Most Interesting People 2010 - Matthew James Murphy
by Jennifer Bowen, Katie Dragga, Emily Garvey, Lauren Hennen, Christina Ipavec, Brittany Moffat, Kim Schneider, Colleen Smitek, Beth Stallings, Carly Toyzan, Erick Trickey & Jim Vickers; edited by Colleen Smitek
Matthew James Murphy Songwriter | 34
Why he’s interesting … The South Euclid resident’s song “Hold Your Dream” was featured in the recent remake of the 1980 film Fame. Before becoming a songwriter, Murphy performed as part of the ensemble of the Broadway and touring productions of Rent and worked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
His brush with Fame … “Fame is unique because they were opening it up to no-names. I had some music on [MTV’s] Laguna Beach and other little hits here and there but nothing really big.”
His day job … Murphy teaches piano and guitar lessons to kids at their homes. “There was no way I was going to get a 9-to-5 job in an office.”
First acting job … At age 5, he was the Mayor of Munchkinland in Heights Youth Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz.
Paying gig … He was on WKYC-TV3’s long-running kids’ show Hickory Hideout. “I was making pretty good money for a 9-year-old in 1984.”
But … “It made life a living hell in junior high. It was like ‘you’re the guy who talks to puppets, man.’ ”
The jump to Rent … He got the job during an open call at PlayhouseSquare. “I said, ‘Give me a couple weeks to get everything together.’ They told me, ‘No, we have a plane ticket for you for tomorrow.’ ”