Cliff Roles

Cliff Roles

Cliff by Peter Hurley

Cliff by Brian Braum

I’m a professional photographer, specializing in events, professional and lifestyle portfolios, headshots, dance & theatrical performances, family portraits, etc.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves ...

I completed my schooling in Croydon, England, studied French, German and Russian in Birmingham, then moved to Cologne, Germany in the mid-Seventies to work first in the building materials trade and then as a sales rep for 3M Do-It-Yourself products. In 1984 I talked my way into a German music-publishing company and became a radio promoter, which served as a stepping-stone for the next 16 years of promoting over 130 of the world’s most famous rock and pop stars of the 80’s and 90’s. Elton John, Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Robert Plant, Lionel Richie, Donna Summer, Def Leppard, Tears For Fears, Dire Straits and Kiss were just a few of the artists I had the privilege of working with as, among other things, Head of Promotion and International Marketing Manager of Mercury Records, Germany. One of my most memorable recollections is watching the Berlin Wall in 1989 as it was being torn down, then accompanying Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters as he put on his legendary rock opus “The Wall” in July 1990 on Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz.


Around the turn of the millennium I bade the “biz” farewell and became a professional German/English translator, a profession that allowed me to work anywhere in the world. I had always loved visiting the States, and maintained an on-off love affair with Florida for the next 2 years before eventually arriving in Sarasota in 2001 on my birthday, February 17, while touring Florida on my Harley. I knew the second I saw St. Armand’s Circle that I wanted to settle on the Sun Coast. I met my wife Maria shortly afterwards, and moved permanently to Sarasota in December 2002.


In 2003 I discovered my love of acting, and have since enjoyed roles in 1776 - The Musical, My Fair Lady, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Bells are Ringing, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Zorba, WillmS, Oliver, The Sound of Music, Murder at Cafe Noir, Got A Minute? Play Festival 2006, 2007, 2008 + 2009, Sarasota Actors Workshop, Theatre Odyssey, Always A Part Of Me, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Candide, If The Devil Could Fall In Love, Little Women, The Pretender, Run For Your Wife and Caught In The Net at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Players of Sarasota, Venice Theatre, Manatee Players, Golden Apple Dinner Theatre and the Backlot.


A further highlight was in February 2006, when I was asked to be Ringmaster of Circus Sarasota for its 2006 season. And I was pleased and proud to be the Ringmaster for its 2007 10th anniversary season, Celebrating A Decade of Excellence.

Never one to be at a loss for words, I joined WIBQ radio in September 2004 as host of my show Talk of the Sun Coast. From February to December 2007, I broadcast through Sarasota’s Community Radio WSLR, and then through March 2009 on local AM station WSRQ.


I’m a professional photographer, specializing in professional and lifestyle portfolios, head-shots, events, family portraits, house pets etc.


I am proud to be the recipient of the Sarasota County Arts Council 2007 Arts Leadership Award for Media. I won Best Suncoast Enthusiast and Best Local Actor in Creative Loafing’s Best of 2007 & 2008, and I was voted one of the top three in the category Best Local Actor 2008 & 2009 by the readers of Sarasota Magazine and the Readers’ Choice winner in the Sarasota Herald Tribune’s Curtain Call 2008 of Best Supporting Actor, Play for my performance as Val in the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre production of Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor.

In March 2009 I was voted Best Local Charismatic Actor by the readers of SRQ Magazine in its Best of SRQ Local 2009. I am also very proud to have been voted Best Emcee/Auctioneer 2009 by Scene Magazine!

In 2009 I was voted Best Local Media Personality, Best Local Actor and Best Mixed Messaage by the readers and critics of Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Suncoast 2009″ poll!

November 2010: I was voted Best Local Media Personality by the readers and critics of Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Suncoast 2010″ poll!

February 2012: Voted "Best Photographer", Sarasota Herald Tribune 2011 Readers Choice Awards

February 2013: Voted "Best Photographer", Sarasota Herald Tribune 2012 Readers Choice Awards


I became a citizen of the United States of America on February 14, 2014.

Every summer from July to September, I "go walkabout". It started in 2013, when I decided to discover more countries on my home continent of Europe, and visited 15 countries in 50 days with a backpack and a camera. I published my book "Walkabout Europe" on the strength of this trip. A year later I took 3 months to cover the entire continent of Australia and New Zealand.

In 2015 I went on a National Geographic tour of Cuba for 9 days, and two months later I traveled to China, Tibet and Hong Kong to diversify my portfolio.

Photographic  courses taken in 2016 include "Headshot Intensive" and "Illuminating The Face" with Peter Hurley, as well as National Geographic's "Advanced Photo Workshop - New York City" with Joe McNally.

The Pacific Northwest, Bermuda, New York and New England are on my calendar for 2016.

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