Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"I Want You to Move Like a DiStefano"

Student Spotlight: Mark DiStefano

Mark as Marley in A Christmas Carol.

It's no secret that the DiStefanos have been big in St. Mark's Drama over the past several years. When I was a freshman, I still remember seeing Nick, the oldest brother, playing the villain in the comedy Fools, which premiered in the fall of 2007. I was in the audience, then. Nick had his own artfully sly brand of comedy, his words and movements smooth on the stage. That year, Andrew Muto and I were looked to by our friends to be the next big (male) names in the theater over the next four years, both of us landing leading roles in our first one-act plays. The spotlight was going to be ours.

Then came this guy displayed to the left here, who exploded onto the stage the very next year and screwed it all up. And, actually, we couldn't be happier about it. Mark DiStefano is dynamite from the moment he walks into those hot stage lights. I had never met a guy quite like Mark. A man of bottomless enthusiasm and optimism, Mark just wants to put on a good show, have a good time, and make sure everyone else is having a good time, too. He's never greedy for the spotlight and supports his fellow actors consistantly. His energy is through the roof, and you can see it in his expressive movements, his tone of voice, and his facial expressions that can make you feel with his character or laugh yourself out of your chair. Mark is a great guy to have with the Drama Department and fun to just hang around. He's the life of every cast party, and there's usually already plenty of life at them!

He's gone from playing a concerned suspect in a murder mystery to the goofball father of a college student to the disturbing and sometimes comical ghost of Jacob Marley to the best Reb Tevye I've ever seen in Fiddler on the Roof.

And now he's back again in Bye Bye Birdie on April 8th.

Some cast members from Once on This Island. You can spy Nick in the back to the left.

The quote "I want you to move like a DiStefano" comes from the director of Bye Bye Birdie, who knows what kind of energy and hilarity they all bring to the stage, when he wanted me to swing my hips in a more ridiculously funny and exaggerated fashion. Mark and his brothers John and Carl were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules after a rehearsal to talk about the upcoming Bye Bye Birdie, which is playing Friday, April 8th, and Saturday, April 9th at 7:30 P.M. and Sunday the 10th at 2:15 P.M.

I was able to score an interview with three of the DiStefano brothers: John, Mark, and Carl, a new face on the St. Mark's stage. These three have their own unique style out in the spotlight. John is quiet, intense, and hilarious with how serious he seems while delivering jokes and how his actions can seem both completely out of character and completely in character for him. Mark is an explosion of energy who can be heard from across the school, and Carl is a large ham who, even when singing in the chorus, never upstages his fellow actors and he never fails to get a laugh from his audience anyway. Smooth and ready to go, Carl's arrival is a welcome surprise here. My first few questions were directed to Mark, and then the rest to all three brothers:

Mark as the hot tempered Juror #3 in 12 Angry Jurors

The Interview

YMW: What's Bye Bye Birdie about?

Mark: So a famous rockstar (J. Young) is drafted into the army, completely screwing over his loyal (and incredibly good looking!) manager Albert. With the help of his secretary (Kristina Cassidy,) Albert gets Conrad (the rockstar) to do one last gig to make Albert (me) enough money to go back to college. It's filled with drama, tension, alcohol, and innuendo. Definitely be here.

YMW: Are you excited to perform with a full orchestra?

Mark: I can't even describe it. They have a lot of talent. I love their sense of humor.

YMW: What's unique about St. Mark's High School's Bye Bye Birdie?

Mark: It's funny, we have a lot of personalities, lots of talent, but also a lot of fun.

Carl: I'll tell you what's not unique. Mark DiStefano kills it. But Bye Bye Birdie can relate to teens everywhere and its not just a show... it's a way of life.

John: Loose women. Everywhere.

YMW: How did you get into drama?

John: Mostly to meet biddys.

Carl: Girls, mainly. It's pretty chill to get up in front of everyone and make a fool of yourself without worrying about it. You can get some good bro time in there, too. But the chicks are nice.

Mark: My older brother was big in the theatre, and when I quit sports he got me into it too. I'm definitely better at acting than football. And then there's the women. Ayyyyyyy!

YMW: Any closing comments?

John: Biddys. Biddys. Bernie. Biddys.

Mark: Come, everyone. It will definitely be a good experience. If anything, come for Matthew Conrad. You probably won't even recognize him.

Carl: Johnny kills it.

These two play well off each other. In Arsenic and Old Lace, John played the evil brother of Mark.


TICKETS ARE $7.50 IN ADVANCE (at lunches)

Come and support your friends and fellow students! Check who's in it on one of the posters! I swing my hips! Someone gets punched in the face and hits the floor! Take your friends, your boyfriend, your girlfriend and have some fun for less than a movie ticket!


  1. I am going to do my best to make it Sunday after the leadership breakfast. With all the hype you're throwing all around the school I have to say I am pretty excited. I saw the One-Acts sophomore year and was impressed, so this year I expect it to be even better. Goodluck bud

  2. That was such a great interview, made me laugh. Love the answers they gave, the answers alone describe their personalities :)