Words by Alex Norelli
“If you love yourself first, then you can help other people. Right now I really love myself, I love what I’m doing for the world, and we all go through these waves, but right now I am excited … I’m healing the world with love, but I’m doing it in my own style, which is laughter.”
Matthew Silver is not just wacky, he’s Wackadoodle, his own brand of comedy that is meant you make you laugh, love and break down fear at every opportunity. He wasn’t always this way- years of hard work are finally paying off, and his ability to connect with people in an instant, make them laugh and see the world in a new light have inspired legions of loyal followers to embrace his message. Read part one of the interview below.
Alex: What are your first memories of performing?
The biggest moment was in high school. I always wanted to be the class clown but I was heavily judged, or maybe that’s the way I saw it. But I was one of those weirdos on the side trying to grab for attention like a clown. Like “I’m the funny guy!” I was always trying to be the funny guy. So in high school these kids they said I’ll give you a dollar if you start flexing in front of these girls, and it was during this gym class and we were all sitting on the bleachers and so I started flexing in front of the girls, and everybody was into it and so people starting throwing me money. Throwing me their lunch money. So I started acting very strange in front of them, I just did any random thing off the cuff, and it was very entertaining for them for the 30 minutes that they where there on the bleachers. So that was a big moment in my life, I always wanted to be a performer so there I had an audience. It blew my mind to have an audience.
And I was still dealing with my own fears as a human being, so it took a while before I just decided to do it on my own, like “I’m good enough, that I can do this!” And if someone wants to make it in New York, you have to feel your vision and your message is worth enough to share. And its not like the message is a verbal message, it’s more like the spirit of who you are. Your spirit is important to share.
There’s a lotta flow so you gotta keep showing up. You cant just think “I’m gonna get a big thing, then a big thing, then a big thing” you gotta just keep coming out with magic. And its the intention behind your work thats important. It’s silliness, it’s Wackadoodle do doo ness silliness”
Your calendar is probably the most sacred spiritual object that anybody ever has. You gotta schedule on your calendar when you’re gonna be there. You gotta look at these tools that you went to school for, “oh you should use your calendar and your organizer” but they taught you in a way that was unmagical, realistic, like if you don’t survive you’re gonna be poor, they taught you with fear. NO! Stop teaching people with fear, these are magical items. You’re doing doing magical spiritual rituals to enchant the world.
The world is so big that everybody has an opportunity to create something beautiful, we’re at a time when people are just going the wrong way, were at a tipping point where we could be more love producing humans. Do things that free your mind, not things that keep you trapped. if people cant deal with it they watch tv and movies for long periods of time, most people do that. It’s not helping. You have to deal with your own shit, to get up. My life, I’m like any other human, its about waking up and dealing with the irritable part of me.
Alex: How do you deal with peoples preconceived notions?
When I was younger people were criticizing me about that anyway. People said are you on drugs? and I was just being myself. But there was this need to perform, and then when I performed I got that reaction and I felt bad. And I thought “am I doing bad by making people think I’m this person?” But then I realized, this is how i perform, this is how i express. It’s wacky, its weird. I like to be weird, I don’t like to be normal. I don’t like it that in school people they are telling you to STOP, NO, NO, you cant … It’s not good for who we are naturally as people. It’s healed me to be able to go out there and just be who I want to be in that moment. Express myself in a weird goofy way. And I really like interacting with people, and I really like having these good positive reactions. And I keep thinking that each of these interactions is its own ripple in pure love.
You have to see yourself as very important in terms of the creation of the present moment because you are a foundation, you are a portal, where you see what decisions to make in order to create more love or make more bullshit, fear and negativity. It’s a simplification, life is more complicated than that, fear or love. But for me it’s been a healing simplification. I didn’t do what I wanted to do when I was younger because there was a lot of fear blockage in my brain. I’m still dealing with what I grow up with, but at least now I’m at a point where that if I don’t do it there will be this thing that I’m upset with. In New York City none of us have supervisors anymore, we don’t have mentors anymore, our parents were too concerned with survival, they did the best they can, and probably made us crazy. But we’re coming to a point where a lot of us know love is more important in our lives than fear.
If everybody had a love consciousness state of mind we’d see it work, but since we’re still living on the cycles of fear and judgement, it’s like love has a lot of work to do, but at the same time it has no work to do. Once love is flowing it’s this effortless effort, everybody is just doing what they love. Fear makes you think you gotta be this or that in your life.
Alex: Is there any specific thing you fear, either in performance or in life? Is there one thing you fear the most, whether its a bad performance or the cops … what do you fear?
You know I have a lot of fears, but they go away and then I deal with the fear and I’m aware of it, and I let go to the labeling of the fear, and just feel the chemicals, the emotion. I gravitate to just being aware of the emotion. When I first started I feared the cops. In the beginning I feared what people were thinking of me. Those fears have gone down. I have little fears in the back of my mind, whenever I’ve fallen into a fear trap its only become total paranoia, and scared me from doing any kind of work. One thing that always helps me, and it’s taking from Mariana Williamson, from Course of Miracles and people get upset when I recite this: “Fear is an illusion, the only thing that real is love, love is the only thing that’s real.” Knowing that will get you through life. Because if you’re and artist and you make this beautiful work in your own room and all these creations, and you don’t share it to people because your scared of how they’re going to judge you, then forget about it. Thats an illusion in your head. Of course its gonna be hard in the begging to get your work out there, because people don’t know you. In the beginning you’re an artist, you’re not a personality. Of course you’re gonna be scared to let people get to know you.
That’s one thing I was scared about is letting people get to know me, because originally I was a shy little motherfucker, a shy little kid, and I was scared to talk to people. See you create who you are in that moment, and I was shy, embarrassed, scared, and I thought I was ruining peoples lives by talking to them.
You do this game to your head, you have to do something … You should at least do something public with people, different people, three to five times, or seven times, or six times … you almost should do something publicly social with people as much as you can. Because that will keep you balanced as a human being. And I found my own thing I want to do public with people, which is acting wacky, like a clown on the street. I’m doing it because it what I like, and its become a discipline. You have to balance your life.
Alex: Are you playing a character or are you you?
Yes and no. Right now I am fooling around with the idea of bringing more of me into my character and less of trying to be somebody. Like the way I’m talking to you all pumped up all revved with emotion. You know a lot of time I’m on the street, I’m on the street like “Hi, how ya doing” like a clown, or “hello how’s everybody doing, were doing good, yeah, get excited!” or I do this screaming voice. I wanna try and talk like I’m talking to you and still be silly, you know. Because then there’s more real emotion, there’s something I’m trying to break but not break. Thats who I am, the blockage that I’m really dealing with is inside myself and once I get into that I can express that more freely. In fact, but there’s something that you have to realize, it’s also a trick of the mind, I’m already doing it. There’s a trick of the mind, like “yes, let’s do it! Let’s go out..” But then, yes, relax, you’re already doing it. You’re learning your own flow as a human being, don’t let people tell you what’s wrong and right with you, cause you know, and you’re only going to know your own health.
If you could perform anywhere in the universe, where would you and why?
Tough question, I don’t know. I guess New York, because New York City is the entertainment capital of the world. And all of us we are very lucky to be living here right now, because there is no war here right now. It’s a melting pot, so you’ve got all kinds of people that you’re working with, you’d never experience that anywhere else. My message is, I’m using entertainment to create love, I wanna make the entire world cry so hard that they laugh at nothing, over and over again.
International Wackadoodle Love Awareness Day is tomorrow, 8/31, where we will post part two of Matthew’s interview. Check back for more!
Featured photo credit Chris Carlone // Matthew Silver.