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The role that changed his life

Corner Brook student Matthew Sherstobetoff is studying theatre at Grenfell Campus.
Corner Brook student Matthew Sherstobetoff is studying theatre at Grenfell Campus.

Studying theatre wasn’t always something Matthew Sherstobetoff planned to do

CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

Matthew Sherstobetoff has been involved in arts, music and theatre in Corner Brook since he was about six years old.

It started out when his parents put him Theatre Newfoundland Labrador’s (TNL) youth program and in music lessons.

When it came to theatre, the 18-year-old graduate of Corner Brook Regional High said he was kind of into it. “But I didn’t really know if I wanted to do it as a career.”

That was until two years ago.

“I really started to fall in love with it when I was about 16.”

That’s when Sherstobetoff, who had only ever been cast in smaller roles, was cast as Orin Scrivello in Graham Academy’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

“That really changed my perspective on everything. I was more involved. I started to fall in love with theatre after that. It was exactly then that I decided to pursue that as a career.”

Sherstobetoff is now in his first year of the bachelor of fine arts theatre program at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland in Corner Brook.

With all the universities he could study at, Sherstobetoff said he’d heard great things about the professors at Grenfell. “And I knew that I’d be in good hands if I went to Grenfell.”

His courses are primarily online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said it was initially jarring because at first he never got to interact with his professors and other students, but as time goes on that’s changing.

Sherstobetoff has already been recognized for his choice of study as he was recently awarded the 2020 Equinor ArtsSmarts Scholarship valued at $2,500. The scholarship is offered through a partnership between ArtsNL and Equinor Canada.

“That really changed my perspective on everything. I was more involved. I started to fall in love with theatre after that. It was exactly then that I decided to pursue that as a career.”

Sherstobetoff applied for the scholarship because it was focused on the arts, but also featured some community involvement.

“Acting is a significant facet of who I am, and I cannot imagine my life without the opportunity to create and perform in the theatre,” he said in his application. “My goals relating to both my academic and artistic careers are to obtain my bachelor of fine arts for acting and an English degree. With these two degrees, I hope to make a career of the arts, either acting, teaching the arts or directing.”

In addition to TNL and Graham Academy, Sherstobetoff has been involved in numerous choirs, including the Bay of Islands Music Arts Choir and he has has volunteered with Gros Morne Summer Music and been a member of the “Train Show” cast. He’s also been involved in charitable ventures through his work with the Corner Brook Regional High student council and non-profit fair-trade organization Ten Thousand Villages. He’s also actively engaged with his church, St. John the Evangelist Anglican Cathedral, where he has performed as a soloist and contributed to the church choir.

Sherstobetoff recently took part in a question and answer session:

Q. What is your full name?

A. Matthew Thomas Sherstobetoff.

Q. Where and when were you born?

A. I was born in Corner Brook, NL in March 2002.

Q. Where do you live today?

A. I live in Corner Brook.

Q. What’s your favourite place in the world?

A. I don’t really have a favourite place, but I did really enjoy visiting Italy.

Q. Who do you follow on social media?

A. I really only follow news outlets. I really do not follow any person, celebrity or anything like that.

Q. What’s been your favourite year and why?

A. I don’t have a favourite year, but I am really looking forward to this one.

Q. Can you describe one experience that changed your life?

A. With respect to what I have chosen to study, I guess taking part in the production of “Little Shop of Horrors” a few years ago really set me on a path towards the arts.

Q. What’s your greatest indulgence?

A. My greatest indulgence is good coffee.

Q. What’s your favourite movie or book?

A. My favourite movie has to be “The Big Lebowski” and my favourite book is “The Green Mile.”

Q. How do you like to relax?

A. I like to relax by watching a good movie, or taking a walk.

Q. What are you reading or watching right now?

A. I am currently re-watching “Arrested Development” whenever I get any spare time.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A. My biggest fear is wasps.

Q. If you were singing Karaoke what would be your song?

A. I guess if I were going to sing Karaoke, my choice would probably fit the moment.

Q. If you didn’t take this career path, what would you have chosen?

A. If I didn’t choose this career path I would perhaps have chosen law or journalism.

Meet Your Neighbour is a regular feature that profiles area residents. Want to suggest someone that should be featured? Email your idea to [email protected]

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