Last Call: Mark Valdez


Then + Now

Then + Now

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2015 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chain here and our RISD “Last Call” chain here.

People might know me as… the boy with too many pairs of Warby Parker glasses who watches too much television.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… coming in second in BlogDH’s Senior Superlatives for “Most Likely to be on SNL.” It would have been too much pressure to live up to if I’d won.

On Friday night, you might find yourself… singing “Friends in Low Places” or “Out Tonight” at The Boombox.

Three things you wish you knew freshman year…

  1. You’re not going to find love in the next four years. So, stop looking for it. You’ll be happier.

  2. I can’t sing. My high school drama director lied to me. I was cast in leading roles, so I thought I could sing. I got to Brown then never got a callback for any acapella group or musical.

  3. My parents know, so just tell them already.

Ratty vs. V-Dub… V-Dub forever and ever. I met my best friends at the V-Dub the night before classes, so I consider it a magical place. I’ve missed only a handful of Chicken Finger Fridays. I’ve grown close with Celeste, one of the BDS workers, and I’m already tearing up thinking about saying goodbye.

The best thing you did in your time at Brown is… I camped out on 48th Street for three days to watch Kristen Wiig host Saturday Night Live. More generally, I realized I want to pursue a career in entertainment and comedy, so I pushed myself to audition and join Brown/RISD Stand-Up Comics and the Providence Improv Guild.

One thing you wish you had done at Brown is… create a Sketch Comedy Writing GISP. It had always been up in the air with a few friends, it just never materialized. I ended up doing an ISP this semester with Professor Jonathan Readey on nonfiction comedy writing, focusing on stand-up and sketch. We treated our meetings like pitch meetings, which was a blast.

After graduation, you plan to… move to New York City! I’ll be working in television. Just a boy and his dreams, living life like an episode of Broad City and trying not to become a character from Girls

What’s the hardest class you’ve taken at Brown? If you could do it over, would you still take it? Intro the American Political Process with Wendy Schiller. It took it freshman fall, and it was a great way to learn the new academic expectations of college. I had to learn how to adjust my studying and writing habits, and I’m glad I learned it at the start rather than later on. She’s also an incredible lecturer with killer shoes.

What’s the most rewarding extracurricular you’ve been a part of? Why? The BDH. I’ve held writing and editorial positions at all three of the branches (The Herald, BlogDH, and Post- Magazine). I was able to write in a lot of different styles over the course of four years, and I was able to publish a lot of stuff that I really wanted to write about, which was a great privilege. I also met so many great people along the way.

Here’s my last shameless plug: I wrote a couple of send offs, one about The Herald and one about graduating and TV finales.

One piece of advice for underclassmen? Don’t do anything if you think you have to or someone tells you should. I made many mistakes doing what I thought I should be doing and just ended up unhappy. There are only a few things that you need to do, but the rest you should be doing what makes you happiest.

That being said, I really recommend you take a nonfiction class with Jonathan Readey. He’s the most encouraging person I’ve met in my life.

Darian’s Question: What is your spirit song from 1989 and why?

“Blank Space,” because I have a set of golf clubs that I keep on the ready for any moment I can reenact the car smashing scene of the music video. I’m also currently training to stand on horses.

Next up? Hillary Jacobson.

Mark’s question for Hillary: Who would you cast to play us in a television comedy series? Would it change if it were a drama?

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