Introducing Matt Hobin
URI Theatre | by Brianna Penta
“Know how to do everything,” stated a URI alum. Should we know how to do everything or is that just too much to take on? Matt Hobin, a former Acting and Directing major in the URI Theatre Program begs to differ and if you want some proof to the pudding then just take a look at his successful career.
After graduating URI in 2003, Hobin was still on the go and career hungry. Over the years he has directed/produced over 100 hours of reality, docu-series and competition television shows. He has also produced a number of commercials, comedy shorts, webisodes, and low budget feature films. Talk about time management right? Currently Hobin is a freelance Executive Producer and he also runs his own production company called OU812 Productions. So I’m sure you are wondering how he managed to complete all these projects as well as obtain all the information to do so? Well me too!
Hobin’s secret is very simple – “Allow yourself to be challenged and put to the test.”
Hobin came into the theatre program wanting to be an actor but was challenged to be a jack of all trades through the program. He found his passion for direction, writing, and for production management through URI Theatre while also learning valuable skills in the various technical fields. He then applied those skills to the television industry when he was on his way up and made sure to learn how to do everyone’s job. Hobin explains his thoughts. “By knowing what to expect of others, I can do my job better and therefore, produce a higher quality product on budget and on schedule.”
When asked about one of Hobin’s favorite memories at URI Theatre, he was eager to talk about the first year they did the student written One-Act play festival. Hobin explained how in the past, he was always the “slacker goofball” type until he was pushed to step up and produce something. Along with two other students, Hobin put on a festival of plays that he wrote, cast, directed, set designed, sound designed, etc. He described them as vulgar and funny but what made them special was that they were 100% theirs and it was a wonderful experience. Hobin expressed his gratitude.
“I will always be thankful to Alan Hawkridge for inspiring me to take charge of something.”
Reflecting back on his Theatre career at URI, Hobin shared some of his most defining and memorable events and opportunities. He highlighted his student directed projects from the One-Act festival to the two full-length student projects he did. Another defining opportunity that he shared was when he assistant directed Paula McGlasson’s, Theatre Department Chair, production of Beauty and the Beast.
“I never had a shot at a musical in my years at URI so I never expected to end up AD’ing a musical but Paula gave me a shot and it was truly one of my favorite experiences. I learned that even in a medium that I do not have a natural skill set in like musical theater, I could bring elements of my unique style to the production.”
The best advice Hobin could provide for me for current URI Theatre students was to simply learn everything and never grow up. Pondering the thought, Hobin was surprised at what his career turned out to be but he was not bitter about it. If anything, he expressed pure happiness.
“Very few people will end up as professional actors but that does not mean you cannot have a wonderful career in the arts and entertainment world. I never thought 10 years ago that I would be living in Los Angeles and making TV but I love what I do,” Hobin said with a smile on his face.
Hobin was thankful that URI Theatre was able to give him the tools necessary to spend the rest of his life in the arts and he wanted other students to know that too. Hobin further illuminates his thoughts through his last words.
“Take the scene shop classes, get your hands dirty, learn how to write and produce, and do all the grunt work. Teach Theatre 100 and inspire others. You may only get to be stars on stage for one show or one year but you can spend the rest of your life being creative.”