Today’s “Spotlight” is on the charismatic and deeply devoted Mark Wainman!
Mark has been involved with QAAW since our first ever production. “I became involved with Quick As A Wink in 2003 when Michelle Herx produced Act One Scene One of her musical, Glory Days,” Mark says. “I played Daniel Winkworth. After that, I didn't return to Quick As A Wink until in the summer of 2012 when Michelle contacted me to audition for a full production of Glory Days. I was hesitant; she was persistent. I finally agreed to audition, but was clear that I didn't have a lot of time to commit, due to work. I auditioned and Michelle cast me as Daniel Winkworth again, the male protagonist. Turns out I did have time to commit and I'm happy I showed up for that audition. I haven't looked back since.”
Since his return to Quick As A Wink, Mark has been involved with our society in many different ways. He performed in our 2013 production of 42nd Street and co-hosted our 2014 Winkie Awards Gala alongside Mike Butler. However, the majority of Mark’s contributions over the past few years have been behind the scenes. He has been a part of our Quick As A Wink Board of Directors since 2013 and is currently our acting Treasurer. He also runs our Marketing Committee and oversees our social media, branding, and merchandising, and hosts our weekly Pub Trivia at The Spitfire Arms as well. He has also recently enjoyed directing a number of our shows! “My latest passion has been directing,” says Mark. “My directorial debut was Oklahoma! and I have since directed Little Shop of Horrors and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I hope to direct another show in the fall of 2016.”
Of course, Mark has been involved with theatre long before his time with Quick As A Wink. In fact, he has been acting since he was a child! “Theatre has been a part of my life since I was very young,” Mark. says “My first play was in elementary school where Roger Taylor was the music teacher. He cast me as Dracula in Monster Madness. I don't remember much from the show other than my repeated line, ‘I vaaant to suuuuck your bloooood.’ The acting bug bit me hard, and I have been in many productions throughout grade school, university and now.” Mark sees great value in drama and the arts as an outlet and tool to help youth grow and is thankful for his own involvement in theatre at such a young age. “When I was a kid I was shy. In fact, I am still a bit socially awkward in unfamiliar situations. Theatre has always been an outlet for me. It allowed me to express myself in front of large groups of strangers in ways that I could never have done without these experiences. I've been very vocal about my belief in theatre as a stepping stone in developing confidence in socially awkward kids - and adults for that matter. Theatre challenges the comfort zone, no matter where that comfort zone lies for each individual. Theatre can always push your limits.”
In all his years of acting, one of Mark’s most treasured theatre memories is rooted in our 2012 performance of Glory Days. “My family has always been very supportive of my passion in the arts,” he says. “My parents have never missed a show. The support was great, but I always felt that Sports was the way to connect with my father. I was terrible at sports. So when my father auditioned for a role in the 2012 Glory Days and was cast in a supporting role, one that my character had scenes with, I was cautiously excited. It was a great experience to work with him on the stage, and my best experience on-stage was during one of the scenes where it was just Dad and I. We had a bit of an exchange in dialogue and we had rehearsed it many times. But one of the shows, Dad dropped his lines. He just blanked - we've all been there, lines get dropped every show. I threw him a line, which put him back on track - something that actors do every day. He did the same for me on other shows where I dropped a line, but that one night reversed the dynamics in our relationship for a split second and it's a moment I will never forget.”
While Mark has fond memories of the past, he is also always looking ahead for new theatre challenges and learning experiences. “I would love to study lighting design,” he says. “Theatre lighting has intrigued me, and the lighting of a show can have such a positive effect on how the performance translates to the audience. As for roles, I haven't thought much about acting lately, but if I did get back into it I think my dream roles would include Dr. Craven from The Secret Garden, Mark from Rent, Shrek from Shrek, or Dr. Jekyll from Jekyll and Hyde. I also have a long list of shows I want to direct, but my ultimate goal is to develop a QAAW Underground or After Dark series that would do small cast musicals with more obscure titles and more mature subject matter, including cult classics like Rocky Horror and Toxic Avenger. Maybe someday.”
When he is not working on tasks for Quick As A Wink, Mark enjoys opportunities that allow him to teach and share his passions with others. “I recently started teaching and certifying Food Safety students,” says Mark. “With a background in the food industry, this was a natural progression. I hope to get more clients from some of the local restaurants and pubs. To relax I watch Netflix and just recently got back into reading. I just finished a book called Ready Player One, which I highly recommend. “
Thank you so much for all your contributions to QAAW, Mark! You do phenomenal work and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for you!
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