I was crazy about movies as a kid. I think I could name every Humphrey Bogart movie, in order, (there were 72) by the time I was 15. I loved the Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton and all the old, screwball comedies. I went to High School in Charleston, SC. While there, I did a couple of plays but didn’t have much interest in acting. I was a pretty serious student. I went to college in Los Angeles to study languages and history but ended up drifting into acting. I have always had these two sides – goofy/creative and serious/analytical. I guess I could say that the goofy/creative side decided to take charge when I was 22, and so I became an actor. I never really felt like I belonged, though. However, I was competitive and wanted to succeed. If I had had more experiences like I had on Little House, I would have loved it more and, in the end, maybe have had more success. As it was, I found the pursuit of an acting career to be soul challenging. I knew from the beginning that the only chance of success was by giving it full commitment and I was aware that I didn’t have that. I struggled trying to get it the whole time. After I got married, I quit and became a corporate trainer and consultant. I am still doing that. I have my own business, Mark Neely Seminars, teaching sales and negotiation skills to different companies. I speak in front of groups so, in a way, it’s like acting but really, I think of myself more as a teacher than as an actor. I guess, if I really think about it, I have always thought of myself that way. My daughter, Mary, is now out of college and pursuing a career as an actress http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3894653/
It’s great to hear her stories and to relate to what she is doing. I think she is much more talented than I was and I love supporting her in her efforts.