Updated: Dec 15, 2022
MOLLY: Hello and welcome to the podcast where we talk about creating experimental art in trauma-informed and sustainable ways that support artists, our communities, and the organization as a whole. I'm Molly and you're listening to Any Other Anything’s?
Welcome to Any Other Anything’s? Uh would you like to start with a little check-in and um maybe a quick intro to who you are as a human being?
And then we'll get into more Grey Boxy stuff.
FOX: Yeah so um my pronouns are they/them and their or she/her or fae/faer I'll uh I'll accept them all I'm just not a dude, um and that's basically uh that's basically it right. So I'm a non-binary person and I am also an artist and I work with uh with Grey Box as primarily a sound designer um but occasionally as a as a performer and dancer and all of that um. Yeah and as far as checking goes I uh I've had a pretty productive Monday which is always nice, like I got a right amount of sleep, I got a little bit too much coffee and forgot to take some L-Theanine with it so I was just very jittery for a little bit but uh but that seemed to carry all the way through lunch and through the end of my shift, so I've just been like banging out work today and that's a really satisfying feeling.
MOLLY: Nice I also had like that jittery coffee Monday thing
MOLLY: And I did not have that much coffee so it very much took me by surprise um I don't know what happened. What is it that you said that you have it with?
FOX: I was gonna say do you know about it it's uh L-Theanine.
FOX: Yeah, no so it's a it's a supplement you can get it like uh like my partner and I would get it online but like you could get it at the store I'm sure or just like a GNC or whatever um, but yeah L-Theanine it's apparently not.. so this is the part of the reason that uh Yerba mate is so effective
FOX: But it doesn't make you jittery, because it naturally it's naturally occurring in Yerba mate but it's not in like say teas and coffees that have caffeine naturally occurring in them. So if you get the supplement and just take like, 200 milligrams of L-Theanine it does the same thing it just neutralizes the jitters so you don't get that like coffee tummy and you don't get that really sort of like III'M ANXIOUS um.
MOLLY: Nice, that's that's awesome thank you for the time
FOX: yeah...It's changed the way that I 'caffeinate.'
MOLLY: Awesome, awesome um, before we get into more of what you've done with Grey Box, would you like to do a ground down and a warm-up or talk us through it?
FOX: Uh sure like my own?
FOX: Yeah um totally, for a ground down I would generally do something like um I mean most, mostly just deep breathing it uh, so going back to work that I did that I've done in the past with like orange theater, um is just sort of a getting into a space where uh...here let's see if we can..
MOLLY: Yeah, we need to stand up for this one.
FOX: Yeah, um.. cool there we go
MOLLY: Cool there we go
FOX: So, well hopefully we've got uh good space on the microphone. Um so yeah, generally what I would do is uh is stand in what uh what like the city company called saats position right so that feet shoulder width apart um like tailbone slightly tucked, slight bend in the knees, so like if so like if anybody were to come up and push you from any direction you could easily recover right. Um and then what I would uh and then I'd say uh focus on the breath and also about releasing tension, so imagining that your skeleton is all perfectly stacked upon itself and uh internally sound so you are not using any muscles at all to stand and then just feel that place where you stop holding on and controlling your breath to the point where you're like you can exhale and wait for that your body's natural impulse to just fill back up up again and ride that sort of wave and just get a get a sense for the natural rhythm of like without going [breathes in and out] and trying to control yourself.
FOX: Uh so yeah, let's do like let's do like three or four breaths here.
MOLLY: Yeah...thank you!
FOX: You're welcome
MOLLY: Thank you, that worked very well for me today.
FOX: Good, I'm glad to hear it.
FOX: And as far as um as far as like a little warm up, I'm gonna say since we're doing like since we're podcasting it's mostly gonna be uh it's mostly voice today. So probably a little bit of uh of tongue stretching is usually something that I like to do, so like uh so tip of the tongue up against the back of your uh bottom teeth and then just stretch the whole tongue out so, and uh you can pulse with that and allow your tongue to totally relax in between the stretches and just like see how far you can press it out of your mouth.
