Exigo a me non ut optimis par sim, sed ut malis melior

All About Me:

Hello! My name is Charles R. Kaiser I am a lighting designer, technical director, sound engineer, and pyrotechnician. I work full-time for the Town of Newmarket, Ontario at the Newmarket Theatre. Although my official title is theatre technician/assistant administrator, I really act as the de facto technical director in addition to being the lighting designer and resident sound guy. I hold an honors Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Lighting Design and Technical Direction from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. I moved to Canada from the United States when I got married in 1993. I am a citizen of both the United States and Canada.

I hold an honorary commission as Colonel on the Staff of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

I live in Aurora, Ontario Canada with my wife Kimberley and our Chihuahuas WC's Mayan Princess and Mirabella (Bella for short). Our Chihuahua Pedro Cortez Godtar journeyed to the Rainbow Bridge on June 11, 2007. We miss him.

At best, I am a mediocre photographer. Sadly I inherited no skill at all from my gifted Great-grandfather James M. Caufield who was a well known photographer in the history of Louisville. Most of the work of his firm "Caufield and Shook" can be found in the Caufield and Shook Collection at the archives in the University of Louisville Library.

I suffer from debilitating migraines and live with recurring episodes of severe depression.

If you are looking at my photos, I would greatly appreciate your comments! If you like it, let me know. If you hate it, tell me why. If you want to use it, please ask. Thanks!

What I've Done

I have worked for KENW Television, CIMN Radio, the New Mexico Repertory Theatre, the Sarasota Opera, the Sarasota Children's Opera, the Porthouse Theatre, the Santa Fe Opera, Buck's Rock Summer Theatre, the Greater Miami Opera (now the Florida Grand Opera), the Arkansas Children's Theatre, and as a freelance designer and technician all over North America. My job just previous to my tenure at the Newmarket Theatre was as production manager at the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts (now the Toronto Centre for the Arts) in Metropolitan Toronto. The Centre is a major performing arts venue with three theatres: a 1800-seat main hall, a 1032 seat recital hall, and a 200 seat studio theatre. When I left, I was in charge of the whole shootin' match.

I came to the Newmarket Theatre ten years ago after spending almost six years in various capacities at the Ford Centre working for former theatre giant Livent Inc. While with Livent I worked on projects for various shows including Show Boat, Sunset Boulevard, Ragtime, and Fosse. Basically, I moved up the ladder from an assistant designer position to the position of production manager of the facility. In addition to duties for shows in the 1800 seat main hall, I also was busy overseeing the production aspects of all rentals and concert series events in the 1000 seat George Weston Recital Hall. The George Weston Recital Hall is generally accepted as being one of the most acoustically superb halls in North America. It regularly played host to such internationally acclaimed artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Kathleen Battle. We also presented many artists requiring sound reinforcement such as Arlo Guthrie, Chick Corea, the Boys Choir of Harlem, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

While I enjoyed many aspects of my job with Livent, as an administrator I felt very disconnected from the actual hands-on work that I used to do as a designer and technician. I credit the financial failure of Livent with changing my life. After spending nearly six years in the pressure cooker environment of the Ford Centre, I was ready for a change. All I needed was a push. Coincidentally, that push came in the form of the spectacular failure of Livent just nine days into what was to be an eight-week leave for medical reasons. As I was about to head out the door on my last day before my leave, my wife phoned regarding the position with the Newmarket Theatre. I interviewed for the job during a break in my medical treatment, was offered the job on Christmas Eve, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Current Lighting (and Other) Projects

My full time job with the Newmarket Theatre sees me doing lots of one offs with very little time to document my work. My current specialty is what I call the "Eight Hour Musical." This is where I light a full musical for a user group in just one day. More details on the Eight Hour Musical can be found in my article All By Myself in the May 2005 issue of Entertainment Design (now called Live Design) magazine. you can also find a .pdf of the article HERE.

You may have read other articles and submissions of mine in Lighting&Sound America magazine as well as in Projection Lights & Staging magazine. You can find most of my published work at my website's Publications Page.

In addition to doing lighting and sound for live theatre and one off concerts, I often find myself lighting for the local cable television company, as they produce several events in our venue every year.

I am also a fully licenced pyrotechnician and outdoor aerial display supervisor, and I do large scale display fireworks and indoor pyrotechnics for a company called Concept Fiatlux Inc.

The Newmarket Theatre

The Newmarket Theatre, far from being just a community theatre, regularly plays host to nationally and internationally known stars. In past seasons we have presented the likes of: famed Canadian pianist John Arpin, well known Canadian children's entertainers Judy and David, Celtic tenor John McDermott, former Men At Work front man Colin Hay, Canadian singer/song writer Jim Witter, the legendary Irish Rovers, the internationally renowned Famous People Players, Canadian legends The Stampeders, internationally known illusionist Ted Outerbridge, stage star Michael Burgess, beloved Canadian singer Rita MacNeil, Canada's Country Gentleman Tommy Hunter, and the famed Canadian east coast group the Barra MacNeils.

On the subject of Testimonials:

Back where I come from, there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called phila-, er, er, philanth-er, yes, er, good-deed doers, and their hearts are no bigger than yours. But they have one thing you haven't got - a testimonial.

Therefore, in consideration of your kindness, I take pleasure at this time in presenting you with a small token of our esteem and affection. And remember, my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.

If you would like me to write you a testimonial, I would be happy to. But it would help if I knew a bit about you. If you would like to write a testimonial for me, I would love it! Write away. . .

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Testimonials (4)

  • view profile

    RealCamShaz says:

    "Charles is an awesome guy!
    Not many would give a camera to a complete stranger on the opposite side of the world... Equipped with his preloved camera, I was inspired to shoot, and have slowly improved :) I now own a DSLR camera, and I'm getting more into the art of photography everday :) Thankyou Charles for inspiring me :)
    Charles' photostream is diverse and exciting :) He tells his story with everyday and honest pics. It is always a pleasure to drop by and view his work :)
    Hats off to a great guy!"

    January 31st, 2009

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    *steve_gobeil* says:

    "Charles has a lot of sets...a whole lot...one day I will actually look at his work...one day in the far, far future, in an another galaxy, far, far away.

    I would suggest that anyone who wants to go count Charlies sets as i got stuck at four.

    Thank you for reading this"

    January 17th, 2009

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    empty flavor says:

    "The master of the fungal toe shots. Really, the best. I mean it. Yargh. But once you get past those, you'll see a wealth of beauty just waiting to be seen. He's got a great eye, and even redder toes!!"

    March 30th, 2007

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    Sadie Shooter says:

    "I have been working in an ER for the last 10 years and I have yet to see a fungus as beautiful as this. It is amazing.

    Actually, after looking through ckaiserca's photostream I have to say that the evening concert photos are miraculous. You have a marvelous eye."

    March 30th, 2007

Charles Kaiser
May 2005
Born in Louisville, KY - Raised in Albuquerque, NM
I am:
Male and Taken
Theatre Technical Director