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Laszlo's Stage Experience
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I began to learn about sound and lighting techniques from my father at the early age of 10. My father was taking night classes for photography at the College of Art and Design in Detroit, while working for Western Electric Sound Division in Plymouth, Michigan. He built a darkroom in our basement and over a four year period we would work on his homework together. Thus, I learned photography and lighting. As a child I didn't realize I was learning college level courses, you're a sponge at that age and you just take it all in. He also was our Scout Master and would organized fund raisers (variety shows) to help our local boy scout pack. My school, St. John Vientas was a parochial school, and was set up with a raised stage at one end of the gymnasium with curtains, footlights and all.

During these variety shows, some the men from the scout troop would dress up as women and do cancan numbers which always brought house the down. My Dad would operate the curtains and would have me run the lights, which at that time, were nothing but levers and switches. Because of my experience I was also chosen to run the lights for our 7th and 8th grade school plays. My Father also taught me and my six brothers and sisters how to set up phones and wires that ran all over the house. He taught us how to make them work off batteries and how to make them ring. We had phones running from the basement to our rooms and into the attic. I even ran one over to my friends house until my Father found out and informed me I could get in trouble for that.

At age 16, I attended North Farmington High School, one of the nations top accredited schools, ranked 15th in the nation. I majored in Architectural Design. During this time, some classmates formed a band and I became their manager. Mostly because my Dad had a 1957 Chevrolet Station wagon and we could fit all of us in it, gear and all. They had a great sound so I took a tape to Dick Clark at the ABC Studios in Southfield, Michigan and set an appointment to review the tape. He liked what he heard and hired us to open for (at that time) a little known act called Ike and Tina Turner. What an experience! The edge of the stage was even with my elbows, and she would swing her leg right over my head. I was in love...

The performances were held at the Mumford High School Sock-Hop on Friday nights. Dick Clark sponsored the Sock-Hops as a way to audition new talent and find dancers to use on his Saturday morning television programs. The group I was managing sounded great, but unfortunately froze on stage. They played the music with a great sound, but just couldn't move. This more or less signaled the end of the group but Dick liked me and kept me on. He hired me part-time to help with the staging and basic set ups for the sock-hops. These shows included Smoky Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, and Martha and the Vandellas and The Four Seasons, just to name a few.

During this same time I was interested in a girl from school and kept asking her out on dates. Her father kept saying NO! Then one day I got this phone call from her, she said her father would allow me to take her out on one condition. We would have to go see a play that he had tickets for. I thought OH Yuck! a play? being a teenager and all. Her father was an executive for Ford Motor Co. and had tickets, 4th row center seats, for the Northland Playhouse just outside of Detroit. The play was "My Fair Lady" with the original cast on their way to New York City. Well by intermission I was HOOKED. A month later she called again and asks if I want to go to another play and of course I said yes. It was at the Fox Theatre, Downtown Detroit. This play was also with the original cast and again 4th row center seats. The play was "The King and I". Needless to say I've been hooked on plays ever since.

In my 20's I was shooting concert photography when I began working with CJOM 88FM in Windsor Ontario Canada, just across the border from Detroit. I was friends with two of the disk jockeys there, Bill Androziac and Terry Nutt. They were familiar with my background, and were instrumental in my being offered the job of Producer / Copy Writer / Editor. (it was back when all the commercials were spliced by hand) Soon afterwards CJOM decided to start sponsoring concerts. I was chosen to head up these events because of my experience with sound and lighting. I was also responsible for booking the groups, making hotel and flight arrangements, setting up limousines, and concert halls. I also dealt with the ticket agents, advertisers, caterers, security and after concert parties etc.

CJOM held events at the old East Town Theater in Detroit, the Ford Auditorium, and then eventually CoBo Hall a 11,400 seat venue. After being rated the number one radio station in the Detroit area for five years running we were shut down by the Canadian Government. We had been sited for not playing 33% Canadian music, heck there wasn't 33% Canadian music to play. And because our commercial dollars were almost all from the US side of the river (6 million people in Detroit v/s 600,000 in Windsor) our tech. would turn our beacon towards Detroit so that our sponsors could hear us better. Well after the third violation for each offense they shut us down.

