• Matt Trakker

Mark Halloran Interview

1. How does it feel to know that there are still fans of this show?

It is wonderful to know that there are fans who remember MASK … It makes me feel that the work was a positive force in that entertained fans when they were kids and fond memories for them later in life.

2. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I am interested in reading particularly history, and science … I enjoy watching “Nova” on PBS … Anything that helps to understand … Understand what?  Anything really!

3. Are you currently working on any projects today? If so, would you care to share them with us?

I am working now on a top secret project involving … hey, wait a minute, it’s a secret (for now!)

4. Have you done any other voice acting outside of M.A.S.K.?

Commercials … some other animation work … impressions for onstage work …

5. What are some jobs you had earlier in your life?

Vacuum salesman … it sucked (sorry, I couldn’t help it!) … I sold two vacuums in my very brief career … I am not sure but I think Miles Mayhem was a vacuum sales person, but I am very sure he was an avid badminton player in his youth, although it is not included in his bio … Sly Rax was a lawn bowler during his high school years, and I know that as a fact!  But then again maybe he wasn’t … he was definitely third string on his high school wrestling team.  He had an opportunity to represent his country at the Olympics but he was tossed out of pre-Olympic trials due to a steroid controversy.  It really soured him, and he soon turned to a life of crime.

6. How did you become involved with MASK?

I was performing standup at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, and a call came in about the project, and I auditioned.

7. Did you audition for any specific role with the show before you landed the various ones you had (Rax, Hawks, Dagger)?

We were taken into an undisclosed part of the building, and asked if we were now or had ever been a card carrying member of VENOM … I was pretty sure (I am having a difficult time remembering because I am sure they zapped my memory banks just before I left the audition) …

8. Sly Rax had one of the most recognizable voices of all the 80’s cartoons. Did you come up with it yourself? What was it based on?

The animators had the illustration and the background characteristics for Sly … I liked the idea of a “Jack Nicholson” sound to his voice.  I think it gave him a rather “sly” sound to his voice.  He didn’t like bugs, and I believe Jack Nicholson does not bugs, although he likes the Lakers.

9. Outside of Sly Rax, my favorite voice that you did was Cliff Dagger. How did you come up with Cliff’s voice?

Ditto above … except that instead of Jack Nicholson, I used a “Rocky Stallone” sound to his voice … Cliff was and I still believe that he remains a muscle bound ‘fool’ … I stop in to see him from time to time, at his cell in San Quentin. The main thing is that he remains not bitter about the experience.

10. Which character on the show was your favorite? Why?

Vanessa … I would rather not say why …

11. Are any of the characters you voiced close to your original voice?

Duane Kennedy because it is so ‘ordinarily interesting’ … he was a little stiff during photo opts but once the flashbulbs stopped, Duane loosed his tie, took off his jacket, and does a fine ‘moonwalk’ step that would have impressed Michael Jackson.

12. The first season of MASK went 65 episodes while the second only went 10. Did you like the transition into the second season?

After the 65 episodes the show took what I think was a different approach … there was a lot of “racing car” activity, not that that is a bad thing, just made it different … when you do 65 episodes I believe it gives the writers an extra challenge of coming up with unique scenarios.

13. If you can recall, which episode did you like the most?

The first one! because it was all new to everyone … the “Deathstone” which looked a huge buttered baked potato … it was fun to see the characters on the screen move and talk with a voice one has invented for them, and really see how well it works.

14. If MASK where to be brought back today, would you want to be involved with the project? Do you feel an animated cartoon movie would do better than a live action movie?

Yes! … an animated cartoon movie would be best because, honestly I don’t look like any of the characters … and I think they would probably get Tom Cruise to play Sly, and he doesn’t sound anything like Jack Nicholson … I think Jack Nicholson could play Miles, but then again, he doesn’t sound like Miles, he sounds like Rax … maybe Rax could play Miles.

15. Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow M.A.S.K. cast members over the years?

Yes, some more than others, because after the project everyone moved on to do there own stuff … most of them have careers on Broadway, otherwise from time to time we run into each other at the unemployment office.

16. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your experience with MASK?

Years after the show was produced I was working in a play in Los Angeles, somehow one of the persons working on the show found out that I had been a MASK cast member (it is on my resume), and we talked about it … he also wrote some comments on my IMDB space about meeting our conversation.  I was genuinely flattered, and I also want to say hello to all MASK fans … maybe we’ll see you at a MASK convention.  It would be serious FUN! … to see another clash between MASK and VENOM  … thanks for the opportunity to write about my MASK experience.

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