While working a summer theatre gig at a Renaissance faire, “status” was something we spent a lot of time drilling into our characters. The queen has the highest status, a beggar may have the lowest. Status dictates how all the characters treat and view each other. This character device is one you will touch on in any theatre class: it is intrinsically shown in classic theatre from ancient Greek to Commedia dell’arte to Shakespeare. As theatre reflects life and all the world’s a stage, if you are looking for it, you can easily see the “status” of people in your life. My friend Matt is one of those people who commands high status, just through his very being.
He doesn’t have a high-power job, he doesn’t wear expensive clothes, there’s just something about him demands instant respect. When I first met Matt, oh hell was I intimidated. Take-me-back-to-my-mousey-wallflower-self intimidated. And even once I got to know him, there’s still some level of that. When he complements you or laughs at one of your jokes, you feel like you really earned it. When Matt told me he liked my blog, I felt pretty damn proud. Then, of course, I said “I would LOVE to feature you in it!” So here we are. This week’s featured Other New York cliché, is my dear friend Matt. Also known as Jesterevolution. Intense (as you’ll see in pictures), incredibly talented, fiercely loyal, and frankly inspirational. Take the (metaphorical) mic, Matt.
Name/prefered pseudonym: Matt Harvey/Jesterevolution
Borough and neighborhood: Harlem/ Hamilton Heights
How are you a New York cliché? I’m a multi-craft artist surviving on the shoe string provided by my day job, and the love and support of my NYC family.
Bloomberg is banishing you from NYC. You have 24 hours before you have to pack up and leave for ever. How do you spend them? I start with a Coney Island sunrise, standing on a jetty I’m not supposed to be standing on, with close friends and a bottle of Jack Daniels. Then I get a bagel from literally any bagel spot in eye shot. I’d take the train back up to Midtown and walk across Central Park to the Museum of Natural History. Once in the museum I’d hit the whale room, the dinosaurs, and the monolith from Easter Island. I’d promptly get to Shake Shack for a double shack burger and soda. I’d meet up with my buddy Jake to do a quick set in the subway and then head over to Union Square. I’d hit up the Strand and grab an 80’s milkshake from Max Brenner. While consuming the delicious milkshake I’d ride the 6 train past the Brooklyn bridge so I could see the City Hall stop that I’ve been meaning to see for four years.
Then I’d switch to the N,Q,R and go to the MoMA to run through floors 4 and 5 [the permanent collection] taking an extra couple of minutes to stare at Starry Night before exiting the building. I’d take a nap on the train ride back up to 145th st. and walk down to Riverside park. I’d look across the water and yell “I did it!”. A quick stop at Nadal for a sandwich and then, I would then head home to “The Bunker”. That’s what me and my roommates (and all our friends) affectionately call our basement level apartment. There I’d set up the stage for a final performance in my living room surrounded my people. I’d perform a set and then dance and drink the night away with true Bunker Boy style. I’d leave behind only the paper on my wall that states simply “Be Legendary”.
So you live in NYC, but what’s one super-touristy thing you secretly love? Museums. I LOVE museums.
Ever had a run-in with a celebrity (A-D List)? I’ve actually had tons. I knew I’d become a true New Yorker when I was flirting with Gwyneth Paltrow over Dark Chocolate covered sea salted caramels like she was some ordinary lady…because she IS.
You totally saw something weird on the subway or street today (you may not have registered it was weird because you are jaded), what did you see? The mariachi band. Additionally, they irritate me.
What is your favorite fictionalized New York? How does it compare with reality? I think most of the fictionalized New York’s are pretty spot on. It just depends on the lens. Like, Spike Lee’s New York, is the same as Woody Allen’s but they see it differently so it seems different. My favorite lens of New York is Ghostbusters. I really do appreciate that we are all each other’s a**hole and if the going got tough, New Yorkers would fight for each other and not against each other.
Plug something! Be it something you are involved in, your significant other/roommate/cat is involved in, or just something you think is extra-special going on in NYC. I have so many things! I’d like to plug first [By The Mummers]; we’re currently on hiatus but we’ll be back at some point. Secondly I’d like to plug my music; Jesterevolution is my artist name and I’m currently crafting an album with my good friend Ivan Ooze. There is a single available on iTunes called “White Boy Wasted” that I’ve released independently. Finally, there is the Bunker Boys/ Boom Collective; we say yes when others would say no and awesome happens because of it. New York is an amazing place to create your own opportunities. Make it happen!
Thanks, Matt, for being an awesome Other NYCs feature! We’re Hamilton Heights neighbors now, I want my first sandwich from Nadal to be purchased and eaten with you. Deal?
What do you think of this series? Love it so much you want featured? Fabulous! Email NewYorkCliche@yahoo.com.