house prices all the jobs on offer and higher levels of happiness. But what’s better than hearing from someone who’s made the move themselves.
Welcome to You Moved Where?! the podcast where we interview every day Aussies who have moved from the city to the country.
I’m your host Bec Bignell a girl from Regional Australia who moved to the city and then you guessed it back to Regional Australia. This is you moved where?
As a highly experienced actor and performer Matt Young knows the value of a good story with all the twists and turns of a gripping plot.
Matt’s Hero Journey starts in Gardner, Massachusetts
Jimmy’s over to New York boards are touring cruise ship and suddenly all those serendipitously he winds up at a bar on Oxford Street during Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras where he falls for a bloke from Blackall this Tiny Town over 10 hours from brissie, Matt and his husband Peter experienced all manner of Adventures from working in Fiji to adopting children and becoming stars of the internationally acclaimed documentary Gabby baby a plot twist in the story. Saw them relocating to Blackpool where Peter grew up since then matters had to find ways to sustain his busy career in the Performing Arts make himself accessible to Casting agents available for rehearsals and for feeling all the chaotic demands of Show Business from a highly
remote place in Regional Australia, the supporting characters in Matt’s story members of the Black Oak Community like members of a chorus lifting him up rallying him on so while he might be
Miles away from the glitz and Glam of Tinseltown. Matt Young’s personal tale could easily form the basis of Australia’s Next Oscar winning screenplay working title from the Big Apple to Blackhall.
Matt Young you moved where?
I live in Blackall Queensland which is on the Matilda Highway on the way up to Winton. So it’s about a ten and a half hour drive from Brisbane, which is where we were living before we moved here.
And you’re originally from America. You’ve studied in didn’t it in New York the place with for me personally. I love it because it’s weird that I’m Seinfeld Diner Tom’s Restaurant is among other incredible, um culture and art buildings and events and experiences and people basically on every corner theater and all the things that we both really love.
What was the buzz of living in the city that never sleeps?
Oh my goodness. Well, I grew up in Garden, Massachusetts, which is um a small city in America meaning like it’s not small in comparison to a lot of places in Australia. So 35,000 people. It was sort of about an hour outside of Boston, but you know, it felt like a small town and I did a lot of the amateur theater there and so I it was it was in the 80s. It was when the TV show Fame was on and I dreamed of going to New York to go to the New York Performing Arts High School with that was not going to be a reality. So, um, so instead I went to New York University and moved to New York City in 1990 and it was fantastic. I mean, it was incredible place to live it was, you know, millions of people like, I don’t know how many people they say there are there but you know eight million people on the island of Manhattan. I very quickly started working professionally, you know, I thought that I had some sort of skill or time.
Community Theater, but apparently New York thought so too. So that was what I did. So I studied for four years at NYU and started working professionally pretty much as soon as I got there spent about 11 years doing that before I moved to Australia to Sydney.
What brought you out to Australia?
Well, I was working on a cruise ship as a singer dancer sort of doing you know Broadway style reviews and the parish showing around the world and all that sort of thing and we landed in Sydney a week before Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras and we had the night off. So all the girls from the spa and some of the other dancers we all went out to Oxford Street saw a drag show and I went to another bar and I met a man there who is now my husband and we’ve been together 23 years this February.
That is the best love story. I love it so New York, Massachusetts, and now you you’ve fallen in love with someone from a town with a population of 1400 people, Blackpool.
What did how did you feel when you found out that Peter was from this very remote part of Australia?
Okay, it was completely foreign to me and completely unbelievable to me because they didn’t have you know, for example, he didn’t go to school. They had a governess or they did School the air. They didn’t have a television set, you know, like again like, you know, he’s not that much older than me. He’s only five years older than me. He said that they had a generator. I don’t think they had electricity until you know, he was eight years old or something like this, you know what I mean? So this was, you know coming from you know, America’s a pretty populated place and so you don’t really hear of that happening in well in contemporary America. Maybe you hear like Little House on the Prairie or something, you know, that’s set back in pioneering times. So it was pretty unbelievable to me honestly. Yeah. It was really outside of my realm of understanding.
