Next Tuesday, June 9th, Mark Ricci is releasing his first comedy special, Mark Ricci: The Teenage Special, on Amazon Prime, making him the youngest comedian to have a full-length standup special. Mark plays Peter Parker in Six Side Studios’ YouTube series Spider-Man, with their channel having over 100,000 subscribers, and runs his own YouTube channel, Movie Man Mark where he posts vlogs and comedic skits. Recently catching up with Mark, he talks about his upcoming release of Mark Ricci: The Teenage Special, being the co-producer of Six Side Studios and playing Peter Parker in the YouTube series.
You have your first comedy special – Mark Ricci: The Teenage Special – releasing on Amazon Prime on June 9th; what can you tell us about the show?
It encapsulates the teenage experience. I think it’s safe to say most people look back on their teenage years as an irregular time in their life where you were sort of finding yourself and trying new things. So, as a comedian, it’s a stage of life that’s just a goldmine for material. One cool thing about making it the focus of a special is that a lot of comics we see on streaming services talk about their stories of adulthood, so I’m hoping this feels fresh to audiences.
How does it feel having your show released on this platform and being the youngest comedian to have a full-length standup special?
More than anything, I feel a sense of relief. I woke up on my nineteenth birthday with some angst, being that I was one year closer to becoming a young adult, and that’s the day I came up with this whole idea. I knew that if I’d made it this far, I had the chance to do something that no one had done before, and that prospect was extremely intriguing. So, the fact that it’s doing what I set out for it to do is gratifying, and proves to me that anything is possible.
Who do you think the show will appeal to and why would you recommend people watch it?
It’ll appeal to teenagers, and really anybody who has ever been a teenager. There’s universal themes in there that are brought to extremes for comedic purposes, but at their core, are very relatable. And, of course, it’ll appeal to babies. Some parts are so physical that if you put me on mute and play some Wiggles music in the background, they’ll be sure to be entertained from their saliva-infested play mats for an hour. I think that’s what I was going for all along.
What are you looking forward to most for the release?
In a weird way, I’m most looking forward to being able to search for the special on Amazon Prime and seeing it pop up in the search results. It’s the little things in life, you know?
Is comedy something you always wanted to be involved with?
I was definitely always a little entertainer at family events. If you were visiting my family’s house, I would dress up in the costumes I owned and re-enact my favourite movie scenes. If I was visiting your house, I would use anything I could find lying around and make up my own character (blankets became capes, shoehorns became walking sticks). All you had to do was sit back and witness the mayhem.
What upload plans do you have for your YouTube channel – Movie Man Mark, and what inspired you to start uploading videos?
Over the past ten years, I’ve done everything from movie reviews to vlogs to parodies and comedic skits. I always had something to say and YouTube was such a great place to scratch my various creative itches. I still post vlogs and skits to that channel and I hope it will always be a part of my entertainment programming, even if I dive more into traditional media. I admire how Will Smith operates his channel while he’s doing movies. It requires a team, but I’d like to take a page from his book by posting behind the scenes videos when I work on TV shows, commercials, and films.
How did the Six Side Studios Spider-Man YouTube series come about and what’s it like playing Peter Parker?
It started by simply being a fan of the channel. I stumbled upon it five years ago, back when it was called Action Inc, and every video was filmed with an iPad Mini that had a cracked screen. It was low budget, but it was charming. Now, I’m not sure what feels more like destiny; the fact that the founder of the channel, Cameron Dodd, happened to live somewhat close to me, or the fact that two months after I subscribed, he started to look for an actor to play Peter Parker! Either way, I’ve been doing it ever since then, and it’s very satisfying. Being a fan of the character helps guide the story of each film, and we always have a direction for where it could lead next. Our audience is eagerly awaiting the fifth chapter, and we’re just as eager to dive back into filming once the city allows us.
Can you tell us more about Six Side Studios and your role as co-producer?
Six Side Studios is what that innocent, young YouTube channel has slowly evolved into, and quite honestly, is still evolving into. As a co-producer for Six Side, my aspiration for it is for it to grow into a full out production company that produces films and shows of all genres. One of the banners that this comedy special is under is the Six Side banner, which will make it the first time that Six Side has had a producing hand in a project that hasn’t gone directly to YouTube. We’d like to continue to produce content for streaming services, such as Amazon and Netflix, and one day, for films that hit the big screen.
You play Mitch on the season finale of the new Discovery ID show If I Should Die, how was this?
It was a small role, but I got to complete a Discovery ID trifecta (or hat-trick if you’re a hockey player), by doing their shows, Fear Thy Neighbor and Web of Lies, previously. I like doing those because I get to meet actors that I’ll bring on for other projects. Steve Kerr, who played a detective on Web of Lies, wound up in our fourth Spider-Man film, Rise of a Legacy, as Liz Allan’s father, and in my opening skit for my special as a high school teacher.
How do you find the experience of voicing the roles of Derek and Norman Price on Fireman Sam?
That was a blast. Until that point, I had only done one voiceover project, which was a commercial for a mobile game. But there wasn’t much of a learning curve because I had been doing character voices and impressions for my classmates and sometimes on radio shows for a while. That helped me get the job because I was replacing an actor who had done those two voices for years, so I had to be able to closely mimic the voices.
What do you like doing away from your career?
Away from my career, I like kicking back and hanging out with my pals. We’re usually watching movies or coming up with ideas for movies. But when we’re not doing that, we enjoy a good ol’ fashioned party from time to time. Some of those party stories ended up in the special.
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