Richard Jasek....The Flying Director....First Solo
"I was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and was just a toddler when we left in 1966."
Richard is now 42 years old. His father Ladislav, ( Lada ) now 78 and living in Adelaide, is a concert violinist and most often played in his home town of Prague for The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Classical Musicians in Europe are well known, respected artists and the Czechs are very musical people, consequently the musicians are stars! www.czechtourism.com
Ladislav Jasek, Richard's Dad
"Dad got a job in Australia, met my Mum, Anthea Hamilton, an Adelaide girl and daughter of one of Australia's vignerons, Sydney Hamilton. Richard and Hugh Hamilton are my cousins! They married in Adelaide and went back to live in Prague. This was difficult for my mother, a young Adelaide society girl. There were prejudices at the time!!
"My father was travelling a lot and because of this The Secret Police were alerted to the benefits of him becoming a spy for the paranoid communist regime that existed in the 50's. Anyone who travelled a lot at this period would come under this same pressure. This was 1956! There was huge emotional pressure to report on conversations with friends and acquaintances, if you did not, then the consequences were dire! It was possible for the regime to close down your career, you could lose your home and also affect other family members. In extreme cases, they would throw you in prison."
"Only a few years before there were well publicised, awful trials against leading communists that had been accused of treachery. They were executed, so the Czech peoples were very frightened and intimidated! Because of this threat, there was a terrible emotional pressure. For my father the question was...does he stay at home and collaborate with a regime that he hated?....or, does he try and get out somehow with his wife and child and leave all his family?....what happens to those he leaves behind?....Fortunately nothing!"
It took 10 years for the pressure to build up, Richard's father was now 36 years old. The family came to Brisbane, but Richard's parents were still worried about the Secret Police and wanted Australian Citizenship for Lada. Richard says of his father...." He decided that he needed to contact ASIO. The local police didn't know the number and he was advised to look them up in the phone book! This openness was unheard of in Czechoslovakia at that time!"
"ASIO, The Australian Security Intelligence Organization, spent 3 months debriefing Mum and Dad, thankfully they believed my parents, granted them and therefore myself, Australian Citizenship in 1966. www.asio.gov.au
"At 14 years old, I decided it was a "toss-up" - I wanted to be a concert pianist or a film maker! I began making my own films from the age of 13 with an old Regular-8 movie camera. This was a precursor to Super 8. Then, I kept making films all the way through my teens and I was completely hooked! I got into AFTRS, The National Film, Television and Radio School in North Ryde, Sydney. I was 19 years old at that stage, the 4th youngest student they had ever taken in. I had to apply three times before I got a position!" www.aftrs.com.au
"I spent 3 years studying, when I graduated I had won a few awards, so I made a small production for SBS and worked there for a short time."
"Country Practice was my first major commercial drama, then Neighbours, Home and Away, Blue Heelers, Stingers, Heartbreak High, Secret Life of Us, McLeod's Daughters and various mini series for children, including one I really loved called Pirate Islands. What do I really want to do now? I want to be making features!"
Do you know what? When I was living and working in the UK for British Caledonian Airways, at the end of a 0600-1400 shift, I would rush home because I wanted to see Country Practice! It was wonderful, I was so hooked on it, because it all seemed so real....it was set in the country and I am a country girl from Mt Gambier! Loved it, 'my fix' on a little bit of my home country.
Richard finishes by saying "Now, I am learning to fly! I live only 5 minutes away from Aldinga Airfield. I adore flying, I have always loved flying since I was a child. We flew a lot. We have lived in 4 cities, Brisbane, Auckland, London and Sydney, in 3 countries and I went to 10 different schools. The best thing about being uprooted....The flying and going up into the cockpits!"
Richard also said to me...."It is far better to light a small candle, than to complain about the darkness"
Now that is the truth....MMGB xxxx
I am really looking forward to meeting your parents....Awesome!