I really resonate with Mark Karlstrom’s life story because we both have had many of the same experiences— working on cruise ships, TV, radio and nightclubs. Mark has traveled an interesting path which has led him to the Coachella Valley where he currently has a successful DJ and video businesses.
Getting a job in radio is not easy, especially when you’re still in high school. Growing up in Michigan, Mark had a friend who was employed at a local radio station show him how to operate the sound board and do production. Mark soon called a competing radio station (WHFB AM & FM in Michigan) and went in for an interview. The station was reluctant to hire him since he had no prior radio experience so he told them, “Hire me for a day and I’ll show you what I know and can do!” They did, and after being blown away by Mark’s natural talents, they hired him full-time that same afternoon! After working two years on-air as the afternoon drive jock Mark later moved to San Francisco and worked at KKIQ radio for three years while going to school. While working at this station, Mark began to shadow one of the other radio personalities who had been doing mobile DJ gigs. Mark quickly began to realize there was good money DJing weddings and corporate events.
Once he finished college, Mark went to work for a major Cruise Line as a DJ for their clubs. “I had a blast doing this job!” Mark exclaims. Getting paid to travel the world while sharpening up his DJ skills was a dream job for Mark.
After a few years of cruising Mark realized radio didn’t pay enough so he decided to pursue his other passion, videography. Mark got his first job as a TV Videographer/Editor for a cable news station. After working at a few different TV stations Mark found out ABC/Disney was hiring a West Coast Videographer/editor to travel and cover any major breaking news stories. Mark applied and got hired to work for ABC which lasted 10 years.
After working on cruise ships, Marked vowed he was done cruising but, ironically he was invited by a friend to go on a cruise as a guest where he ended up meeting his current wife. A year after dating and being engaged, Mark sold his house and left ABC to move to the desert and start his own video and audio production companies with his new wife.
Taking all his previous experience working on cruise ships and radio, Mark rapidly grew his DJ company, Creative Audio Productions. When asked what his secret is to being a successful mobile DJ Mark replies, “Every event is different, music genres are so different and therefore I keep an open mind, play to the floor/crowd and I do not get stuck playing a format or playlist!” Mark prides himself on being able to read a crowd and building trust with the audience so that they will allow him to take them anywhere musically.
In addition to his DJ company, Mark also owns and operates All Video Works. Much like his DJ company, much of his video business involves weddings and corporate events. While Mark loves both of his jobs, when asked if there is one he prefers over the other, he admits that being a DJ at a gig he is able to see instantly that people are having fun. “It’s a great feeling knowing that for a few hours, I can affect the mood and vibe of everyone in a positive fun way while having fun myself and getting paid,” smiles Mark.
Mark sees himself DJing for another 10 years while building up his video business and spending time with his wife and son. When he’s not DJing and producing videos, you can find Mark on the golf course with his whole family. In fact, Mark’s six year old son Kent is one of the best Junior Golfers in the world. Last year, he was ranked #6 in the world.
If you would like to contact Mark regarding his video or DJ services you can reach him at: 760-668-2246.
Written by: Craig Michaels
Musical Affair Entertainment