In Sequoia High School, in Redwood City, CA, I was leaving my social studies class and walking by the a cappella room which was directly behind the stage and actually used as a green room during shows. There was a lot of commotion going on in that room and curiosity got the best of me. A beautiful girl asked me if I wanted to audition for a play. She took my hand, led me to a school desk and had me fill out an audition form. My first role was Wally Webb in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. That was 1969, then came drama classes and music classes. I spent most of my high school years on that stage.
Many more stages followed until I found myself on the east coast in CT. I was asked to read for a role in the Humanities Touring Group under the direction of Claude MacNeil. I worked with the group for three seasons. While all of this was going on, I was also involved in a Live Radio Show on Martha’s’ Vineyard and a small touring company called The Renaissance Touring Group, and I was musical director and composer for the Parchment and Feather Children’s Theatre at the Puppet House Theatre in Stoney Creek.
In 1992, life came crashing in on me and I decided to leave the Theatre. Fast forward 25 years and many life skills and lessons learned, I was asked if I could help out on The Legend of Koolau, a play by Gary Kubota, which was performed at Doris Duke last year. My role in his one-man play was the sound engineer for the filming and post mix. I loved every minute of the experience. Shortly after that, I received an email inviting me to audition for a play HPU was doing. I was offered the role of Owen, a very despicable guy, my first bad guy role. It was during that show that I remembered what had been missing from my life for the last 25 years. Acting!
There are many which I have watched over the years. Robert DeNiro, Spencer Tracy, Sydney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith, Dustin Hoffman…, going back, Jack Lemmon, Cary Grant, Sydney Greenstreet, Humphrey Bogart, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Harpo, Groucho, Chico Marx. No special effects necessary, just pure believable acting
Those are some of my favorites as well. Harpo happens to be one of my heroes, as well as Maggie Smith! When you are performing, what is the most important thing for you to do as an actor?
Be present in the moment.
For this show, Water By The Spoonful, what is one thing about your characters that speaks to you?
Momken men fadluck ted dini gawaz safari.
Ah yes, “may I have my passport back, please?” in Arabic. I am sure your audiences will be waiting to see the content of that line. I have one last question for you, a question we are all asked as actors, how do you learn all those lines?
In my case, I just had to find a play where I could just say one line over and over again. Then all I have to remember are cues and be present
Thank you, Mark, for being present with us!
Get your tickets now!
Come see the Hawaii Premiere of ‘Water by the Spoonful’ by Quiara Alegría Hudes at The Actors Group (TAG), directed by Peggy Anne Siegmund. ‘Water by the Spoonful’ is running June 30 – July 23, 2017. Get your tickets online at http://www.taghawaii.net/ or call for reservations at 808-722-6941.
TAG, you’re it!
The world needs theatre and TAG needs you!
TAG-The Actors’ Group
The Brad Powell Theatre
The Shops at Dole Cannery
650 Iwilei Road, Suite 101
Honolulu, HI 96817
Order tickets online: http://www.taghawaii.net
Validated parking in Regal Theater parking structure.
Bring your ticket!
TAG is honored to be a member of Hawaii State Theatre Council. The mission of HSTC is to promote live theatre in Hawaii and encourage excellence in its management, performance, and production.