How long into the relationship was that for you before you went back to blackall with Peter and had an experience of it in person?
I don’t think I actually came here until about 2008 maybe so we had been together for about eight years. I think we came I think his mother died in 2006. So I think that that’s why we all came out as a big family. So all the siblings and Dad came out and we went to the property. We had our kids by that point where I’m fostered to adoption parents. So we had our kids, um, you know as part of the family and so everybody I think after Ali died, like everyone wanted to just go back and visit home because it was Allison’s family. That was from the Black from black hole Pete’s dad is English and I mean, honestly, yeah, it was a very impactful sort of thing and and a lot in all of Pete’s siblings. I think have moved out of the city at this point. Nobody’s moved to Black all but they’ve moved, you know, rock Hampton or the new set into lands or you know out of the Cities. So yeah, it’s interesting how we’re all at this point in our lives because everybody’s kids are sort of young adults and so we’re all sort of
Going back to the back to the roots. I guess
You know, it is a very remote part of Australia unlike some other country towns. It’s you know, very isolated. It’s quite a mission to get there that very first time that you arrived in Blackall. How did you feel?
Well, I love it. I mean I because I’m a coastal boy. So I lived on the east coast of America and then when I moved to Australia I lived, you know in Sydney. So I was you know our I worked in
Melbourne, you know, I worked in Brisbane, so it was always sort of cut close to the coast and I didn’t really understand like what this Australia was or you know as a foreigner like what I perceived Australia to be until the first time we went to the country and I mean that yeah, so like the rural existence when you can stand on the back of you and just look out chose the Horizon, you know and see sort of the bend of the earth like that feels like the real Australia. I don’t know the Romantic Australia that I always imagined.
What I packed up my life in America to move out here. So um, yeah, so it’s pretty amazing. And I mean Blackwell’s really interesting. It’s own little Oasis you sort of drive, you know from Tambo and you’re driving and it’s flat you go over the dingo fence and then you’re driving for another half hour. So it’s flat. You might see some brolgas or a kangaroo or an emu and then all the sudden it just appears on the horizon. And then if you keep driving, you know that it disappears again, it only takes about five minutes to drive through town.
You mentioned that you’re in the arts and culture and do an amazing job of many different creative Pursuits.
Black hole has the reputation as the Arts capital of the West Was this because you moved their mat.
No, maybe if it becomes the Performing Arts capital of the West I can have a little part of that. There’s an organization here called red Ridge interiors and they have been doing some amazing work getting Visual Arts like fashion a painting. They have a bush beats dance program. So I mean, I don’t know what was happening before but before red Ridge, but they facilitate a lot of things. They also facilitate the Westing touring circuit. So the theater shows that come through here, which is I guess a reason why we look at ourselves as sort of an Arts gateway to the arts for the Outback. I don’t know if I had too much to do with it. I wasn’t even aware that that was you know that big of a thing and before I moved out here, but yes, I had a career as a performer and I continue to perform in Live Theater and in you know musical theater.
I’m hoping to bring some of that to Blackall as well.
And there’s a really Dynamic group of creatives there like Lisa Alexander and Kirsty Davidson people that I’ve met through rule room. I think Lisa just won rule photographer of the year and we were all in Winton together, which is where you and I met for
that’s correct provision Splendid.
That’s exactly right Visions Blended which are again was just blown away that such an amazing Film Festival exists in such a remote part of regional Australia. Not that I’d expect anything less, but it was amazing to be there all the same you move between three cities, Massachusetts Brisbane and blackall
How do you make the commute that you described before and you commuting to all the different cities one international one as well?
How do you make that work?
Well, the the plan comes into blackall three times a week and then barcode in three times a week. We’re also close to Jericho when I say close, you know Bush close, but I actually prefer to drive. I love the drive. I love to you know leaving from this end you you can’t leave too early in the morning because the kangaroos
so we can leave it like 7 AM and then get into Brisbane as it’s getting dark but by that time we’ve got into toomba so we don’t have to worry so much about the roots anymore. And I love to drive it’s a time when I can really be reflective. It’s a time when I can sort of be creative as well or I turn on radio National and just sort of get inspired by what I’m hearing. So there is the opportunity to fly most often times. I will drive to Brisbane and then organize Transportation by flight from there.
