Palisadian Matthew Del Negro Launches Podcast for the Ambitious

By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter

Deep inside the heart of New York City, Matthew Del Negro was weaving his way through restaurant staff and bartenders to make ends meet while trying to stand out in a sea of ambitious actors also determined to break into the entertainment industry.

Del Negro performed in countless short films and local plays that paid nothing more than a blank check signed by his determination to keep going. 

In 2002, Del Negro cashed in with a small role on season four of “The Sopranos,” which snowballed into the successful acting career he has now, appearing in popular shows like “The West Wing,” “Goliath” and “Scandal.” The Westchester County native is also set to appear in a new Netflix series called “Huge in France,” a story about a French comedian who moves to LA without his celebrity status. 

But it wasn’t until an on-set conversation with a friend got Del Negro thinking about starting “10,000 ‘No’s” a podcast focused on people’s life journeys, rather than their destinations. 

“I started [the podcast] about a year-and-a-half ago as a complete passion project all about not just actors but [people from] all walks of life, overcoming adversity and turning things around,” the Via Mesa resident said in an interview with the Palisadian-Post. 

Behind the scenes of “Goliath”

Photo courtesy of Matthew Del Negro

After being asked how many times he’s been told “no” in the span of his career, Del Negro figured he hears the dreaded word some 10,000 times a year and decided that would be the name of his podcast. 

His very first episode consisted of a 17-minute rant on why he wanted to take on the audio venture and his plans for creating the “anti-Instagram” where it’s acceptable—and preferred—to talk about life’s challenges rather than only highlight the accomplishments.

Del Negro has since hosted big names in the fields of entertainment and sports, business and music, many of who are Palisadian.

“People have been so willing to be vulnerable and express their stories,” said Del Negro, who was surprised to get such positive feedback on his early episodes and was often told from friends of his guests that they themselves had not heard the stories shared on his podcast.

“That was the whole intent of the entire project: to have listeners feel less alone,” he said. “Because everybody is struggling, everybody is looking at the people that seem to have arrived or ‘have it made’ and they think, ‘Oh, they don’t have any problems,’ and then you hear their stories and you realize, ‘Oh, my God, people that look like they’re on top of the world have been through hell.’”

Del Negro recalled a younger version of himself wishing he could hear the often unspoken versions of people’s success stories for motivation and has now taken it upon himself to put those stories out into the world in hopes of shedding light onto the career paths of the next generation. 

In hopes of transmitting more emotion and reaching people on a deeper level, Del Negro chose to make a podcast instead of writing a book. 

Del Negro in “Hot Pursuit”
Photo courtesy of Matthew Del Negro

“I want people to feel like they are a fly on the wall listening to a conversation that’s unfolding as they’re listening to it,” said Del Negro, who has been surprised by just how harrowing some of his guests’ stories were. “There’s just a tremendous amount of respect I have for what it takes for someone to really succeed.”

As a result of that respect, Del Negro has turned into a mentor for anyone who will listen, often giving speeches at acting schools and connecting people with like-minded individuals. His podcast now creeps into the realm of a masterclass, teaching his listeners one hour at a time that rejection is all part of the process. 

Over one year since its launch, Del Negro’s “10,000 ‘No’s” has evolved from an entertaining recording of an actor ranting about his challenges to a well-regarded audio destination that anyone with an ambition to “make it” can benefit from and find inspiration. 

With a five-star rating on iTunes and on Backstage’s “20 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To As an Actor,” “The West Wing” star’s passion project is well on its way to a full-time production as producers and financiers are now reaching out to him looking to take it to the next level. 

“It [started as] just me following a string of inspiration and figuring if I was putting something into the world that was going to help people then I would just do that and kind of figure it out as it goes,” Del Negro said. “Now it seems like that little thing that I was doing could turn into something that has a larger impact.”

10,000 “No”s can be listened to on 10000nos.com, iTunes and most third party podcast apps.