Behind the Scenes with THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF COMEDY (ABRIDGED)’s Sound Designer Mark McClain Wilson

What is your name and your current occupation?

Actor/Sound Designer

What is your role on the show?

Understudy/Sound Designer

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into design/writing/directing/etc?

HA!  Well, I’ve been doing these for a lonnnnnnnng time but some of the other gigs that have helped keep food on the table during leaner times have been as an Animation Production Coordinator, Box Office Ticket Agent, Music Publicity assistant at RCA Records (when Dave Matthews was in his heyday!) and House Manager at Blue Man Group in NYC.

Where are you from and how did you get into theatre?

I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA and got into theatre because I wanted to act more than anything on earth.  My first play was as the villain (eventually, a recurring theme) Throckmorton Fleesum in the play “Tumbleweeds”, adapted from the cartoon strip.  It was a seminal performance, let me tell you.

Tell me about your favorite project.

I would have to say “There is a Happiness That Morning Is…” at Sacred Fools Theatre, because aside from being a tremendously juicy and meaty role in an achingly beautiful piece, I also met my fiancé on the project.  🙂

What’s your favorite part of theatre?

Communion with an audience.  Nothing else comes close.  When you give over and hit the zone and the audience is leaning in, you can enter into a metaphysical place when all of our electrons are dancing together.  It’s pretty badass when it works well.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?

The fact that Chris Pine keeps taking all my jobs!

How has evolving technology impacted your job?

It’s certainly expanded opportunities to create and not have to wait for someone to give you an opportunity.  You can make them yourself.  I use pretty regularly every element that computers and phones can offer.  Everything is becoming progressively more advanced and more easy to use every year.

What advice can you give to aspiring artists trying to break into the business?

Above all, be resilient.  Never take ‘no’ as a final answer to your abilities, but whenever possible, inquire as to the reasons for receiving a ‘no’.  This is how you learn to get better.  Learn to trust and believe in your talent, but NEVER rest on laurels.  You can always improve and you can ALWAYS get better.  Choosing the artistic path means never settling for passible in your work, because only the BEST will succeed in the arts.

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