You’ve sort of talked about hoping to bring more Performing Arts to the regions. I
completely understand the need to enhance that sort of access growing up in the country. I had a pretty Keen awareness of that being difficult. I’m and this is a funny connection to you. Actually my grandma took me up to Perth which is three hours away from where I’m from to watch a production of Annie.
And I remember watching it and just being totally inspired that that’s what I wanted to do. But having a very keen understanding about how hard it was going to be for my parents to take me to rehearsals three hours each way every day. So it was a
an impossibility until I could get to the city obviously now as you can do self tests for film and TV and things like that that enable you to kind of stay in the game.
Is it possible to still have a very Dynamic career in film and TV and in the art and also live in a place like blackle?
I hope it is. I I don’t know if you can still hear me because it’s starting to rain pretty heavily out here, which is great for us. We you know, it’s been it’s it’s very funny because it’s being quite
green out here and it’s usually, you know, the Red Dirt sort of area of Australia, but interestingly enough you mentioned Annie I was in the musical Annie that tour at Australia in 2011 and now yeah, I mean, basically
I mean, I guess it’s sort of a self-selecting sort of thing. Like I’m still self-taping all the time. I’m in a film which is in postproduction right now. So I’m going down to Brisbane to do postproduction recording for that next week. I’ll send tapes in and then if I need to go somewhere I’ll just you know, either drive or fly to get there. So I yeah, I think that because of because of covid, you know, things have sort of shifted in for regional artists.
we used to have to have that FaceTime in the city, you know, you have to be in the theater foyer, or are we used to you know have to be at the industry events, but because those have been online for the past few years, it’s
easier I think for me now to live out here and to still make a lot of noise online, you know, there’s on my social media.
You know reaching out to people with phone calls and emails and then letting them know when I mean the city and when I’m in the city appearing is if I’ve always been there. So I’m hoping that it’s gonna keep working out for me. But the other incredible thing that’s happening. Now that I’m Regional is that I am starting to put myself
in the center of all of my creative practice. So I used to be an actor for hire waiting around for somebody else to come up with this great idea jump on board. Maybe get hired as an actor. Now I create things that are around me. So I’ve written a short film script which is based on a not a true story, you know, a fictitious ghost story at the bar who hotel in town black. All is also where the Perry Brothers Circus started just another reason why we’re the Arts Center of the Outback and we have a circus carnival every second year. We have better in Black golf Festival this year and the next year will be the circus kind of all again, and I was commissioned to write a show a musical comedy Cabaret based on the idea of
Because yeah, so it’s it’s this Incredible Gift of being a regional artist where I get to put myself in the center of my projects now that I’m a 50 year old person and you know, maybe it’s time to start working stop working for everybody else
leaving in such different places and having this exciting career in the Arts. It doesn’t necessarily reflect that stereotypical trajectory of a country person. How does your identity land in such
a small town?
I mean, I’m definitely I imagine a bit of an odd bird, you know, I sound a little bit different I come in with this idea of this career of you know, someone who appears on the screen or appears on the stage, which is, you know, someone foreign but not really because it’s a very highly educated Community out here. A lot of people go away to boarding schools. They’ve been they’ve been educated the best schools in Australia. So, you know people sort of have this perception out here that it’s gonna be you know, like
Just everyone’s going to love country music and go to the rodeo which is true, but then there’s also people that have a keen interest in Shakespeare or in Opera or you know in these other
things because of what they’ve been exposed to throughout their lives. We just we have a piano that we just moved over from the RSL and I’m starting to play again and I just visited one of my neighbors and she had all this old sheet music she said, oh, yeah. Well a lot of it’s for the violin, you know, because I was a violin player, you know violin and piano and so you just never know you just never know who you’re going to run into in a small town and what their skills are going to be and that’s the wonderful thing about the Arts is that some of us are fortunate to pursue it as a career, but the Arts is for everybody, you know, so a lot of people have a passion for it, even if they chose him to have another career.
