POLAND Artistic couple finds charms in the Valley
By DON SHILLING
VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR
POLAND -- She's a petite, 35-year-old dancer who likes the Latin rhythms of Miami's South Beach.
He's a tall, curly-haired 33-year old who likes the connections and parties of Los Angeles' music recording business.
She says Miami has a certain energy that you can't find elsewhere. Not so, he says. There's always something happening in LA.
As the two fell in love and prepared to be married, they realized neither Miami nor Los Angeles would be their home. They reached a compromise on where to live -- Poland.
It doesn't have the energy of Miami or the glitz of Los Angeles, but it does have one quality the young couple desired.
"I'd love to raise a family here," Myke Aaron said.
Kim Katsaras has assured her fiance that it will be a great place to raise a family. She grew up in the area, dancing and teaching with her mother, Judy Katsaras, owner of Judy Conti Dance Studios.
The couple bought a home in Poland and will be married Saturday.
Recording studio: Aaron has set up a recording studio in Boardman and has given himself a year to see if he can make a living away from the lights and glamour of his native Los Angeles.
After some time playing keyboards with bands, he's done pretty well in recent years producing, mixing, arranging and recording music for others at his studio in Los Angeles.
In his Sound3 Studio on South Avenue, he has an award with a golden tape reel from Ampex Corp. for work he has done in remixing songs performed by singer-songwriter Luther Vandross. Across from that is a poster of a painting done by singer Donna Summers. She signed it with a message to him because of work he has done on her songs.
He has remixed songs performed by Madonna, Tori Amos and Snoop Dogg and other artists so they could be used in dance clubs. He has headed back to Los Angeles this weekend to attend some record-signing parties being held for a reggae band he has worked with.
Being away from those connections has been tough, but making his future wife happy was more important, he said.
First visit: In fact, moving to Ohio was his idea. On his first visit to the area last June, she took him to a dance recital in Stambaugh Auditorium, sightseeing at Fellows Riverside Gardens and Lanterman's Mill in Mill Creek Park and then for ice cream at Handel's.
"I thought this place was great," he said.
Now, the question is how to make his business work.
He thought it would be easy to have artists fly here for recording work because many were flying to California anyway. They aren't interested, however, because they like taking part in the night life of Los Angeles, he said.
He's been working with local bands and singers and is continuing his remixing work. That work can be done here easily because it's done on a computer. A song's digital information is sent to him, and he remixes the instruments and vocals to fit the use the record company plans for the song.
While he hopes his studio will work here, he also has kept a studio in Los Angeles so he can go back occasionally to do work there.
In the meantime, he's enjoying how nice strangers are and watching the squirrels and deer in their back yard, which borders Poland Woods.
He's trying to get used to the slower pace of life. He says he's the fastest driver on the roads and immediately noticed on his first trip to a home improvement center that he and his fiancee were the only ones buzzing through the aisles at break-neck speed.
Sept. 11: Katsaras is happy to be back home. She was in New York on Sept. 11, which was just after they decided to move to Poland. She called the terrorist attack a life-changing moment that convinced her that she needed to be close to family and that they had made the right decision.
In Miami, she had a retail buying position for a department store, but now she is a regional account executive for five states for Casper, which sells women's suits. She said landing the Casper job was good fortune because it allowed her to get reconnected with her mother's dance studio.
She's teaching for her mother one night a week and dancing with a senior dance line another night.
"Dancing is my love," she said.