Scott Schiaffo, the Chewlies Gum Guy from the movie Clerks sits down with Matt Masur to discuss his career and the virtual clerks event he’s a part of. Scott gets into his great appreciation for the View Askew fans and of course, Kevin Smith himself.
Computer Generated Transcript:
Scott Schiaffo Interview
Matt Masur: [00:00:00] [00:00:00] So Scott, welcome to the Matt Masur show.
I first and foremost I really want to thank you for doing this. This is very exciting for me. I’m a big fan of yours and a big fan of all the projects that you’ve been involved in. And I happened to see you posted there’s a new event coming up that you’re promoting a little bit and I thought this is an opportune time to to talk with Scott and.
And get into all this. So it’s pretty cool. And thank you first of all for
Scott Schiaffo: [00:00:28] Oh, no, Matt, thank you for having me
on. I appreciate it. It’s my pleasure.
Matt Masur: [00:00:33] I got to say you might not remember, but I met you a few years back at probably the weirdest comic con event ever in Utica, New York at the children’s museum.
Scott Schiaffo: [00:00:44] Oh my God. It was a
Matt Masur: [00:00:45] really weird set. It was a neat event. But you were there doing autographs and doing those types of things and you were incredibly gracious and you always have continued to be. And I want to thank you for that.
Scott Schiaffo: [00:00:57] You’re very welcome. And I know, I
[00:01:00] know, I knew you and I know we had
interacted in med tower, even if we hadn’t, cause I got middle-aged brain now and.
These cons, I don’t do that many, but they start to
Bleed into each other after a while, but that was
a very, just true a bit of an odd event.
Matt Masur: [00:01:20] That’s that’s you look in New York for you, I’ll tell you that, but it’s a unique place, but it was great. And that kind of leads me into just what I wanted to talk about, an actor in a lot of actors like yourselves, do those types of events.
That’s part of your income, right? That’s in addition to acting, that’s how you monetize these things, right?
Scott Schiaffo: [00:01:39] It is a hundred percent true. Yes.
Matt Masur: [00:01:43] And of course in this pandemic age, that’s a massive wrench thrown in the works of all of that. And it looks like. This event that you’ve got coming up and I’ll put this on the screen, looks like you’ve found a unique way to do [00:02:00] what you’ve always done, but in a virtual fashion, is that an accurate
description of what
Scott Schiaffo: [00:02:06] It is Matt and I’m a guest. It’s the fine
people at wizard world. They’re a big outfit and they put together.
over to virtual, obviously because of the pandemic and there’s really no
other options and he safe options. And I had done galaxy con
last year. They did
a very nice virtual event.
So the bigger con producers are embracing
virtual cons. And, you mentioned about. Monetizing. It is true that the industry has changed so dramatically, not just the film industry, but the music business, which I’ve also been a part of. And now that physical media is no longer really a big revenue stream because [00:03:00] CDs and DVDs and Blu-rays,
they don’t sell nearly what
10, 15, 20 years ago. This is a unique way and an interesting way to monetize and, bands are doing it in concerts with VIP packages where you do the meet and greets. So it’s nice, I feel very blessed and privileged to be able to do it at all. And if somebody is a fan of anything, I’ve been a part of, they would get my time whether the meter’s running or not per se.
Sure. But it is a nice a nice new, it was not really a new industry. That convention thing has been happening a long time, but it certainly is a revenue
Matt Masur: [00:03:46] That’s great. That’s what we love to see, I’m in this content business, but primarily I’m in the technology business.
So seeing these changes and things like this is always interesting to me. And I also work a ton with entertainers, comedians, and musicians and things like [00:04:00] that. So this is a world where it’s changing, how do we do it? People want these experiences. They still want to see the folks that they’re fans of.
They want to hang out with them. They want to do all these things that we’ve always done but we’re held back. It’s great to see new and unique ways to do that. And can tell. From talking with you, there’s a lot of folks actors and things like this that are a little bit of a pre-Madonna, they are really full of themselves and.
Don’t even necessarily appreciate the folks that really appreciate them. And I can tell that you’re a guy that, that really goes out of his way to be nice to everybody and be a genuine good person who earns this long fame even after a very long career. So I think that’s pretty cool. I think you’re doing it right.
And some folks should probably take some notes.
Matt, thank you. That’s really gracious. And I really appreciate
Scott Schiaffo: [00:04:48] it. I have the type of career where I’m able to manage my time between film and music [00:05:00] and avail myself, is the right word on social mapping that, I’m pretty available on social media and, no matter how big and I’ve met and worked with a lot of people who are certainly.