It’s obvious that you and your partner are very happy and blackall and you’ve made so many opportunities for yourself.
A very unpopular politician once said there are no gay people in the bush. What do you say to this misconception?
Well when we moved here, we we increased the population of the gay.
Of the gay population of the Town by two but there were several here already. So what yeah, like one of our counselors who’s also a local business owner, you know lives here with his partner. There’s a couple of girls, you know that have a property the very successful property just outside of town another young woman has moved back and you know, her girlfriend has moved up from Ipswich and again, and that’s just the people that I know and you know within the sort of like binaries of gay and lesbian relationships, you know.
There’s bisexual people. I mean we keep hearing the story about someone here who is trans and you know everyone knew them by.
By you know their form of gender and this person with someone who is obviously very influential in the community. So, I mean that that’s it’s ridiculous to think that you know, there aren’t gay people in the bush are there aren’t lgbtqi plus people in the bush and if we’re not here, you know, your neighbors are going to have a child who is or a cousin who is or somebody in their family who is I mean, it’s it’s it would be I think impossible to you know, throw a stone in this town and not hit some house where somebody in the family is part of the LGBT community in some way.
And you and Peter a believed to be the first non-biological same-sex male parents to adopt children in the state of New South Wales, which I think is an amazing fact you appeared on the 2015 documentary Gaby baby. What was the response following such a critically acclaimed documentary
that was an amazing time in our lives. So we were living in Sydney when gave you baby started filming my annual the filmmaker worked with us for about two and a half years. She had already done lots of interviews with the three other families. There’s four main characters in in the film the characters as we in film speak means that there were four or 11 year olds who had same-sex parented who were raised in same-sex parented relationships. We were the only male couple I think in the documentary of that serves me, right the way a documentary works is she probably had like 20 or 40 families that she was talking to and then over time.
Know things happen and sort of the characters are formed, you know, but as they get to know the children more in the story is sort of written if that makes any sort of sense and so she knew after two and a half years that the story was going to be about our younger son Graham and we thought initially it was gonna be about our oldest son, Michael.
Strangely enough the last sort of six weeks. She spent with us are what is in the documentary? It was the time that after our kids had been adopted we had decided that we were going to go live in Fiji for a little while to give it six months to see how it was going to go and Maya said, oh, can I come to feed you with you? And I said, there’s no way you can come with us because I am a parent who is dealing with moving countries and looking after these children, you know, pull my hair out, but she was very convincing. I mean, honestly there was there was some weird stuff that happened with The Daily Telegraph and
The movie being banned in New South Wales and then you know the premiere of Victoria, you know advocating for it and all this sort of stuff. So there was some weird stuff that happened. I was really glad we were out of the country for it. But now I mean our son Graham continues, he’s he’s studying mental health in social work. He went to Northern Territory Parliament advocated for for equal adoption up there which passed you know, after his speech we can look back on it all of us all four of us can look up the two boys and the two parents we can look back at it and just see this incredible moment of our life that was documented and we still meet people all around the world. We were in Paris in late 2018 at a dinner with 10 people. And one of the other couples was there it was the same sex couple that had a daughter and she said are you the kid from Gaby baby? Is this strange thing? We’re like
It’s been seen by hundreds of millions of people I guess and I was talking to my husband about this.
You know, like it’s the secret thing like nobody knows what happened to us right in the documentary. We were in Fiji, like nobody would expect that. You come to Blackall Queensland, you know to this small population you’re going to run into these people that you know had this big part in Australia’s gay history through this film. Yeah, so it’s kind of it’s humbling and unbelievable.
