Cliff: You have done some pretty ground breaking work, from the melting sequence in Phantasm II, to the monumental Freddy metamorphosis scene in Nightmare on Elm Street 2, to some very memorable character work in Dick Tracy. Looking back on all you’ve done, if you had to pick one favorite effect what would it be?

Mark: Well it’s hard to pick a favorite; they were all fun projects in different ways. But I’d have to say, if I had to pick a favorite it would be A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 because it was good for a number of reasons. It was basically the stand out sequence, right in the middle of the movie; I was working with a really wonderful man, a young man at the time, Mark Patton, and a great crew. It was just fun, but we knew it was going to be a challenge, and it’s one of those things that was also great for my career. I do remember Elm Street [Part 1] was a huge hit, I went with Bart [Mixon] to see it, and when the chance to do Elm Street 2 came up everybody in town wanted it. It ended up being… I think it was myself, Kevin Yagher, and two other people who I won’t mention who were the final competitors.

It was a Friday after, the producers said they were going to make their final decision and call everybody Monday. I was hanging out with my girlfriend the whole weekend, totally distracted by what might happen. I would turn to my girlfriend every half hour and say “Do you think I got the job? Do you think they’re gonna pick me??” Finally she just said “Shut Up! You’ll know Monday!” I knew it was going to be a great career thing for me if I got it and I deliberately chose that sequence and designed it because I knew if I got this movie and did that effect my career was going to take off and it did. One thing about that whole sequence is that it was never thought up by the writers! The script merely read “And Freddy bursts out of Jessie.” That’s all the written description was.

So when I went to the meeting and I asked the director Jack Sholder, “What do you want to see?” – Jack had this idea of Jessie standing there in a Freddy sweater with balloons underneath the sweater inflating and all of a sudden the Freddy hand rips the face open or something. I thought that was rather weak so I came up with the whole sequence as you see it. But to be fair, I storyboarded Jack’s sequence and I had Bart Mixon storyboard my idea. I told Bart “Make sure you draw Jack’s idea on a slightly smaller board, make it a little bit goofy, maybe put freckles on the guy- don’t be overt about it.”

Bart kind of shook his head; he knew what was going on. I said “Bart, for my idea I want to use a little bit bigger board, slightly larger drawings, little bit more dynamic.” And he’s like “Gotcha!” The final decision about what we were going to make was not up to me, not up to Jack, it was up to Bob Shaye, the head of New Line Cinema who’s financing the whole thing. I went to the presentation meeting and I put up Jack’s storyboard and I put up mine and Bob Shaye bee-lined directly to my idea. Right in front of Jack Sholder, Bob taps my design and says “This is what I want!” And I kind of looked across the room at Jack and shrugged my shoulders like “Eh sorry!” And then the next minute Bob Shaye put his nose to my nose and said “I just want to hear that for X amount of dollars you’re going to deliver that!” I don’t remember what I replied exactly but it was something like “Yes, I’ll deliver it and it will kick ass!” So there you go.

Cliff: Wow, very psychological.

Mark: Yeah, and I have to admit that a lot of us effects guys were a little cocky in those days. I don’t know if I’d do it the same way today, I’m not sure. It’s funny, speaking of the Elm Street thing, Mark Patton recently started doing conventions and there was a thing on Facebook the other day where he posted a little interview he and Kim Myers had done at a monster convention and Mark talked about Elm Street and he mentioned my name. He said Mark Shostrom did a great, amazing job! I thought it was so sweet of him to remember that. Of course that was 25 years ago, if I had to do it all over again there are things I’d do differently. Today we’d have different materials; we’d probably do a lot of things out of silicone instead of foam rubber, but for what it was at the time- 4 or 5 guys working their tails off for 8 weeks it really worked!

Cliff: Well it really still holds up, I’d put that transformation right up there with the transformation scene in American Werewolf in London.

Mark: Of course that was a huge influence. Rick Baker said in many interview that after American Werewolf everybody started doing the same stuff. I tried to do something dynamic but do it a little bit differently, it was not a werewolf, but there were specific references to Freddy cutting, tearing, stretching. The actual chest stretching with Freddy’s face pushing out of Mark’s chest, that was a tip of the hat to Nightmare 1 where Freddy’s pushes out of the wall [above Tina’s bed]. So that was deliberate. I came up with that I think. I said to Jack Sholder and Bob Shaye, “Wouldn’t it be cool to tie in to the first movie and have Freddy pushing his face out of Jessie’s chest?” So that’s how that came about.

