Since childhood, Mark has been deeply involved in music. He began playing the piano at the age of four. While still in high school, Mark composed and co-wrote his first musical, Cupid’s Arrow, which he also directed and conducted. Later, he composed and co-authored another original stage musical, The Right Circles.
Mark has performed and composed for many events and productions, with New York City venues including The Supper Club, The Duplex and Gilda’s Club. He has also made multiple appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America, including a special Christmas segment with Rosie O’Donnell (also see 1, 2).
As a songwriter, Mark was recognized in 2003 by Billboard’s 11th Annual Songwriting Contest with three Honorable Mentions, two of which were designated as Top 500 songs. Also that year, the Songwriters Resource Network’s Great American Song Contest called his work “exceptional songwriting.” In 2008, he began working as The Offhand Band, writing, producing and releasing original songs for kids and families, debuting with the album Everyone’s Invited.
With extensive experience improvising in many styles, Mark currently performs regularly with the Mop & Bucket Co., the premier improv comedy troupe in New York State’s Capital Region, providing accompaniment for many of their shows.
After teaching traditional methods for a total of seven years, Mark is now an Accredited Simply Music Teacher, helping students achieve breakthrough results with this extraordinary piano learning method.
In addition to music, Mark has many other eclectic pursuits. He wrote his first full-length screenplay at age 16, and as a Theatre Arts major at Cornell University (BA 1992, Phi Beta Kappa), Mark studied directing with Pulitzer Prize nominee David Feldshuh. Having been represented by the Farber Literary Agency (NYC) and Susan Smith & Associates (Beverly Hills), Mark has numerous other accomplishments in theater and film.
Mark also has strong intellectual interests centered around science, systems and positive change. These led him to write an award-winning thesis on sustainability for the City University of New York Graduate Center (MA 2001), and to create Potluck, a website which includes many of his related essays and papers as well as his original artistic works.
These pursuits also led Mark to co-found Emergent Associates, LLC, an agency specializing in personal/life coaching, group/organizational/business consulting and training, using a unique internally-developed approach which integrated knowledge about systems sciences, positive change and developmental psychology. The Appreciative Inquiry-based work of EA provided Mark with the foundation for many of the services that he now offers through Potluck Creative Arts.