“She sent me a ticket, and I left with $500 in my pocket,” he said.
Govich found that life as an aspiring actor in New York City is not for the feint at heart.
“It’s not nearly as glamorous as the old movies made it out to be,” he said.
Between auditions and occasional theater jobs, he supported himself in varying ways.
“Making sandwiches, a messenger for a publishing company, working in a retail store, managing luxury rental properties in Tribeca. I had a really good time. I always had a good time, even if not doing a show,” Govich said.
New York City is a great place to be while in one’s 20s, he said. He also practiced his skills at darts and was a member of the “Wasted Mondays” dart team that took the New York City league championship.
Govich, who goes by the name Mat, short for Mateja (the J sounds like Y), was always ready for a call, and often it was from a writer who needed him as a “reader” to participate in table readings of manuscripts in development.
“Someone narrates the stage direction and you read the play from start to finish. Actors say what they liked, didn’t like, what didn’t work. Then the writing team goes back to work,” he said. After changes are made “you do the same thing again.”
He played roles in “Cabaret” at Studio 54 and in “O’Pioneers!” but said “the most fun I had was in the shows that I barely got paid for.”
“People say, ‘You got to see some wonderful shows,’ but the answer is, ‘No. Actors don’t have the money to buy the tickets.’”
In New York, his mind kept going back to a girl he had met while acting at Discoveryland.