Cliff: Well, speaking of the original Nightmare film, it says on your IMDB page that you worked on the original but were uncredited. How did that come about?

Mark: Dave Miller was a friend of mine and we talked a lot and he had gotten the job on Nightmare 1. He called me one day and said “I’m so busy on set just sitting around waiting on Robert Englund to work that I don’t have time to run the foam and there are some sculpting chores. Do you want to work for a week or two?” “I said “Sure.” So I basically worked out of Dave’s garage. Dave wasn’t there. He’d get home, if he was lucky, by 7pm. I would run the Freddy foam I think twice a day, because basically what they were doing to Dave was having him show up on set and making up Robert Englund and sitting around for 12 or 15 hours and not using Robert! That was burning through all his foam rubber so he needed more pieces.

I ran the foam for him. It’s kind of funny, the molds Dave had were very thin peach stone, they were maybe an inch thick at that and he’d already run them so many times that they were falling apart! So on every foam run, before I could load the molds, I’d have to superglue the damn things together! Every single time. And there were a lot of molds because Dave did a layered makeup so there’s an inner foam latex makeup and an outer one. While the foam was baking I sculpted a rotting corpse of Ronee Blakely that ended up changed or not used. It wasn’t a job where I was looking for any credit at the time; I was just helping out a friend, so there you have that.

Cliff: Well still pretty cool to have the first 3 Elm Street films on the resume! If the transformation scene in NOES2 was one of your favorite effects, conversely is there an effect that you weren’t really happy with that you wish you could go back and do over again if you had the chance?

Mark: Oh God! That I wasn’t happy with? I probably tend to block those out! I guess there are a few. I mean, I look back at everything in my career and I think “Oh I could sculpt that so much better today!” or technically I could do something better today. Look at Rick Baker for example and he says the same thing about American Werewolf, there are things that he didn’t like or didn’t work.

So I don’t know if we’ll necessary mention specifics but I think any artist who has been around long enough will look back at their older work and think “Gosh I’d love to do that again because I could do it so much better, artistically and technically.” And honestly when a movie audience sees an effect that maybe doesn’t work for whatever reason; they don’t know what went on behind the scenes. They don’t know so-and-so had to whip that up over night or that they only shot it once or that the cinematographer lit it wrong. So they don’t the background, so it might be a good effect from a very good artist but it was just handled wrong or the artist was in a rush.

You don’t know, so it really isn’t fair to unjustly criticize any practical effect because you don’t know the reasons why it didn’t [work] perhaps.

Cliff: Yeah and as an FX artist I do this, and I am sure you do too, but you notice things and nitpick them that probably any normal person would never even notice even on multiple viewings.

Mark: Yeah, honestly there are probably a few things in effects that I’ve done where I will critique it and go “Ah jeez, I see such-and-such here…” and there’s a shot or two in Evil Dead where Henrietta is flying through the air there’s a huge rip in the crotch but it goes by so fast that probably no body in the audience will never notice but my FX friend might and I certainly will! It’s funny – the goofs section on the IMDB page for Evil Dead 2 has more makeup goofs than anything, stuff like torn suit, torn crotch, sweat coming out.

Cliff: Well I kind of like those things, while it may ruin the moment or the magic of the movie if you see it, to me it’s kind of like a glimpse behind the scenes.

Mark: True. I have a little funny trivia that I only found out two weeks ago. I did an interview for Evil Dead for a DVD and I asked, “Who else did you interview today?” and they said “Doug Beswick” and I said, “Oh cool, Doug’s a great guy!” Then Buz, the camera man said “Yeah, he told me some amazing trivia!” Apparently in the Linda dance of the dead sequence in the background there’s a bunch of trees and for two of the trees they used Ripley’s Power Loader legs from Aliens. They redressed them! I had no idea about that until the other day!

Cliff: Wow, that’s like Inception, a movie in a movie in a movie with Evil Dead 2 being shot on the Color Purple set and all.

Mark: Yeah, that’s something that will hopefully get on that IMDB Evil Dead 2 trivia page. Doug had done the Power Loader/Alien sequence at the end [of Aliens] with stop motion with puppets, a lot of puppets I believe, so they were incorporated into Evil Dead as trees so that’s really cool!

