Meet Mark, the Stoli Guy Philadelphia winner who worked up a sweat while tearing up the dancefloor at iCandy for the GayCities-produced star search. Guest co-host Carol Ann Carol Ann presided over the high-energy event while judges Mimi Imfurst from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Steve McCann from Philly Gay Calendar and Josh Middleton from Philadelphia magazine celebrated along with last year’s national winner, Philly’s own Billy Cavallo.
Now Mark is getting ready to travel to New York City for the national finale. Will he be the one to claim the $10,000 prize?
Can you give us a little teaser of what your original talent showcase will be at the finale on September 18?
I don’t want to give it away too much, but lets just say “I’m bringin’ sexy back.”
How did your friends and family react when you won Stoli Guy 2014 in your hometown?
I didn’t even realize I had won until one of my friends attacked me from the crowd. You would have thought they won the Stoli Guy for Philadelphia the way they were screaming at me. The excitement hit me at home.
Being an LGBT ambassador for Stoli is an exciting job. Why do you think you’d be the best at it?
I believe that I would be an amazing ambassador for the LGBT community because you have to be able to relate to people, not just know what they like. I feel that my laid back, yet outgoing personality allows me to connect with people on a deeper level than just a casual conversation about the weather.
Why do you think being “authentic” is important in the LGBT community?
Authenticity is important to me in any community, if you aren’t being real, or original then what are you being? Stay true to yourself and remember why you started.
What inspired you to participate in Stoli Guy 2014?
A good friend of mine had convinced me to participate. I thought that I would’ve never been chosen out of the 500 guys who applied, so I was hesitant to participate. I feel as other contests are overly competitive and this one had just the right amount of edge for me. I was allowed to be myself alongside other humble talents without having to be a cookie cutter image.
Favorite Stoli Guy Cocktail: Boy Next Door (Stoli Blueberi + Lemonade)