Last Friday I attended East Hampton Studio’s event Speakeasy Moderne. This 1930s inspired cabaret party featured a cast of talent hosted by Hank Official with performances by Sonja Morgan of the Real Housewives of New York, Gabi Ruiz of Broadway’s Evita, Dina Fanai of Trans Siberian Orchestra and jazz recording artist Linda Calise. After the show I sat down with East Hamptons Studio’s own Michael Wudyka to see what his plans are for this summer:
The events you have at East Hampton Studio definitely bring a different element of entertainment to the Hamptons. When you first envisioned the studio and the types of events you would hold there, what did you anticipate and how has your vision evolved since opening?
I’ve always had the thoughts and vision to have the ability of bringing different types of production to the Hamptons. I wanted to break out of the norm.
My vision has changed dramatically because I needed to invest in everything in-house, from lights, tables, chairs and sound to reduce the costs to allow us to produce things so much cheaper than anyone else.
The event Friday raised money for the Creative Coalition. Can you explain how it benefits organizations to hold events at East Hampton Studio?
With the ability to have a space that transforms to different sizes from 100 to 3,000 people we have the ability of keeping our overhead very low.
With relationships in every facet from events and production we are able to minimize costs for charities and anyone else using the studio.
What drives you to be so interested in fundraising for charity groups?
I’ve been very fortunate and blessed in life. I feel it’s my responsibility to give back in any way possible. The studio is just one of the many ways I’m able to help give back.
What other organizations have held events at the studio? Are there any in
particular that have stood out?
One of the best events we had was Crosby Stills and Nash. We were fortunate to work with somebody that hosted a remarkable event. We also had a Cirque Hamptons, which was a spinoff of Cirque du Soleil. Because of our 40-foot ceilings we were able to do many great acrobatic feats. I really would love to see X Games done inside the studio, as well as a high-end car show.
How has the community supported making East Hampton Studio successful?
I’ve been in the Hamptons for almost 15 years. It’s home to me. I have been fortunate to be supported in all of my businesses by friends, businesses and the community. The studio continues to prove what a great supportive community the Hamptons are.
Would you like to see East Hampton Studio evolve into something bigger than what it currently is? Would you like to see it involved in creating blockbuster films?
I would love Easthampton Studio to be able to fill a void for all types of events and production. With our relationship with WVVH television and its long range of viewership from Manhattan to Montauk to our 30-foot cyclorama for photography to our green screen capabilities and in house recording studio. We just want to be a resource for anyone’s needs.
We just finished a major film with Russell Crowe and Colin Farrell that was in house for over three months. That was very exciting. The entire crew was great to work with and they seemed to enjoy the space and community.
How can people find out more information on what events will be held at East Hampton Studio?
We can be found at EastHamptonStudio.com, on Facebook and a simple Google search will get you to us as well.
How do you balance your time between working on event ideas for East Hampton Studio and running the Enclave Inn?
I have just recently sold the Enclave Inn. It was something so special to our family. I have now ventured into working with the Guberman Group building luxury homes. Josh Guberman is supportive and very philanthropic, so it runs hand-in-hand with the intent of the studio.
Are you working on any new projects?
We have a great summer of events happening. I was a bit busy this year, so it’s not as booked as I’d hoped, but we get calls every day and the calendar is filling up.
I saw your son Tucker at the event on Friday. What will your sons be up to this summer? Are you molding them into young entrepreneurs?
Both of my sons, Tucker and Wyatt, have been by my side in every business “we” own. It’s my responsibility as a father to give them love, opportunity and a good work ethic. They’re both very gifted and I’m lucky they still want to hang with me.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in the Hamptons? How do you like spending your summer?
I’m a creature of habit. I’ve been eating the same burger at Fairway restaurant for 15 years. That has to say something. I spend my summers and all year at the beach. Walking, eating lunch. Anything I can do to be at the water.
Do you like spending your summer with anyone special? Meaning, are you single?
I look forward to spending my summer with family and friends. The Hamptons are a special place. You never know who you will meet!
Among upcoming events at East Hampton Studio is the first annual Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Team Fox and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Gala, Honoring the Music of Billy Joel, on August 18 7 p.m. – midnight, and Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling along with musical guest Randy Jackson, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on August 19, 5–9 p.m. Visit easthamptonstudio.com for tickets.