Cliff: Well speaking of the Color Purple, for most hardcore Evil Dead fans, to go to the site of the original cabin, long since burned down, is like a pilgrimage. I don’t think that anyone has yet to find the cabin set built for Evil Dead 2. Do you remember where it was or have any idea if it’s even still there?

Mark: Well, to get to the exterior cabin, we drove to the Color Purple house, and that’s where the crew had lunch or dinner and what not. To get to the cabin it was a short ride or walk, right down the hill. As far as if it’s still there, I have no idea, it might be still there. I just talked to somebody who visited the J.R. Faison High School grounds where we shot the interior cabin and had our production offices. She said she looked through the windows and the piano from Evil Dead 2 is still in there as well as some of the furniture. So I guess if you… Well I guess now that this is on the internet I’m sure someone’s gonna fucking break in and blame me! Anyway I remember being there, but I was there at night and someone drove me down the hill in a crew van at night so I wasn’t really paying attention.

I do remember at the end of Evil Dead 2 most of my crew had left to do Creepshow 2, and it was down to myself and Bryant Tausek handling a few effects. It was maybe for 2 weeks of shooting left and we weren’t being used everyday so we had days off. We took our car and drove out to the Color Purple house, which by this time production had vacated. I remember driving up to the cattle fence and Bryant grabbed the fence and electrocuted himself, of course I got a big kick out of that when he fell on his ass! We blasted the car through the gates up past the house and I drove that thing so fast we had all four wheels off the ground and hit our heads on the car ceiling. But I don’t remember seeing the Evil Dead cabin at that time.

Of course we were going so fast we probably went right by it! I understand why people would want to look for it, that kind of thing excites me too. For instance the movie Double Indemnity, one of my favorites, I was so into that movie that about 25 years ago I tracked down where the house was that Barbara Stanwyck lived and I drove to the Hollywood Hills and found it! So I can understand, I can relate with movie fans who love to see cool locations. I was driving with Bryant to Prescott Arizona to visit the Creepshow guys on set.

I’d never been to Prescott and we were kind of following Greg Nicotero’s written directions and we were driving through this sleepy little Arizona town and I slammed on the brakes and screamed out, “They filmed Billy Jack right there!” It was the court-house where they had the fight scene so that was really cool!

Cliff: That’s great, I’ve had a couple of friends that have tracked down the Elm Street house and the Haddonfield house from Halloween and I always wonder what the current owners think of all these people that come to just stare at their house?

Mark: I’ll tell you, the Michael Myers house was around the corner from my shop and about 3 doors up from where I lived. When Sam Raimi came out to my shop one night we had dinner and afterwards I said, “Hey, I want to show you something.” We went around the corner and in the darkness there was the house. When Sam saw that house he went crazy, he walked up to the windows holding his hand like a camera, humming the soundtrack! But to answer your question, today, I was there at the Michael Myers house maybe 2 or 3 months ago with a friend of mine. We wanted to take some joke photos of me on the porch. So we started taking photos on this Sunday afternoon and all of a sudden this guy came out and said “What are you doing on my porch?” He was a chiropractor or something and he wasn’t too happy I was on his porch.

Cliff: It seems like you’ve gotten to work on a lot of sequels, Nightmare 2 and 3, Evil Dead 2, Phantasm 2 and 3. Personally I would take that as a compliment because clearly the filmmakers are looking for someone who can top the original and believe you are that guy. How do you go about approaching the sequel knowing that the fans of the original are going to be scrutinizing every detail of our work and comparing it to the first film?

Mark: Well, I think back when I was doing those sequels, I didn’t really think so much about that. Instead I was thinking more in terms of, “What really cool thing can I do to top myself” you know? It also depends on if the script is really any good frankly. In Phantasm II it was a question of actually showing things that were never seen in the first one. For example the dwarf, I think Don Coscarelli used little children in cloaks, I don’t even think he had dwarf masks. But for the second one, it was clearly defined in the script when it says “the snarling dwarf bites at Reggie,” or “grandma dwarf,” or “the dwarf falls out of the canister and you see him fully nude!” Obviously we needed to construct that so that was a cool chance in the sequel to show what was only alluded to in the first film.

Cliff: So you just want to push the boundaries of the original.

Mark: Yeah I mean you gotta challenge yourself, but there’s also a little pressure to deliver more because maybe the producers want something different and bigger and better than the last one. So there’s a little self imposed pressure, pressure from production, audience expectations, who knows? You try to mostly develop an art and make something really cool. I’ve always been the type to never really run out of ideas.

