Finding Neverland’s Mark Bacon’s Life Parallels J.M. Barrie

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Confession time. When I was at university, I loved watching and sobbing over the movie Finding Neverland with my flatmates. So the chance to get to see the musical version of the show here in my hometown is thrilling! And how can I not get giddy having the chance to chat with actor Mark Bacon who plays J.M. Barrie in the Non Equity tour of Finding Neverland. He has great looks, bucket loads of talent and as you’ll learn he has a huge heart that would impress even the original J.M. Barrie.

So grab a cuppa and learn 7 tidbits about Mark:

The Joyous Living: Mark Bacon Interview for Finding Neverland

Favorite part of the show?

When the four boys put on a play for J.M. Barrie and their mom, Sylvia. Personally, watching these young actors and how they interpret the scene is so great because child actors are so unfiltered, do what they think is right and have no qualms with it. It’s so different from how adults tackle a scene.

Over the past 5 months we’ve had 17 different kids play these different roles and someone always brings something totally different to the scene.

Were you a child actor?

Yes, actually I started pretty early myself. My mom asked if I wanted to do swimming lessons or drama classes. I chose drama because they gave candy at the end of the class.

The first real role I had was as George (Stuart’s brother) in Stuart Little.

What was the best lessons your teachers taught you at university?

The Joyous Living: Mark Bacon Interview as J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland

It parallels Barrie’s story funny enough. I did my first year at University of Florida and the teachers were nonplussed by me. I kept getting push back. One teacher said I regressed and should consider leaving. Another teacher said I was not mentally capable of handling this lifestyle. As a result, they blacklisted me from shows and (in not so many words) said I needed to take a year to figure it out.

Of course, I was devastated and decided to focus on me as a human being. I got new roommates and new friends who were outside of the theater world.

It helped enhance my everything, the way I approached roles, the way I approached my life outside of theater.

I felt like a person who does musical theater bringing outside experiences to the theater. Ironically the next summer I got my first equity job (Gypsy at Hangar Theatre in New York). It was the first time a theater of note was looking at me. It was so validating to have people say they see something of worth in me after all these negative experiences.

Similarly J.M. Barrie kept being told no, no, no after every turn, and yet he pushed forward to do what was right even though it feels uncomfortable.

I really look back on that experience fondly. It was extremely tough but I grew so much as a result of it!

How did You take what you’ve learned as a young person and apply it to J.M. Barrie?

One thing I was really nervous about was how Barrie used his imagination. I had been doing commercial theater for a while and it does not require you to create up from the ground up (which is what J.M. Barrie does). I had to go back to being a kid and finding the moments where I have to sit still and be silly and engage naturally with these boys on stage. The boys in the show really helped instill that in me.

Have you as a tour group had a chance to visit children’s homes and/or hospitals?

We have not yet but I would love to go to children’s homes. J.M. Barrie invited orphans to his show so that would be so in the spirit of the show!

Have you had an experience yet that reminds you why you are doing this show?

There was one day in Pennsylvania when a young girl (about 15 years old) hit me up on Instagram and said that this was her 3rd time to see the production and she and her mom had driven 1 1/2 hours. I replied and encouraged her to come to the stage door to meet some of the cast members for photos. Her mom pulled me aside and said I had made her daughter so incredibly happy.

Things like this are so wild! To get tags in posts and random Instagram messages. One girl asking for a signed playbills for my sister who has Leukemia and this month a teenage boy in Turin, Italy, who’d been trolling videos of me doing this show reached out and told me that he loved what I did with the role.

This is why I do the show. I was so inspired by so many other people and I never believed I would be someone to inspire someone on this level. I don’t take that lightly and those who pay to come see the show deserve the best.

At the end of our interview, Mark gamely helped me come up with an acronym of songs that represent both himself and the show using the letters of his surname.

B-A-C-O-N in Songs:

What song best represents Barrie’s life to you?

B – “Believe” (Finding Neverland)

What song (not from the show) best represents the show (what people are going through and how they get through it)?

A – “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” (Dreamgirls)

What song best represents your life?

C – Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)

What song best presents your childhood/growing up?