Far bigger names, real household names, type people, but the genuine ones know that we have our art, but without the fans, you have zero as far as making a career out of it. Yeah. You have them to thank if you’re lucky enough to be an artist then to be making a career out of it.
It’s because you have a fan base that. We’ll follow you with purchase, whether it’s a movie ticket or record or whatever, it might be a book and that’s to be respected. And it’s just a privilege, I would have been an artist probably no matter what happened. I it’s, all I’ve ever known is music and I’ve had a love of film since I’m a child, but to [00:06:00] be able to make a career of it.
Is there a super blessing,
Matt Masur: [00:06:06] well that’s awesome. And anytime somebody that can can make a living out of their talents and their passions, that’s something that I’m I’m a huge fan of. Let me ask you, as you talk about the fan base I was first introduced to you in clerks.
Looking at your resume, you’ve been in a long list of various projects, musical and acting As fans go. How does the clerk’s fan base compared to the fan bases of other movies and other forms of entertainment like that?
Scott Schiaffo: [00:06:35] Wow,
In my career there’s really no comparison.
The beauty of what happened for me with clerks, Kevin’s dream came true, but all of our dreams came true with that film.
I wanted to be.
A working character actor that,
That meant a lot to me. Sure. I had some idea, passing ideas of it would be great to be a leading man and [00:07:00] possibly really escalate, but the guys I’ve loved my whole life that came up in the seventies.
They were basically character actors who became leading men. Like Dustin Hoffman in Pachino and DeNiro and all these types of people. They were not considered leading men back in old school, Hollywood. They were more character types, but character types were becoming Lees. So I felt, I would much rather make a career of being able to be, the guy’s best friend or the guy next door, and occasionally be the leading actor.
And I was fortunate to get. Some leads along the way. But I’m forgetting where this
started. Sorry. No, you’re fine.
Matt Masur: [00:07:43] Just talking about the fan base.
Scott Schiaffo: [00:07:45] The view is skew. People make it all possible because clerks was a door opener for all of us that were involved in that.
So all the films pretty much just about it. Everything I’ve worked on [00:08:00] since I owe a little royalty to the fact that most of the people knew me from that from clerks. So I was no longer anonymous when I walked into the audition room and that made a huge difference. And a lot of people would seek me out solely because they had enjoyed the.
Truly the maniacal Julie’s
gum guy, which is crazy.
Matt Masur: [00:08:24] But let me ask you about that gum guy in all honesty, how many people, or how sick are you of bad chewing gum and or smoking jokes from strangers? I mean that people just gotta come up to you and say just stupid
Scott Schiaffo: [00:08:37] It’s, it doesn’t really happen randomly.
I don’t have that kind of a career or notoriety, which I could imagine. Literally if you’re at a restaurant or at the seven 11, and people are shouting crazy lines at you, that could be pretty nuts. That doesn’t really happen. It certainly happens time and place got the [00:09:00] conventions. And I, I don’t tire of it because I know that it means so much to the supporters and the fans.
They love his dialogue. Which is what he’s really noted for as well. And to them, it’s exciting to be able to say the lines to somebody who is actually in the film. And the last thing you want to do is, kill it for them and be like, Oh man, really that’s so unoriginal, that would be heartbreaking, and I would never do that to somebody who really, embraces. Those movies. Brian is a good friend of mine, Al holler, and he played Dante he years. You’re not even supposed to be here today, literally
And he does hear it out in the real world because he is much more recognizable pretty much than I am.
He’s been in all the films
and then. Yeah,
that is Dante. So he’ll get that, at a [00:10:00] Costco or Walmart, are you supposed to be here today? And he doesn’t he, he’s another very gracious actor because Hey, we know that we owe a great debt to the fans of Kevin’s universe.
Matt Masur: [00:10:15] Yeah.
That’s it. That’s where the hits are. I can understand what you’re
saying. Scott what’s the future. What’s
the future for you? What’s the future for this popular franchise? What do we what do we have to look forward to? I should ask.
Scott Schiaffo: [00:10:31] Yeah. And now the times are, so gosh, last year was such a bummer and it’s still dragging on.
I know it’s he is he Kevin Smith and he’s very accessible in a sense on his social media, or at least it’s easy to follow
along with what’s happening with him. He has been
working on a clerk’s three script, a new one because there were a couple in the past that were very different in tone and [00:11:00] nature.
This most recent one that he’s currently working on. The way he’s explaining it. It sounds like there will be an opportunity for a lot of the old school cast to pop in whether it’s just a cameo or it’s a little more involved, but the way the story is going. There’s a lot of opportunity. And he said this himself for old school cast members to possibly pop in, but he is working on a clerks three.