such a powerful story to be a part of because you ride it is historical in how it brought conversations to the front that are so important and you being involved in it and living in black hole sets
such a good example of
Being in country towns in 2023. This experience is really something that is possible and it sounds like for you it has been positive. What advice would you give to people that are looking to move that come from different backgrounds and have different experiences that might feel like they’re outside of that normal kind of country experience. That’s pushed in mainstream media. Well, I always talk about people in Blackwell being ordinary people who have lived extraordinary lives. I guess that’s my advice is just realize that you’re going to be just like everybody else, you know, even if you’ve had
You know, if you’ve been at the top of your industry, if you’ve had you know, historically amazing things that have happened to you. You’re going to get out here. There’s a there’s a statue of a nurse being put up in our town square because her brother has had a statue here and he was you know, a celebrated war hero, but she followed him, you know to the front and became a nurse and I think it’s the fourth female War statue in Australia of a woman which is going to be put up in our you know in our Memorial Park. So again like these extraordinary these ordinary people have been living extraordinary lives here long before we arrived so I’d say
If you’re looking to move out to the country go out there with an open mind and open ears and join the men’s shed, you know join the CWA, you know get involved with local organizations and sit back and close your mouth and listen because there’s some incredible people out here.
And you’ve been quoted as saying you bring a little queer to every character you play how do you do this? And can it be taught?
That’s a great question. There’s there’s actually there was an article about this group in La that is just for queer actors, and I thought how extraordinary that I haven’t thought to do that here. So what that means is I cannot deny the truth of who I am inherently which is a gay man. And so regardless of if my character is married to a woman, you know gay men get married to women all the time. It’s happened throughout history. Maybe he’s closeted. Maybe he’s just at pardon his journey where he doesn’t know yet most often in my case.
He’s aware of it. You know, I inherently bring my experience to every role that I play which means that inherently I’m going to queer the character in some way.
What are the benefits of creative practicing the regions, you know things
like the space for thinking the bush or nature for inspiration The Sounds you’re hearing what are the things that you draw on that you feed into your practice?
The day is here are so much longer than they are in the city because there’s so there’s fewer distractions technology isn’t a priority the pace here is so much slower, which means that there’s more hours. It feels there’s more hours in day if I want to take two hours to sit down to write.
That feels like an appropriate thing to do in the house. We live in right now. We don’t have a television. So I spend a lot of time reading. Yeah, and then of course, you know, like like the rain
today honest to goodness like you like I’m I can stand around and go. Oh, it feels like it’s going to rain today, you know, and I can look at it the Horizon I can take that time. So that’s the real gift of being an artist out here is the lack of distraction which means the focus and so you get to use all of the people and the stories of the region people are so proud of the stories that happen here. You know, Jackie Howe was here in Black all doing the shearing. We have the black stomp, you know, which is where the labor party started all the bar cold and we’ll tell you it was there but you know, we’ll say it was here. We have the circus, you know, you there’s pictures on our main street of the flooding, you know that happened in the bar who river that the turn of the century the Titus all Hotel burnt down, you know, there’s so many
is in everybody wants to tell their stories and so just as an artist as a gift you just get to sit here and listen to these incredible pieces of History. We have a great Historical Society. We have a
great bushman’s artist Gallery. So it’s it’s really it’s a real gift to be out here as an artist.
That’s a very empowering perspective and I think you know making these people visible who are in extremely remote places is a very important thing to do particularly within Australia something you touched on earlier that was super interesting is the fact that we sometimes make assumptions about what creativity and an open mind might look like in the bush and assume that there’s not that sense of nurturing for things like the Arts and people that come with different backgrounds, but often you could have you know, like a Shearer that we’ve seen in some of the projects we’ve done a share that has a amazing ability to write or play music or like you said before all these undiscovered gems of violin player who’s your neighbor and things that start to emerge when someone like you sort of opens that turns that tap on of creativity. What potential do you think there is within
agents to really leaning to the creative potential.
