TIPS001: Coming out of the Closet and Becoming Your Truest Self with Matthew Shaffer

TIPS002: Surviving and Thriving after a Suicide Attempt, with Dese’Rae Stage
July 29, 2017

TIPS001: Coming out of the Closet and Becoming Your Truest Self with Matthew Shaffer


Matthew is the co-founder of A Group Production, LLC where he serves as executive producer; and has performed in, choreographed, directed or produced over 40 projects between Broadway, Film and Television. As a choreographer, Shaffer’s work has been performed by A-Lister’s like Ben Stiller, Rachel Platten (Fight Song), Armie Hammer, and Rebel Wilson.

He has worked as a master teacher for over sixteen years at leading performing arts conservatories and conventions across the United States and Europe.

Matthew’s debut book, So You Want To Be A Dancer launched as an Amazon #1 New Release in Performing Arts and continues to dominate the charts.

Click to tweet: Matthew Shaffer shares his incredible journey on the i’Mpossible Show!

Direct Download

Time Stamped Show Notes

  • 1:36 Matthew was on Dance Moms as an advisor
  • 4:22 Matthew attended a performing arts high school in Southern California with GLEE’s Matthew Morrison and Orange is the New Black’s Taryn Manning
  • 4:47 Matthew moved from Chicago to New York City with his girlfriend to pursue an acting career and worked in Broadway Choruses and Radio City Music Hall
  • 5:00 Matthew came out of the closet because of his work at Radio City Music Hall
  • 5:12 Matthew now lives with his husband in Los Angeles and works creatively with him
  • 5:54 Matthew wrote a book So You Want to be a Dancer
  • 6:40 Josh’s favorite musical growing up was The Music Man
  • 7:25 Both Matthew and Josh found unconditional acceptance by working in the (Broadway) theatre world
  • 10:05 Matthew knew from a very young age that he was “different” from the other boys and felt shame
  • 11:20 Matthew needed to find self-love before he could ever admit to himself or anyone else that he was/is gay
  • 12:20 Matthew’s unreleased second book, Is it Safe to Come Out? describes his coming out process in detail
  • 14:48 Matthew finally came into his own when he “came out” and became a better listener, actor/artist, and person
  • 17:08 The word “courage” is derived from an Old French word derived from the modern coeur meaning and it means to “tell one’s story completely and honestly” or “to tell all of oneself”
  • 22:15 There are a lot of different closets that people live in: addiction, kink, poor health etc.
  • 32:24 Matthew turned his obstacle of being ashamed of being gay and being in the closet into an asset by now telling others that it’s okay to be you and it’s okay to live your truth
  • 33:02 “Tiger” is Matthew’s spirit animal (listen here for more from the fun “Quick Fire Round”)

Key Points

  • People often come out of closets of different shapes and styles that house a variety of topics and issues
  • Self-love is important to cultivate to unlock one’s greatest potential
  • The moment one starts to tackle an issue that’s been holding them back, the issue loses its power

Resources or Websites Mentioned

Matthew’s website:

Matthew’s social media: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @funnyshaffer