Cliff: Well moving forward in your career you really did some great work on some really ground breaking shows that pushed the envelope of special makeup effects on cable TV. Of course I mean Star Trek, the X-Files, and Buffy. In fact you won three Emmy’s for your work. Tell us a little about the work you did that won you the award and how did that feel?

Mark: Well, let me answer the question kind of broadly. The first time I thought we should have be nominated for an Emmy on Star Trek, was for an episode called The Phage. Where Scott Wheeler and I created these really cool, patch-work aliens. They were very cool characters and I thought it was a shoe in for an Emmy nomination and it totally got ignored. I think it was the following year were Scott and I designed the makeup for Robbie McNeill for an episode called Threshold where he was on his way to becoming a lizard creature. The work was great and also we got an Emmy nomination and we won for it! So it was a little bit unexpected. The others I don’t recall specifically what it was, there were a lot of us FX artists working on those shows. I think I won 3 in the space of 4 years. But here’s my formula, you wanna know how to win an Emmy? Don’t go! Don’t go to the fucking awards! The first time I was nominated for Star Trek [Voyager] I got a tuxedo and a limo picked me up, I took my brother. It was against Star Trek Voyager, and Star Trek Deep Space Nine and one other show. I was the designated thank you, speech guy by Mike Westmore who didn’t go because he’s got like 12 or something. Anyway Cyndi Lauper was presenting and goes “And the winner is Star Trek…” and I start reaching for the thank you cards because I’m like “Oh, we won it…” and it was Deep Space Nine. So I’m like, shit ya know? So the next year, I decided not to go, and Tina, one of the other staffers, one of my friends at Star Trek calls me up at like midnight and is like “Mark, we won the Emmy, what do you want me to do with yours?” And I just said “Just bring it to work tomorrow!” But the last time was the funniest. I was having coffee with my buddy Steffan a few blocks down the street from the Emmys. I kind of forgot they were happening, I don’t really like to go to these formal affairs. Anyway I sitting there on a hot day, we’re sitting there in t-shirts, shorts and sandals, I’m having a smoke. So anyway a couple of limos go by and I didn’t think anything of it, but this one circled the block a couple of times and screeched to a halt in front of us. This girl named Mary Kay gets out and a bunch of other people in formal attire screaming “Mark, you just won another Emmy!” So all these people are staring at me and I just say to Mary Kay, “Well drive back down the street and bring it back to me!” So that’s my formula, I went and didn’t win and didn’t go and I’ve won twice, so I just don’t go. But really, I’m not in this business to win a bunch of awards, but when you do it’s nice. I think if your goal is to win an Oscar that’s a really insincere goal, your goal should be to do the best work possible. If your goal is to make a lot of money or win an Oscar, you’re kind of in it for the wrong reasons. The awards come from doing the best work. Rick Baker has 7 Oscars and he set out to be the best makeup artist he could, so by being better than pretty much everybody else, the awards came. I have no huge goals to win an Oscar but I would like to win a Saturn award. I’d be so flattered because I have been nominated 4 times but never won. Just to be nominated is a big achievement, but it would really be an honor to win.

Cliff: To horror fans you and the other special effects artists of your generation are legends because of the quality of your work. You’ve inspired a new generation of FX artists, guys like Robert Hall, Stuart Bray, and Neill Gorton to name a few. Do you have any favorites among this new group of artists?

Mark: Well I’m constantly being exposed, through Facebook, to new people and new talents. I was going to be a film in Canada several months ago and I had to find a pretty much all Canadian crew. I enlisted the help of a few friends that had worked up there and started getting names of artists with great ability and great attitudes. So I had a list of probably 30 people and I narrowed it down to about a dozen then finally a handful of people left. I remember it took me about 2 weeks to crew up with film with some really talented Canadians and I had one slot left. There was a fellow outside Vancouver named Jamie Salmon who does the AMAZING replicas in silicone. The show involved a lot of human replicas and punched hair and eyes. I had seen Jamie’s website and he and his wife Jackie Seo are both these amazing sculptures who do just amazing, lifelike, replica work. I read about Jamie and Jackie and they had done a few FX films here and there, but they were also doing galleries like in Portugal and fine art presentations. I didn’t even bother to call Jamie, I thought there’s no way in the world either A) this guy would be interested in a horror film or B) we couldn’t afford him. So finally I one or two more slots to fill and I just called Jamie out of the blue and guess what? He was a Mark Shostrom fan from way back! He grew up reading about me in Fangoria! So I was able to get him at a good price and his wife too! It was amazing. So it’s kind of neat to think that I’ve inspired people and when I was teaching for a few years I’d get the occasional student that would come up to me and say, “You’re the reason I want to do this.” It’s a good feeling because I know what it was like to be struggling and trying to get a job going in a business that didn’t exist and I’ll never forget how gracious John Chambers was to help me out and let me hand in his garage or give me free advice on the phone. Or Dick Smith answering my questions or letters. I’ll never forget the generosity of people like that and I want to give back, so if I can help people who have a sincere desire, I’ll do that any day.