I mean again, it’s
I feel
fortunate that I that I came out here and that I was able to just step into.
the role of
an artist and not be you know afraid or ashamed of what that means, you know, maybe very naively just thing. Oh, of course, I’m a professional actor and someone who’s created my whole life, you know, everybody does that right? But that’s sort of you know, that’s what I did and then like I said, I did Christmas carols and one of the nurses singer and then one of the guys, you know, that works in the other shop is the guitar player and then he’s met someone from ergon energy who plays the drums and then he’s brought into more people, you know what I mean? So it’s just sort of avalanche of creativity that happens which is really exciting. So, yeah, so I think is as soon as one person takes a step and says, you know, and then you have Lisa here and you have Kirsty and you have the other artists out here because we you know, all of my performing stuff is in is next to all this incredible visual art. That’s here. My friend Ross is a
she does stained glass windows. You know what I mean? She’s teaching me how to like read how to be like a glazier how to read glass a broken windows in our home. You know, it’s it’s so there’s so much creativity here. It’s funny because I was talking to one of the counselors and we were talking about who’s moving into town and the one that council members and
And we said oh, did you hear that this person, you know bought this house and she’s a small animal that and he’s a builder and we were like, oh, they’re so valuable and I said, yeah not like, you know this artist singers / podcaster. They just moved to town and we all had a big laugh.
And what does Matt Young’s retain look like on the standard day in black hole in comparison to the standard day in say, New York.
Well in New York, I would be up early in auditioning auditioning auditioning and singing and dancing. I’m a little bit older now, so I don’t get up and sing and dance as much I’m not an early riser. I like to rest. I like to ease into my morning. I get up. I read all the trade papers the local trades for Australia of you know inside film TV tonight film Inc. You know all these sorts of things to see what’s going on in my industry. I look at a couple of theater websites. I look at the Abc which is always a wealth of knowledge for the Arts as well. And then it really depends on the day a lot of it. I give myself office hours as an actor. I think that’s really important to treat it the same as any nine to five business and sometimes there’s coachings within that I coach actors virtually for us accent or for audition preparation or character to development, etc. Etc. Etc. So that might be part of my day or I might
Set aside some time to write I’m joining. I’m joining a virtual writing writer’s room soon with David Cook who I’ve been working with a lot lately and he’s actually been you know, he’s got some funded things in the works and then we’re going to be working on some new things as well. So it’s really yeah. It’s it’s it’s it’s a lot of sitting at the desk which is you know, a little bit boring here in the country but also because I said the days are so long if I get to two o’clock and then it’s time to go do something else because there’s an unveiling of a statue or we’ve been invited to tea somewhere or you know, or there’s something with at the school then I’ll go to that and I won’t need to stressed out in New York. I would always be stressed out. I was missing out on something here everything falls and rolls into place as it should
and what is your social life here in black hole. What’s the community like from a social point of view?
It’s very home-based. I love the schedule.
Some Monday, we’ll probably go to Ross’s and have some drinks on her Veranda Wednesday. We’ll have a pup meal at the bar coup with my friend Bridget who also works at one of the local shops.
Friday night we go in for you know pick the Joker at the pub so for like one one just one beers with with a couple of friends and I’ll probably see Marty and heinzie there and then on a Saturday if the gentleman that run the lodge, which is our sort of like local fine dining restaurant, which is an old Masonic Lodge then we’ll maybe go there on a Saturday. So that’s the rough schedule for social. So it’s pretty it’s pretty set out.
It’s safe to say but a pretty full Diary.
What we try to yeah, we tried to and it’s interesting because Peter my husband moved back here. We moved back here around the same time as our friend Ross and around the same time as our friend Bridget in Bridget lived on the same road that Peter lived on, you know, so they they were the closest property, you know, 30 kilometers close, you know close to each other on the party line. So again, like these are people from
From Pete’s childhood who are now our friends again. This is sort of like reconnecting with people from you know from when he was a little boy out here when he was, you know up to 10 years old out here. So it’s really quite lovely and wonderful,
so Matt tell me what if you’ve given up and what have you gained in moving from the city out to blackle
what I’ve given up I’m always going to wonder especially from moving from New York because I left New York at the sort of peak of my career. So I’m always going to wonder what would have happened if I had just stuck it out in New York as an actor or even when we move to Sydney if we had just stayed there because of course we moved Sydney we moved from Sydney in 2014 and went to Fiji so that my husband’s business. Could you know really flourish over there?
