Matthew Arkin has been passionately involved in the exploration of character, plot, and motivation since he began his professional acting career at the age of eight. He holds a BA with honors in English from Wesleyan University and a JD from Fordham Law School. After five years of practicing law, he followed his passion and returned to his acting career.
In addition to his extensive Broadway, film, and television credits, he is an Adjunct Professor at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, where he teaches courses in storytelling and film production. He directs the Acting Intensive Program at South Coast Repertory’s Theatre Conservatory in Costa Mesa, California and has performed in the original productions of new plays with some of our finest playwrights, both established (Donald Margulies, Richard Greenberg, Annie Weisman) and newly emerging (Barbara Dana, Steven Drukman, Samuel D. Hunter, and Michael Hollinger). This work has kept him intimately connected with storytelling.
His first novel, In the Country of the Blind, has garnered considerable praise, and is highly recommend if you’re into modern noir detective stories. You can check him out on Goodreads here and find his website here. And his LA Times interview is here!
Matthew is currently accepting manuscripts, scripts, and screenplays for critique. Please contact Meghan if you’re interested in working with him.
After laboring over a manuscript for months, it is hard to be objective about what one has written. That’s why Matthew Arkin’s critique was so helpful. He was able to bring an objective perspective to what I had written, a perspective that was both encouraging and more than fair. He pointed out passages that needed further elaboration, uses of excessive jargon, and examples of inconsistency in my point of view that all needed to be tightened. Rather than being prescriptive, he raised questions, challenged my thinking and helped me to refine what I was trying to achieve in writing this book. The manuscript is much better now than it was before as I incorporated perhaps 80-90% of his suggestions making changes that have both sharpened and deepened what I had originally written.
Scott Holley, author of Becoming the Teacher You Wish You’d Had: A Conversation About Teaching
After a very long day, I finally had the chance to read Matt’s critique. I almost cried at the beginning when he wrote the whole premise of the book. I shouted, “He gets it.” There were many parts of the critique where he was very detailed in his thoughts about each part of the manuscript. I like that nothing was confusing for me, and I understand his point of view. There were a lot of points that were dead on about the book having problems. Seeing all the problems on paper made me realize I really missed some loose ends and I have a lot of work to do. I have a few things to clarify with him (like the relationship between two characters and the Native American folklore story), and when I talk to him maybe he will see why I wrote things the way I did. But I loved every bit of the critique and felt that this was exactly what I needed. I will need to re-read a lot of parts of it just so that I don’t miss anything. Overall, I am so grateful to you both. I can’t wait to start writing.
Jessica Wilson, manuscript critique client
Overall, the entire process of contacting you, working with you and Matthew, and the call has been fantastic. I’m thrilled I was able to actually speak to someone in person . . . as I was able to gain more insight as to what really worked / didn’t work and what I need to focus on in my re-write.
Brooke Davis, manuscript critique client
My conversation with Matthew was fantastic. We seem to be on the same wavelength, understand each other well, and respect each other’s ideas and approaches. He was thoroughly familiar with the materials I’d sent him, made great (and reasoned) suggestions, asked the right questions, and was as good a listener as a talker . . . Matthew is an excellent choice for me.
Robin Orsini, mentoring client