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Steve Kucera, or Magic Steve as many know him, opened the Salida Streaming Studio located at the Salida Business Hub as a way to help support local performing arts acts in the time of COVID-19. When the pandemic hit, the music industry and musicians saw venues closed, performances canceled, and faced difficulty in producing new work or dealing with technology to attempt to hold on to their audiences.

“I saw so many musicians struggling to do live streams and so much of it was just setting the camera up in a brightly lit room and playing in front of it,” explained Kucera. “So, I wanted to set up a studio that was dedicated to streaming.”

The studio has multiple live cameras and high-quality audio. Kucera planned it this way so musicians could show up and not have to worry about any of the technical details.

Still photo taken from Salida Streaming Studio’s “Les Amoureux” A Night With MAC&LC Live Stream Event. Courtesy of Facebook.

This is a free service for any and all performing artists and the Studio is in the process of also helping artists monetize their performance.  “There is an emphasis on openness here,” said Kucera.

Before the performing artists’ shows, the artist and Kucera spend weeks collaborating to make sure everything goes smoothly. “We’re setting it up almost like a nightclub where we have a regular calendar of events and a regular schedule.”

He continued “What I’d really like to do is have the musicians perhaps even pick like a regular night, like if someone wants to do a First Thursday.”

The studio uses 3D video projecting mapping. “We try to create a really cool atmosphere. We use video projected effects and the current set that we have set up has a giant roaring fireplace. It’s got fire effects and you can actually look out the virtual window to snow in the background.”

Kucera hopes to use this same idea in the future to build theatrical sets that can be moved into nontraditional spaces to allow for events such as magic shows and even fully fleshed-out plays. “This whole concept will be developed again as a portable, “tour-able” piece of technology.”

Currently, the studio uses open-source broadcast software and four simultaneous cameras to stream live shows. Kucera says the studio is also in the process of setting up a monitoring system so performers can read comments coming in live from Facebook without having to squint at their phones.

“I’ve gotten a lot of increase in people who think of this more as a recording studio, but we’re really geared towards live performance.”

“It doesn’t have to be a musical performance. We really would like to open up to anybody who has some sort of a performing art. It really could be used for poetry reading and plays and the whole works,” Kucera added. “It’s a creative opportunity for everybody. It’s really just a service that I’m trying to add and give to artists so that we can help them.”

The studio is open to all. To learn more or get on the calendar click here or call 719-539-5237.