[BOTH STRETCH TONGUES]
FOX: And then uh, let's see, you want to do a tongue twister?
FOX: Uh so we'll call-and-response.
MOLLY: Uh, uh-oh.
FOX I am a mother pheasant plucker.
MOLLY: Here we go, I am a mother pheasant plucker
FOX: I pluck mother pheasants.
MOLLY: I pluck mother pheasants.
FOX: I am the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker.
MOLLY: I am the most pleasant..but wait...
FOX: Mother pheasant plucker.
MOLLY: Mother pheasant plucker.
FOX: To have ever mother pheasant plucked.
MOLLY: To have ever mother pheasant plucked.
FOX: Yeah, okay cool so uh once more..
MOLLY: I haven't done that in forever, okay.
FOX: I am a mother pheasant plucker, I pluck mother pheasants.
MOLLY: I am a mother pheasant plucker, I pluck mother pheasants.
FOX I am the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker to have ever mother pheasant plucked.
MOLLY: I am the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker
BOTH: To have ever mother pheasant plucked.
FOX: I won't torture you with that too much.
MOLLY: I appreciate that I appreciate that. Awesome, we haven't had anyone on the podcast yet to really do like vocal stuff, um so and like like the tongue stretching, so thank you for for adding that in.
FOX: You're welcome.
MOLLY: Yeah, so with that going into um more of the specific roles that you've had within Grey Box and the shows that you've worked on.
MOLLY: If you'd like to summarize or I don't know, jump in somewhere there.
FOX: Yeah so uh so I remember uh I remember signing up on the google sheet a while back, it must have been it must have been two or two or three years ago by now, but um yeah I put my info and it was like I'd like to I'd like to help out and, I do sound and stuff, which was uh which was like a big step for me at the time because I had mostly just been a performer for my whole experience right like I dabbled in other in like tech avenues in uh in college and stuff but hadn't really taken the leap into like saying, now I'm a sound designer or a composer or a musician essentially. Um and so I waited around for a while and then I sort of forgot about it and then I got an email an email from you know I'm pretty sure being like, "hey we're doing this piece, uh do you want to come in?" And I don't remember what the first one that we did was called um...
MOLLY: Tangled Mess?
FOX: Yes..was that the first one? Maybe, yeah, yeah I think so because something that was like coming out coming on the end of It's Not That Simple or something like that but yeah so Tangled Mess, it was uh it was such a delight to come in to uh to come into a space with uh with other performers and uh devise something together especially from uh from a side that I didn't have as much like hands-on experience in um and it was also interesting to have such uh such uh an abbreviated rehearsal schedule, right, because of everybody's sort of relative schedules and it's like, okay cool I'm the one person that has like the day job so it's like, well we can't hang out until after five or on the weekends.
FOX: But it was one of those good opportunity like those good creative opportunities where like the constraint makes it easier to uh to flourish within that um which is now I find a pretty uh like a pretty reliable and comforting aspect of doing Grey Box work it's just like oh cool yeah this is going to be quick and we're going to figure out what we can do and um and we're not going to be able to do anything more than that and that's okay right?
FOX: Uh you have to excuse me my cat is trying to get out and I have to open the door for her.
MOLLY: Of course of course, um my cat has also joined me for this recording and normally he doesn't, so we'll see we'll see how long this lasts.
MOLLY: All right, so we got Tangled Mess
FOX: Tangled Mess um then...
MOLLY: Tangled Mess also did we did the little um 'Take Back The Night' version as well
FOX: Yeah out in the uh..out in that park on uh, what is it, First Ave.
FOX: Yeah it's up for central yeah the one that's next to the old post office um..
