He can play tall, dark, and handsome. He can play charming. He can play sleazy. He can play tough. Mark Vasconcellos has a lot of acting tools in his toolbox and he is plying his trade right here in Las Cruces, where he has lived since 2007. Before moving here, he studied film and acting at San Jose State University and later Stella Adler Conservatory West and the Actor’s Circle Theatre in LA. His life has an international flavor, having spent his high school years in Spain and working as a television segment director and cameraman in Italy, France, and Africa after college. Upon relocating to Las Cruces, he developed a New Mexico travel show called Enchantments and produced 13 episodes.
It may seem counter-intuitive for an actor to leave Hollywood, but Mark says, “Leaving LA for New Mexico as an actor has been good! New Mexico has allowed me to build a solid acting resume and reel with co-starring and starring roles.” You may have seen him on shows produced in New Mexico such as In Plain Sight, Breaking Bad, Easy Money, and Longmire, as well as the locally-produced feature film River, which recently secured world-wide distribution, and several other feature films. Last year, he got to hang out with Cybill Shepherd and James Brolin when he played “Duke” in Rod McCall’s film Rose. In addition, he reports, he worked as a crew member on Clint Eastwood’s film The Mule, which filmed here in July, and auditioned for a speaking role in the upcoming George Lopez and Edward James Olmos film.
Mark says, “I see Las Cruces becoming the number one film production hub of the Southwest. Arizona and Texas do not have a major film studio like we do, nor do they have the awesome film incentives which New Mexico offers to producers. Las Cruces has a huge advantage and the film cameras are rolling. I’m very proud of what we all have accomplished in five years.”
He adds, “Las Cruces has great locations, great people, great film schools, great film-friendly businesses, which will offer producers discounts for goods and services, great production people, and now a great film studio with unique sets, which is the largest film production facility in all of the Borderlands.”
A board member for Film Las Cruces, Mark has been part of this group working to bring film and television jobs to our part of Southern New Mexico. It isn’t easy to put together all the pieces necessary to bring film and television productions to a community, but he says, “The growth of film production is always slow anywhere when a city is just starting out, but over the last couple years with Film Las Cruces moving forward, the city becoming film friendly, and the opening of the film studio, bigger film projects are coming to Las Cruces.”
In addition to acting and crewing films, Mark also teaches classes on acting for the camera and the business of acting, helping to prepare a new group of actors to take roles in local productions. “It really is exciting when we have the ability now to draw in an industry which is recession proof and is worth billions!,” he says. “Let’s grow film and TV production in the Borderlands and create lots of high paying jobs for many to benefit from!”
Think you’d like to learn acting from Mark? Check out his Facebook page, the Film Las Cruces page, and his YouTube channel, youtube.com/malfalcon
The post Las Cruces Film Scene: The Actor – Mark Vasconcellos appeared first on Las Cruces Magazine.