He's now a nurse:
Portland Community College
A Hail Mary Pass for the Hard-Luck Case
Last May I realized that we would run out of money in ten weeks. I had been struggling as
an actor in Los Angeles while my wife taught piano lessons. My son was about to start
preschool. Although I happened upon success earlier in my career, I hadn’t worked in over
a year. We had stretched our budget to its limit. My wife and I cobbled together a plan: we
would sell our house and bunk up with my in-laws while I churned through the prerequisites
for nursing school.
I enrolled at Portland State, but because my parents-in-law lived in Oregon and we were
coming from California, I was considered a non-resident. The tuition floored me. I would
have to borrow huge loans. If I were not accepted into nursing school, I would have to find a
job and start repaying those loans immediately. Having recently clawed our way out from
under the debt of owning a house, incurring a new mountain of debt chilled me. I ditched
that plan and enrolled at Portland Community College.
The safety net of Community College caught me before I hit bottom. Without the low cost
and guaranteed admission at PCC, I would have had to take a minimum-wage job to
support my family. Getting into a private school was impossible. Although I had attended
the Juilliard School of Drama, my grades weren’t stellar, and my old acting teachers
wouldn’t remember my name, let alone write me a good recommendation. Being a recent
transplant from California also decreased my eligibility for scholarships. I needed an
inexpensive education that would help me land a job. I needed a place to start over.
Portland Community College offered me the opportunity to improve my academic record and
work toward a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Because PCC is allied with Oregon Health
and Sciences University, OHSU will accept my nursing school credits. The possibility of
earning an affordable four-year degree cannot be underestimated. As hospitals strive to fill
positions with the best candidates, and nurses take on an increasingly important role in
health care, the BSN has become a crucial element in securing a job after graduation.
Enrolling in community college is giving me the chance to enter the work force with the
training I need to succeed.
As the demand for specialized knowledge in the workplace escalates, the need for a fouryear degree likewise increases. Community colleges offer an education to those students
who are willing to work hard despite past failures or hardships. By offering a Baccalaureate
degree to students, community colleges would be acknowledging the current need for
degrees beyond the associate’s level. They would also be enriching the community by
turning out graduates more qualified to concentrate on and become experts in a particular
field. Although I my monetary resources had dwindled to zero, I had the initiative to strike
out on a path to self-actualization. Luckily, my community college met me half way
He was so hot making love to Dan Futterman in URBANIA.
He was so gorgeous. Knees shaking gorgeous. Even nuded once, though you had to pause the tape to see not much. Hot anyway.
Obviously didn't manage his money very well.
Where did he nude? Forgot about Urbania...he was physical perfection in that. Why didn't the wife get a job?
Wait - kid? *Wife*?!? I thought we'd established long ago that he was gay! Still, I find this story very interesting, if only because we rarely hear about what happens to actors whose careers simply dry up completely. I know a lot of them manage to hang on to a semblance of their original fame, in part because they own their houses outright and take occasional acting gigs to cover basic bills like property taxes and utilities -- Faye Dunaway is one who comes to mind here; poor dear now drives a Toyota Corolla! -- but many just disappear without a trace. Think about just about anyone who was a major TV star in the '70s or '80s, with a few exceptions (I'm sure Jaclyn Smith is set for life from her Kmart line, still produced today), but Matt's a great example of an actor known only to a small demographic, specifically gay men into indie film.
Anyway, I'm sorry to hear of his financial woes, but I'm glad he's moved on to a career in which he truly helps people. I put nurses right up there with teachers in terms of career choices that are oftentimes difficult but deserve the utmost respect.
The Run of the Country (1995) w/Albert Finney
Wow, I had such a crush on him back in the late 90s - he was fucking gorgeous. He did a few good projects and then nothing for years. Good for him to do something new and not try to hang on like so many actors whose careers are over do.
He was just cute. Not outstanding looking. And a rather dull actor.
I think he briefly shows his ass in the Albert Finney movie if I remember correctly.
Actually, he showed Albert Finney his ass, but it wasn't in the movie.
Wow, that's interesting. Why nursing, I wonder? Good for him for making a tough decision.
I thought he was terrific in The Last Days of Disco, but I haven't seen that in years.
Good for him. It's interesting to read about this story. I often wonder what becomes of actors when their careers dry up. There are a lot of the 'next great things' who end up going nowhere. According to IMDB, though, he hasn't acted much at all in the past 5 years. Certainly not enough to support a home and family.
Didn't know that he did a gay scene.
He was in "Waiting For Guffman" but didn't do any of the other Guest mockumentaries. Not that they probably paid well, but they were so popular he would have gotten a lot of exposure. Wonder why he didn't participate.
