By Reed Sandridge, a Kindness Investor and Founder of Year of Giving.
Matt out of costume (courtesy of Faction of Fools)
I thought I would catch you up on a former recipient: Matt from Day 250. Although I met up with him in February, it somehow seemed appropriate to share this update with you this week since two days ago marked the Ides of March and you might recall Matt was portraying William Shakespeare when I originally met him at an arts festival for children back in August of 2010.
My recent encounter with Matt was at a fundraiser he was throwing to try to raise money for his nonprofit theatre company called Faction of Fools, which focuses on Commedia delle’Arte. Commedia del what? It’s a genre of theatre characterized by its use of masks, improvisation, physical comedy, and recognizable character types – all characters are based off of four specific types of characters. You can find more information here.
As I walked in the door of the Gala Carnavale I was greeted by one of the characters who announced in a thunderous voice to all the other guests, “Welcome Lord Sandridge.” I thought I was special for about a minute when the front door opened and two more people came in and their names were also proudly announced as well. I was fitted with a mask and then saw Matt, who was wearing a suit instead of a costume. I took off my mask to say hello. He looked a little tired which is reasonable right? He’s been working his but off to pull this event together.
And it was not only going on here in Washington, but all over the world. February 25th is Commedia delle’Arte day. What the heck is that you might ask? Well, “It’s the ‘birthday’ of professional theatre,” Matt explained. “On February 25, 1545, a troupe under the leadership of Ser Maphio signed the first contract of theatrical incorporation in Padua, Italy.”
“For the first time in history there are celebrations on every continent,” he shared with a glowing smile. Yep, even the winter-over crew of Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica was also hosting a celebration. Matt had been busy!
That's Matt under that mask performing The Great One-Man Commedia Epic
The evening was a huge success. There were some amazing items to bid on in the silent auction, delicious food and drink and of course, a sampling of theatrical pieces that they have been performing. I tried pretty hard to get some of the items in the silent auction, but I ended up getting outbid.
For those of you in DC, keep a look out for Faction of Fools. Their performances are a lot of fun. As I was writing this up I saw that Matt is doing his signature piece, The Great One-Man Commedia Epic, this Sunday at The Corner Store. It’s pretty wild. Matt plays all 12 characters!
Oh, I almost forgot. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Be careful if you are out and about tonight. It’s amateur drinking night.
Stay tuned for tomorrow when our newest Kindness Investor, Sibyl from Brentwood, TN, starts her seven days of giving.
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