Living Here Guide

June 25, 2014

Q&A: Matthew DeGuire, on the arts in Columbia

Midlands area actor talks theater.

Matthew DeGuire has appeared on Midlands stages for 26 years. At 56, he’s had a long theatrical career since starting in Mobile, Ala., as a second-grader. Away from the stage, he is co-owner of Travel Unlimited and a choir director at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. He talks about being in actor locally at theaters such as Act One, South Carolina Shakespeare Company, Town, Trustus and Workshop.

How difficult is juggling your job and avocation?

It’s always a challenge juggling full-time work and theater – especially with another part-time job. As an owner of my business, taking some extra time off here and there usually works out for me. ... But doing a summer show means no time for a vegetable garden this year. The hardest thing is managing afternoon church services on Sundays when we have a matinee performance. Those are usually pretty fast-paced shows. Yet, the difficulty balancing theater work and day-time jobs is always worth the effort.

Is Columbia a good theater town?

In terms of opportunity, yes, absolutely! Columbia offers a wealth of theater for a city of our size. I’m amazed at the number of shows that are produced. ...There is so much here to offer.

Aside from theater, what arts experiences do you enjoy?

Theater and work take up an enormous amount of my time, but I do also enjoy classical music and dance.

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