I went back to concert photography until my grandfather invited me to go sailing with him to the Virgin Islands. What an adventure! Our three years at sea lead to the start of an import business which I ran for 12 years. (22 full-time employees and 27 Sales Reps.) I imported from 14 different countries, and sold to K Mart , Eckerds, Ames Department Stores, Zayre Department Stores, Disney Parks, Sea World Parks, Busch Gardens, Cypress Gardens, Hersey Park, Six Flags Over Georgia, Cedar Point, Knotts Berry Farms and 1500 other accounts nationwide. I designed and built displays that were the first, second and third vendor built displays accepted by Disney's display department in their (then) twenty-five year history.

I then sold the company and relocated to Key West, where I once again took up photography and worked with the internationally renowned artist Wyland on his Whaling Walls. Twelve of my photographs are featured in his book "Celebrating 50 Whaling Walls." Wyland and I also CO-produced a post card for the benefit of the nonprofit organization Reef Relief in Key West. We donated 5,000 Cards that sold for $5.00 ea. and they all sold! Generating $25,000.00 in revenues.

Since my returning to the Sarasota area, I have utilized my talents in several productions to benefit my church and the community. I was chosen to be the Director when Andrew Weil spoke at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, I was also responsible for all aspects of stage production, including lighting, sound and set design. I also had the pleasure to pick Dr. Weil up at the airport in Tampa and entertain him during his visit to Sarasota. He is a Harvard educated Doctor with two best selling books "Spontaneous Healing" and "8 Weeks to Optimum Health".

I have facilitated productions at several local venues, including the Players Theatre, Holley Hall, Sarasota High School Auditorium and David Cohan Hall. In December 1999, I was the Artistic Director for "Sarasota 2K," working with David Gittens to bring his vision to life. Together with many other creative people from the community, we created a two-day turn of the century festival held on the grounds of the Phillippi Estate Park. The following is a list of my contributions to the community, including a two hour performance held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall were my responsibility was Stage Chief. I was in charge of a performance consisting of 146 performers, staff and crew. See listed below.

Journey With Angels, a Christmas Variety Show. Anglefire.jpg (56834 bytes)
December 15th & 16, 1995
(three shows, over 4,000 tickets sold)
Annie Morrison was one of the performers.
Produced by Red Wiles and The Center for Positive Living.
Held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Position: Stage Chief.

A Harvest of Gratitude, a Musical Variety Show.
September 21st, 1996
Held at the Players Theatre
Produced by David Gittens. A benefit for Kids in Crisis.
Position: Stage Chief. SpringFoward.jpg (94801 bytes)

"Spring Forward, Sarasota's own Variety Show "
Spring of 1997 A children's production of song and dance.
Held at the Players Theatre
Producer / Director: Susan Swanson and Red Wiles.
Position: Fly Rod Operator

CPL. 15th Anniversary Celebration, a Musical Variety Show with Twelve Acts.
(Raised $5,000 for the Center for Positive Living)
September 26th, 1997 for one performance
Held at the Sarasota High School Auditorium
Executive Producer: Bernard Kautz
Position: Stage Chief / Director, Lighting Design, Program Design, Cover Photograph Program, and a 2 hour Back-Lit Slide Presentation timed to music.

Puttin' on the Ritz, Dinner Dance & Show
November 14th, 1997 FireColide2.jpg (65871 bytes)
Music Director: Rob Satori
Held at the Country Club of Sarasota
Position: Artistic Director

The Giving Tree, Christmas Variety Show.
December 20th, 1997   Collected over 300 donated gifts for needy children.
Produced by David Gittens
Held at the Phillippi Estate Park
Position: Stage Manager, Set Design, Lighting & Sound Design, Donation Acquisitions.

Gifts of Love, Community based Variety Show.
December 23rd, 1997
Produced by Bernie Kautz
Held at the David Cohen Hall
Position: Artistic Director (for the Hall), Set Design, Talent Coordinator, Stage Manager

Trinity Baptist Church Restoration
February 23rd to March 12th 1998
(200 CPL Volunteers) Tithing Committee. "Churches helping Churches."
CO-Chairs: Dan Cormany, Derry Beck, and Laszlo
Position: Construction Manager, Work Force Coordinator, Donation Acquisitions.

