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my story

My Story

Mark Anthony Ward had a humble and challenging beginning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At birth he suffered from Asthma and allergies. These ailments caused him such distress that he was limited to minimal physical activities. He never learned to swim , ride a bike, nor any other early childhood sports. This caused him to find recreation in indoor activities such as reading and chess. He was described as a loner and intelligent as a small child. However inward he seemed, there was a super extrovert destined to emerge.

He excelled at languages, math and science. Being from Milwaukee (The City of Festivals and home of The Great Circus Parade) Mark had lots of early exposure to Circus, clowns, festivals, live performers and always enjoyed it. Teaching himself French, Spanish ,categorizing species of insects  and studying the history of the world, filled his preteen years. Around this time he also read the works of William Shakespeare, A Raisin In The Sun and a host of other plays. Mark's first theatre experience was in junior high school. He walked into a practice for the Three Little Pigs and overheard the instructor telling the “big bad wolf” to huff and puff with more feeling. Mark was asked to demonstrate the part and when he huffed and puffed the teacher was impressed, however his love for theatre was not to be unlocked yet!

Teens brought turmoil, wonder and exploration for Mark. During this time he became interested in poetry and script writing. Later his interest emerged on the  performed play rather than the script. Mark continued to explore languages and culture as a window to character. He began to seek a performance that crossed cultural, linguistic divides and that was independent of a written script.  His love for variety and his own eclectic spirit led him to circus variety arts.  In 2005 on his way to a community play audition he met an interesting kindred spirit. This meeting led to an impromptu unannounced performance at Milwaukee Summerfest (World Music Festival A.K.A. The Big Gig) and a two  year summer and fall touring partnership, in which Mark was first more of an apprentice and later performed as a soloist. This helped to cement Mark's performance path. After training from coast to coast in the U.S.A. and mastering a multitude of techniques, without a doubt his strongest talent and love lies in introducing his audience to a  comic character and showing them how this character views reality and relates to them by comic use of props, language and slap stick technique. After years of performing classic circus, vaudeville, and clown  acts, two and a half regional U.S. performance tours, Mark resides just outside of Ithaca New York where he is at work writing his new show, which he hopes to share with you soon.

Mark is also an avid outdoors-man, including nomadic traditional survival skills, camping, hiking , plant identification and orienteering. He also dedicates one nonprofit performance a year and many volunteer hours. Some of his other interests when he isn’t making people laugh is Zen Buddhism, yoga, philosophy , chess and entomology. He can also make his own jelly and turn almost any vegetable into a tasty stir fry.