Good for him. Rather than 'go off the rails' because he didn't become a successful actor, he reevaluated and found another career choice he felt was good for him and pursued that instead. Sounds like he's mature and a good family man.
And, if he's a good nurse, he'll always be able to get a decent job, with good bennies, and spend the remainder of his career helping people.
Good on him .. like that other hunk, Jamie Walters.
[quote]Obviously didn't manage his money very well.
What an idiotic statement. He wasn't Tom Cruise. He made small independent films. Doubt he ever made more that $20 grand a picture. Deduct taxes, Unions, Managers, Agents, LA mortgage and YOU retire on that.
[quote]Why didn't the wife get a job?
Did you read the article? They had an infant and she taught piano lessons. Last I heard, teaching was a job.
REALITY-TV is making it more and more difficult to make a living as an actor.
If this was the 80s or even 90s he could get any soap he wanted, if he was desperate for work.
Now he can't even get that.
Then maybe he should get a spray tan and gel his hair, R20.
He was also unforgettable in Waiting for Guffman and Beach Blanket Bingo.
Worked with him. Straight. Nice guy.
He should do the autograph shows on the weekend and pick up some cash.
It's too bad his acting career faded out, but I'm impressed when someone in his field knows when it's time to set aside celebrity to do other things.
Clinging to the idea that some career renaissance is just around the corner, primping and preening to preserve the look of one's past physical prime, the cruse ship/dinner theatre/teaching circuit, and the perennial (hollow) optimism over some sad prospect or venture is wearing enough the public - it must be wrenching for anyone whose self-respect hasn't been completely displaced by delusion.
I don't think as others have questioned that it's a case of tragic money management. He had a good run on some decent or better films from a certain peak of a prolific indie film era. But how much did those films pay? He probably never got a great career foothold from which to launch modest financial security. Unless someone enjoys an uncommon windfall, it takes a certain number of years of a steady income from which savings and investment may be drawn to lay the foundation of decades of income on principal.
It's a large and fluid field of actors now, much larger and much more fluid than in the past. Keeslar's pragmatic and dispassionate tale is a little sad but also more than a little commendable.
R24 he is a indie film actor, not famous enough to do that show.
It is ironic because there is so much filming in NYC (where he is from) he could do guest shots on all the shows being filmed in NYC, plus do theater.
But I guess he wanted to be on the West Coast.
[quote]he is a indie film actor, not famous enough to do that show.
Wha wha wahaaat?! Have you ever seen an autograph show line up? Trust me with the "Dune" miniseries, and Stephen King's "Red Rose"& "Scream 3" on his resume, he would get the sci-Sfi/Horror crowd alone.
I thought he did a good job putting on an Irish accent in the Albert Finney movie. I didn't know he was American.
R33, the link early in the thread identifies him as the winner of the 2010 Essay Contest by the Community College Baccalaureate Association.
It's disappointing that he's married with a kid.
DIsappointing, R38? Did you have expectations? Did you have a chance of having him, if only he'd've been gay? You make it sound as if marrying and having a child were some sort of moral failing.
What an odd comment.
He has the most beautiful, big nipples.
Take heart, Matt. Even though you couldn't sustain the acting career, you are still lusted after by dozens of gay men.
It's too bad his acting career petered out. He had a lot going for him - really attractive, good actor and at the beginning of his career he did several good roles in good films and tv miniseries that should have led to better offers. Hollywood is such a crapshoot, and sometimes (maybe even most of the time) the ones who really should have had solid careers just don't happen, for whatever reasons. And then we have the likes of Shia LaDouche (as the other poster mentioned) and Kristen Stewart. Not fair at all.
At least Matt had the self-awareness and good sense to realize it was pretty much over and not continue to knock around Hollywood and embarass himself like so many others.
r39 smells of frauism
[quote]Doubt he ever made more that $20 grand a picture.
Oh, c'mon. Actors don't make *that* little. For starring as a lead in "Scream 3" (definitely *not* an indie pic btw) he probably made something in the mid-six figure range.
Will always remember Matt in a pair of amazingly clingy, red satin pants in some shitty Nicky Silver play at Playwrights Horizons.
It was the source of fantasies for months.
WEHT Dan Futterman?
He won the Oscar for writing
Capote" and then...POOF
He was nominated for the Oscar. He has retired from acting and wants to screen-write full time.
but NURSING?....oh my
he should have sent the frau to nursing school and stayed home with the kid so he'd be available for auditions and such
Can you imagine being a patient in the doctor's exam room, sitting there in your paper garment and nothing else, and Matt walks in to take your temperature?
