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Following His Heart Onto the Stage

Tom Mattison, founder of Farmington-based Following Your Heart Players, invites young actors to Jack and the Beanstalk auditions Saturday

Tom Mattison is following his heart, and he wants others to join him. 

Mattison, the musical director and founder of Farmington-based Following your Heart Players, is hosting auditions for the new theater's first production, Jack and the Beanstalk. 

Auditions will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Cheryl's School of Dance, 40500 Grand River in Novi, with call backs later that afternoon. 

Hosting auditions for a show that will open Nov. 5 is just one of the first steps for the budding company's debut production. Mattison hopes that the company will grow to embody it's name. 

"I was going to do it way in the future, but I decided to do it now," Mattison said. "I just closed with another company and decided I could do this myself ... the reason we came up with the name is because I want everything to get something different from this company and follow their heart. Are you in it to meet friends? Are you in it make it on Broadway? It's what you make of it."

A 19-year-old who graduated from , Mattison is certainly following his heart. He's leaving behind a past ambition to enter the field of criminal justice, and pursuing his true passion. 

"It is a lot of work, but it's fun work since I love theater," Mattison said. "You have to take a stop with your personal life, so that's tough but it is so much fun. I'm young, and I think it's the best time to do it."

Mattison expects the learning experience will help himself and others grow in the industry. 

One member who has watched Mattison grow is his life-long friend Stephanie Gladstone, who is a production assistant for Jack and the Beanstalk.

"He's still learning about what he's doing, because this is tough," Gladstone said. "But he's definitely getting the hang of it."

The company's first production has sentimental value to Mattison. 

Despite auditioning and not getting a role in his first attempt at acting, Mattison didn't give up. At age nine, he finally auditioned for and landed a role in Jack in the Beanstalk. On Nov. 5 when the show opens, Mattison's career in theater will have come full circle. 

For more information about auditions or Following your Heart Players, contact Mattison at fyhplayers@yahoo.com

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