Charles Niski (spelled Charles, pronounced Chuck) has been in the performing arts field since the ripe age of eight. Beginning in musical performance, he first found the technical aspect of performing arts as a member of his high school jazz band-having to tote drums, keyboards, amplifiers, speakers, and other assorted sound reinforcement equipment.
After graduating, the theatre professor at his high school asked him to be the percussionist for the summer school theatre cabaret. That experience inspired Chuck to pursue more theatrical endeavors. In 1997, he created Under Siege Enterprises; which began as a full service DJ company (this is where he started dabbling in lighting and atmospheric effects). Under Siege Enterprises expanded in 1998 when it aligned with the industrial-goth band "I.....Mobius".
Initially Chuck was brought into that group as a sound engineer; however seeing the potential to improve the overall experience, he immediately incorporated a light show to accompany the band's performances - from the famous Churchill's Bar in Downtown Miami, to clubs such as Groove Jet on South Beach (which earned him a contract as their standard sound/light engineer for any live performances, at only 18 years of age).
While that was an extreme learning experience for him, Chuck found himself missing the totality of what the theatre encompasses. As such, he joined forces with William Lehman Elementary School - a magnet for the performing arts - and taught himself how to use the full stage lighting and computerized control panel, in addition to designing a new sound system to accommodate their student based live theatre performances. He then got a job with the
Miami-Dade Count Public School system at David Fairchild Elementary, where he pioneered their drama program. Throughout the duration of all that, he was a student at Miami-Dade Community College, majoring in music education-then changing majors to elementary education. During that time, he had the honor of being the percussionist for their theatre department's presentation of "Working, A Musical".
In February of 2002, he moved from Miami, to Ocala. Immediately upon relocation, he began volunteering at the Ocala Civic Theatre under the technical director of Mr. Timothy Dygert, where Charles learned immense amounts about other backstage elements of theatre. He then enrolled at Central Florida Community College, studying under Professor David Hartley, Dr. Christopher Pinkston, and Mr. Marcus D'Amelio. Chuck earned one of the coveted student employee positions within the theatre, and then had the pleasure of assisting in the operations of the college's performing arts auditorium (now known as the Chuck Dassonce Auditorium) for over 300 events.
After concluding his time at CFCC, Chuck joined forces with Angie Quidley and the Ocala Youth Theatre, serving as the technical director for their performance of Grease and as director & technical director for their performance of Peter Pan (including flight) in April of 2006 at the historic Marion Theatre in Downtown Ocala.
Things changed greatly for Chuck in October of 2006, when after 26 years of thinking he was an only child, he met his full blood brother - eleven years his senior. With the live theatre industry in the area at the time not being lucrative enough to support him, Chuck decided to follow in his brother's footsteps and obtained his Class A CDL. He then drove a semi for four years, taking in the amazing beauty that our country holds - and observing a multitude of different cultures - which helped him to develop his base for creating different characters upon the stage.
Sadly, Chuck's absence from the performance world lasted until 2018, when by a series of fortunate events he was introduced to The Art Center of Citrus County. Within two months, he was offered the position of Technical Director and quickly made changes that improved both the sound and lighting of the performances. Due to differences of opinion, he parted ways with the Art Center in May of 2019. Chuck then began freelancing at locations such as The Valerie Theatre in Inverness and the Citrus County Auditorium, teaching their staff how to use their equipment more efficiently and to a greater extent of its ability, during the events he was there to work on. As a result of all the freelance work, Chuck decided to resurrect the Under Siege Enterprises name, and create an LLC for it, on January 1, 2021.
In December of 2018, Chuck had his first involvement with "Two Pence Productions", both acting in and doing the lighting design for "Murder In Red and Green". This began a beautiful relationship that has had Chuck doing the sound and light design for every show since, including acting in and directing some! In January of 2022, the decision was made that Under Siege Enterprises LLC and Two Pence Productions would join forces, resulting in
BE the CCAUSE. In March of 2022, we signed a lease on a commercial unit, which functions as a rehearsal space for Two Pence Productions; an art gallery for local artists; and an art incubator where classes are given, and the space can be rented by other artists to give classes in their art form.
Chuck's desire is to be able to help artists share their art with others, without continuing to perpetuate the sad but true term "starving artist". By offering classes at rates that are affordable, and having affordable space rental rates, he hopes to extend the loving arm of art to those that it might not normally be able to reach.
BE the CCAUSE
--more extensive or extreme than; further-reaching than.
--having progressed or achieved more than (a specified stage or level)
--the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment
--an event, performance, or activity designed to entertain others
--done by people acting as a group
--a cooperative enterprise
--a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals
--a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common
--works produced by human creative skill and imagination
--the various branches of creative activity, such as theatre, painting, music, literature, and dance
Under Siege Enterprises
--a dream Charles Niski had when he was in high school that he's been working over 25 years to bring to fruition and realization.
--is a new, but growing, phenomenon in the world of local arts agencies. They are facilities that create a nurturing environment for small and emerging arts organizations.