Board Member - Treasurer
Mat is an LA based, award winning actor who writes, produces, directs, dances, plays the keys, coaches, and podcasts. Originally from Alabama, he has toured the world in multiple musical theatre productions. When not creating, you can find him cooking, reading, working as a handyman, or tickling the ivories.
Mat has been performing since the age of 5, where he represented Japan in a Christmas production at his elementary school, donning a kimono that his mom made. It was a different time. He would go on to be in local theatre productions, showchoir, church choirs, and praise bands before heading off to Auburn University where he pursued a BFA in musical theatre.
While at Auburn, Mat was fortunate enough to study under renowned conductors Dr. Thomas R Smith and Dr. William Powell, as well as composer Dr. Rosephayne Powell. He studied voice with Dr. Jeff Gilbreath. While at Auburn, Mat was cast in his first summer stock at Lake Dillon Theatre Company in Dillon, Colorado. It was here that Mat realized his dream of performing for a living would be not only a possibility, but a must. He played "Fred Casely" in Chicago, "Rocky" in The Rocky Horror Show, and "Jinx" in Forever Plaid.
From Lake Dillon, Mat went to Hersheypark in Pennsylvania where he would clog for his life in Matt Davenport's production of Wild Country. Dolly Parton's Dollywood then brought Mat to East Tennessee to perform in their production of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Mat set up shop in Pigeon Forge for the next couple of years performing in America's Hit Parade, Hoot-N-Holler (yep), and the closing season of Blackbear Jamboree.
Mat set sail immediately after closing Blackbear Jamboree, and spent almost 4 years performing with some of the most incredible performers in the very best shows the open seas have to offer. He performed across the world with Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Princess Cruises. After finally getting his anchor tattoo, Mat ran his boat ashore in Los Angeles and hasn't looked back.
Mat has his hands in everything here. He produces for Del Shores (Sordid Lives, Queer as Folk), has cast for The Mouse, Lifetime, and other independent projects, and is usually in a stage show.
He won his first Ovation Award for his performance in Celebration Theatre's The Boy From Oz in 2016. He was most recently seen in 911 on Fox and The CW's Jane the Virgin.
In February of 2019, Mat produced Del Shores' filmed adaptation of his one man play, Six Characters In Search of a Play.
Mat's film Cognitive won him his first festival awards with BEST SHORT at Las Vegas International and Love International Film Festival, QCinema, Out at the Movies, as well as Runner Up at Out On Film. It received incredible reviews and attention from all over the world. It has screened in every major film market across the globe.It is currently streaming on Amazon.
More importantly, Cognitive inspired Stuart Bell to collaborate with Del Shores to create The Del Shores Foundation, which works to elevate and showcase southern, queer storytellers.
Nothing has made me more proud than to know that the space I have worked so hard to create has created space for others to do the same. And that’s what we do as artists. We speak so that others can speak.
After Cognitive, Mat was asked by the Stonewall Democrats to host a queer faith panel on LA’s KPFK 90.7 FM. That beget The Fagnostic Podcast, a weekly podcast with faith and non faith leaders on all things involving overcoming religious trauma. The podcast charts consistently in the top 10 on Apple Podcasts – Religion, and has given way to an online resource center for LGBTQ people seeking to overcome or contribute to overcoming religious traumas.
You can follow Mat on Instagram at @hayesonit and on Facebook by searching Mat Hayes.