Positively Arts is proud to announce Mark Alexander as the August Artist of the Month! Mark recently performed at the Leadership Henderson Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony and is preparing for his third Get Launched Vegas competition! Mark recently sat down with Positively Arts student intern Naomi C., who is currently a sophomore at Cristo Rey St. Viator College Preparatory in Las Vegas.
What do you enjoy about Positively Arts?
MARK: I have been with Positively Arts for quite some time now. As a student, but also a performer, I love them as an organization because they are dedicated to helping kids like me express the passion for arts, education, and experiences in a safe and supportive place, without bullying or worry. My time here is enjoyed by sharing many of my own personal stories, hard work, kindness, and effort in the performing arts. Since I am an aspiring singer and actor this everyone at PA helps me feel supported.
Do you want to continue doing performing arts in the future?
MARK: Yes, performing arts, acting, and singing it's what I really love. Performing in front of others, learning a song, a topic, or script. Putting emotion on singing or acting. Creating a performance to connect with the audience. I've been doing this since I was 5 years old, and I can't believe how much I've grown, the one thing I can tell anyone is that with hard work and dedication you can pretty much do anything, and also have an open mind to learn and be respectful and kind to others.
How do you feel while performing?
MARK: I feel in the zone, extreme joy, and free. It's a feeling of expression that helps me release to others what I love to do.
Do you still get an anxious or nervous feeling when performing?
MARK: I wouldn't say I get nervous, I actually get extremely excited, and of course a little anxious to go out there and share with everyone what I love to do, but also hoping I can make the audience smile or feel the joy and connect with my performance.
Also, before I perform, I always try to think if I'm truly ready to show the best of my talent with others, and focus on all the hard work that made me get to the stage and moment.
It also depends on the performance, the type of challenge, and even the audience. Each performance is different for me, so I try to learn also who I am performing towards, for example if it's the National Anthem in a sports arena there are ways to present yourself and stand out but also respecting this great Nation, our flag, and the men and women who fight and fought for our country. On a talent show with judges, I try to get really excited about the audience and make them feel my song, or even acting when you are in front of so many and you have to remember script, action, and stance. I would say being nervous is not the right feeling for me while performing, for me it’s all about being prepared ahead of time which makes me study and focus on how I am going to perform to deliver my best on each performance.
After performing, how do you feel?
MARK: Every time I perform I end my performance with pride and a big smile. Because even if I know I messed something up a little (every performer that I know is self critical about their talent at times), I am still happy that I had the opportunity to stand in front of others and share what I love. When I get off the stage after thanking everyone, I take a deep breath and hug those who support me, including my peers, mentors, teachers, parents, everyone really that traveled to see me. One of the things I tend to do is think after each performance what I can do better, and learn from each performance, and this helps me become better and train for the next one.
Did you have any experience with arts before joining positively arts?
MARK: Yes. I’ve been doing this since I was 5 years old. Local school talent shows, sports arenas for the NBA, Baseball, and others. I was actually the youngest singer to perform for the NBA Summer League here locally at 7 years old when I did, and then returned to do a halftime show at the age of 9. To support local charities, churches, and events here in Las Vegas. By joining the organization Positively Arts, I was able to meet others that had the same interests as me, and also shared some stories, trained with incredible mentors, and performed in new venues that have helped me get inspired and continue this journey.
What inspired you to get into performing arts?
MARK: Some of my biggest inspirations came from watching successful artists perform classic songs and how they make you feel, also enjoying hit TV shows or musicals, and experiencing the joy that comes from this form of art and all the creativity. A form of expression that makes me feel free. The possibility of achieving these goals in the future excites me and helps me think of ways to be a great actor and singer. A big inspiration for me was witnessing the power of performances like Hamilton. Observing the effort of talented individuals on stage, working together to create a masterpiece makes me desire to be a part of such productions someday. Singing and acting are important in my life, and I firmly believe that with hard work and dedication, I can realize my dreams, and I can’t thank those who support me enough.
Is there anything that you think is challenging but you are able to face it?
MARK: Right now, I feel like I can work hard to face any challenge. I guess if I had to pick one, I would be finding the right song for example, to match my age, and range so that I can showcase the most powerful of performances. When it comes to acting, I absolutely love learning and memorizing things so, it comes more naturally to me rather than challenging, but if the script is large, then it’s also not forgetting the parts, or the cues for your specific role.
What's the best advice someone gave you for performing arts?
MARK: Best advice has to be that no matter how hard you work, try to always have the most fun and learn from the opportunities that come your way.
What are your short term goals for acting?
MARK: For acting, I’d like to continue doing musicals, I had a blast doing Matilda The Musical with Majestic Repertory Theatre, and recently The Callback Musical with Positively Arts. I am also seeking to be part of television shows, Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu series in the near future. I recently did a visit to Universal Hollywood and was super excited to see the studios there.
What is your favorite song to perform?
MARK: Right now it has to be, Billie Eilish - Lovely. I performed this for the first time in GET LAUNCHED VEGAS 2022, and as a First Runner up for the competition, I can tell you it wasn’t easy to get there being surrounded by so many amazing talented people, so you had to pick songs that challenged you the most to show the best of your talent. This song delivers so many ranges from lows to highs and pitch variations, and timing that make the song difficult and rewarding at the same time, if you are able to do it. I was so proud and even cried a bit in joy after finishing the number for performing it with such good results.
Who is your favorite artist?
MARK: Favorite, I actually have three: Frank Sinatra, Luis Miguel, and Michael Buble. Those are my absolute top favorite artists, and I love the classics and music that takes you back in time. They all represent and have sung from the Great American Songbook, I highly recommend you listen to their music, it’s timeless.