Tyler St. Mark is a multi-talented writer, publisher and producer who has more recently received critical acclaim and a literary following for his short fiction. He has published five short stories and was nominated three years in a row for the West Coast Magazine Award for Best Short Fiction. Several of his works have been optioned for feature film, and he has already received advance orders from a major bookseller for his first novel, which he hopes to complete soon.
St. Mark has been involved in the entertainment industry for most of his life. He was an accomplished actor in his teens, appearing in community theatres across Southern California, and winning several regional acting awards. He attended UCLA in Los Angeles and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and was cast in both the National Touring Company of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and the South Coast Touring Company of The Fantasticks. He debuted in Los Angeles in Butterflies Are Free at the prestigious Showcase Theatre, and appeared in several television series as well as movies for television. At age 21, St. Mark gave his last professional performance at the Westwood Playhouse (now The Geffen) where he portrayed comedian Stan Laurel in the highly acclaimed one-man show, An Evening With Mr. Laurel.
St. Mark left the entertainment industry to pursue his other passions as a lifeguard and swimming coach. After a distinguished career as a city, state and county lifeguard, the youngest officer ever to achieve the rank of Chief, St. Mark decided to explore a less hazardous career in public relations and advertising. With his past experience in the entertainment industry, he was quickly recruited to coordinate media relations for a public relations firm in Los Angeles which represented film and television celebrities.
St. Mark's ability to create distinctive, eye-catching media campaigns led to his joining a commercial advertising and public relations agency in Santa Monica, where he received expert training in copywriting, advertising design, product promotion, marketing, and media relations. He soon left commercial advertising to promote "more meaningful products" with a West Hollywood advertising/public relations firm, and eventually founded his own company, Exclusive News Relations, which specialized in representing provocative products and people.
St. Mark's unique marketing campaigns were heralded in Time Magazine, People, and Playboy while his advertising and public relations efforts received both local and national acclaim. He is responsible for Los Angeles County's first AIDS awareness campaign, Mother Cares, which featured the first AIDS spokescharacter, "Mother" (portrayed by actress Zelda Rubinstein) which became the model for other AIDS education campaigns all over the world. It was St. Mark who coined the now common slogan, "Play Safely," in this warm-hearted, landmark campaign in 1984, and altered the marketing approach to AIDS awareness across America.
Among St. Mark's most heartening achievements is the creation and launch of the PWA Memorial Bracelet which bears the name, age, and date of passing of people with AIDS. In 1985, St. Mark's "PWA Bracelet" became the very first national AIDS memorial, and continues today to generate public awareness and inspire similar commemorative bracelet programs. President George Bush, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Ann-Margaret, Elton John, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Richard Gere, and Madonna are among the thousands who have received and worn a PWA Memorial Bracelet.
Tyler St. Mark also conceived, produced, and co-directed the first AIDS public service announcements aired nationally in the United States. In 1989, he accepted a special invitation by the Chancellor of Stanford University to speak before the Stanford Graduate School of Business on "Marketing AIDS Awareness In America." He was honored on World AIDS Day in 1994 as the keynote speaker for California Institute for the Arts, whose main library has exhibited materials from his landmark campaigns.
In 1993 St. Mark teamed up with acclaimed author Patricia Nell Warren to co-found Wildcat Press, a dynamic new independent publishing company offering the best in classic gay literature. Since then, St. Mark has been instrumental in the creative design, packaging, promotion, and marketing of Wildcat's book titles, in addition to running the Wildcat Entertainment division.
In 1994, after St. Mark and Warren launched Wildcat International, the author asked St. Mark to provide an Introduction to Wildcat's upcoming 20th Anniversary Edition of her landmark novel, The Front Runner. After recovering the film rights to this internationally celebrated love story in 1997, Warren and St. Mark collaborated with veteran screenwriter Barry Sandler (Making Love) on a screenplay adaptation of the novel, and have spent a number of years working together on development of the long-awaited motion picture of The Front Runner.
Although his veteran experience both in public service and the entertainment industry has provided him a unique and well-rounded education, St. Mark attributes his remarkable past achievements and more recent literary success to "those years of watching people from a lifeguard tower..."