And again, I sort of feel like I was just really starting to make my my mark as an actor in Sydney at the time and then we came back to Brisbane and I was able to jump right back into it and have some success there. Yeah, there’s always gonna be that wonder about like that those vertical moves in my career and whether I could have accelerated accelerated much faster and made more money if I had stayed in the city, but it’s not all about money, you know, there’s value comes in so many different ways and so living here, you know, we own a house something that we could never have done in the city. We actually own more than one. You know what I mean? We don’t have to worry so much about just all those things car payments all these sort of things that were this constant thing in the city and we can eat at home, you know, we don’t have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars at a restaurant. I’m still talking about money. It’s
obviously I think
you know makes me nervous.
In life, you know, I spent three I took three months last year and went home to visit my parents in America. I went for three whole months. My husband bought me a one-way ticket and said you come back when you’re ready. And my mother decided to have hip operation at that point and my parents were so delighted and they kept saying, you know, we’re so thankful that you that you had this gift. It’s the longest you’ve spent with us since you moved out of home when you were 18 and the value that is amazing and the value of that just becomes real when you’re in a country town and you see families and you
we are like a big family out here, which means that everyone knows each other’s business and we fight but we have to make up because we’re going to run into each other at the IGA. We’re going to run into each other at the butchers, you know what I mean? So
yeah, so I guess the the sense of family and of belonging has been so strong since I’ve moved out here and it’s really made me reflect on my own relationships, you know with my husband with our kids and with my parents my siblings and really value that so much more.
What I’d love you to do for me Matt is I want you to pitch as if you’re pitching to someone who’s going to move to Regional Australia, what would you say but I would like to give you complete creative license to deliver this in any form that you deem appropriate such as song poetry dramatic monologue our preferences obviously song, but I’m Gonna Leave it to you to take the creative reins on that.
Lights up on a small Country Town tumbleweeds travel across the main street as the sun rises in the distance. You will hear a tinkling of a piano and a bit of a song. Oh, oh is that people on their way to work? It looks like it. The shops are opening now. It’s good to see you today. Sounds like a Disney musical.
Haha. Yeah, so if you ever wanted to live in a Disney musical I’d say come out to Black Hole. It could be your own version of you know, the town from Beauty and the Beast or under the sea. I mean really the possibilities are endless.
You ruined me right on in. Thank you so much Matt. It’s just been such a pleasure.
I would be really but I was like, okay, she wants something sillies.
We need silly. I think that’s the thing is it’s always so serious, but actually like you’ve taught us today. You can really, you know, put some fun and some Quirk and some color into and experience. It’s actually very expansive even though traditionally sometimes showing in black and white. Yeah. Yeah. Definitely it is it’s them it’s the technique color. It’s the Technicolor version of Australia of the country of Australia. Yeah, and even singing, you know, like everyone’s gonna expect you know, that everyone’s going to sing and a country twang or you know are you know, talk like this or whatever but you know, but then there’s gonna be all these different voices and this get coffee and sound and Backpackers and locals and
itinerant workers and people passing through so it is a bit like the beginning of the Disney movie.
I better let you go get so you can start casting everyone in the roles that they’ll be playing in your upcoming feature film of blackhall the feature
like all the musical screen Australia. Listen up. Thank you so much Matt. It’s been an absolute Joy having you on the show today. I feel like I’ve learned so much from you and I feel like you bring such a valuable perspective into Regional Australia and in particular into the town of Blackhall, which is very lucky to have you. Thank you for your time today.
Thank you so much Bec. I really appreciate it.
You moved where is made on the land of the Keneang people with Matt Young joining us from the land of the Kuungkari people. We would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
As the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to Elders past and present.
This episode was produced by Grace Rouvrey and hosted by me, Bec Bignell. Make sure you follow us wherever you get your podcasts because our next week’s episode. You’ll hear stories like this. I keep pinching myself at the beginning can’t believe that this is the part of the world that I call home when you can be snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. It really doesn’t get much better than that you move. Where is brought to you by www.
[39:05] and the regional Australia Institute
move to more is supported by the Australian federal government. And if you head to you can search almost 2000 Regional towns and cities to find your favorite Regional destination. And in the same place find your dream home and job.

Other Episodes

Your favourite towns and regions

Save your favourite towns and regions here and send them to yourself or share it with friends and family.