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Meet Mark Kendall of Dad’s Garage Theatre in the Old Fourth Ward

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Kendall.

Mark, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got my start with comedy when I joined a sketch group in college. During that time, I did a summer internship at Comedy Central that Chris Rock created for writers of color. That summer, I got to spend time shadowing and pitching jokes to the writing staffs of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”. Up until that point, I just saw myself as a comedy writer, but after spending time on those shows I saw that nearly all the writers were stand-up comics or improvisers, so I started doing both.

After college, I moved back to Atlanta (which is where I’m from originally) and I started taking classes at Dad’s Garage. I’m an ensemble there now and that’s where I do most of my performing.

I also do a lot of solo sketch comedy. My one-person show, “The Magic Negro and Other Blackness” was at the Alliance Theatre last year on the Hertz stage. I’ve also been fortunate to take the show around the country.

I’m also a member of the improv group, “Dark Side of the Room” we’re an all-black improv troupe and we got started at Dad’s Garage. The way our show works is we get a suggestion of a well known movie (Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, etc.) and we show you the deleted scenes of what the black characters were doing during that movie.

In fact, we have our anniversary show coming up April 12th at 8pm at Dad’s Garage Theatre. Here’s the Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/189489858324119/. In addition to us doing improv, it’s a variety show with all kinds of amazing black artists doing poetry, comedy and music.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In my experience, failure is a big part of comedy. A lot of times the first time you try a joke or a new sketch, it may not work. And then it’s up to you to keep messing with it until it works. So yeah, there’s all kinds of struggle involved in comedy, but that’s kinda the nature of it.

What were you like growing up?
I don’t know really. I guess I was fairly introverted. In high school, I think most of my time was spent on schoolwork. I also started getting really into filmmaking.

Don’t forget to catch the Dark Side of the Room Anniversary Show! Thursday, April 12th at 8pm!” Get tickets here: https://dadsgarage.secure.force.com/ticket/#sections_a0F41000006Y3JZEA0

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Image Credit:
Stacey Bode Photography, Marc J Chalifoux Photography

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