Mark Lainer is originally from Worcester, MA, went to high school at Worcester Academy and graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in Amherst, MA with a degree in Neuroscience. He spent time as a bookkeeper and accountant, interned as a research biologist for the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company, and, while traveling in East Africa for six months, volunteered as a technician at a village hospital and taught bookkeeping and accounting at a small technical college in Kilifi, an island off the coast of Kenya.
Bitten by the acting bug during junior high school, he finally decided to try to make a go of it as an actor and moved to New York City, where he did a great deal of stage work, as well as some TV and commercials. He trained as an improviser and writer with Groundlings East (later Gotham Improv), performed with improvisational and sketch comedy troupes in New York City (including the “New York Improv Squad,” “Unexpected Company” and “Style Without Substance”) and was hired and brought to Florida as a founding member of the “Who What and Warehouse Improv Company,” the resident improv troupe at Disney’s Comedy Warehouse on Pleasure Island. He later performed at a number of different venues at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida. He also performed improvisationally with the ensemble at Sak Comedy Lab in Orlando. He has written, directed and performed in many corporate events all over the world for such companies as Walt Disney World, Ford Motor Company, Ernst & Young and Eckerd Drug, as well as having led many corporate training seminars in the application of improvisational techniques to the business world and to facilitate the creative development of students. He has also continued to do theater, performing in Central Florida with the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Orlando Theater Project, Vine Theater and Mad Cow Theater in partnership with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as theaters in Los Angeles and Massachusetts.
On the big screen, he starred in the Academy Award and Emmy Award winning FSU student film Slow Dancin’ Down the Aisles of the Quick Check (screened at the Cannes Film Festival and winner of numerous film festival prizes), the Coca Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Grand Prize winning film Escape Back to the Movies (shown on hundreds of film screens nationwide), the independent short film The Meeting (shown at the LA Independent Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, and on the Sci Fi Channel show Exposure) and was featured in the films Confessions of a Florist, Alligator Alley, Unconscious, My Own Love Song, The Year of Getting to Know Us, A Grave Matter, and The Little Mermaid.
On the small screen, he was most recently seen on A & E’s The Glades, USA Network’s Burn Notice, Fox TV’s Bones, AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and USA Network’s Graceland. He had a recurring role on the syndicated series The Cape, and was featured in Episode Five of the award winning HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.” He has had featured roles in the syndicated TV series Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Disney Channel’s The Jersey, USA Network’s Sins of the City, ABC’s Second Noah, Fox’s Fortune Hunter, NBC’s seaQuest, as well as various Nickelodeon productions. A partial listing of the TV commercials he’s appeared include national and regional spots for PNC Bank, Slick 50, Campbell’s Soup, K-Mart, Regions Bank, Middleton Pest Control, NAPA Auto Parts, the Florida Lottery, Florida’s Natural Orange Juice, the Massachusetts Census, and Harvard Pilgrim.
He will be seen in July, 2020, as Hostage, in a very memorable principal role in the Disney/Fox feature film “Free Guy,” starring Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) and Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), and directed by Shawn Levy (Stranger Things). Looks like it’s going to be a doozy!
He is currently based near Boston, MA, and helps run Moralevator, an improv based corporate team building company.