The show business bug bit Fairview High School graduate Dave M. Matthews when he was a little kid and didn’t let go.
Now the Emmy Award-winning composer, writer and director is set to release his latest movie.
“Ernesto’ Manifesto” will premiere Thursday, Jan. 9, at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
The comedy will be released on DVD and digital platforms on Thursday, Jan. 14.
Matthews says the film starring Fernando Hidalgo, formerly of “The Fernando Hidalgo Show” in Miami, features newcomer Tabitha Caulfield, a 2017 Butler High School graduate.
Matthews is a friend of Caulfield’s family through her dad and often comes to Dayton to visit his cousins and friends here.
“I wrote the part with her in mind,” Matthews said of Kendall, Caulfield’s character in the film that follows Ernesto, a man who suddenly finds himself unlucky in love and life.
“Just before he is about to descend into despair, he gets an opportunity,” Matthews said.
Amy Davidson (“8 Simple Rules”), Adam Huss (Starz’ “Power”), Lisandra Tena (”The Good Place”) and Randy J. Goodwin (”The Rookie”) also star in the film.
Matthews’ 30-year run in show business started following a short stint as a cameraman at WDTN 2 in Dayton after he earned a bachelor’s in theater and minor in TV and film at Indiana University Bloomington.
“I wanted to be involved in this in a big way,” he said. “The only thing was to take a chance and move to California, and I did.”
He worked for “The Young and the Restless” for seven years, winning the 1989 Emmy in the Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series category.
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His other writing and music credits include work on “Dangerous Women,” “The Nanny,” “Living Single,” “For Your Love,” “When Actors Need Money,” “The Soul Man” and “Half & Half,” for which he earned a 2005 Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series BET Comedy Award nomination.
“Along the way, someone asked if I was interested in directing,” Matthews said.
The author of the relationship book “Every Man Sees You Naked: An Insider’s Guide to How Men Think” directed his first full-length feature film “N-Secure” in 2010.
He has two other scripts “ready to go” and is set to executive produce the television and film versions of the comic book superhero team, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.
Matthews wrote Ernesto’s Manifesto after Hidalgo, now a LA based actor, approached him about another story he wanted to star in and finance.
“It is a really funny film that you walk out feeling up lifted and good about life,” Matthews said about Ernesto. “It comes when a lot of people are anxious about what is going on in the world.”
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He said he he is happy to have had a variety in his career.
“Every since I was a little kid the attraction of show business was strong for me,” Matthews said.
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