I, whether I’m part of it or not, and this is certainly the, the genuine truth. I cannot wait to see my peers play those roles again, as middle-aged people, I want to see what’s happening with Dante and Randall, and I love Brian. He’s a friend now. And He deserves to get to play that character in a third installment.
And the reboot got a really nice reaction. So Kevin’s jazz to to continue on with the clerks three and I’m free. [00:12:00] There’s probably going to be a Mallrats
Matt Masur: [00:12:02] Oh, wow. That would be pretty incredible. I got to say watching the reboot, it was I guess bittersweet is the best way to describe it because it was great.
It was such a good flick, but it, hearkened back to what didn’t seem like very long ago. And of course that was the point of the film is it’s been awhile So you saw that and it kind hurt a little bit, it’s feel like I’m still 16 when I watched clerks for the 4,000 at the time at age 39 now, but the reboot was wonderful and it, it was great to see so many folks now, who are they, what’s going on?
How are they different? Clerks three, that would be an interesting thing.
Scott Schiaffo: [00:12:44] I’m on board. Like I said, no matter what
I love the guy, why wouldn’t I it opened up the universe to me as far as a career.
And I’ve been in a number of other things that we were in an episode of comic book men, where we played those guys in a [00:13:00] bowling tournament.
Type of thing. That was a blast. And I was involved her, which is the Brian Johnson film playing again, opposite Brian O’Halloran. So a lot of the over the last 25 years, a lot of I don’t want to call them linchpin. I’m not trying to figure the word I wanna use here, but pivotal exciting things came out of that camp.
So of course that’s where a lot of loyalty. And love and support goes into that. I don’t understand how anybody who has the gift of being part of a franchise that is embraced, could flip on it and be very, it’s just a gift and I don’t understand how those folks do it, that, you hear about it a lot.
No. Kevin had issues on the set of Cop-out with Bruce Willis where like Bruce was more or less, very [00:14:00] negative towards, I think the story was, and I don’t want to mess it up. And then I’m pretty sure I’m close to correct here. He and Kevin were out on the streets, shooting the film and they were on a break and a car full of guys came flying by yelling out.
Some diehard lines and Kevin was like, wow, that’s so awesome. I bet you never get tired of that. And Willis made a really disparaging remark, and I don’t get it, but again, that guy’s career is in the stratosphere, so I don’t know what it’s like to be that, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t be, even if you’re not humble.
Why you’re not appreciative of it. He knows that guy came up though. Like every other actor, once upon a time, everyone who’s anywhere was nowhere. And that’s, you don’t just get born into the list. He struggled and did extra work and bartended and and and he’s one of the biggest movie stars walking the face of the earth.
[00:15:00] You would think he would be very thankful that people. To this day, shout out diehard lines to him, but yeah, that was it really soured Kevin or it broke his heart actually.
Matt Masur: [00:15:11] believe it’s it’s one of those things and like I said I can almost understand being exhausted.
Man, at some point it’s all you hear. Okay. I get that. Like you said it’s like the rock star that doesn’t want to play the hit anymore. This is what got you to the dance,
Scott Schiaffo: [00:15:24] yeah. You gotta juggle it. I think that’s all there is to do you have to juggle that with.
The new material, when I am fortunate to be in anything, whether it’s a film or a music project, and it’s a brand new thing, it’s got little or nothing to do with the Kevin Smith universe, I get to promote that. And people like yourself in the media are wonderful. They focus on it, they discuss it, they treat it like its own thing, which it is.
I had a number of films last year, come out, even during the pandemic, which was mind blowing. And I got to [00:16:00] promote them and discuss them. Time and place, I wouldn’t be there discussing a new movie. Sure. Had I not gotten the break back in 94 with Kevin and the gang.
Matt Masur: [00:16:11] Scott last a couple of quick questions and I’ll let you go.
You’re a great actor. We’re talking a lot about the acting that’s how I know you, of course, but you’re also, and you’ve come back to a time and time again, that you’re also a musician. Talk to me a little bit about your music. If folks only know you from the movies and they were to pick up some of your tunes, what are they going to hear?
Scott Schiaffo: [00:16:31] As far as what’s available music is just a lifelong passion. Since I was able to walk. I had I was raised by a very strong single mother and I had an older cousin who was like
a big brother slash father
figure who really turned me on to music as it as a five-year-old six year old, seven year old, the beetle records were still coming out.
