Mark Hersh was born and raised in the quaint upstate New York village of Ballston Spa. The youngest of three siblings, he has both a brother and a sister. His dad was a draftsman for the General Electric Company for many years, and his mom was a devoted housewife & loving mother.
As a child, he always loved music. Whenever he would visit anyone’s home, he was always drawn to their record collection. In most cases, this would be in the basement, where he would have free roam to play whatever music he chose. At that time, it was the pop hits of the late 60’s and early 70’s that he liked the most. To satisfy his mom’s wishes, he studied the trumpet. He enjoyed doing concerts and playing in the school band, but hung up his horn after a few years stating he didn’t have the lip to keep playing.
Mark began his work in the mobile Disc Jockey business in 1974, while only 14 years old. A good friend of his was helping someone else perform at local schools and asked Mark to come along. His job at that time was to help get the audience motivated and into a dancing mood. Without any formal training or dance lessons, he would perform dance routines and imitate popular entertainers such as Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. His nick name in the early years was “The Disco Kid”. He attributes the watching of countless episodes of ‘Soul Train’, as the inspiration for his love of dancing.
He and his friend, Duane Lineback, would eventually DJ for themselves. During the late 70’s, the duo performed at just about every Junior High and High School in the region. Disc Jockeys were just coming into the Wedding and Banquet market at this time too.
Leaving the area for a couple of years, he kept the DJ work going while attending Herkimer County Community College in Central New York. He worked on the school radio station, performed at clubs & schools on the side, and studied business and studio photography for his major. He graduated with an Associates degree in 1981.
Following college, he returned to the Capital Region and continued to perform, now getting more into the banquet scene. The music wasn’t supporting him at that time, so he was also working at his brother’s restaurant, where his chores included short order cooking, waiting tables and catering. It was also at this time that he began to work at his hometown tavern, “Monaco’s Village Inn”. For the better part of 20 years, he would create hundreds of party themes for the establishment, and continued to work there until the legendary tavern closed its doors in 2006.
The work became so plentiful, that in 1987 he went into the business full time and filed a DBA for Hersh Productions. From that point on he would perform at thousands of Wedding Receptions, School Parties, Anniversaries, Birthdays and dozens of other themed banquets. He is proud to be on the referral lists of several regional establishments.
In the early 90's Mark began to step outside of the box and his company would produce a string of Country Music events. Each one would prove to be successful for him, but his producing skills were still evolving. During the promoting of his first event, he would stumble upon The Northeast Country Music Association, a non profit group that supports the regional country music artists. It would prove to be a very rewarding tenure with the group, as it would allow him to hone his producing skills with a series of different events. He wrote articles for local magazines, produced scores of live music showcases, and even produced a compilation CD. A highlight moment would come in 2003, when he wrote, produced and directed the association's annual awards show, held at the historical Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady. He also served as the association’s president for three years.
It was around this time, when the demands of running his own business and volunteering for the non-profit group, was taking a toll on his family life. While he would keep working, he toned things down, so he could spend more time with his wife and two young children. His business would still continue to grow at this time.
When his children got a little older, he was ready to reinvent himself once again, and began to get involved with events that would allow him to build up followers. These events included 'Karaoke' parties and 'Trivia' nights. They would serve as great filler events in between the formal banquets and corporate events.
Now in the 21st Century and in his 36th year as a producer, director and mobile entertainer, he is proud to have a well established business, with a state of the art professional sound system, complete with a “Light Show” and “Karaoke” capability. While he no longer does the Elvis routines, His name is synonymous with providing an excellent time at parties. He currently produces two weekly Trivia events, and you'll catch him 3-4 times a week, singing at several nursing homes and assisted living facilities. He attributes his success, to his ability of always keeping the personal touch as part of his business.
“When you speak with each and every client, it’s quite easy to find out what they’re looking for, and then deliver it”. It’s that theory that has gotten him this far, and when asked how long he'll stay in the music business, Mark says, “As long as there’s music to play and people who want to dance and party to it, I’ll be in the business”.
Addendum 2022: While he will continue to do his trivia events and midweek parties, Mark will retire from the wedding market at the conclusion of the 2022 wedding season! A heartfelt thanks to the thousands of brides and grooms who have supported him over several decades of work.