My name is Mark Yacullo. I am 22 years old and I currently subside in Naperville, Illinois, which is about a 35-45 minute drive to the city of Chicago. I graduated with a B.A in Theatre Performance from North Central College and now I am embarking on this crazy journey known as an acting career. I fell in love with acting at the age of 12 when my dad encouraged me out of the blue to go audition for the middle school musical “Oklahoma.” Never had a heard of this show or any show in general that wasn’t “Rent” or “Phantom of the Opera.” But after an audition on the whim, I got the part of “TOWNSPERSON.” People watched me celebrating and almost getting detention because I was screaming in the hallways disrupting classes (that teacher had nothing better to do), but I didn’t care because it was at that moment I realized my life was going to change for the better.
A year later, I got a lead role in my 8th grade musical “School House Rock Live” and this led to even more fun and memorable roles and shows in high school. Not only were the shows and roles fun, but I found them memorable because they made me find some of the best people to spend my after school hours with and create long lasting friendships that would wind up helping find my confidence as a person not just a performer. By the time I was a Sophomore in high school I realized that being an actor was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This was something I still ponder about after how I was as a kid. I was a big sports buff growing up. Playing baseball until the ripe age of 15 and always cheering on my Boys in Blue the Chicago Cubs (which I still do). Although, I found myself to struggle fitting in with my teammates a majority of the time because comparing myself to them I was a little more, how you say “theatrical.” Showcasing enthusiasm and being hyperactive was something I was happy and ashamed of when being around my peers. I knew that my personality was considered “different” and it still is a big thing for me to deal with knowing I cannot be as socially confident as my family or friends.
This thing I am talking about is Aspergers Syndrome, a milder Autism Disorder that affects anyone cognitive skills with nonverbal communication and overall social interaction. I was diagnosed at the age of eight and while I have definitely noticed growth in how I interact with others, it can still be a struggle. My goal for this blog is show what the world is like through my eyes and the world I am talking about is the world of art. I have really good days and days I just want to forget. Even when I feel like I should give up, I remember about all the amazing connections, roles and opportunities this business has given me and that it makes me HAPPY! I also wanted to show to everyone that all I or anyone on the spectrum wants is the feeling of fitting in and letting their voice be heard. Well, this is my voice, let it be heard 🙂