Actor, Star of Netflix’s Stranger Things
Gaten Matarazzo is not your average teenager. At just 19 years old, Matarazzo’s resume includes more iconic stage and screen roles than many performers manage over an entire career. While most will recognize him from his standout performance as Dustin Henderson on Netflix’s Stranger Things, the roots of Matarazzo’s career run far deeper to reach…
Gaten Matarazzo is not your average teenager. At just 19 years old, Matarazzo’s resume includes more iconic stage and screen roles than many performers manage over an entire career. While most will recognize him from his standout performance as Dustin Henderson on Netflix’s Stranger Things, the roots of Matarazzo’s career run far deeper to reach the Broadway stage and indie music scene. Still, underneath the gleam of his accomplishments and acclaim, Matarazzo remains a generous, thoughtful, and kind entertainer wise beyond his years.
While he embraces his roles in Stranger Things and other projects, Matarazzo endeavors to raise awareness for cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD). Born with this rare birth defect affecting his skeletal structure, Matarazzo has faced unfathomable challenges along his path. Yet despite the significant effect this has had on his life, Matarazzo still brings a signature good-humored disposition to every stage, set, or room he graces.
Matarazzo’s infectious positivity finds a natural outlet in his philanthropic work. Spurred by his personal journey living with CCD, Matarazzo seeks to help others with the same condition, speaking openly about his experiences to raise awareness. Matarazzo also fundraises for “CCD Smiles” to help cover the expenses of oral surgeries for those affected by the condition. A relentless and joyful advocate, Matarazzo’s story of demolishing obstacles and using his considerable platform for good continues to inspire audiences young and old to follow their passions and stay positive despite adversity they may face.
Hailing from New Jersey, Gaten Matarazzo began performing at age eight. A natural talent, he started his career on Broadway in notable roles such as Benjamin in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Gavroche in Les Misérables. Matarazzo later successfully transitioned to the screen with his breakout role as Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things, a performance which earned him an Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series SAG Award in 2017. After his Stranger Things success, Matarazzo returned to the stage with the Pinelands Thespians’ 2018 production of Cinderella and the Hollywood Bowl’s 2019 production of Into the Woods. Currently, Matarazzo can be seen as the host of the Netflix show Prank Encounters and in the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things.
Matarazzo’s passions also expand outside of acting. The actor is the vocalist of the six-person band, Work in Progress, which broke out onto the music scene in late 2017 and has been making waves with their invigorating on-stage energy. Moreover, as an individual living with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), a birth defect affecting the bones and teeth, Matarazzo is a proud advocate for those touched by the condition. He speaks openly about his experiences, even documenting a surgery, to destigmatize and raise awareness for CCD. Using his platform as a public figure, Matarazzo fundraises for “CCD Smiles,” an organization that helps people with CCD by covering the costs of their oral surgeries.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
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