In the role of movie star Stone Granite, a Citizen of Hollywood, cast member Cameron Matthews had to improvise a lot. It’s what professional actors do, and Cameron had plenty of experience, having played a variety of roles at Walt Disney World, including at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue and as a Green Army Patrol man in Toy Story Land.
Cameron started his Disney entertainment career at the age of 16, performing in the Hercules Victory Parade at Disneyland Resort before moving on to parades and shows that included “Fantasmic!,” “Animazement— the Musical,” Sword in the Stone Ceremony, “Playhouse Disney Live on Stage,” and Block Party Bash, among others.
He then followed Block Party Bash to Walt Disney World, and later went on to take roles in shows such as the American Idol Experience; Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor; the Dapper Dans; Mulch, Sweat & Shears; and Villains Unite the Night.
“I wanted to work at Disney ever since I was a kid,” Cameron says. “I grew up in Southern California and my family would go to Disneyland once a year. My favorite part of our visits was watching the Main Street Electrical Parade and wanting to ride Elliot the dragon from “Pete’s Dragon.” I was heartbroken that the parade I cherished was closing ‘forever’ one year before I was old enough to audition, but how lucky I was to finally be a part of its return at Disney’s California Adventure several years later.”
Cameron’s ability to think quickly and improvise well would come in handy when the pandemic led to lay-offs at Walt Disney World, and one particular event stood out as he was considering his options.
“In 2019, I had the great opportunity to travel around the country and in Canada, co-hosting a conference for official Disney travel agents,” he recalls. “It was wacky, informative, and interactive for those attending. Because of that marketing tour, two separate travel agency owners reached out to me in December and asked if I could liven up their holiday party on Zoom with their agents. Not only did I accept the challenge, I raised the bar and created an entire 90-minute Holiday Shindig on Zoom, hired another recently-laid-off Citizen of Hollywood to co-host with me, and handled all the technical direction so my clients could relax and enjoy the party like everyone else.”
On Jan. 1, 2021, Cameron brought together all of the skills he learned from that event and during his time at Disney—from hyping up live audiences, to character acting and improvisation, to ways of securing clients and businesses—and he launched Cameron Matthews Entertainment.
“This business is something I have been wanting to do for years but never took the actual steps to achieve because I was too comfortable at Disney,” he admits. “In my last few years with ‘The Mouse,’ I was given more and more hosting opportunities, some as myself and others portraying high energy characters, and I love that kind of work. Those experiences led to more hosting and audience hype-man gigs outside of the company, with events like the Star Wars Celebration conventions in Orlando and Chicago.”
After the challenges of 2020, Cameron is hungrier than ever to do the work he has grown to love.
For those hosting a corporate gathering, live event, panel discussion, award show, or Zoom meeting who want it to be entertaining, effective, and memorable, a customized experience with Cameron Matthews Entertainment is just the ticket.