Interesting that he would rather be a nurse than go back to the stage where he could certainly find better paying work, even if not on Broadway or in New York.
I'd start sucking on his nipples, R49. Sad, but true.
I'd Probably Grab His Ass Too...
r49 I would insist on a full and completely thorough examination!
I'm as serious as a Hefty bag full of Rottweilers.
Middleman ran 1/2 a season...that should have paid something...
Dan Futterman hasn't retired from acting. He was a regular (supporting) player on Sigourney Weaver's Political Animals show.
Nice to see folks are pretty supportive of Keeslar's choice (not that HE cares much, I'm sure).
That industry is godawful. Aren't something like 99 % of working actors making less than $ 5K a year or something ?
After beating my head against a wall for a long time trying to 'make it' .... I think I'd start rethinking "hey what's my back up plan" ... even if 'acting is my life'. It must be very hard to get beat up every day and turned down for work .... not get a chance to audition, etc.
Oh .... and looking at his imdb.com resume .... he was a working (if struggling) actor for about 15 years ...nothing to sneeze about.
[quote]Aren't something like 99 % of working actors making less than $ 5K a year or something ?
Yes, and most of them have side jobs to cover the bills not covered by minimal acting revenues. If you live in LA, it isn't at all uncommon to encounter someone you recognize from a guest-starring role on your favorite show serving you dinner at a restaurant. NYC, too, for that matter, though you're more likely to run into a theater actor waiting tables there.
I worked on a SAG committee a few years back and the following were current figures then: (it can only have gotten worse, btw)
50% of SAG members earn ZERO from acting. 80% of actors earn less than $1,000.00 a year from acting. 1-2% earn over $100K.
Frau at R39, your judgmental, vaguely homophobic comment is what's "odd" on a gay gossip site.
What's sad about this is Mattt is actually talented, besides being out of this world hot. And funny! I love the combo of hot and funny.
It's a shame he didn't find greater financial success as an actor when so many lesser talents have lasting careers.
Matt was brilliant in The Last Days of Disco, he had all the best lines.
I thought he was going to star in the musical stage version of Longtime Companion?
I can't get his luscious nipples off my mind.
There is nothing sad about Matt Keeslar. He is an example of what happens when you aren't related to someone who is already famous and aren't willing to trade your body for a part in a movie or TV series. Instead, he chose to leave the business.
How do you know he didn't trade his body for the 15 years he worked?
His looks are very old Hollywood. He would have hit it huge in the 40's or 50's
Interesting, R67 and now that you mention it I can totally see it. Matt Keeslar does have that old Hollywood "look" about him. If he had been around during the studio system days, he would have been put under contract and built up into a star. His looks and demeanor (I've seen some of his work) would have been right for the 1940s.
A career means being lucky. Big careers mean being VERY lucky. Huge careers mean being very lucky over and over. Everybody in the business knows it. A 'talent' can have a lot of abilities, look great and have advantages: connected relatives or friends (and I'm positive -- as in knowing for a fact -- that Kesslar had well connected and loyal friends in the business); be willing to put out strategically (doubt that Kesslar did) but if the luck isn't there, a career sufficient to provide a steady income on which to raise a family isn't there either. It's really that simple. The best looking male in my time at Yale Drama, also a good, versatile actor, became an orthopedic surgeon in his late thirties.
It's not a matter of anything that can be rated objectively. I see and work with a lot of so so people who work all the time and, even taking all the 'other than talented' things into consideration, I can't explain their careers, compared to the THOUSANDS of really gifted people who eventually make the decisions Kesslar did.
Maybe it's the black and white photos on IMDB that make me think that, R68. Or it could be the square jaw, clef chin, and overall wholesome, strapping young lad look he has going on in those pics.
Yeah, that really sucks, R69. Not the same thing really, but that creepy frau who wrote "50 shades of shit" just makes me hostile. She's making millions while really talented writers go unnoticed.
He once had has own DL troll
I have mixed feelings: A part of me is happy that Matt has found a fulfilling new career and seems to have a happy life with his family. Yet I wish Matt had out for a good career a little longer. He's a really sexy guy, though. I agree with the comments made by r67/70 and r68.
[quote]If he had been around during the studio system days, he would have been put under contract
Yes. By Henry Willson, probably.
Keeslar is 39. If he was going to make a career change, now was the time to do it.
R20 is right. Reality shows are killing the video stars.
Well, I would love to meet a nurse as good-looking as Matt Keeslar!
I hate him and I hate his ass-face!
