How to Make It As An Actor

When Mark McCullough walks into a room, positive energy engulfs it, which is kind of a surprise when you think of the bad guys he plays on screen.

But even under that gritty mustache, his smile is welcoming and approachable. McCullough credits that to his Southern roots. “Southern people are refreshing in Hollywood. We’re kind and gracious, and, shockingly, people actually like that.” That could be one of the reasons McCullough does, and always will, call Savannah his home. “I’ve done the whole L.A. thing and I hated it. That place sucks out your soul,” McCullough notes. “You used to have to live in New York or L.A. in order to get jobs, but that’s not the case anymore. More movies were filmed in Georgia last year than in California. And that number is growing. As long as you’re willing to go where the filming is, you can live wherever you want.” 

This isn’t McCullough’s only tip for those dreaming of jumping into the film industry. Mark has made a point to teach up-and-comers the craft of acting whenever he is in town. He came up with the idea to teach after his father passed away. “My dad was always helping people,” McCullough remembers. “He would fix a neighbor’s toilet or help with minor repairs, all out of the goodness of his heart. When he passed I wanted to carry on that legacy, the only problem was I’m terrible at those things. I was doing more harm than good, I promise.” So instead of fixing broken pipes, McCullough decided to help at what he does best: acting. He began taking on students in both individual and class settings. He teaches his own brand of success, which centers around being the best you can possibly be. 

“I can’t promise I’ll get you to superstardom, if I knew that secret I’d already be there! But I can promise I can get you to my level, the rest is up to you.” It’s those kind of insightful one-liners that make McCullough such a great teacher. He gets in your head and makes you believe you can succeed, which, according to him, is half the battle.

To find out Mark's Seven Elements for Making It As An Actor, subscribe now or pick up the October/November issue of South Magazine.