Caratti has also been commissioned to write and/or direct many of his own stage plays. Several years ago, Charles, his wife, Marsi, and others looking for ways to help organizations struggling in difficult economic times founded Art Animates Life. Art Animates Life is a CA incorporated, federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and a scalable, replicable nonprofit model aimed at properly acknowledging the role of culture bearers in the community.
Art Animates Life and its theatrical offshoot, North County Players, have raised tens-of-thousands of dollars for San Diego area disaster relief, an arts nonprofit, a municipal gallery, a community outreach center, a veterans' relief fund, an historical society, and several struggling community theaters. Thousands of Southern California residents have attended North County Players productions. Group members do not accept monetary compensation for their time and talent, including Caratti's own commissions and royalties. Additionally, an essential element of every North County Players production is that ticket pricing be mindful of those in the community who could not otherwise afford to experience excellent live theater.
Art Animates Life has received generous grants from San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn,
the H.O.M.E. Foundation, the San Marcos Community Foundation, and the San Marcos Historical Society, and corporate sponsorship from Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Chipotle, Noodles & Company, and others. More info here.
Caratti adapted and directed the beloved Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. The play has been produced annually to packed houses throughout So Cal including Bates Nut Farm, Patio Playhouse, PowPAC, the Park Avenue Center, Connors Hall, and the San Marcos Civic Center. Visit Mr. Scrooge & Mr. Dickens.
The original play, All the Time in the World, has garnered broad acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The drama/mystery was performed to packed houses at the Maxine Theater's Staples Center, the Escondido Municipal Gallery, and at the Charity Wings Arts Center.
Caratti has recently finished a new stage thriller in the tradition of classic Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie titled, Passage Into Fear. The play is set onboard a train in 1918 during the waning days of World War I. Passage Into Fear was performed in parnership with CSU San Marcos and the San Marcos Historical Society in Heritage Park and, most recently, at the San Marcos Civic Center in conjunction with a series of centennial observances of the War.
In the 1990s, Charles wrote 3DHouse, a complete inside-and-out virtual reality tour of his family's log home in Southern California. One of the first virtual reality programs ever created, 3DHouse enjoyed tens of thousands of shareware downloads on all major portals. He also sold the rights to Radio Shack and Egghead Software. 3DHouse has since been featured in many books and articles about VR.
A professional musician for more than 20 years, Caratti's guitar playing and arranging have been featured on many recordings. He toured both in and out of the country before settling down in San Diego's North County with his wife, Marsi, and their two children. He has repeatedly taken top honors in San Diego Songwriter's Guild competitions for his original musical compositions.
Caratti has won many writing accolades, including San Diego Press Club awards for Best Column Writing, Best Consumer Writing, and Best Arts and Entertainment. He also edits stories and articles written by others for major national publications.
Since its inception, Caratti has produced the Fallbrook International Film Festival's red carpet event and panel discussions.
Charles has also served as adult supervisor and creative advisor for the multiple award-winning original films Boy on the Moon (iVIE first place, Fallbrook Film Festival finalist), Sins of the Father (iVIE first place, VCTV Film of the Year) and Mystery High (iVIE, VCTV Storyteller of the Year, Fallbrook Film Festival finalist), and the full-length original stage play Auditioning Truths and Lies, which has been performed professionally at venues throughout Southern California.
Charles has been a contributor and technical advisor to L.A. and San Diego Parent magazines and receives dozens of requests each year to appear on Southern California television and radio stations to talk about important events. and judging the national PRSA Journalism Awards.
Caratti is author of What a World, a collection of past newspaper pieces. He enjoys speaking from time-to-time to high schools and organizations about his eclectic life in the arts and teaching journalism at his hometown high school.