Memories of Teaching


A former student of mine at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Chelsea Cooper, just sent me a message on Facebook with a picture quoting something I had said one day in class. I don’t remember saying it, but I do think it’s apropos for surviving in the business and being happy while doing it. Thanks Chelsea for reminding me of that!

Fun in Big Bear!

Markwith Ruth Big BearHad a great weekend at Big Bear Lake where we went kayaking. Also went up the ski lift – a bit nerve-raking when it stopped over a gorge for a while, but spectacular views.We took Ruth and she acted like a puppy running all over everywhere.

Song-writing with Scott Harlan

This morning I’m meeting with musician Scott Harlan to create an opening number for Alison England’s new cabaret act. The song is called “Just One Woman.” We’ve already done two other songs for the show called “When Molly Sings” and “Every Time I Love.” Scott and I have collaborated on several song-writing adventures in the past, including the children’s musicals Wit’s End and The Big Orange Splot.

Mark directs Alison England’s new show.

Director Mark Knowles

Mark is directing a new cabaret evening with soprano Alison England. The show is entitled “Not Just One Woman,” and will be on November 4, 2013 at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal. Mark also wrote three songs with his writing partner Scott Harlan which Ali is  debuting.


Amazon is already sold out of The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock! It’s exciting to know the book is actually selling so well. New shipments should get to them soon.

The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock is available!

Mark Knowles, author of the biography of Elvis Presley's choreographer I came home after teaching at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts yesterday afternoon and discovered a box of books from McFarland Publishers sitting on my deck. The biography of Alex Romero that I wrote is finally out.  I remember years ago when I first asked Alex  if I could write a book about his life and he got so excited and immediately said yes. I promised him that some day I would do it.This morning after I woke up I sat on my couch and looked through the book and thought, “I kept my promise to this man I loved and respected so much.” It made me so happy.

Lunch with a beautiful tap dancer

Over Labor Day weekend, I went to Palm Springs and had lunch with my former tap dance partner, Callie O’Bryan.It was so great to see her and catch up and after lunch, we even did a little shuffle or two in the parking lot. Callie and I won First Place in the Duke Ellington Tap Dance Contest held at the Shubert Theatre in LA back in 1984. The contest was judged by the late, great Gregory Hines.

tap dancers

Mark, Callie, and William in Palm Springs.

Mark Does A Commercial

tap dancer Mark KnowlesIn March of 2013, I had the pleasure of working with the amazing Melinda Sullivan when I was cast in a commercial for Capital Gold Group. I was only seen from the waist down and was basically the tap dancing feet of the company spokesman. We shot it at the Alex theater in Glendale and it was a blast. Melinda is one of the most talented tap dancers and choreographers I’ve worked with in a long time.