"Paid rioting" would have been more lucrative, but you take whatever job you can get.
His career started when a friend of his asked for a small favor, "Can you bring some food to our Occupy Wall Street Meeting?" Matt agreed and decided to hang out. While everyone was brainstorming protests, he had the bright idea to stage a "corporate wedding." Everyone loved it so much that they asked him to organize it. He did, and it flopped.
"We stood in the rain and pretended to marry a bunch of people in wedding attire with corporate logos. I don't think anyone even realized we were there."
"What, is this a porno? No? OK, never mind then."
Still, Matt was hooked. And three months later he had made some connections at a union that offered him $20 a day to participate at the Take Back the Capitol protest in DC. They knew he was dedicated and supported the cause, but since he lived in Boston, he couldn't afford to go 400 miles out of his way and not even have a place to stay (he ended up sleeping on a church floor and spending his $20 on food). A few months after that, Matt took a job organizing non-unionized workers into unions for the SEIU.
Turns out most of the biggest and most important protests in American history were subject to some behind-the-scenes handling. As we've covered before, Rosa Parks wasn't the first black woman to refuse to give up her seat to a white person -- 15-year-old Claudette Colvin did the exact same thing nine months earlier, but the NAACP didn't think she was media friendly enough. Partly because "they didn't think teenagers would be reliable," so they asked Rosa Parks to do the same thing. Parks wasn't a paid protester, but someone on a salary decided she should be the face of the bus boycotts. And we're comfortable saying that the Civil Rights Movement ended up turning out OK.