Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Interview: Mark Valinsky - Part 1

Daood interviews the multi-talented Mark Valinsky who will be in Downtown LA for a free photography workshop.

My very special guest today is as versatile as they come: he played the role of Dr. Nathan Tate in the film The Cost of Living, is a black belt in martial arts, is a professional photographer for numerous prestigious events, and is currently the executive producer of the film that is in pre-production titled Without A Voice, part of his "Sudan Hope Project" and without question a renaissance man. If you're not convince yet, here's more: His nickname is Doc and prior to his thespian career he attended medical school and became an internationally known podiatrist and medical specialist of the foot. He has 10 published research writings that are medical credited and three consumer books on foot care. Wait, I'm not finished, before you attempt to guess as to whom I'm speaking of. Doc presently is executive producer for the Sudan Hope project. For those who guess correctly, yes this is Mark Valinsky, Publicist, Business Consultant and Marketing Specialist, Actor and Humanitarian.

Daood: Greetings Mark Valinsky!

Mark Valinsky: Greetings Daood! Thank you for this opportunity. It's a privilege to be interviewed by you.

Daood: As a photographer you've had the pleasure of taking pictures of musical icons such as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and others including Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, and The Eagles. Could you share with us a one of your photographer stories that would interest the readers?

Mark Valinsky:In those days, both security and crowd control were very different then now. Let's just say a lot less organized and civilized. I always shot from in and around the front of the stage. There is nothing like being up front at a concert of the talent and energy of some of the classic rock bands I photographed. I shot both indoor and outdoor concerts. It's quite a scene to have tens of thousands of people trying to get closer to the stage and you're right up against the wall shooting as they are pushing forward and then on top of that having security and in those days known for their meanness rather than their manners hassling you as well. It was alive!

I look back at my photographs and realize all the phenomenal angles I was able to get, from full stage to being close enough to capture the glazed over look in Mick Jagger's eyes. I experienced the concerts from all angles and distances. In many cases I was actually lucky to come out of there alive and unharmed, not that it wasn't a struggle to keep it that way.

The concerts and bands I photographed were filled with emotion, raw passion, pounding music and energy. These were and still are the greatest of the greats of rock and roll.

Daood: "In photograph, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a leitmotiv," which is a quote by Henri Carter-Bresson and from one of your many photographs single out one that exemplifies the aforementioned?

Mark Valinsky: Well, I must admit I had to look up the word "leitmotiv" - A melodic passage or phrase, especially in Wagnerian opera, associated with a specific character, situation, or element. A dominant and recurring theme, as in a novel. That being said, my photographs are like a parents' child, each one unique unto itself, all coming from the heart of their creator.

Daood: Yousuf Karsh was a photographer and journalist and this quote pretty much sums up my opinion of you. "I have found that great people do have in common an immense belief in themselves and in their mission. They also have a great determination as well as an ability to work hard. At the crucial moment of decision they draw on their accumulated wisdom above all they have integrity."

Mark Valinsky: Thank you for your generous compliment! Those are very wise words. I've always believed that integrity is at the core of greatness. Integrity to one's values, one's art, integrity to one's life, from that core one can believe in themselves.

Part 2 of my interview with Mark Valinksy will discuss his acting career, Sudan Hope Project and other issues that Doc is involved in.

In the meantime, check out Mr. Mark Valinsky as he conducts a free Downtown Photography 101 Class on Wednesday April 15th. To learn more about his photography, visit his website: http://www.MarkValinskyPhotography.com


No comments: