MARK (REDSKY) PRIOR
LEE A. WOOD
Walking the beaches of English Bay it is possible to encounter actors, musician, poets, sculptors, writers. If the day is sunny and warm it is possible to meet one person who embodies all of these talents.
Mark A. (Redsky) Prior was born many moons ago, in February, in the year of the deep snow, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Redsky, was raised in Ontario, finished school in Kelowna, B. C., moved to Vancouver, with his parents, seventeen years ago, and currently resides, near Stanley Park, in Vancouver's West End.
Grocery warehousing; window cleaning; and pizza, and Chinese food delivery are a few of the jobs Redsky has held between stints in the `Biz'.
The `Biz' (show business) has always been in Redsky's blood. From his earliest days, until the present, his main desire has been the `Biz'. As a youth, Redsky produced small skits for his friends and family. As an adult he works in film and video.
Redsky's first acting part in Vancouver, [as an extra (An extra is an actor without lines.)] was in the preview of `Hawkeye'. As an extra, actor, grip, and gopher he has worked on several independent films. In the films: `The Life and Times of Chief Dan George', he was a photo double and a lamp operator; `To Return', (The John Walkus Story), he was a boom operator and grip. Recent acting performances were: as `Francis George' on the CBC series `Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy'; and as `a minister' in the CBS movie `Personally Yours'.
Redsky has been First AD (Assistant Director) on; a 16 MM film (`No Fury'), as well as a 35 MM production (Alice's House'). In the Spring of `99 he was the videographer on a documentary filmed in Hobema, Alberta.
In `97 he produced `Until Tomorrow' a story about a young couple who, after years of trying to have a baby are finally successful. The young wife is prevented from telling her husband the `good news' when their dinner is interrupted by the couple from `Hell'.
On this workshop video, which was shown at the `99 Vancouver Aboriginal Film Festival, Redsky was co author, production coordinator, first assistant director, producer, and co-star. He also did most of the set deck.
In `99 Redsky was videographing demo tapes for a couple of aspiring actresses.
Carving is a talent that has only recently been discovered by Redsky. A few years ago, while trying to write, at English Bay, he became distracted by a young lady who was carving. Picking up a piece of driftwood, and a tool, he tried his hand. He discovered he could produce art when he made a dolphin.
As Redsky developed his carving skills, without training, other than a few hints from friends, as to what kind of tools to use. He found that he prefers to work in stone (Alabaster and Soap Stone) rather than wood.
Carving seems to come as a gift from within, a part of the spiritual life that he tries to lead. The only work involved, for Redsky, is to cut out the rough shape. The vision of what is in the stone, the carving and finishing is, to Redsky, a spiritual thing, a time of enjoyment. As he puts it, `a pleasant journey'.
Redsky sees more of the film industry in his future. (Future projects include co directing and camera man on `Walking Stanley Park', a one hour documentary.)
While awaiting more acting parts he continues to work at his new love, sculpting and his poetry, some of which he hopes to publish in the near future.
* * * * * * * *
SPIRITS FROM THE SNOW
The snow blanketed the prairie
Gently covering it's rolling hills
The hemlock trees sparkled
From their fir-lined frost
A babbling brook broke lively
Through it's ice
The sky scattered soft light
Down from the clouds
Wind gusts blew snow powder
Over frozen bodies
Blood, frozen to the wounds
From bullets and Hotchkis guns
Cries of children
Women, and elders
Were carried off in the breeze
Unarmed women with children
Were gunned to the ground
Frozen in place where they fell
The soldiers were thorough
Children were told, as they hid
Come out, come out
You are safe now
But guns went ablaze
As they came to the call
None were to live
Through the bullets barrage
Yet miracles can't be stopped
It's the Creator's way
So a handful survived
As the shooting subsided
Quiet, sad faces, were taken away
Met the doctor's gaze
He'd seen wounded before
So many times more
But the silence
Of the women and children
Huddled and bleeding
Ripped into his mind
And shocked his soul
* For those who fell at Wounded Knee.
(c)1995 by Mark A. Prior (Redsky)
Mar. `06: Though `Walking' was never produced, his visions have materialized, as the following pictures will confirm.
On display in `Divine Design' in the Sheraton Landmark Hotel,
Robson St. Vancouver
Redsky's latest carvings, that are available, can be found on the BlogSpot, `STONEPALETTE', which he shares with his significant other, Juhli Caldwell.
Also in `06 he wrote, acted, and produced a short video called `Last of the Longhairs.
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