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The Origin and Mission of Blackout's Box

The story and origin of me and how Blackout's Box, and then later Blackout.com, came  to be is a long one, and it could easily take up an entire book, movie, or TV mini-series, (and it one day shall) but I'll try to give you a shortened version here.

Currently, I am an actor, singer, writer, director, editor, philosophiser, storyteller, voice over artist, radio show host, and whatever other label that you would like to throw on me that has to do with being creative.  In short I am an Artist, and those labels are just some of the Artistic things I like to do and get involved with.  It took me a long time to be able to have the confidence to step up to the plate and call myself an artist without feeling superficial and egotistiocal, but I now embrace the title with Great Love and Acceptance, because I know without the shadow of a doubt that an Artist is what I am.

I am a teacher as well, and I teach acting technique and production workshops at Blackout's Box Studios Acting Acedemy within the Music For All Inc. school in Sunrise, Florida. More importantly, for your current frame of reference, I am the creator of all of the content on this website. Sometimes I do feature other individual's or group's works that I find inspiring, but when I do this, I am always sure to give credit to the artist who did it if a work presented on this site was not done by me personally.  I reside in the same place I work - Blackout's Box Studios in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The elaborate studio setup is in my home so that I don't have to travel when inpiration hits me. I love travel and change, and so I am always on the movem and I have lived in many places in my life and moved locations at least 42 times.  My eventual goal is to have studios in all of the major artistic cities, and then fly and work inbetween all of them.

I have always been fascinated by all forms of story telling, recording, and captured media since I was a very small child - from the very first Dr Suess books that I had as a little boy, all the way up to the current huge multimedia website and interactive community that you are on right now which is constantly evolving and being updated, upgraded, reshaped, and expanded upon.  

There have been endless forms of media that I have passed through and toyed with before coming to the current cornucopia and latest incarnation of Blackout's Box on the internet that you see before you now. Books, records, cassette tapes, 8mm film and motion picture cameras, photography, reel to reels, 8 tracks, Minidiscs, Laser Discs, BetaMax, VHS and then S-VHS tapes and cameras, analog multitrack tape decks, and then finally modern digital systems and methods of recording via computer, which started with my Amiga 4000 and the NEWTEK Video Toaster Flyer, which was a breakthrough product that started the big bang in the LONG awaited intoduction of non linear audio and video editing systems, hardware, and software, and finally lossless digital recording, editing, storage, and transmission methods such as DAT tape, recordable CDs, Mini-DV, DVDs, and so on and so forth up to the current time and the massive use of computers. Sorry if I got too heavu on the tech talk there but I needed to bring you up to speed on just how much slooowww goopy stuff existed before the wonderful digital editing of today.  I was a very frustrated Artist many times because I could not seem to do or even imitate what was in my head or the look of major motion pictures in the theater.  I was stuck with crappy analog magnetic tape for a long time, and I dreamed and envisioned digital editing and wrote about it as a kid, and low and behold some nice engineer went and invented it. Thank you engineers of the world!

I put acting first in the list because of my Artistic abilities and services, because that I is one of my stronger passions and just something I have a natural love and gift for.  I am generally at my best in acting, writing, and directing, and I think all my other artforms are springboards from that.  Music to me is simply another form of storytelling and acting, but within a different rule and tone set.

I got into acting through radio, and I got into radio because it was just the coolest class one could take at Piper High School, which I attened until 1992. I became quite addicted to my Radio, Acting, and English classes, and I ignored many of my other classes. I soon found that I was able to easily imitate all manners of dialects, accents, and different voice and character qualities with relative ease, and even more importantly, I loved doing it will al my heart.  This stuff was the stuff of magick, and magick is what I am all about.

Blackout's Box started out as just a tape of odd calls and bits that I made years ago while working at my old high school radio station, 88.5 WKPX. Let me explain a little further - I got the nickname 'Blackout' because the very first time I went on the air (it was 1990 and I was a sophomore in high school), there was a lightning storm raging about outside of the school. Of course, I was sitting in a snug little studio and had no idea that outside, lightning was zapping down telephone poles and trees, and I probably wouldn't have paid any attention anyway, because I was far too nervous about going on the air for the first time to care about a measly thing like lightning.
Needless to say, while I was DJing, lightning struck the station's antenna - blacking  out the entire school and ruining a good deal of the station's equipment. I distinctively remember the huge CRAAAAACCCKing sound and believing that I had pushed the wrong button and somehow blown everything all to hell, and that surely I was going to be expelled. Of course, later, everything was explained to me and I was affectionately dubbed Blackout by my fellow students and teachers.
During the time that the station was off the air, I made and released a few tapes of different sketches and prank calls, and the tapes became very popular and were circulated all over the place. Then, a friend of mine gave me a voice mail box to put some of my work up on, and zappo - Blackout's Box was born. The name came from a combination of my nickname, and a voice mail box, but now has expanded to mean the place where I think outside the box, and I encourage others to do so as well. This box is so big, that as soon as you find one of the edges of the box, a new one appears a little bit further out of reach. Originally it was just an underground phone line that people could call to hear all sorts of insane things on, but Blackout's Box soon turned into a radio show, which spawned an improv group, and then I founded Blackout's Box Studios Inc. in 2002, which I have been using to create independent films, music, radio shows, TV shows, practical jokes, books, this web site and it's community, and a myriad of other creative endeavors.  I have been working towards getting support and funding to make Blackout's Box a revolutionary TV show and stage show, and things are really looking good on those fronts. I am also currently engadged in my first Blackout's Box Studios feature film project: REVENGE of the WORKER I also plan on opening up the world's largest interactive experience center, called Blackout's Universe - The Land Inbetween, it will be far beyond what most people currently refer to as 'theme parks' but that would be a good starting reference for it.  Imagine a theme park to the power of 42, and you'll still be far away from what I am designing - but that will be revealed in more detail down the line, and when the funds arrive so that I may actually do it, and not only talk about it.

