Mark Seitchik got his start piercing at the Gauntlet San Francisco and was one of the first piercers certified as a Master Piercer by Jim Ward, prior to moving to New York City. What follows is an email from Mark in response to a "give us a brief history of you..."
- "As far as when I got started at GSF, that was in 1989, I think, when Fakir and Jim where still a full time presence in the shop. Back then we got $5.00 an hour, plus commission, which as you know took a long time to start earning. In those days, pretty much the only place to find out about or get a pricing done was LA or SanFran. We had people calling from all over coming in and calling.
- I remember this one guy calling from his cattle ranch in Montana, asking about his "infected" nipple ring, and that he would be making a trip to see us to change it out. This was also the time when a navel piercing was a complete rarity. Maybe 5 or 6 a month out of hundreds. This was also the time when the media really started picking up on piercing. Mostly MTV and tattoo mags, it wasn't until the New York store, that the Village Voice did an article on us, that everybody had to run a story on body piercing.
- I guess I just got lucky getting my job there. Back then people weren't lined up to become body piercers. My ex, Scott Shatsky, asked if I wanted to work there and I said sure, I'll try it. I had been around piercing a lot, so it appealed to me and there was a really great group of people in the shop then, to show up my first day and to be behind the counter with Fakir, trying to figure out how to run a credit card together was strange and not at all what I expected doing with a man with such a past. As you know, I stuck around for about six or seven years, eventually being given the title of Master Piercer, along with a stint as the manager of GNY.
- My favorite story, not that you asked, is when I was doing a clitoris piercing in a hotel room in Chicago at International Mister Leather, and just as I was about to do the insertion, the voice on the radio from the clock radio we were using says "you're listening to WBIL where our finger is on the music, where's yours? "
- I am now, as you know, living in Key West. I did a little piercing when I got here, but I really came here to get back into the nature thing full force. I trained up to the level of instructor in scuba diving and taught diving on a local dive boat, and added to that a degree in marine biology as well as my coast guard Captains license. About 6 years ago I met my now partner of 6 years, Jon Harper. He has been a massage therapist for 10 years. I got licensed as a massage therapist 2 years ago and did further training in Thai Yoga massage, and we have recently opened a massage day spa, named Prana Spa. Prana is a word from Ayurveda, the medical science of India, which means "breath of life." We have been wildly successful, and so the story comes to the present. I have a double wide mobile home on the water on land that I own, my two dogs Jack and Lulu, and am thrilled with life."