We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Sipka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, what makes you happy? Why?
I absolutely love laughing and making people laugh. There is something so powerful about laughter that can unite a room full of strangers at a live show or an audience at a movie theater. It brings me so much joy to surprise people in a joke or take them for a ride on a funny story. I’m also a big fan of ice cream, oldies music, and funny dog videos on the internet. A healthy combo of those and I’m a happy guy.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m all about characters. As a kid, I idolized Steve Urkel, Ernest P. Worrell, Major Payne, Uncle Buck, The Three Amigos, and anybody Jim Carrey or Robin Williams was playing. These guys were all so unique, they hooked me into whatever story they were telling, and made me laugh hard. I want to create movie and TV characters that people connect with and laugh at the way I did with ones when I was a kid. Whether it is onstage or on camera, I love transforming into someone else and getting to interact with the audience or my scene partners. There is a freedom and power I feel when I play a character. I come from the improv and stand-up worlds so I really love combining them by having the audience ask my characters questions or throw out things for me to respond to.
One of my favorite characters to play is Tad. He believes The Wizard of Oz is the greatest movie of all time and that all other movies are trash. When I perform as Tad live, I tell the audience all about my love for The WOO (The Wizard of Oz) and then I open it up for a debate with them if anyone is willing to shout a movie they think is better. I love roasting every movie title people throw my way and it keeps me on my toes. I don’t have something funny prepared to say ahead of time, but I’m prepared to be funny. I created a YouTube channel called Tad Roasts Movies where I roast movies that aren’t The Wizard of Oz. My goal is to create a TV show or movie for Tad someday.
In my 8 years in LA, I’m most proud of my Amazon Prime special Mark Sipka: My Special Family Special where I roasted my family as they sat on a couch onstage. My family loves to laugh at each other, so they were good sports about the whole show. As I reached the end of my set, I was so overcome with emotion seeing all my supportive friends in the audience and my family who flew from the other side of the country that I just started balling. I couldn’t hold it together. It was like when a dog sees so many people they love all at once and gets so excited they pee themselves. Luckily I just cried. That night was the most fulfilling performance I’ve experienced.
The biggest challenge I have faced in my time here is feeling overlooked. I know many actors and comedians who feel this way. For me, I don’t have a fear of failure. I welcome it! I have a fear of not getting enough chances to fail. I’ve never been that actor who is consistently getting those auditions, so it is easy to feel ignored. It is tough to keep moving forward when it feels like no one is watching. I have learned to focus on what I can control. I can control what I create, how I create it, and when I create it. That motivates me because I call the shots and don’t need to wait for the approval of people before I make something. I love creating characters and videos and I know I will do those things whether it is on a small or large scale. I’m grateful for the people close to me who are in my corner, rooting for me to keep going. I’m also thankful for friends who inspire me with their original work. I’m so proud of my friends and can’t wait to see more of them take off, so that more people can become fans of them too.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Favorite Food Spots
Tommy’s for a chili cheeseburger, fries, and a shake.
C&O Trattoria in Marina Del Rey for some pasta and garlic knots.
Cactus Taqueria #1 on Vine for a delicious California burrito.
Miceli’s in Hollywood for some pizza, pasta, and live music.
Norms diner on La Cienega for their Bigger, Better, Breakfast meal.
MoCafe on Fairfax for a tasty breakfast quesadilla.
Galanga Thai in West Hollywood for Pad See Ew Fun
Show and Tell Screening Spectacular hosted by Sethward Allison. This is one of my favorite events in LA that happens every month! People get together to show and watch each other’s funny new videos on the big screen outdoors. There’s live music, food, and the people are awesome!
The Magic Castle. There is no place like it. The building itself is special and the shows are so impressive. Everyone I have gone here with says it was one of their favorite things they experienced in LA. You can watch and interact with magicians up close and say “wow” over and over again.
Channel 101. Every month at the Downtown Independent movie theater people submit new 5 minute episodes that play in front of a live audience who then vote for their favorite shows they want to see move on to the next month.
Bar Lubitsch comedy shows are fun to check out! You can see so many awesome well-known comedians as well as talented up and coming ones in the back room of this West Hollywood bar.
Hike the Hollywood Sign. It is a great hike and such a cool view being right above the Hollywood sign letters.
The One Up in Sherman Oaks is a restaurant/bar with free classic arcade games. That’s right. No quarters needed. You can try your best to beat that Pac Man record right here.
The live taping of a show. Whether it is a game show, late night show, or sitcom, I think this is a special experience for people out of town to get to see how things work behind the scenes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Austin Boyce. This woman changed my life when I met her 3 years ago and truly brings the best out of me. She is one of the most talented actors I’ve seen and she works so hard. Austin also does VO, improv, writing, and she creates hilarious videos. Whenever I feel discouraged, she builds me up and reminds me of who I am and why I do what I do.
Instagram: www.instagram.com/MarkSipka & www.instagram.com/TadRoastsMovies
Youtube: www.youtube.com/SipkaVids & for Tad Roasts Movies https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCux5Bszz1wyBrDUw7XPASoA
Other: Watch Mark Sipka: My Special Family Special on Amazon Prime http://bit.ly/MarkSipka Feel free to check out my youtube channel for a new video every Wednesday and my Tad Roasts Movies channel for a new video every Tuesday.