All Faiths Food Bank
April 25th, 1998 with 48 CPL Volunteers
President - Board of Directors: Peg Mathys weillaz.jpg (12618 bytes)
(collected 130,000 lb. of food)
Position: Work Force Coordinator Main Post Office Sarasota

Dr Andrew Weil
May 3rd, 1998 (sold out)
Held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Produced by Holistic HealthWork, Inc.
Executive Director: Joyce D. Piecuch
Position: Artistic Director, Stage Design, Lighting & Sound Design, Logistics

Sarasota 2K
2 days of Community based exhibits, 2 Hour Performances and Candle Light Vigils.

December 30th & 31st, 1999
Produced by David Gittens
Held at Phillippi Estate Park
Position: Stage Manager, Gazebo Design, Lighting & Sound Design. firefly3_small.jpg (2711 bytes)

Humane Society Dog Show
February 12th, 2000
Held at the Groves Family Festival, Twin Lakes Park.
Executive Director: Gary Dumas
Position: Coordinator

From the Heart, All Day Family Festival
February 12th, 2000
Held at Twin Lakes Park
Produced by the Groves Foundation, Inc.
President, Executive Director: Laszlo
Position: Event Organizer, Stage Design, Lighting & Sound Design, Advertising
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Groves Benefit Concert
February 13th, 2000 PM
Produced by The Groves Foundation, Inc.
Featured Artists: Rivers of Time, with opening act Native Descending Nation.
Position: Lighting and Sound Design, Advertising and Promotions

The Aquarian Quest, a Nonprofit Organization.
October 26th, 2000 Teaches school children aboard a 70 ft. Tall Ship.
President, Executive Director, Jan Kirchner  http://www.aquarianquest.org/ DanielWebsterClements_small.jpg (2495 bytes)
Position: Cofounder in charge of forming By Laws and Articles of Incorporation.

CPL. Chorus Concert 2000, a Musical Variety Show.
November, 2000
Held at the David Cohen Hall
Produced by Center for Positive Living
Music Director: Rob Satori
Position: Angel (name given by staff)

"Imagine" an evening with Marianne Williamson
January 19th, 2001 A pre show presentation set to live music.
Held at First United Methodist Church sparkler.jpg (48706 bytes)
Executive Producer: Jay Whitham and The Center for Positive Living.
Position: Produced a 10 min. CD-ROM Slide Show Presentation using my images.

Committed to Awakened Community
March 17th to May 12th, 2001 (8 week commitment)
Held at the David Cohen Hall
Produced by Center for Positive Living
Chairperson: Caryl Lenahan
Position: Artistic Director, Logistics, Staging

1st Annual Aquarian Quest Water Festival banner.jpg (93528 bytes)
April 26th, 2001
Held at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron
Produced by Aquarian Quest, Inc.
President: Joe Jackson
Position: Stage Design, Lighting & Sound Design

Award Ceremonies for The Aquarian Quest.
Sarasota County Board of Commissioners
March 26th, 2002.
Awarded Sarasota's own official "Tall Ship"
Takes school children on a 2 hour educational cruses aboard the Tall Ship "Daniel Webster Clements."
Amie E. Hear: Outreach Coordinator
Position: Photographer and Cofounder.

Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well In Parisbwd36.jpg (20839 bytes)
April 1st, 2004
Presented by the Players Theatre
Burton Wolfe: Director
Position: Performance Photographer. Produced a 45 page photo essay of the play.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
July 4th, 2004
Sharon Gellman: Director of Events
Position: Built a lighted 4th of July Display along the entrance to Selby Gardens.

Wyland / Laszlo Key West Post Card
October 30th, 1993
Photographed the evolution of Wyland's Whaling Wall  #52  located on William Street next to Reef Relief's office.
Wyland and I Co-Copyrighted a post card as a fund raiser for Reef Relief (a nonprofit).
5000 cards were donated to Reef Relief and sold for $5.00 ea. They all sold and generated $25,000.00 in proceeds.
DeeVon Quirolo: Director. Reef Relief installs mooring buoys around the reefs and monitors Florida Bay's water qualities.
Laszlo: Photographer / Donator

Website designed and maintained by Laszlo
 
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Laz@LaszloArt.com

Images Laszlo D.B.A. Laszlo 2001-2009
       Website   Laszlo Art  2004-2009
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