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Mathew Gaudern had his first taste of the stage at age 3 in a gymnastics recital.
Since, he's been pursuing the spotlight, an endeavor that's made him a regular on the Hardin County Playhouse stage and landed him roles in a commercial, music video and movies.
He learned his trade at the Hardin County Playhouse, he said.
Recently the Central Hardin High School junior appeared as Leroy Herdman in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”
Hardin County Playhouse board chairwoman Claire Allen said Gaudern auditions for every show he can and loves being on stage. He roller skated through the Heartland Parade with the HCP float, she said.
“From the shows I’ve been in with him, he works hard on and off stage, especially with dance routines,” Allen said.
Gaudern credits a lot of what he knows about acting to HCP director Bo Cecil.
“The things I’ve learned from here (HCP) have really helped me in the film industry,” Gaudern said.
In film, he said, directors want people who can learn their lines fast and that’s something he’s learned to do in theater.
Cecil said Gaudern’s family is the major piece to “what makes him tick."
“The support his family shows regarding his artistic endeavors is admirable,” Cecil said.
That kind of support was rare for Cecil when he was his age and he knows its importance.
“I believe that creatively thrives best when supported by those you love, therefore, his family as a whole is vastly important to Mathew’s drive and success,” he said.
Exploring your artistic side can be difficult, Cecil said.
“I am inspired to see that kind of support and love of the arts in the individual as well as the family,” he said.
Gaudern recently finished a shoot in Louisville for a film called “Produce.” It’s about an all-star baseball player going through some life changes who befriends an adult with Down syndrome, he said.
He was a stand-in who did many things in the background of scenes. One day he drove go carts and played video games in the background and the next day he sat in a church, played the piano and attended a funeral service.
The film is directed by Chris Dowling of the television show “Repo Games” and stars “Karate Kid” bad guy William Zabka.
Being on a film set was “fun, sad, angry and annoying all at the same time,” he said. You can spend four hours on a 15-second scene, he said, adding he learned a lot about film.
Central Hardin was supportive by letting him be away from school, while he was on a film set. He was allowed to miss classes because he was learning a trade, he said.
He’s had a few other professional acting gigs. Gaudern was a skater in a commercial for Kentucky One Health, an extra in a film called “Pleased to Meet Me” and he was in a national music video for The Grahams.
He auditioned for a kids show called “The Macaroni and Joe Show” and was asked to come back for a guest spot because of his skating.
When he heard there were auditions for the new “Star Wars” movies in Nashville, Tenn., he donned his fedora and strapped on his roller skates.
The audition line zigzagged around the city, he said.
He stood in line for six hours on a cold day. People in line were playing music and dressed as characters from previous films, he said.
The auditions were to stop at 5 p.m. and he got through the door at 4:58 p.m., the last one in, at least the last legitimate one in. He heard several people picked the lock to get into the audition room to leave their resumes and headshots.
Because it was late in the day, the casting directors simply took resumes and contact information instead of auditions but he made sure the casting director noticed his skates by skating backwards, talking to her as he left.
“It was crazy for a long drive just to do that and drive home,” he said.
His plan for the future is to continue to try acting but he has a back-up plan in case his acting career doesn’t take off. Next year, he plans to attend Hardin County School’s Early College and Career Center to study culinary arts. In college he wants to major in choral direction and minor in culinary arts.
Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting to know Mathew Gaudern:
Favorite actor: Orlando Bloom
Hobbies: Skating, self-taught pianist, plays trumpet and works on his 1977 MG sports car
Favorite play: “Phantom of the Opera”
Family: Three brothers ages 21, 18 and 11 and three sister figures he considers family.
Favorite Movie: “The Notebook”
Represented by: Heyman Talent
Favorite school subjects: History and choir
Community involvement: He’s a mentor for the Cub Scouts, participates in Cardboard Nation and donated his hair once for Locks of Love.
Favorite television show: “How it’s Made”
Fun fact: He had his photographs taken by the same person who took photos of Jennifer Lawrence.
Favorite quote: “If there’s a will, there’s a way.”