“Listen, I am here because of a failed attempt at an NFL career”, says Mark Salisbury standing at the front of the class which he teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He preaches that his success is not due to his failure on the football field, but how he learned to tackle it while he was an athlete at the Northeastern University. According to him, Football and Baseball are the microcosms of life as they teach us to struggle for and achieve our goal. It is this strategy that made him an award-winning animation producer at Nickelodeon.
He graduated from the University in 1995 and wanted to make his college football career into a professional one. He had to change his ambitions when he was unsuccessful getting through the National Football League. Changing to which he went for his lifelong love for cartoons. He is the series director for two early education cartoons, ‘Bubble Guppies’ and ‘Butterbean’s café’, at the Nickelodeon.
Animation is a difficult job. But it is the same attitude and philosophy that Mark used in his sports that gave him success in his Nickelodeon career. You have to keep practising to get the best out of you which will help you to achieve what you want. It is only after you create 10,000 bad drawings that you will start drawing what is actually good.
Northeastern inducted Salisbury to ‘Varsity Club Hall of Fame’ for his achievement in football including the fourth-most interceptions in program history. This achievement meant more to him than winning an Emmy for his work on Nickelodeon’s ‘Little Bill’. He considered this award as the end of his athletic career and a start towards accepting the new profession of his life. He says that the award helped because he was able to accept the disappointment even after trying really hard to get through with sports.