Sal Mattos is the newest employee at Theatre Bay Area, where he now stars in the role of “members and event associate.” Sal is one of the friendly gents who cheerfully answers the phone—and your member questions—here at TBA.
So, Sal, where are you from, and how long have you been in the Bay Area?
I am a rare San Francisco native and have lived here my entire life. This no doubt explains my decidedly Californian demeanor (read: why I’m always running late and why my words have extra syllables.)
How long have you been involved in theatre? Any specialized training or experience?
I’ve always been a performer and a storyteller, making short movies with my parents’ camcorder and directing my toys in elaborate storylines, but it wasn’t until high school that I really tapped into the world of theatre. The bulk of my training came during high school where my director, Francine Torres Kelly, treated us with (and expected from us) professional standards from day one. She trained us in improvisational technique, both long and short form, which to this day I count as one of my most valuable skills both on stage and off. Some might call me a “character actor” but I’m genuinely just fascinated with the strange, the odd and the extraordinary people in our world and how they tick. I’m also really into stage combat and jump at any chance to wield a sword or wrestle across a stage.
What do you consider your specialty in theatre-making now?
When not performing, I’ve spent the last five and a half years studying play and screen writing at San Francisco State. While I undeniably spend more time on stage than I do behind the scenes, it is ultimately the telling of stories that I find most fulfilling in life. I hope to grow my writer’s resume as much as my actor’s, and create as many, if not more, characters as I have had the privilege to embody.
What's the biggest theatre catastrophe you've ever faced?
The biggest theatrical catastrophe I have ever faced was without a doubt my first professional audition. Being quite the Spring Awakening fanboy, I was ecstatic to learn that during the national tour’s SF leg they would be holding open auditions. I chose to sing a song from Rent, not realizing that the producers were so tired of hearing Rent that they had explicitly requested that no one ever sing Rent for them ever again. So I sang Rent…and badly. Very badly. Great start to my career.
If you could collaborate on a project with any theatre artists, living or dead, whom would you choose, and why?
So many brilliant playwrights I’d love to work with. Paul Rudnick is, for me, one of the funniest writers of all time. I quote The Addams Family almost daily. For all of his crazy, I’d love to just sit in a room with David Mamet and watch him work; his plays were some of the first ones to really grab me. Suzan-Lori Parks is another one whom I’d jump just to meet, but to collaborate with her would be a literal dream come true. It’s not even just her brilliant writing, but the way she speaks about writing that I find so inspiring. And if I can ever sneak my way into a production of Dreamgirls I will consider all of my theatrical career goals fulfilled.
Do you have membership or event questions, or just want to say hello? Contact Sal at firstname.lastname@example.org.