Paul Cereghino, A Class Act
Casting's an interesting process. The only thing to expect is the unexpected. No matter how many times you go over photos and resumes, you can't predict the moment the room quickens as the right actor zips into the right role. That's what happened when Paul Cereghino started to read the sides for Matt in "The Perks of Writing a Musical."
We knew we wanted someone extremely handsome to play Matt. Paul's got that covered. But we were also looking for someone with a complicated inner life. Matt's the kid who has it all, a modern-day Hubble from The Way We Were. "Everything comes easily for him." Except Courtney. On the surface, Matt is one of the beautiful people, a big man on campus, but Courtney's evasions stir up his insecurities. And for the first time in his life, he's at a loss. Paul has that perfect combination of swagger and vulnerability.
The challenge with a character like Matt is not to make him just a villain. Sure, he's Josh's nemesis. But we wanted an actor with Paul's natural amiability to add those extra dimensions. Mid-way through Season One, Josh catches rival Matt in a deception, and because of Matt's earnest humility, Josh takes pity on him. One of Matt's biggest fears is that people are getting tired of his popularity, that he's overstayed his welcome. The higher they rise, the harder they fall. Paul has a beautiful way of showing a solid front, but suggesting an unsettled heart. And at the same time, you know this is just a regular cool guy into stuff like dogs and nachos.
Not only does Paul have great range as an actor, but he's equally versatile as a musician and singer. This is a musical after all. He was trained at Bostin University where he holds a BFA in Theatre. A high baritone, he's also played the piano for years and has experience writing, adapting, and transcribing music.
As you can see from the Kickstarter campaign video, Paul has a very charming, playful side.
Here's his professional bio:
Paul Cereghino, originally from St. Louis, MO, loves being a part of POWAM. Previous credits include Tyler Shaw in Brooklyn Boy (Olney Theatre), Some Men (SpeakEasy Stage), and Peter Dubois’ directorial debut, The Miracle at Naples (Huntington Theatre), and Tony and Tina’s Wedding (NYC).
On a personal note, he thanks his parents for most everything.
As soon as I saw we had a Matt with Paul's range of talents, I immediately started expanding the role of Matt.