Why are you bitches going after R39? As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing "frau"-ish about what R38 wrote, and I totally agree with him/her.
I always have to laugh when I read about how some hot, young, male film actor can't come out of the closet because that would be a huge turn off for his (heterosexual) female fans. As if those people would ever have a chance of actually having sex with a hot, young movie star anyway! And if it's just about fantasy, as opposed to actually having sex, then why is the fantasy destroyed if they find out the guy is gay? Knowing (or believing) that a sexy movie star is straight certainly doesn't prevent me from fantasizing about him.
Some people are such pathetic idiots.
Very good post, r79. I feel a little jealous because you said what I wanted to say!
Thanks, R73/77/80. I'm at a loss as to what anyone would consider "frau"-ish about R39's comment. And sorry, I meant to type R39 both times, not R38.
I got to meet and talk with Matt Keeslar several years ago and he was the nicest, sweetest, most down-to-earth guy imaginable. Also, even then it seemed to me he had a very realistic attitude toward the challenges of making it as an actor. I wish him the best.
Nurse Matt, I'm constipated, I think you need to give me an enema!
I just heard from a friend who teaches there that this semester Matt has transferred to Reed College, which is also in Portland. He's apparently a bio major.
Tallywacker pictures, maybe?
R8Celebrity bios, or just historical ones?
Quite beautiful. He suits my tastes perfectly. Someone like him, but only a gay version, would float my boat.
Matt's experience proves that luck plays the biggest role in how well an actor might fare in his career. Matt was a better actor, handsomer, and more charming than many actors of his generation who are big stars.
I don't get your point, R88.
Vince Vaughn, douchebag millionaire
He could've made a fortune in gay porn.
Has anyone ever actually made a real fortune in gay porn?
Yeah, the producers.
I do wonder if he fell victim to what we know as 'velvet mafia' and he abandoned ship himself or was thrown out like yesterday's trash?
Persuing a medical / science career seems a very grounded thing to do and I admire that.
He is a good actor who should have been a big star, but I think he's doing the right thing by walking away and pursuing a completely different career.
I agree r88. It just isn't fair, is it?
His approach to college is extremely sensible. Why don't more people go the community college/state university transfer route?
I'm scheduling my next prostate exam in Portland.
Any recent pics of Matt floating around?
Ya know what? Good for Matt. He is still young, handsome and talented. He could take his nursing degree and move his family back to LA and work and still audition. I remember an interview with some big female soap star-I forget who, who had done a lot of stage and indie films before getting her soap. She's a nurse too. She said her nursing career gave her a big advantage. She was never desperate for an acting job, and that gave her a lot of confidence at auditions. IF she got the job, great, if not, she knew the worst that could happen is that she would have to return to a well paying and satisfying alternate career that she loved. Matt's a winner.
Should've tried escorting first.
What are some good nursing schools I can have Mamie apply to?
I take great pride in my nearly infallible 'dar.
If this testimonial by Matt Keeslar is accurate, I need to take myself to the mechanic's for a major tune-up.
Why did he pretty much only get cast in gay roles?? I assumed he was out and proud.
[quote]Why did he pretty much only get cast in gay roles??
What gay roles was he cast in other than Urbania?
IMDB doesn't list which ones are gay....you bitch!
Who you calling bitch?
Here's one Mr. Charm: "Splendor"
I have been posting here with great joy and fun for 2 months, and you are the first person to be rude to me. I find the DL crowd to be hysterically funny, bright as hell, and completely welcoming. You, however, are a tool.
To the left......
His wife seems very cool, but the Shirley Temple at 5 hair is tragic.
The epitome of bi is what they said. He doesn't ping for me.
Is his pal from SPLENDOR Johnathan Schaech with all the h's still in show biz?
Her hair looks fine to me, r108.
Hey Matt! It's been about 10 months since this post started. I think you are a terrific husband and father. You're doing what you need to do to support your family and to HAVE A LIFE! Best of all, you've chosen a fine, fine profession. I hope you'll act again someday, maybe a little indie film that you can do on your off time, or even community theater. I live in Cleveland, Ohio. We are wall-to-wall with community theaters here. Some are well, um, not good. But there are so many talented people here who like you, have serious acting credentials, that my g-d, the caliber of some of the shows done in community theater here just blows me away! Even if you don't act, you are on the road to a deeply rewarding and satisfying career. I've never seen you in anything, but you can count me a big fan. Best of luck, oh hell, BREAK A LEG DUDE!!!!! Take care and best to you and your family.
Too bad. He was certainly as good an actor as some of the no-talents that seem to work constantly.
