Mark Ivy has always known that performing was his calling. As an energetic and boisterous boy, he walked around the house singing all the time, leading his mom to sign him up for the Fort Bend Boy's Choir. He started acting classes in middle school, and really began participating in theater in high school. A Houston-area native, he is a proud graduate of Hightower High School in Fort Bend ISD and Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) Humphreys School of Musical Theatre.
Ivy devoted himself to his craft while in college. Almost weekly he drove from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville to perform professionally on Houston stages, such as when he played Jason in Rabbit Hole at Stages Repertory Theatre to critics' applause. He was seen as Royce in Theater LaB's True Love Lies and Seymour in the TUTS production of Little Shop of Horrors at Miller Outdoor Theatre, and garnered good reviews as Henry in Next to Normal at Stages. He is happy to find "all three of [his] favorite things kind of combined into this perfect world of entertaining."
What He Does: He says he acts because "I think it is my job to make people feel emotions of any kind, whether that be happy, sad or laughing out loud. That's my job. I'm an emotion coordinator for people."
Why He Likes It: Ivy explains, "I like acting because it's one of the only things I feel like I know how to do well. I feel like I know how to perform and entertain well. It's what I was like born to do."
He elaborates that acting comes naturally to him. "There's no other thing like it, really," he stated. "It's such a natural aspect of every single human. I mean, everyone acts every single day; they just don't know it."
What Inspires Him: "My dad. He's always been like a really hard worker. He's provided everything for his family," he says. "Well, I'd say my family. They've always encouraged me and always supported me in every single decision I've ever made in my life, and they gave me an outlet where I can pursue the dream that I want to pursue, which is, of course, being a performer." Ivy continues, "So, I think knowing that they've done that for me makes me want to give everything back in return and then some. I know they want me to see me fulfill my hopes and dreams and be happy all my life, so that's what I want to show them, that I can."
If Not This, Then What: Ivy currently works on the Stages Repertory Theatre sales team, and he says he likes talking to people and selling things. "Well, I have teacher blood ingrained in me." He states, "My mom's a teacher. My whole mom's side, they're all teachers. And I actually used to be a mascot instructor. A very well-trained mascot instructor, so I think if I wasn't acting at some point in my life, I'd probably be teaching. I like giving back. I've always enjoyed children. So, I think I could be a teacher, maybe."
If Not Here, Then Where: "I kind of come from a mind-set that all actors are a little bit of gypsies, especially in the early stages of their careers. So, it's my plan in about a year and a half, after I've racked up a few more résumé credits and saved a little bit more money, I'm probably going to move to New York. Just, you know, I've got to try it. I want to try it. I always have." He expounds on that, saying, "Every time I go there, I'm always like, 'Ah, I should live here right now.' All my friends live there, so I think if not Houston, then probably New York. I love Chicago, and I've never been to L.A. So, I figure I'll start exploring this country pretty soon."
What's Next: Ivy just finished his 25th consecutive week of being in a show, so, he said, "I've asked for two weeks off." After his break, he says, "Then I start Panto [Mother Goose] at Stages, and that runs all the way to January. I'm going to be Tommy Tucker in Panto, but I get a very important two-week break for my mental and vocal health -- much needed, much deserved, I would say." He plans to catch up on sleep, then "wake up, and start it again."
More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Lauren Luna, painter and shoe designer Sarah Cortez, writer Kent Dorn, drawer, painter, artist Lillian Warren, painter Carl Lindahl, folklorist, UH professor Sutapa Ghosh, film producer and Indian Film Festival of Houston organizer Tom Stell, actor, writer, director Gregory Oaks, teacher and Poison Pen co-founder Oliver Halkowich, dancer and performer Lupe Mendez, poet and poem pusher Jason Nodler, artistic director, playwright, director Ana Treviño-Godfrey, musician Matthew Detrick, classical musician Travis Ammons, filmmaker Florence Garvey, actress Julia Gabriel, artist, designer and backpack maker Rebecca French, choreographer and FrenetiCore co-founder Kiki Neumann, found object folk artist Flynn Prejean, Poster Artist JoDee Engle, dancer David Rainey, actor, artistic director and teacher Geoff Hippenstiel, painter, art instructor Jessica Janes, actress and musician Dennis Draper, actor and director Mat Johnson, novelist and tweeter Orna Feinstein, printmaker and installation artist Adriana Soto, jewelry designer Domokos Benczédi, Noise and Collage Artist Robert Boswell, Book Author, UH Prof Patrick Turk, visual artist Elizabeth Keel, playwright Bob Martin, designer Mary Lampe, short film promoter and developer Nisha Gosar, Indian classical dancer Jeremy Wells, painter George Brock, theater teacher Radu Runcanu, painter Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker Philip Hayes, actor Patrick Palmer, painter Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer John Tyson, actor Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music Laura Burlton, photographer David Peck, fashion designer Rebecca Udden, theater director Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer Paul Fredric, author John Sparagana, photographer Damon Smith, musician and visual artist Geoff Winningham, photographer Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor Katya Horner, photographer Johnathan Felton, artist Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer Carol Simmons, hair stylist Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet Greg Carter, director Kenn McLaughlin, theater director Justin Whitney, musician Antone Pham, tattoo artist Susie Silbert, crafts Lauralee Capelo, hair designer Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director J.J. Johnston, theater director Mary Margaret Hansen, artist Richard Tallent, photographer Viswa Subbaraman, opera director Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist Sonja Roesch, gallery owner Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor Sandy Ewen, musician Camella Clements, puppeteer Wade Wilson, gallery owner Magid Salmi, photographer Carl Williams, playwright