Cliff: Well I think that’s a great segue way into my next question. Dick Smith pretty much set the standard that the FX industry should be a share and share alike community. The industry thrives on innovations and no one will be able to create new techniques if they can’t find out from someone else what the current technique is. What do you think about those artists who are super secretive or who are not willing to help out the up and comer?

Mark: Well to answer your question broadly, all I can really say to those artists who don’t want to share is that you’re not going to make many friends and you’re probably going to lose out on a lot of jobs. The people that get along and help each other are open. It’s funny, this whole special makeup effects industry, we’re all competitors, but we’re all friends! So there’s not this corporate animosity to hold our company secrets, and keep them from anything else. We’re not guarding the formula for Coca-Cola, we’re all creating the same kind of work. The people who’ve been around for a while are clearly willing to share and I think we all get that from Dick’s attitude of generosity. He’s inspired and influenced us and shared with us so much that it’s contagious. We’re going to do the same with other young make-up artists. Maybe somebody coming in from outside who’s trying to succeed for the wrong reasons, maybe they might be secretive, but it’s all bullshit at the end of the day. Dick Smith was in New York, working on his own, trying to get information from Hollywood. George Bow and Gordon Bow helped him, pretty much anybody else out here, if he’d a question, they felt threatened or pretty much tell him to fuck off and Dick would be facing a brick wall trying find out what rubber mask grease paint is or something out in New York. So that’s what inspired him to have an attitude of generosity because he knew what it felt like to have the door slammed in his face and people refusing to tell him where to buy make up because they felt threatened by him. If you’re a competent artist and you’re confident in your own abilities, you shouldn’t feel threatened by anyone. I’ll share a formula with anybody, even if that person is doing a show I wanted to do and they need some information. I’ll give them the information they need, because what goes around comes around. Karma has a good way of catching up, either with a slap in the face or a pat on the back.

Cliff: Well let’s talk about the present. What made you decide to relaunch yourself under this new moniker of Hello Boss? And where did you come up with the name?

Mark: Well, I started teaching in about 2005 and it was great for a while, a steady job. It was fun, I actually enjoyed teaching. But in recent years I’d be giving an demonstration or something and a student would say, “Don’t you miss being on set?” And I’d start to think, “yeah I do, more than you know.” So I started formulating the idea in my mind to really just get back out here and get a new studio going. I’ve done it before and it’s scary, its financially a big risk these days, you’re competing with CGI and the thought of doing it myself had held be back for a couple of years. So I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in about 20 years and we decided to make a go at it. Long story short, as I developed ideas, he kinda, I don’t want to say developed cold feet, but he has a great job at a great place and that’s where he belongs and he finally said I’m sure I’m ready for this. So I asked another friend of mine who I really consider a good friend, a talented artist, and a great business woman. We decided to go for it together and started formulating the company about a year ago. Actually the hardest part was coming up with the name. We went through all sorts of names and the words for the name “Hello Boss” I’d always liked. It comes from a Taiwanese iced coffee that comes in a can called Hello Boss. It’s kind of a cool name that could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. I further liked it because Hello Boss the company was sued at one point because it was alleged to have cyanide in the can. I thought, wow that’s a cool juxtaposition, you’re drinking this wonderful tasting coffee that could kill you horribly, it made me laugh! To make sure the title worked, I tried it out on everyone I know, people in the business, friends, family, everybody. Everybody loved it, some didn’t know why. Some thought it sounded sheik, cheerful, jaunty, confident, but it worked. So we just decided Hello Boss it is. Plus I imagined somebody answering the phone, “Hello, Hello Boss!”

Cliff: Well you mentioned CGI and your website mentions doing work in CGI. I think that’s a hot button issue with a lot of horror fans as many see CGI as unnecessary when practical effects look so much better. What made you, as a practical effects artist, want to venture into that territory?

