Who the Folk?! Matthew Saxe

Welcome to “Who the Folk?!” Every week on Monday we feature a new member of the community as our “Person of the Week.” Last week week we got to know Max Orenstein. This week meet Matthew Saxe! Know someone we should feature? Nominate them by sending an email to [email protected]

TC Jewfolk: Are you from the Twin Cities?

Matthew: Nope. I’m from St. Louis, MO. Go Cardinals and Rams and Blues! I went to college at the University of Alabama, and I also lived in Los Angeles for 8 years. So I’ve been around.

TCJ: You’re an actor around town and seem to have a million projects happening. Can you tell us about one of them?

Matthew: You’re not the first person to use “a million” when it comes to my work. I always find that funny, but it’s true I guess. I love being busy with performing. It’s what I love to do, and it’s a blast to me. Along with acting, I’m the artistic director and co-owner of Shadow Horse Theatre; I started it back in L.A. in 2004. We produce A Drinking Game-Minnesota at the Bryant Lake Bowl every month, and have produced three plays this year.

TCJ: OK, one more…

Matthew:  Just one? Sigh. Well we close out the year of A Drinking Game-Minnesota with The Empire Strikes Back on Dec 6th at 9:30, and I’m working on that right now. Actors onstage read a script from a great movie and there’s drinking cues for them and the audience–it never fails to be a really fun time. The very next day we’re having auditions for our next production, AMERICAN MIDGET, a play by my best friend in college. It’s going to be amazing. See how I snuck two things in that answer?

TCJ: Are you involved in any other TC organizations?

Matthew: I’m a member of Temple Israel, but due to my busy acting and production schedule, and my time with my daughter, I don’t really have time to be in any other organizations.

TCJ: We’re taking an informal survey. Which of the many Jewish summer camps gets you most ferklempt?

Matthew: I went to Camp Sabra in the Lake of the Ozarks in southern Missouri for 5 summers. It’s where I met my “Winnie Cooper.” I met her when I was 11 and still think about her. You really never forget the girl who stole your heart and made you hear music in your head every time you saw her or just thought about her. She was the best thing about camp. Even better than water skiing.

TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?

Matthew: Tough one. I think my favorite is Yom Kippur, because of the intensity of feeling involved in it. It’s the one day of the year where we can be forgiven of our sins–“a day filled with awe and dread” as it says, and I always feel those both. Plus Break the Fast is maybe the most satisfying of all Jewish holiday meals.

TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish food?

Matthew: Another tough one. My mom makes an amazing brisket that makes me feel like a kid again and brings back lots of good memories. Good pastrami on rye always makes me happy too. I love deli food, I’ve read Save the Deli a million times and am on the Facebook page for it, and I always judge a deli by its pickles. Kosher pickles are the best and make me very happy. Matzah and eggs with some pastrami in it may be the greatest breakfast on Earth. I still need to find a really great deli here. I’ve been remiss in that.

Matt in Shadow Horse Theater's Crazyface

Matt in Shadow Horse Theater’s Crazyface

TCJ: What’s your top strategy for surviving winter?

Matthew: Hot coffee combined with hot chocolate, wearing my boots everywhere, and staying indoors–going to a theater to see a live show. People were worried I was going to die of the cold when I moved here and told them I’d been living in L.A. for 8 years, but we had some tough winters in St. Louis growing up, so I was ready. It’s tougher here, but I’ve gotten used to it. It’s also good to get that spray for your cars windows that melts ice and frost. Man that stuff is great.

TCJ: What’s your favorite thing to do in the Cities?

Matthew: One of my absolute favorite things here is the Minnesota Fringe Festival every summer. I look forward to not just performing in it, but seeing other peoples shows and meeting artists from all over the world. It’s a fantastic, eye-opening, just plain fun time that makes me really feel a sense of community with theater artists from everywhere.

TCJ: What else do you do for fun?

Matthew: I’ve become something of a bird-watcher and love to go to Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. My daughter and I love to go to the Zoo in Apple Valley. She and I also like to build Lego sets. I also love my college football team and enjoy watching them on Saturdays–ROLL TIDE!

TCJ: Give us one more reason why you’re folking awesome! 

Matthew: I love performing onstage and making people feel something thru it. I’ve been in some movies (Jarhead, Pearl Harbor) and that was pretty awesome,  I’m not sure it makes me awesome, but it gave me some awesome stories. I’m a pretty awesome Dad too I think, and I’m single, very single…is that awesome?

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