Like he came home with Sergeant pepper and, sliding a family stone [00:17:00] and all this, and six or seven, I was. I was just enamored with music and that never changed. And I started playing guitar at 13 years old and never put the guitar down and then piano, what I could, musically, I am able to do a lot in my studio and keep satiated and not necessarily be out on the road as a touring musician or looking now some type of hit record per se.
Most of the music I have that is available. For purchaser download is instrumental film music, and a lot of the money goes to the angels of animals animal charity. Wow. That’s awesome. There is one artist I worked with who’s my soulmate in life. Carrie Warner, AKA Joel Carey. We did a record together called little did I think it’s it was released in the early two thousands globally.
And it w we have, but the record was finished earlier than [00:18:00] that, like 98, 99. But it’s a real for me, musically as a guitar player. And as a producer, her songs are dynamite. If you could imagine a female petty and the Heartbreakers, that’s what she is. And I got to produce the record.
This is how we met, which is really a cool story. And, 25, 30 years later, we’re, we’re partners, it’s, she’s really amazing, but that album called little did I think by Joel Carey, it’s available on Amazon musically for me as a contemporary musician, a guitar player, a producer, that album kinda hit it.
And to this day, it’s probably easily my favorite, but as far as other things I get to score. A lot of the films I’ve been a part of. And that led to another career of just, I got to score a lot of films I wasn’t necessarily asked to. So all [00:19:00] again, all blessings and I have nothing, but reverence for.
The thing that opened the door to all of that, which was, the view is universal
Matt Masur: [00:19:10] interesting. How and I love seeing this in business and all kinds of different things. When folks get into one thing and they find these other pieces, you’re an actor. People think you get a check from a movie studio and that’s the end of the story.
But. You figured out how to, get into these merchandising and these events. And now, you’re actually the musician who’s putting the music underneath and that’s a whole nother Avenue and and producing and it’s to me it’s just fascinating. I love watching people grow and really, again find different ways to stay in what they do, what they love and make their living and in the arts, honestly there’s not enough of that.
Scott Schiaffo: [00:19:49] thank you again, methods. That’s very gracious and I, again, I feel blessed and the pandemic has been horrible for everybody, but it gave me the time to do [00:20:00] the audio book and audible did an exclusive release of the book of poetry I had out. And that was a really fun and motivating project.
And gave the book of second life. And people really responded to
reading because I was going to do a version of the book where it was all guests readers, but honorable, strongly said, if you’re going to do that. After you do a version of you author reading acres, people really want to hear the author.
And luckily I, I went that route and it, then it did well. And it got a nice amount of feedback, but Matt, it’s all blessings. It really is. I just to to have what I have and, I had a rough road with alcohol and drugs and that’s over too. If I didn’t change those ways, I wouldn’t be here either.
Cause I was really on a fast track for, so I’ve got so much to be thankful [00:21:00] for it.
Matt Masur: [00:21:01] It’s great to see somebody that, that recognizes that. Scott I’m going to let you go. I very much appreciate your time. One more time though. Let folks know websites and things like that.
Where should they find you and what should they check out?
Scott Schiaffo: [00:21:17] Sure. Just about on all social media, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s my name, straight up. My name. I’m pretty active on it. Little, I backed off a little bit in the last two months and have done when I post I’m posting more not necessarily promotional, but Marilyn Vigliotti who played Veronica she’s.
Taking, she took a break from social media and I learned a lot from the fact that she did that because she came back with a whole new set of ways to approach you with a really positive messages. She posts a lot of very positive messages for everybody, not, [00:22:00] and that has very little to do with the entertainment business.
Just, have gratitude for every day. And I was taken by that. So I was rethinking some of my social media. I didn’t want it to just, I like to have fun with people on social media, so I’ll post fun wacky things. And of course I promote whatever’s going on, like the wizard world event, February 20th, quick
There you go.
But social media can be used for good or evil, we’ve seen that. Absolutely. Harnessing it for good is where my head’s at. I’d rather say something good or I’ll say nothing at all. That’s where I’m at
Matt Masur: [00:22:41] that’s that’s wise advice that we could probably all take right there.
Scott, thank you so much for joining me. Thank you so much
for all you’ve done. And we look forward to Your new projects and everything that’s going on. So if there’s ever anything that you’ve gone on, you’d like to promote, [00:23:00] please jump on and get ahold of me. And we’ll be happy to push that out and a huge fans of you and the whole crew and absolutely love that you’ve taken the time with us.
I really appreciate it.
Scott Schiaffo: [00:23:10] Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you, Matt. I really enjoyed this. You have a fabulous day
Matt Masur: [00:23:16] Absolutely. You too, Scott. We’ll talk to you. Take care. Bye. Okay.