Mark: Well I can tell you one thing, it is a real challenge. I’ve got some software I’ve been playing with but there’s a large learning curve to follow. My problem now is the time to learn this very intricate software. I definitely see a place for it in the future because, although I know quite a few directors who just don’t like the CGI route, they love practical effects, there are a lot of new people that think CGI is the answer to everything and it’s not. I think a mixture of the two is the perfect blend, especially in makeup effects where, sure you could do a head replica in CGI but will it be 100%? Maybe not, maybe you should do a silicone head. The decision to start putting in CGI is really because of the future, so much is CGI now, but it doesn’t have to all be CGI. If I started a makeup effects company and went strictly practical maybe five years from now we might have to close our doors. But if we add some CGI elements, maybe we can stay in business for a while. It’s definitely the road of the future in many ways, I know a lot of artists who totally resisted, I was that way when I saw Jurassic Park. I was depressed, I thought it was all over! Many of my friends at the time embrace computer graphics and got out of makeup and started learning that and that’s what they do today. I know a lot of artists personally that I ran into at Monsterpalooza who are frustrated and not working or what not. To a sculptor I might say, “Have you tried Z-Brush?” and their response might be, “Fuck Z-Brush, I hate that CGI shit!” Well, if you have that attitude, you might be grumbling about being out of work again in another year. My attitude is to embrace it and use it as another set of artistic tools. CGI isn’t the answer to everything and maybe practical effects aren’t the answer to everything. I think a good example and an intelligent choice and a wise way to approach things would be the goat creature in Pan’s Labyrinth. It’s a mixture of makeup effects and CGI perfectly blended and guess what? Guillermo Del Toro is a former makeup effects artist, he knew what elements to use where. But until every film director is a former makeup effects artist, to a degree the artist has to educate and inspire the next generation of directors and producers. Today’s generation of kids grows up with email and cell phones and CGI. When I was teaching I would show a 7 minute clip, basically wall-to-wall of all the effects that Rob Bottin and crew did for The Thing. A barrage from the dog thing down to the Blair monster. When it was done I’d turn the TV off and say “Zero CGI, it didn’t exist.” The students couldn’t believe it, how did they do that? It was all practical, it was there in front of the camera, splitting, stretching, bleeding. The actors saw it, the camera man saw it, what you’re seeing is without computers, it really has an effect on people.

Cliff: Well, one last question. What kind of advice would you give to aspiring makeup artists trying to gain a foothold in this industry while competing against CGI and other established artists such as yourself?

Mark: That’s a tough question. I saw an interview that Rick Baker did last year at a convention about the Wolf Man and they asked him the same question. He said well 20 years ago I would have said go get some makeup and start practicing, now I say get a computer. So today, if you want to go makeup effects, I really think you need to have computer skills as well because frankly people are sketching with a pencil, they are using Photoshop or zbrush. So really the best advice I can give is that you better be passionate about want to do this because there are thousand other people lining up to do this and maybe 100 of them are passionate. Do it for the right reasons, Rick Baker, Dick Smith, myself we all got into this because we loved monster movies and we loved make up and it really bit us in a way that it just stays with you. I’ve been into makeup since I was 9 years old, that was 46 years ago or something and I still get excited by it. When Frankenstein comes on I’m like, oh my god, stop what I’m doing, I want to watch Frankenstein, for the 50th time but it’s still exciting. It’s hard to say why other people get the makeup bug, but if you’re passionate about it nothing will stop you. When I got into the business it didn’t exist, and my girlfriend at the time’s father thought that what I was doing was insane. He said they don’t make movies like Planet of the Apes maybe only every 10 years. But I was stubborn guy, I’m still a stubborn guy and I was gonna do this no matter what because I really wanted it more than anything. I was passionate about it, and nothing was going to stop me and I believed in myself wholeheartedly. I didn’t really have a lot of family support at the time because my parents just transferred to India for 5 years. This is before email and cell phones so I didn’t have a lot of contact with them, they were supportive but they were also 10,000 miles away. I had to believe in myself and that gave me the drive to succeed and if you have that drive to succeed, I think you will too.

Cliff: Well Mark, that’s all I have for you, it’s been a great honor to do this interview with you and I hope you won’t hold it against me if I call you up and ask for advice every now and then.

Mark: No problem! It’s been great talking to you!

Thank you, Cliff Holverson

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