FOX: Yeah that was super cool because uh because of course, like as expected the tech uh the tech had a huge hiccup yeah uh in running that one which was uh which was the the house band that was uh that was was like, yeah sure you can plug in here I'll just control it from my iPad, and then like to turn me up yeah yeah so I had to blend everything like that but no it was fun it was uh it's really cool to be able to take it to a different place and with a different uh a different arrangement of actors uh slash dancers um.. yeah and yeah, forgive me you'll have to help me with all the names because they're the first thing to go
MOLLY: Okay, that's okay um okay so from, oh boy, from Tangled Mess,
FOX: And then there was...
MOLLY: Then..was there anything else in the spring?
FOX: I don't think so in the spring because in the summer I was working with Howell um
FOX: And then it was the fall and I think it was the big uh the big collection sort of piece where um The Crumble Collection that's the one
MOLLY: Yeah! Um so that that one you you are in Dienae's piece Thanks For Tuning In and Please Stop Staring.
MOLLY: Yeah and uh you did sound for what I guess we'll call Empty.
FOX: That's right yeah that's what it was.
FOX: Yeah which was super fun because I remember uh I remember the email that you started off that uh that project with was like, hey I just watched this like really uncomfortable video of Elvis singing a bunch of Americans like Dixie.
FOX: And uh yeah and you were like, well I don't really know what it's gonna be but it's gonna be something about this, right?
FOX: And that was really cool I listened to that and then watched the video and was like, oh yeah that's deeply unsettling, uh and I think it worked like it was that one was so much fun to to watch too because it was all of the like all of the stuff and all of the newspaper and the pile of everything um but yeah like really to to sort of bring it all around and tie a bow is like..I very much enjoy the experience of working with Grey Box because uh because I feel like a fellow performer.
FOX: More than say, like a designer which is something that works for me as like an actor so like I definitely like the spotlight, but it's also fun to be behind everybody and and like sharing that and it's uh I find that to be interesting to be so present and interacting with the with the rest of the rest of the performance on stage just in a role where it's like I'm my presence is only sound and that's that I think is really really fun and yeah.
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah um and I think with your history and we know each other because we both perform together as well so maybe that's part of it um but I, I think your like performer history comes in to play with the sound and definitely informs it and I mean we're in such a tiny space, typically, that like you can't not be a part of it if you're going to be doing everything live. Um could could you share a little bit about like your more like your internal process when you're in the space because we do create in the same space um, I'm thinking more of the shows we've done together with sound, and you're in the space um like how how are you working in that space while you're also seeing the performers and myself generate material?
FOX: Yeah um, really the so the first thing that leaps to mind is uh is is having the benefit of at least a little bit of viewpoints training um yeah and so being able to call on that and to lean on that vocabulary in terms of like, okay cool well this is how I can watch and this is how I can receive uh like inputs essentially, because like I'm working with computers and I have my own sort of like interfaces uh that they're letting me tell the computer what to do and then the computer tells y'all like what's happening in my head essentially right. But then to to like close that feedback loop I have to get something back from uh from the performers right, to influence like how I make my decisions where I go next um and so it's really like...the viewpoints is helpful in like in so far as you also speak viewpoints right, but it's really just like whatever uh whatever y'all are doing is something that is available for me to comment on or to add to and it really mostly what I try to do is uh is to clarify what's already there.
FOX: So whether whether that goes with the movement as something that is uh that is just like an atmospheric sort of texture that like will provide a bed for everything to float upon or uh like which can also turn choppy if you need waves or if it's something specifically textured or like uh like a certain source source that we've talked about to say, okay cool now is where we're going to drop this thing and see how it played and then also see how we can chop it and remix it, um yeah that's uh without getting into it into like fine technical details which is really not the po- like the point uh yeah about uh it's about watching and listening and being surrounded with the right tools, um and the knowledge, limited though it is, uh to be able to like use those to respond.
MOLLY: Yeah, um I feel like two moments that really eh..three moments that stick out for me with your sound um Tangled Mess, when you're the sound really became a character in the space and and I loved how the sound took on this this like, I don't know like not god like, but this like you know...yeah.