When he was at Juilliard, I had the privilege of occasionally showering with him at the local Y. He had a VERY nice body. However, he's certainly straight. A Juilliard student I was friends with shared an apt. one summer with Matt and he told me that M. and his girlfriend had sex practically every night (and they were both very loud).
What did his package look like, R114?
Watching "Dollhouse" S01E02 "The Target" - How is this glorious man not in more TV/Film projects? He is simply gorgeous and his acting is excellent. In this ep. he plays a crazy fuck who hunts humans with a bow and arrow. His body could not be more perfect, and he only gets more handsome every time I see him.
Sounds like a grown up. Good for him. Imagine putting your wife and child first? So rare.
He worked as a professional actor and by most standards that makes him a successful actor.
Some actors are marketable and bookable when they are young. As actors age, they sometimes move out of their market and hit a rough transition.
Some actors don't work until their 40s or 50's. Those are more character actors whose look wasn't as marketable when they were young.
But with the looks Matt had, its a young mans game.
This could be what Matt experienced along with the financial demands of a family. Many actors make a chunk of money and make the mistake of investing in an unsustainable lifestyle.
But there are holes in the story. Wouldn't it have been easier to create a secondary support career in LA rather than move everyone to Portland and become a student?
It looks as though something in him wanted out of the business and just wanted the change.
btw, Matt Kessler still has a manager and a publicist. So...make of that what you will.
Matt may have the manager and publicist as a way of dealing with fans who remember his career, r120. Of course, Matt could be holding out hope that he will get a really good offer that will revitalize his acting career. I'm sure many fans are holding out hope that Matt will return to acting before he gets too old.
Great post, r119.
To r118: Very few if any posters in this thread criticized Matt for thinking of his wife and child. Matt's fans simply miss seeing him acting.
LA is a very expensive town, particularly for housing. I've known two actors who, when work dried up, sold their LA house and moved elsewhere, using proceeds from the sale of the house to bankroll a new, cheaper life.
He always looked like the less-hot baby brother of Jon-Erik Hexum.
Middleman was amazing, and he played the 1950's type super hero perfectly!
but nursing?!? oh my.
When I saw The Dollhouse on Amazon Prime, I kept looking at the actor and wondering where I'd seen him before. Hello, IMDB . . . of course! Matt Keeslar. Dune. Rose Red. (I loved Steve Rimbauer. He was the shining light of the series.) Unlike Cruise and Ford, Keeslar played each character differently, which made him one of my favorite actors. I'd assumed that he'd eventually get his break and become the next Batman. So yes, I'm saddened to see him fading from the silver screen.
But look at his reasons. He has become the hero in his own life story. He sacrificed his glamorous career and entered a field that's extremely demanding - on every level - because he loves his wife and child. Not every choice is easy, but this one sounded exigent. Artists with families can't afford to starve.
Keeslar, you may never read this, but in case you do I need to share that I've never been more impressed than I am right now. I'll miss seeing you in films, but I applaud your work - ALL of it. Take care and have an amazing life.
Dear Matt, fuck everything r126 just said, and make porn.
r126=either a frau or a MARY!
He was so hot, and so good in the things I saw him in (even when the things themselves weren't all that good). It's sad he couldn't make it in Hollywood. He certainly had the looks and the talent to be much bigger than he was.
He was exceptionally hot in this scene from "The Middleman" where the alternate universe version of his character is shirtless and in chaps working on his hog ala Snake Plissken:
Scene starts at 07:00
He had roles in two amazing movies- Urbaina and Splendor- so I wish him the best. He's painfully handsome, and I hope he gets to age beautifully on screen in some Portland set movies.
Watching Spendor now, nice chemistry with Jonathan Schaech.
I stood behind him several weeks back in a coffee shop in Portland. It took me a while to recognize him, and then I did.
He is good looking and tall (and broad-shouldered), but he's just an ordinary person. It's always a shock to see a movie star and see that he doesn't radiate glamor and charisma.
This is hot? Of course it's subjective, but do some of you mean unconventionally hot? Like SJP?
I saw that movie when it was being filmed in my old neighborhood, R146.
I was born in Queens but raise don Long Island. I have plenty of family that reminds me of those characters. Small. but fun and well-done movie. This was the first film of Matt's that I saw AFTER Urbania (even though it was years earlier). I couldn't believe how he pretty well nailed it.
I went to Juilliard with him. He was a total fucking prick with no depth. It's good that he got this wakeup call and hopefully he has become a more humble individual because of it.
Pricks need depth.
I call bullshit on R149.
And though no one believes you went to Juilliard, one would have to say, oh please tell us what a big star YOU are.