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Life & Work with Mark Sheme

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Sheme.

Hi Mark, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Music, art, and theater have been coexisting harmoniously in my life for many years; a passion that has driven me to become the best I can humanly be. I have constantly been exposed to art from an early age and continuously have been ever since.

My mother is a dance teacher, partaking in numerous shows during my middle school years, being enrolled in a performing arts high school, and now soon to graduate college with a BFA for musical theater and following by entering the career full-time. I have worked for numerous professional companies in Georgia, Florida, and Montana before graduating college. But I am excited to start a new chapter of theatrical work.

I have persistently tried to push myself to the next level of performance and education. Theater and music have not only brought me happiness and escape but also to those around me. Thornton Wilder once said, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

We as performers have the ability to make others feel emotion. Rather it is a joyful comedy, a remorseful tragedy, or a show that allows one to wonder, the ability to make one feel a certain emotion is very empowering. I remember vividly my first musical experience and instantly fell in love with everything that is offered. Theater allows for unity, cooperation, and equality, something I strongly stand for.

To me, the ultimate goal of theater is to give and receive emotion. I want nothing more than to be able to cause people the ability to escape from reality and experience the emotions of the arts. College was not considered so much as work for me, but rather the next step in my journey of continuing my vehemence in music, art, and theater.

I am excited to see where the future takes me.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There is always trial and error in the art world.

You have to have a thick skin in theatre to be able to handle basically 100 rejections for every acceptance for contracts and work. For some, it can be very emotionally draining to be told no constantly, but dedication and drive will always pay off.

I am very thankful to be 22 and have worked on numerous professional contracts. Many theatrical workers haven’t had these experiences yet at my age so it is not something I ever take for granted.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My general artistic aesthetic is “Western Americana meets Hollywood Art Deco”. Now how this describes me is pretty simple. Besides studying theatre, I also studied history in college, which I am actually going to get my master’s degree in.

I love anything based on the old western frontier, golden Hollywood films, and art deco of New York’s 20s and 30s. These are all aspects of history I have studied the most that influence the type of theatre I enjoy and want to create. I am basically a Gershwin-loving Philly native inspired by all things western and art deco.

Passionate, determined, and reliable, with a hint of sarcasm.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Trusting the process.

You may not see the light at the end of the tunnel but that doesn’t mean to give in, the light is always there. I couldn’t imagine five years ago where I am now.

And I’m sure in another five years I won’t believe where I am then. However, all I know is that if I feel stuck or lost I use the support of my friends, family, and art and throw it to the universe to handle.

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Image Credits
Genny Muncy and Truck Photo

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