MORE > BIO

I was born April 7 in Nashville Tennessee. My mother was a musically inclined, stay at home mother who graduated from Peabody College. Her father was music director there and her mother a gifted artist/pianist. My father was a scholarship athlete who lettered in 3 sports at Austin Peay College. He fought and was wounded in battle in the Solomon Islands in WWII. This was the universe of opposites I was born into.

I spent my childhood and young adulthood playing sports; mostly basketball, volleyball and swimming. Out of the blue, I was cast in a television commercial and soon I was enrolled in acting classes at the Nashville Children's Theatre to explore this new challenge. I discovered words and literature and a passion for knowledge that had been dormant prior to my mid twenties. When I enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1977, I had a clearer picture of what I wanted to do there. The Clarence Brown Theatre there was the only Equity Theatre on a university campus in the U.S. I was fortunate to be cast in a number of well received shows there and tallying weeks in the Candidate/Apprentice Program, I eventually earned my AEA card. Upon graduation, I had my SAG card from doing TV commercials, a degree in Political Science and a strong desire to travel so I drove my VW Bug down to Houma Louisiana and took a job in the offshore oil field, working as a roughneck on a drilling platform. Six months later, in the fall of 1981, I drove out to Southern California with my wallet full of oil money and was initiated into the milieu with a car accident that left me with a broken neck. I was lucky there was no nerve damage but my C6 fracture left me in a healing mode for several years. It was a humbling and introspective period of my life, but I was determined to make the best of it. I bought an old upright piano and began putting in hours daily, teaching myself to play; trying and failing, trying and failing. I am now an accomplished hack and I love it!

In 1988 I was accepted into the South Coast Repertory Summer Conservatory in Costa Mesa California where I received my classical theatre training. The two months at SCR were wonderful and liberating and I was having a blast doing theatre but I needed to anchor myself with steady work so I began my teaching career in the fall of 1989 as a day to day substitute teacher. Over the course of the next 12 years, I had 11 long term positions at Marina Del Rey Middle School teaching everything from music and drama to most core subjects and extracurriculars. I ran the DARE afterschool volleyball program, coached and edited commencement speeches, directed several Monologue Nights and helped stage several Spring and Winter Extravaganzas. I was honored in 1992 with the Outstanding Service Award, which was voted on by the 1992 graduating class.

Although I had continued doing theatre at night during my teaching years, the transition to film acting was underway and I was finding myself cast more and more in darker, more nuanced roles which were vastly different from the leading man roles I had known. Feeling healthy and completely recovered from my neck injury, I found the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and rediscovered my physical life in surfing. I feel blessed and eternally grateful for the support I've received from my family, my friends and loved ones.

Mark