Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This was my interview with actor Marc Singer at the 2003 DragonCon convention in Atlanta, GA.

As a criminal defense attorney, I've developed a pretty good bullshit detector. Having two teenage kids has also honed this talent. I tell you this up front, because I was very impressed by a simple selfless act by actor Marc Singer. Some journalists might report what I saw differently, but he impressed me as a sincere guy. The hot ticket at DragonCon this year, as far as female fans were concerned was James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The fans lined up by the thousands to get his autograph and have their picture taken with him. Reporters didn't get within feet of Mr. Marsters. As I was beginning to interview Mr. Singer, the huge line of fans was turned away from Mr. Marsters by the Atlanta Fire Marshall. Mr. Singer excused himself and went over to the discouraged fans and assured them that they would get back in. He walked up and down the line talking with the disappointed Marsters fans, gave out hugs and posed for pictures. I guess Mr. Singer must be a parent because when my little one gets upset, the best way to get her back in line is to distract her with another activity. Mr. Singer wasn't trying to hone in on Mr. Marster's fans. Hell, the crowds at Mr. Singer's table were big too. He was just being a decent guy, making the fans feel good in a crowded hot room. I thought to myself that he must be a decent guy in real life. He certainly appears to be one on screen.

Rusty White: "If You Could See What I Hear."

Mark Singer: That was the kind of film that when I was working on it, it didn't even feel like it was at work. It was really more like being on vacation. We filmed part of that up in Nova Scotia, in Canada. One of the most gorgeous spots on earth. I'll never forget the cast members that I worked with. We were all like children again on that film. We had the change to be in a beautiful spot, we got to have fun with one another. The script was wonderful. I had a great time.

RW: The scene in which you drove the car stands out in my memory. For an acting point of view, how difficult was it to portray blindness behind the wheel. I believed that you were blind in the scene.

MS: It is difficult. If you do being blind correctly you enter into a kind of state of hypnosis wherein your eyes still register color and shape and form, but your mind refuses to tabulate the results. So you are effectively mentally blind at least to your surroundings. In order to achieve that state, it was actually more difficult than people might imagine. Because you have to in a way, trust in a very Zen like way that you are not going to wreck the car. You are responsible for the camera crew that's involved inside the car with you and also with the other actors. There's a bit of danger involved but it is also a lot of fun.

RW: In watching it, I believed you were a blind person. It wasn't difficult to suspend disbelief.

MS: I appreciate it. The most daring thing that actors do, the thing that makes the work always the most exciting is that we do operate, when we are operating correctly, we operate on the edge. There are so many hidden edges to our lives all day long. We all live many faceted lives, and actors get to stand around on the edge of those facets and look around to the other side of the crystal, see what's coming up and dare themselves to go to that new plain.

RW: What training have you had as an actor?

MS: I am a classically trained Shakespearean actor. In fact, I tour universities teaching Master classes on Shakespeare. And also lecturing on the perils and joys of professional acting.

RW: I have a ferret that the wife brought home. All it does is eat the carpet and bite my feet. You seemed to have better luck with yours in "Beastmaster." Any tips you care to pass on?

MS: Basically all ferrets do is nibble on humans and eat carpet. But they more than make up for it by their beauty, the texture of their bodies and by their lovely and playful spirits. And by also by their aggressive natures. They are just wonderful fascinating animals. I don't have any in real life, but as an actor, for a moment I get to establish a real camaraderie, a real friendship and a real sense of understanding with each of the animals with which I get to work.

RW: Thank you Mr. Singer. Thanks for your time.

MS: It's been a pleasure talking with you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Try to see Marc in "The Taming of the Shrew" when he was a student at ACT. It's on YouTube. He's fantastic and so is his co-star who played "Kate".