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Michael Bolanos is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Entertainment Drive®, "Your Backstage Pass to Entertainment,®" an award-winning production company that creates and manages online communities around entertainment properties and personalities. An innovator and a showman, Michael Bolanos (bow-LA-nos) was one of the first to envision the potential of combining new media technology with entertainment, and with an amazing team created some of the industry's most successful productions.
Prior to launching Entertainment Drive ('eDrive"), Bolanos was active internationally in the entertainment field as a manager, producer, director and performer. In 1993, the CompuServe Information Service tapped Bolanos as entertainment consultant for the H & R Block-owned online service. Beginning in 1994 on CompuServe, eDrive attracted more than one million members and was first to offer digitized entertainment from Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros. and over 100 other media companies.
eDrive's CyberStudio was the first to introduce celebrities including Tom Hanks, Mick Jagger, Jenny McCarthy, Spike Lee, Kurt Russell, Ron Howard, Sylvester Stallone and many others live online. eDrive was first to present live, backstage online coverage backstage of the Oscars® (with Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith), the Daytime, Sports and Primetime Emmys® and the Tony® Awards.
Entertainment Drive has been featured on CNN, Fox News, in the New York Times, on the cover of PC Magazine, in Yahoo! Internet Life and named one of the "12 Great Online Areas" by Compute Magazine.
Entertainment Drive created Official Websites for celebrities including Cindy Crawford, Daisy Fuentes, Marilu Henner and Britney Spears. Other eDrive productions include yDrive.com for young people, eDrive Japan on NIFTY Serve in Japanese, eDrive Latin America on StarMedia in 12 languages, and Tapehead.com for independent films.
For more than 25 years, Michael has been active internationally in the entertainment industry as a manager, producer, director, and performer. Beginning at age 8 as a singer and television personality in Taipei, Taiwan (thanks to his Mom, Jean Bolanos), in 1976 at age 11 he created and anchored "Kidcast," one of the first TV news features for kids, on NBC affiliate KAMR-TV in Amarillo, Texas.
Production credits include more than 60 theatrical, touring and international productions (including Broadway's "Execution of Justice," performances for Their Imperial Majesties, the Emperor Akihito and The Empress Michiko, and theatrical productions throughout Japan and Europe), as well as international television licensing and production (including "Summer in Nagasaki," an arena peace concert broadcast live on NHK and distributed by Warner Video). Michael was on the Board of the Friends of the American Theatre Wing (producers of the Tony Awards), and helped to bring the Artists Rights Foundation, ASCAP, and the first Muscular Dystrophy Telethon online.
In 1986, Bolanos was named American Artistic Coordinator for the Chautauqua Institution-Eisenhower Institute's "Journey in Open Diplomacy," which brought 260 American diplomats, artists and citizens to the Soviet Union for first-ever "people to people" exchanges. In April 2001, he was honored to serve as an executive production advisor for the Eisenhower Institute's Leadership Prize Dinner as the Institute honored the late Grammy-winning saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.
In 1987, Bolanos produced a concert at the Japan Society for Their Imperial Majesties, the Emperor Akihito and the Empress Michiko. In 1989 and 1991, he served as the American Producer of the "Summer in Nagasaki" peace concert commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima, which was broadcast live on NHK and later released by Warner Bros. While in Tokyo, Bolanos managed Ron Richardson as he recreated his Tony and Drama Desk award-winning "Big River" role in Japanese.
Bolanos' online epiphany occurred in June 1992, when his client and friend Ben Vereen was injured in California he was unable to get through to the hospital by phone. Bolanos was able to log on to his CompuServe account and get the latest on Vereen's condition. "I was immediately hooked," he recalls. "I wasn't all that into computers at the time, but I started thinking about what this new technology could mean for linking people around the world to the excitement and immediacy of entertainment."
Michael Bolanos has been named one of New York Magazine's "Cyber 60" and as a "CyberStar" by Newsweek's Virtual City Magazine. Michael and Entertainment Drive were honored as Innovators by the Smithsonian Computerworld Awards, and are included in the Smithsonian Institution's National Archive on Information Technology. Thanks to his Dad, Henry Bolanos, Michael received his first US Patent for the "eDrive Movie Viewer" in 1998. Michael is listed in multiple versions of Marquis Who's Who In the World®; Who's Who in America®; Who's Who in Finance and Industry®; and Who's Who in Media and Communications®. He recently lectured on New Media at Yale University.
President & Chief Executive Officer