On the Couch with Mark Diaco

Mark Diaco AAR On the CouchWho is Mark Diaco?
An actor, producer, writer, all-round artist … caffeine-head! Other than that… I’m still figuring it out.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d say more of my time would probably be spent boxing. I came into the sport late because of a film. The character was a boxer but I just fell hard for the sweet science of it. It truly is an art form… painters paint on canvas… boxers box on canvas… go figure.

Who inspires you and why?
Surprisingly boxers now such as Gervonta Davis, Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk and Bernard Hopkins. Mostly because of their perspective with conflict, coming from bad neighbourhoods and knowing how to conduct yourself against adversity. In the case of TRUE WEST, I can draw so many comparisons with acting and boxing.

For example, the time spent rehearsing the play was the same as a six week boxing camp. It’s also just you and your opponent in the ring.. it’s me and Justin Hosking, my scene partner, both in there duking it out over 9 scenes.. or let’s call it 9 rounds … but most of all boxing, like acting … (and even life to the larger extent) … is you fighting against yourself.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’d say go watch a cartoon as the first thing you do in the morning. It fuels the imagination, keeps that inner child alive when the world tries to beat it out of us.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
New York… It’s always been the place that gets me pumped up. There’s a frequency that just invites all the black cats of the family. I lived there for a while and always love coming back. I hear it’s changed a lot recently, getting back to the New York of the 70’s and 80’s … nice … NY’s back baby!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’ve always felt Melbourne to be Australia’s New York. Moody. Dark. Different cultures. I’d say the first place would definitely be the Rialto Building; out of all the fancy architecture going up in the city, the Rialto is the essence of Melbourne.

What are you currently reading?
Mostly, the play I’m working on… Sam Shepard’s TRUE WEST … It’s truly a masterpiece of writing … Shakespearean, I’d dare to say … and learning both roles of Lee and Austin has taken up most of my mental real estate.

What are you currently listening to?
HA! My TRUE WEST playlist, which consists of: Flat Duo Jets, Tom Petty, Lana Del Rey, Dean Martin, Chris Isaac and Queens of the Stone Age … I tend to listen to music a lot. When switching from the Lee character to the Austin character night after night, having music helps me to plug into the play at the right temperature.

Happiness is?
It’s a crazy time at the minute. Business isn’t as usual. Happiness for me is connecting with the real ones in your life, drawing, and watching a movie at an old theatre.

What does the future hold for you?
More drawing. I brought out my first graphic novel last year called ‘Doorman’. It was based on a film script I had written for myself to act in, and we were ready to begin filming in Melbourne in the middle of 2020 when the pandemic started. The production shut down so I turned it into a four-part comic book. I’m currently working on some more books, and other theatre & film projects… I’m no good at sitting on my ass!

Mark stars in Human Sacrifice Theatre’s production of Sam Shepard’s TRUE WEST – currently playing at fortyfivedownstairs until 7 May 2023. For more information, visit: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com for details.

Image: Mark Diaco (supplied)