5 Ways Boudoir Photography Made Matt Mathews A Better Comedian

What is stand-up comedy if not tastefully exposing yourself?
5 Ways Boudoir Photography Made Matt Mathews A Better Comedian

Comedian Matt Mathews wears a lot of hats. He went to school for nursing but ditched that path after realizing “I do not want to wipe asses for the rest of my life.” He devotes a lot of time to chores on his Alabama farm, the setting for a number of comedy Tiktoks with views in the millions. 


He’s also a successful boudoir photographer, a side hustle that few comedians can claim. The best part of the job is “just being able to see people feel good about themselves,” a description that works for his stand-up as well.  I recently talked to Mathews, currently on his “When That Thang Get To Thang’n” comedy tour, about some tastefully naked truths that boudoir photography taught him about the business of getting laughs. 

Put People at Ease


People who show up for their first boudoir shoots feel extremely vulnerable, and a huge part of Mathews’s job was to put them at ease. If that sounds like what comedians do with crowd work, you’re not far off. 

“I’ve seen people comment, ‘I'm sitting in the nosebleed section so that he doesn't talk to me.’ You know, because they're so scared that I'm going to roast them,” he says.  “I literally say on stage, ‘Look, we're all best friends here. We're in a room together, and we're just talking shit.’  I just want us to feel like we're all having a conversation and laughing together. And I think that makes people feel more comfortable.” 


And Then Push Them Out of Their Comfort Zones


No one ultimately comes to a boudoir photography session to hide behind their clothes. So once safety and trust are established, it’s time to venture into new territory.

After establishing rapport, either in the studio or on stage, Mathews knows when to go further. “When you start to call out an audience member, of course, they're always terrified. Like, ‘Oh  God, he is going to eat me alive.’ But by the time that I do roast them at the end of it, they love it. ‘That was great, it made me laugh.’  I think there's a line between being funny and roasting somebody and just being outright mean.”


Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin


Growing up, Mathews says he “never loved my body, never felt comfortable in my skin. I was always a chunky kid and I never really saw people that were body positive.”  As a boudoir photographer, he encourages his subjects to relax and be themselves because that’s where the inner beauty shines through. 

He’s carried that message into his comedy. “My show is very much about being inspired to be who you are and to love who you are and to be comfortable in your skin,” he says. “I talk about that a lot in my show and I've been able to reach a larger audience with that.”

Get It on Your Calendar


On Mathews’s website, he has a blog about how to run a successful boudoir business. His first tip? Get everything on the calendar. Miss a session and you’ve got trouble.

“My calendar is insane,” Mathews says about balancing his multiple aspirations. (Somehow, the guy also owns a retail store and his own line of candles.) That’s why he runs his comedy career like a business, getting everything into a schedule so he doesn't get nuts remembering what to manage.

Work Your Ass Off


It’s only been recently that Mathews has pulled back on his photography schedule to focus on his comedy tour. “It's a lot of work,” he says. “I was performing every single weekend and I had sessions that I already booked, so I was shooting Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and then I would leave Thursday, perform Friday and Saturday, fly home Sunday and then do it all again.”

But success in any individual endeavor requires similar dedication. No problem for Mathews. “I love to be busy,” he says. “I don’t like days off. My vacation is just being home for a day so that I can still work.” 


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