This website is my central core and base of opertaions,  and through here you can always find the latest projects I am working on, as well as endless hours of entertainment in my Online Theater.  You can check for new material regularly by going into the NOW PLAYING or THEATER links, and if you would like to be updated via e-mail whenever new material is put up on the site, you can subscribe to the Blackout's Box Mailing List. Of course, your information will be kept private and never shared. I hate spam just as much as everybody else, and probably more so, because I ave had the same e-mail address - blackout@blackout.com for over 10 years. Feel free to send an e-mail if you'd like to contact me, but know that I can't always answer of of them, so if it is a compliment, critique, or a question, it is better to post it on the bulletin boards or in the guestbook. That way everyone can read it.

A word about "THE HAT" and style:

As you wonder through the world of the box and blackout.com, you will many times see refernces to me not only as 'Blackout', but also as 'The Hat', or 'The Hatted One'.  This is because for many years, I would not show myself or pictures of me on this website because I was dong many pranks and practical jokes and I feared gettng in trouble for them and wasn't sure if I should have my pictures up.  When I got over this fear, and started putting pictures up, in many of them, I was wearing hats, as I love hats and I have many of them, however, there is one particular hat that I have that takes the cake. It is also known as 'THE HAT' or the grand 'HAT OF ALL HATS'. It is a special multicolored and finely crafted velvet hat that was given to me over 12 years ago as a gift for the first commercial I was in, in which I wore it. It was also the very first time I got PAID for acting, and for a starting professional actor that is a very big deal! Needless to say, I was very happy and proud, and in addition to just being in LOVE with the hat and its incredible design, quality, and intensely beautiful and crazy tapestry, I felt it had magickal properties and that it was not only stylish, but a bringer of good luck and good people. I have worn it alot since then, and I still wear it, and being that it is quite outlandish looking, I have found that it does have powers. It attracts very cool, open, artistic, and creative people to me, which is exactly the type of people that I like to meet, work with, be friends with, and be surrounded by.  I have also found, that people who DON'T like the hat, or who make smarmy comments under their breath about it as I walk by or ect ect...are exactly the sort of people who I DON'T want to be around, so the hat is not only incredibly stylish and part of my very personality, but it serves a very useful purpose as a cool people filter!  There are many pictures of me in 'THE HAT', but the one that is universally agreed on that best captures the feeling of me and the hat, is the one that is used in the main Blackout's Box Logo, with me and the hat in the O of the word BOX.  It is also my avatar, and you will occasionally see a picture of it when I am working on the site or during a live broadcast.  This picture stands out above all others, and was taken by a photographer/cameraman/dj named Dan, who went by the nickname Karbonation with a K. Dan died the very next day after the studio session where he took the main picture of me in the hat. When taking the picture, he said to me, "you are gonna fly straight to the top, don't stop.. Karbonation never lies," and I now truly believe him, and thank him. I didn't get to know him very well, but I knew that he was a good soul, and I'm sure he's spinning tunes, taking pictures, and kicking it creatively in another realm somewhere.  Thanks Karbonation, you are remembered and missed.

Well.  There is so much more to be said but I am going to save that for another time. I hope this at least gave you a half decent introduction to me, this site, and what it's all about, but the best way for you to enjoy Blackout's Box is just to jump right in and check it out for yourself, so sit back, relax, and be entertained! You won't find anything quite like the Box anywhere else. If you like it... spread the word, visit the sponsors when you find something interesting, and show your support by ordering some of my products and incredibly fun services such as a personal custom prank call or custom DVD. Everything on this site s free, but I survive and keep the site going by people ordering my material and by donations. ANY HELP THAT YOU CAN AFFORD, IF EVEN JUST $1, is HUGELY APPRECIATED and helps me to continue creating! Also, be sure to sign up and become part of the Blackout's Box Bulletin Boards, a huge community with some of the coolest people on the planet!


DISCLAIMER: Whatever happens to your brain from the material on this site is yo own damn fault! Period. Blackout & da crew take no responsibility fo nothing ya'll doos to yo's selves!

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All material is (C)1990-2005 Michael Richard Bigansky (AKA Blackout, Michael, Michael  Biggins) & Blackout's Box Studios Inc.