The Next Big Thing Cast: Mark Elias (Becan McCrae)

As he kicked to his feet, one word came to Scott’s mind. Energy.

As he kicked to his feet, one word came to Scott’s mind. Energy.

(for those wanting to know more about this casting series, click this link)

There is no one in Epic like Becan McCrae. There is no character who makes his intentions as blatantly well-known at every turn. With Becan, what you see is what you get–and more often than not, what you get is someone who’s going to do something that embarrasses you in public.

Without a doubt, I hear more, “I love Becan!” from people after they read Dawn of Destiny than I do for any other character. As Epic’s resident Irishman and one of its biggest stars, Becan comes out of the gate at full force and never slows down. He’s ridiculous. He’s hilarious. He’s completely sincere. And every now and then, when you least expect it, he shocks the living daylights out of you.

David and Henry’s weapons trained ahead as Becan and Zigler sidestepped from behind. As Becan stopped behind David, he peered back into the commons. Everything was silent and still. He stared at the false colors of the TCV for several seconds before drifting his hand to his visor. His finger floated over the TCV switch, and he clicked it off. All color faded. The world was thrust into blackness. He lowered his stare to the ground. Not even his feet were visible. Becan swallowed and reached back up to flick on his visor. A massive spotlight burst from his helmet and rayed into the commons.


Everyone in Team-1 jumped and slammed against the wall. Their gazes darted to Becan, who frantically groped his helmet. The spotlight went out, and the halls were once again dark.

“What the hell was that?” Zigler spat out.

Becan’s heart pounded. “I hit the wrong flickin’ switch.”

It is easy for Becan to fall under the umbrella of “comic relief” in Epic, yet those familiar with the story know that there’s so much more to him than that. He is passionately, almost angrily loyal. He’s the kind of fearless that gets itself into trouble. He is perpetually underestimated and consistently dominating.

If you want to know my opinion, the reason readers are so enamored with Becan is simple: he does what they wish someone would do. He stands up to punks. He tells off those who deserve to be told off, right to their faces. He presses that button that no one is supposed to press. He is a person of pure impulse, and for so many of us who keep our impulses restrained, it’s relieving to find someone who just acts, for better or worse, every single time. You never go into a Becan scene wondering “if” he’s about to do something. You’re just waiting to enjoy it when he does. This taps into the no-consequences side of all of us. Are there consequences? Of course. But Becan never sees them. The cart is always before the horse.

“I can’t wait to meet her,” Becan said.

Scott could definitely wait for Nicole to meet Becan. Without guilt. “She already feels like she knows everyone. She’s heard stories about the whole crew.”

“Yeh better not be tellin’ her lies abou’ me.”

“Everything I told her was true,” Scott said. “Like the time we were in Turkey, and you forgot to bring ammunition.”

“Grand. Thanks for sharin’ tha’ one.”

“And the time Jay crippled that canrassi, and you tried to ride it.”

Becan cocked his head back and cackled. “Class.”

Becan’s story is one of an orphan trying to leave his mark on the world, carrying the McCrae name on his back in the process. Though he enters Dawn of Destiny as a rookie, he quickly becomes one of Scott Remington’s most trusted comrades and confidants. As important as Becan’s ability to lighten a mood is, so is his worth on the battlefield. Jokester or not, Becan is more than capable of taking care of himself in combat.

He also bears the distinction of being the only character for whom I have actually received death threats! Yes, that’s right. I have received more, “So help me God, if you kill off Becan…” messages than I can recall. He has a way of winning people over like that. And that’s why we love him.


Like a BOSS.

Becan is a hard, hard cast. There are a slew of qualities that have to be met, including the unique ability to be both lovable goofball and no-holds-barred tail-kicker. With Becan, you can’t be one or the other. You have to be both at the same time. And for that, we turn to Mark Elias.

If you watch crime dramas regularly, just wait – you’re bound to catch sight of Mark eventually. Making runs on shows such as CSI, Southland, Criminal Minds, and most recently Castle, he’s apparently struck the right cord with cop shows. But if you want to catch Mark right now, right this minute, look no further than The Adventures of Lewis and Clark, a web comedy for which Mark acts as both actor and producer (see: creator).

As those who know me know, I’m a fan of hard-working people. I harp constantly about the entitlement curse that’s sweeping America, so it’s always awesome to me when I find someone busting their butt to make it in entertainment, which is a notoriously difficult field to succeed in. Seriously. You try writing a novel series. You try producing something on-camera. It’s all fun and games until you’re doing it yourself, when you have that sudden, “good grief, this is hard,” brick-to-the-face reality check. Are you willing to go full throttle, balls to the wall, one thousand miles-per-hour, seven days a week, for the possibility of gaining absolutely nothing? If so, welcome to show biz! It might sound like a sobering description, but ask anyone involved in entertainment. I can tell you as an author. Mark can tell you as a producer. You have to have a non-stop mentality. You’ve got to love it.

Well, Mark loves it. He has a non-stop mentality. And lo and behold, he’s doing things! Hilarious things, that people are loving, because he’s willing to invest more time and energy than most people even realize they possess in order to do so. And to me, that’s just fantastic.

We’re all underdogs in this business. Yeah, it’s cliche to say, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, yadda, yadda, yadda,” but it’s a popular adage for a reason. Well, the fight in Mark is big (a trait he shares with Becan McCrae). Watch him. Keep track of him. Because you’re going to see more and more of him. And that is an exceedingly good thing.

Twitterheads, you can follow Mark right here. And while you’re at it, follow me too. ‘Cause I write freakin’ books.

BONUS POINTS: Mark has actually become a fan of Epic through this process. Quite frankly, that just rocks.

Colonel Lilan…check. Natalie Rockwell…check. Becan McCrae…check. Who’s the next big thing in Epic’s Next Big Thing? Oh, you’re going to love it. Trust me.

You’re going to sodding love it.


  1. great choice based on the description. I always had a hard time picturing Becan in my head when reading him. but i like the choice. He’s such a great character. Im glad my guess about who was coming next was right too! I think I can guess the new next one as well.


  1. […] it’s time for our much overdo interview with Mark Elias, who was cast as Epic’s The Next Big Thing selection for everyone’s favorite Irishman, Becan McCrae! Mega kudos to Mark for taking the time to sit […]

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