Happy Birthday Mark Selz!
By Richard Mabey Jr.
Today, March 11th is Mark Selz’s birthday. Mark Selz is an incredibly talented actor. I’ve had the honor to act with him in a few theatrical productions. Mark takes the concept of method acting to the nth degree. Mark is a loving husband, a devoted father to his two sons and a friend to many people. Simply put, Mark is a great guy.
It was a production of “Barefoot in the Park” where I came to know Mark Selz.
I first came to know Mark Selz in a production of “Barefoot in the Park.” I played the role of Harry Pepper, the nervous telephone repairman who gets in the middle of a big argument between the starring couple. Mark played the role of Victor Velasco, the flamboyant and flirtatious neighbor. Mark was a natural. He is very dedicated to acting. I remember how he learned his lines in no time flat.
The stage play, “Beyond the North Star” was a big success, largely because of Mark Selz’s willingness to come to bat at the eleventh hour!
Well, fast forward a couple of years and my play, which was co-written by the great writer Bill Anderson, was now in rehearsal. It was the early summer of 1989. It was only three weeks until opening night and the chap who was portraying my Great Grandfather, William Mabey, had a heart attack.
The cast of “Beyond the North Star.”
Bill Anderson and I asked Mark if he would come to bat for us. Mark did not hesitate at all. Mark took on the role, three weeks before opening night. Well, Mark was a real trooper. In no time at all, Mark had memorized all of his lines. About a week before the play was scheduled to premier, Mark had the role, down pat. Mark’s great baritone voice, his incredible acting ability and his incredible focus, brought a great sense of reality to the true story of my family’s history.
Mark and I, in the father and son scene in “North Star.”
Mark and I portrayed father and son, in the play. Mark had taken on the role of my Great Grandfather and I had the role of my Grandfather, Watson Mabey. In the play, Watson is torn between continuing to work on the Morris Canal or to become a farmer. The memory of that scene still haunts me. There was a moment, when Mark and I were on stage in front of over 200 people, and it all seemed so real. Mark is that good of an actor!
Mark and I are both the sons of Scoutmasters.
Besides a love for acting and theater, Mark and I share another unique common bond. We are both the sons of Scoutmasters. Mark’s Dad was the Scoutmaster of Troop 2 of Boonton. My Dad was the Scoutmaster of Troop 170 of Lincoln Park. Being the Scoutmaster’s son presents a very unique psychological and emotional situation.
Being the son of the Scoutmaster presents a unique psychological and emotional situation.
I remember that every time I earned a higher rank or earned a merit badge, some wise guy would say, “oh, you got that badge because your Dad is the Scoutmaster.” I found it to be just the opposite. I found that a lot of the Merit Badge Counselors made it tougher on me, because they did not want to be accused of showing favoritism. I am sure Mark experienced the same kind of thing.
Mark Selz’s blog is interesting and heart warming!
Mark and I share yet a third common bond. We are both writers. And, we both have blogs. If you have not read Mark’s blog, I highly recommend that you check it out. It is a well written, heart warming blog. The URL is: https://afatmansjournal.com. Please do check it out. You’ll be glad you did!
A photo of the inside of the Red Barn Restaurant in Towaco, taken by Mark Selz.
Mark is also a talented photographer. He often posts black and white photos of interesting nooks and crannies of northern New Jersey. Mark has a knack for finding the charm and splendor of the ordinary scenarios of every day life. For example, Mark often takes black and white pictures of the interior of various diners in New Jersey. I don’t know what it is. It could be the lighting, the moment in time, or a multitude of things, but Mark captures the core truth of a moment of the most ordinary places.
Mark is a serious cyclist. He has participated in many bicycle marathon races!
Aside from all these wonderful talents, Mark is an outstanding cyclist. Mark participates in a lot of bicycle marathon races and fund raising events that center upon cycling. Mark loves cycling. Even if you never owned a bicycle in your life, when you read some of Mark’s blogs about cycling, you feel inspired to go out an buy a bicycle yesterday!
All in all, Mark Selz is a great guy! I really do hope that Mark had a great birthday celebration today!