We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Rasku and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matt, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
LEARNING! I’m constantly looking at how I can improve upon the things I do, and the more I can learn, the better the product I can deliver. I’m an actor and filmmaker, but on the side I also film self-tape auditions for other actors. The cool thing to me is how each branch of my business influences the other in some capacity, and helps keep me learning whether I know it’s happening or not. As an actor I invested, and still invest, a lot of time and money in acting classes. A huge reason I’m in two feature films and have footage on my reel is because I was in acting class. Going to an acting class brought me in front of a lot of amazing people that then later thought of me for projects that they were involved in. I’m not saying that if you join an acting class then you’re going to book a feature, but I’m saying that my intention was to improve upon what I was doing as an actor and learn as much as I could, and through that opportunities presented themselves that I was fortunate enough to receive. I became a filmmaker out of necessity. I wanted to be in front of the camera and acting, but I didn’t have an agent and couldn’t get in front of a casting director. So about seven years ago I started with a sketch and a short film where I had to hire a bunch of crew and spend a lot of money on elements I didn’t know how to do myself, like lighting, camera, sound — you know: all the things that make a film a film. There was no way I could afford to sustain hiring a crew regularly to execute my ideas, so I instead taught myself all the facets of production and started making my own content as a one-man-band of film making. With the TV/film industry moving more and more into doing self-tapes for auditions, and because I’ve spent the last seven years investing in all of this film equipment, I set up a studio in my apartment where I’m able to tape my own auditions and auditions for other actors and classmates. And now I’ve been able to have a business on the side where I’m taping auditions, slate shots, reel footage, and editing reels. Without me going to acting class to learn, or without me learning about equipment and filmmaking, none of this happens. And that’s why I look at learning as the most important factor behind any success I have. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

Aside from acting I can shoot, light, record sound, edit, and produce a high quality product that looks like it was made by a team of professionals. I think the thing that separates me from other artists is that I’m really able to do it all myself. One of the things I’m most proud of is a short film I wrote where I did just that called, “Air Dead n’ Breakfast.” It’s still currently in the festival circuit, but has already been accepted into five film festivals, including two nominations for Best Micro Short Film and a win for Best Actor. Another project I’m particularly proud of is a sketch I made on YouTube called, “Quarantine of Solace,” that parodies the life of James Bond as he copes during the pandemic. I feel like this represents everything that I’m about as a filmmaker, and what I want audiences to expect from the work I put out. Making this sketch actually helped me get an audition for a lead role in a feature film I booked and led to me editing a music video for Andra Day, both of which were absolutely surreal. I feel like I got to this point professionally by getting out of my own way and letting go of the results. None of us get to control the outcome of what we do, and the more I focus on doing the next right thing for me, the more I can enjoy the journey.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ahhh there are so many good places! I would tell them to wear sweat pants and get ready to FEAST! The whole trip would be centered around food I think… yep absolutely would be. Food Must Haves: Howlin’ Rays Nashville Hot Chicken, Lowkey Burritos, deep dish pizza from Masa of Echo Park, Tatsu Ramen, Wexler’s Deli, Lucifer’s Pizza, Fat Sal’s, Anar Indian Restaurant, Osteria La Buca, Redbird, Bestia, Wurstkuche, Duke’s in Malibu, EVERYTHING in Grand Central Market in DTLA, Rodini Park Mediterranean, bean and cheese burritos at Escuela, Kettle Glazed donuts and cold brew Places to drink: For sure The Lost Spirits Distillery tour in DTLA, Redbird, Sassafras, Covell, Eataly’s marketplace and rooftop, Pour Vous, Gold Line, 7 Grand, Clifton’s Places to see: DTLA views from City Hall’s rooftop, Bradbury Building, Underground tunnels below the Hall of Records, Grand Central Market, Angel’s Flight, LA River entrance by Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Reservoir, Magic Castle if you can get tickets, Paramount Ranch, The Groundlings, UCB, Quentin Tarantino’s movie theatre The New Beverly Cinema, Highland Park Bowl Now how would we hit all this on the trip? Well, we wouldn’t sleep for one, and two: we’d be sharing all the food so we didn’t explode. A lot of these things are next to each other, which makes it helpful if we were wanting a more active adventure from food spot to drink spot to sight to see.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are a lot of people and groups who have helped me get to where I am, but more than anyone I have to dedicate my Shoutout to my mom and dad. Without their love, support and guidance I don’t know where I’d be. They have been my biggest champions, and being able to share my successes with them is more special than anything else.

Website: www.mattrasku.com
Instagram: @mattrasku
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MattRasku

Image Credits
James DePietro Bettina Niedermann

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