Mark S.

Brooklyn, NY


SAT/ACT Prep, Nonfiction & Creative Writing, Screenwriting

In-person lessons


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Contact Mark

New York University
Film Production


New York University (Film Production)

About Mark

What is creative writing?

Well, it's just 'writing' really. It doesn't matter if you're working on a school composition, outlining a novel, or practicing for the essay portion of the SAT -- all writing is creative. The creativity comes from your inner voice: the language you choose and the unique way you put words together. When approached with a blank page (or a standardized writing prompt) students of all ages often find themselves overwhelmed trying to produce the "perfect" essay. You've probably heard that there is no right or perfect way to write, and that is correct. What a reader wants to hear is your voice - your personality, your humor and anxieties, your hopes and dreams.

It turns out this isn't as hard as you may think.

The trick to accessing your literary voice lies in accessing your emotions and opinions. This is where I come in. I strongly believe that establishing a professional relationship between the student and tutor creates an imaginative brainstorming atmosphere. When getting to know new students I make it my goal to find points of connection between us, to identify what makes them excited, and use those experiences as jumping-off points for writing. I know this to be a successful method of learning not only because I've seen past students succeed but because this is always how I approach my own blank pages.

Everyone has bad ideas; they're unavoidable. But all too often students are afraid of their bad ideas and this gets them mentally tripped up. When I was in high school I used to get so anxious when my English teacher told the class we would be writing in-class essays. I was so afraid of writing a bad essay that I couldn't believe I was even capable of writing a great one. With that awareness in my rear-view mirror I always encourage my students now to embrace their worst ideas for an essay immediately. One early exercise I enjoy is asking new writers to mark down all their thoughts about a given essay prompt. Sometimes these bad ideas, once written down on paper, actually hold the beginnings of great responses. But even when they don't hold much promise the act of writing them down gets them out of the student's head and clears their focus for better ideas. And better ideas always come. When one door closes, a window opens.

Writing is ultimately about communication and that is why I so heavily emphasize the relationship aspect of tutoring. A student needs to feel like their teachers understand them even if the student hasn't fully formulated what she or he wants to say. I enjoy brainstorming and discussion, and I genuinely want to see your child succeed. I believe that everybody can learn when they have a coach rooting for them from the sidelines.

On a more personal note, I love screenwriting and filmmaking. I spend most of my free time directing and shooting short films, and much of my own writing has lately been for the screen. That being said I am passionate about - and an avid reader and writer of - personal essays, cultural criticism, the newspaper, and classic and contemporary novels. I've always loved writing. Well, sometimes I love writing. Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I want to rip up the last five pages I wrote or throw my computer out the window, but when I do get in the zone and the words start to flow, I love it. It's a great feeling to feel like you expressed yourself just how you wanted to. And in acquiring this power of self-expression, you may just find that you've written a kick-ass essay while you were at it!

I'm interested in an eclectic array of subjects and have written about French Existentialism, Daft Punk, the Victim as the ultimate Villain, renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano (designer of the New York Times Building) and many, many other subjects. I'm always happy to share examples of my own work with students and walk them through my brainstorming, writing, and editing processes step-by-step. I find that having tangible examples in front of them work wonders on understanding.

Everyone has a voice and a story to tell. Whether your child is writing for a school assignment or you want help outlining that novel, I have plenty of ideas to help tackle the blank page.

At your convenience I'd be more than happy to talk with you about your tutoring needs.
What is creative writing?

Well, it's just 'writing' really. It doesn't matter if you're working on a school composition, outlining a novel, or practicing for the essay portion of the Read more

12 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 10 miles of Brooklyn, NY 11233
In-person lessons
ACT Math, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Calculus, Elementary Math, Geometry, Linear Algebra, Logic, Prealgebra, Precalculus, SAT Math,
Biology, Philosophy, Psychology
Guitar, Music History
Adobe Photoshop, Art History, Film,
Photography, Video Production
ACT English, ACT Reading, English, Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking, Reading, SAT Reading, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, PSAT, SAT Math,
SAT Reading
Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word, Photography, Video Production
European History, Geography, Music History, Political Science, Religion, Social Studies, World History
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math, Grammar, Reading, Vocabulary
Microsoft Word, Public Speaking

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.


I have a BFA - Film & TV Production (2012) from New York University - Tisch School of the Arts
I have 1 year experience as a Camera Assistant to Jill Lotenberg, a NYC-based commercial photographer.
I have 4 years experience as a freelance Videographer & Photographer for weddings, corporate events, parties, concerts, music videos, short films, fashion shoots, and web content. I currently work as a Gaffer (using a variety of lights to evoke mood) and Grip (setting up lighting equipment) on set. I am a lifelong avid filmgoer.

SAT Math

I achieved an SAT score of 2140, with 740 for the math portion. I am an expert in Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Precalculus, Calculus I & II, and SAT Math. I have a background in Fine Art & Filmmaking, and excel at helping students develop stronger visualization skills to solve math problems more efficiently.

New York University
Film Production


New York University (Film Production)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $60.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

Travel policy

Mark will travel within 10 miles of Brooklyn, NY 11233.