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Rising Stars: Meet Mario Adato

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mario Adato.

Hi Mario, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
In my gut, I knew I wanted to be involved in live music and events since my early teens, but it would be many more years before it became a feasible career path. After purchasing my first drum set at the age of 14, I fell headfirst into the world of music and entertainment. I rapidly consumed as many concert VHS I could get my hands on (this was before YouTube, DVD’s, etc.), joined my high school’s numerous musical performance groups (jazz band, wind ensemble, marching band, drumline), started my own hard rock band, and used every opportunity I could to learn more about live music and the eco-system surrounding it. Over time I developed a fierce passion for live events and realized that for me personally, there is no greater feeling in life than pouring all your hard work and creativity into a product and that being reciprocated by the roaring approval of your audience. As I grew older and technology advanced, I was exposed to & rapidly consumed more and more music, live productions & concert tours. I come from a line of entrepreneurs and businessmen, so I knew I’d need to improve my business acumen not only to convince my parents I could do this but to sharpen my skills and become a well-rounded artist and businessman.

I studied Business Administration and minored in Music Industry at USC, and that educational experience was the catalyst that brought me to where I am now. I very quickly befriended many like-minded individuals and within a few years, we were throwing 1000+ permitted events in our neighborhood, complete with full staging, food and beverage, security, audio, lighting, lasers and more. Toward the end of our schooling some of our older friends and mentors from university had just started a live event company called Production Club, which is where I was able to gain exposure to events on a much higher and professional level. In the eight years since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in dance music and have been heavily involved in numerous tours and festival headline shows across the globe. Currently, I specialize in video systems. I generally am involved in every step from content development and creation to final playback but have learned to create and adapt to almost any situation. Specializing in video has helped me get a foothold in the industry, own a department that is absolutely critical to a live performance, and allowed me to employ my skills as a musician through numerous avenues including live VJing and show programming.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road, although it has been highly rewarding and I wouldn’t change a thing. Life is full of struggle, but luckily I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to work in a field that I personally find highly gratifying and fulfilling. Looking back, there are three major struggles that stand out thus far: 1) Quitting my career in marketing/advertising to pursue production full time. After graduating college, my first job was at an advertising agency planning advertising campaigns for a theatrical client. In order to fully pursue a career in live events, I was faced with the decision of leaving a full-time job with benefits and a very promising career path in order to pursue my dreams with no guarantee. It was a rough start, but a decision I will never regret. 2) Adjusting to the demands of life on the road. Learning to be away from family and friends, re-defining relationships, missing birthdays/funerals/weddings, not sleeping for days on end; there’s a lot of adjusting when you become a full time touring musician. 3) Coronavirus shutdown. Never in my lifetime would I have thought I would see our entire industry shut down almost overnight, with no end in sight. Through struggle and adversity come growth, and each one of those struggles allowed me the opportunity to learn and become a stronger, better person and artist.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Currently, I operate a boutique video solutions firm that specializes in live video systems and solutions, live show direction, video operation (VJ), video programming, & motion graphics production. Generally, what that means is that I am heavily involved in what the audience sees playing on the LED walls, whether that be creating the content on the screens, ensuring that it’s playing back properly and anything in between. Some of my current and previous clients include Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Flume, Thomas Rhett, Diplo, Boys Noize, Knife Party, Iggy Azalea I would say I’m most known for my work in electronic dance music. I heavily lean on my musicality and artistic vision to set me apart from other creators and artists in the space; my years of drumming have honed my timing to near metronome precision and my affinity for darkness, simplicity and boldness is very evident during my performances.

I prefer to take a global approach and direct a cohesive show with the music, lighting, special effects, and video all working together in unison as opposed to trying to give the audience the most “out of your mind” visuals experience. I think I’m most proud of surviving the tour schedules I’ve been through….they can be killer! In all seriousness, being trusted to bring my client’s vision to life through visuals is what I’m most proud of. Visuals are an extremely visceral medium, and being entrusted by artists I respect and admire to bring their music to life visually is something I am very proud of.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Treat others like you want to be treated.

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Image Credits

Marilyn Hue Mike808 Thomas Falcone Merc Photography

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