Name, age, occupation, where are you from and where do you live now.
Mark Kassen, 34, actor, writer, producer. I was born and raised in Fayetteville, New York (outside of Syracuse), and I went to Ithaca College. I currently live in SoHo.
You're the writer and star of "little Willy" - can you explain the concept of the play and how you came up with the idea?
The play is about the difference between who we really are verse what we purport to be, both as individuals and as a society, while being shaped by and living up to the propaganda that surrounds us.
A previous performance of yours was "Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight." Tell us, what can't you say past midnight? What can you say past midnight?
I’ve never known how to censor myself. I say what I want at any time.
You seem to have a lot of projects on your plate - can you tell us about some of your upcoming ones?
Our first film, “Sasquatch Dumpling Gang”, just won the Aspen Comedy festival and the Slam Dance film festival. We are currently editing “Bernard and Doris”, starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes and Directed by Bob Balaban. And we have a Television show (comedy) called “The Minor Accomplishments of Jacky Woodman” that we are producing, and my brother, Adam, is directing for IFC.
How did you end up partnering with Kevin Spacey to form your production company - Trigger Street Independent?
I originally met Kevin at Danny De Vito and Rhea Perlman's house. I had done the Broadway production of the Last Night of Ballyhoo in LA with Rhea and she and Danny are great about taking New York transplants into their home for holidays. Years later when Kevin and his producing partner Dana were at Sundance showcasing their website “Triggerstreet.com”, an online filmmaking community, we reconnected. They were interested in what we were doing and my brother and I were really impressed with Kevin and Dana’s commitment to emerging artists and the community. A couple of years later, my brother and I came up with a plan to make a slate of inexpensive films using new technology and Kevin and Dana thought it would be a perfect extension of what Trigger Street is all about.
Can you compare your roles of writing/staring in your current production to having more of a behind the scenes role with your production company? Which do you prefer?
They are all different and satisfying in different ways. Basically, I see myself as a maker of things who knows how to support OTHER makers of things. At the end of the day I am just committed to helping put good stories out into the world in whatever role is appropriate and needed for that particular project.
What place or thing would you declare a landmark?
Personally, my first apartment in NYC on 47th Street, between 9th and 10th. I moved there in 1993, before the Disney-fying of Times Square. It was the beginning of my life as a young, struggling artist, which is the only thing I ever wanted to be
What advice, if any, would you give to Mayor Bloomberg?
I’d want him to fix the cobblestone streets in the West Village where my office is located, but they would have to be replaced with new cobblestones. I’m not sure if this is a campaign issue, but it’s something all the young hipsters, and their high heeled shoes, would rally behind.
When you just need to get away from it all, where is your favorite place in NYC to be alone?
I don’t seem to have time to get away from it all. That’s why I moved to NYC.
"little Willy" is playing at the Ohio Theatre (66 Wooster St.) in Manhattan from today - April 30th. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or by phone - 212.279.4200.
Photo by Monique Carboni