O – Older Chests (Damien Rice)

Give us the name of a random song beginning with N?

N – New Dorp New York (SBTRKT)

The Joyous Living: Finding Neverland's Mark Bacon's Life Parallels J.M. Barrie (Interview)

For More About Mark:

Bio: Mark Bacon (J.M. Barrie) is thrilled to play with his imagination for the next year! Selected credits: Brigadoon (Tommy), Hairspray (Link), Heathers (Hipster, JD understudy), All Shook Up (Chad), Mamma Mia! (Sky). Shout out to my flight attendants.


Instagram: @Bitz820

Finding Neverland Tour Dates:

Thousand Oaks, CA (1/16-20)

Hays, KS (1/23)

Columbia, MO (1/24)

St. Charles, MO (1/25)

Pittsburg, KS (1/26)

McAllen, TX (1/28)

San Antonio, TX (1/29)

Abilene, TX (1/30)

Brenham, TX (1/31)

For tickets and more dates visit the official website here.

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  1. Katherine Bartlett

    January 16, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Wow, I love watching live shows. I’ve seen the movie so I bet the show is great!

    1. thejoyousliving

      January 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      I can’t wait to see the show tonight and will be sure to share my interview.

  2. Colleen

    January 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    I love getting a peek at the actors behind the characters. This was a great interview.

    1. thejoyousliving

      January 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks Colleen. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Brandy

    January 16, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    This is such a fun interview. I always enjoy learning more about the actors that play a character. I love the list of songs too, some of my favorites.

  4. Bill Sweeney

    January 16, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    I always like reading about the actor behind the character. This is a spectacular interview.

  5. Ann

    January 17, 2020 at 12:27 am

    I really enjoyed reading this, and I would love to hear more of the child actor part 🙂

  6. Nicole

    January 17, 2020 at 3:07 am

    Such a great interview! I love getting to hear more about the actors and their thoughts.

  7. Joy Della Vita

    January 17, 2020 at 4:26 am

    Haha, when a childs career patch is decided by candy at the end of classes, love it 🙂

  8. Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    January 17, 2020 at 5:17 am

    Now, I really do want to watch the movie! Mark sounds to be a fascinating character for the screen. I will look out for future dates with him or productions.

  9. Kendall

    January 17, 2020 at 6:52 am

    I love this story. Fun getting a BTS look.

  10. Julie Cao

    January 17, 2020 at 8:09 am

    I really enjoy reading this interview. The lessons Mark learned from this process is really inspirational.

  11. Matt Taylor

    January 17, 2020 at 8:45 am

    That is so cool. A great interview. I didn’t know much about Finding Neverland. I knew there was a movie with that title, but haven’t seen it.

  12. Jen

    January 17, 2020 at 11:04 am

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, now I know I must!

    1. thejoyousliving

      January 17, 2020 at 1:17 pm

      do!!! but please be prepared and have a tissue handy 🙂

  13. Terri Steffes

    January 17, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    I am so impressed that the words actually came out of your mouth. I would have been gaping like a fish out of water.

    1. thejoyousliving

      January 17, 2020 at 6:23 pm

      hehe. are you referring to myself or to Mr. Bacon the actor I interviewed?

  14. Shannon Gurnee

    January 17, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    I hadn’t heard of him before. I love learning about different people out there.

  15. Ruth I

    January 17, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    I also become very interested whenever seeing a pretty good show. He seems so passionate and good with his craft. This is pretty entertaining.

  16. Lily

    January 18, 2020 at 12:50 am

    Amazing behind the scenes look. Also really fun interview as well!

  17. Eileen M Loya

    January 19, 2020 at 7:19 am

    I got to know a lot about Mark Bacon through your interview with him. He sounds like a very nice person. I hope I could watch him perform, but I don’t live anywhere close to the venue.

  18. Clarice

    January 20, 2020 at 9:25 am

    I totally agree with you. I am also a fan of Finding Neverland and cried buckets while watching it. A musical sounds really exciting and you’re so lucky to chat with Marck Bacon. Thank you for sharing your interview/ experience.

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