MOLLY: But like very much like it became this like pulse like what we can't touch in the space. Like how we can't touch culture we can't touch busy culture or, or you know like that yeah your your character of whatever that was um I'm thinking mostly with the kind of that self-care monologue.
FOX: Oh my god, still one of them, still one of my favorite things!
MOLLY: I..yeah it's so great every night um yeah. And then also I'm thinking of Empty. I don't remember how it came into the space but that Mario Kart like popping in and just like how it like we needed that energy shift in the space.
MOLLY: And it provided it perfectly.
FOX: Totally, yeah it's one of those little bits of shorthand which is like we could probably get into the nuances of like uh of like intergenerational uh communication right and how that that works for us but might not work for everybody. Uh but yeah for our purposes it was exactly what we needed, and I think that like the simplicity of that sound the, dun..dun..DUN! Even on its own you know what that means when you hear that.
MOLLY: That's good yeah, yeah um and then I think did that go right into, do you remember the like...
FOX: The notification...
FOX: The notifications that we had that we had woven with like.. that's what it was because you wanted these notifications and we wanted to also uh concretize them a little bit and...
FOX: So I uh so the idea right was the uh was like you get the notification what's the thing that you feel what's the thing that you do, right. Of the like, oh I'm overloaded so now I'm anxious so like I need a cigarette, I need a drink, uh I need to take my meds or whatever.
MOLLY: Right, yeah, yeah that's like the pouring I think you like put ice cubes in a glass and something...
FOX: There were four or five different sounds together because there was like uh cork popping, ice in the glass, the pouring, and then uh and then just like uh dropping the the glass on the um on the table or something like that, right
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah and then like layering that Elvis, like really unsettling..
FOX: Oh yeah
MOLLY: It was so great yes...with Obama then coming in
FOX: Oh yeah, yeah...mhm
MOLLY: Those are just three of the moments I really felt like he created a character within the sound
MOLLY: I enjoy it. Um, so let's talk a little bit more about your performer roles as well, um so you performed in I I think, Thanks For Tuning In and Please Stop Staring and asses in seats is kind of connected in some ways.
FOX: They are definitely because we definitely started working on asses in seats as an extension of uh Thanks For Tuning In to Please Stop Staring. Yeah, they're part of the same nugget I guess um which is uh which was Dienae wanting to uh wanting to explore like being a publicly non-binary person right um which again was a great experience for uh like for me to come in and be like asked at the like at the end to be like, hey somebody can't do this uh can't do this can you hop in uh real quick, and I was like, yeah I could probably do that, and it was so cool being able to to make art with other uh with other queer folks which is the kind of thing that I hadn't really done a whole lot of outside of working with Howell theater um college but also like so many of us were closeted that it doesn't really count right like...
FOX: Like, like the weird thing about ASU when I was going through it was like it was a weirdly cis-tet sort of cohort that just kind of just kind of like came and went there was a it was a strange sort of liminal energy to where like, we all kind of got kind of got through it and then came out at the end or later and it's like, oh cool yeah now this this..
FOX: Yeah um so yeah uh, John and Dienae and I were a whole a whole cast that all were non-binary and went by they/them which was really cool um
MOLLY: Yeah and our first all non-binary they/them cast
FOX: Yeah exactly, yeah um so yeah that was just a great opportunity to be among like peers. Um it's interesting like the different levels of peers right uh of like we have like we come together as performers and artists and creators and things like that and then uh that I can connect with like Dienae and John uh as performers an as artists but also as non-binary people and so like a whole host of other like experiences that we share that we can comment on or make fun of or whatever and that is, the more and more that I go on like collaborating um as an artist with others is uh that I find to be the most satisfying parts of the work, is being able to come together with like-minded people with similar experiences and be like, oh cool yeah here's all the things that we like we don't get to see enough of and we all get that so like we don't have to have a conversation explaining like, like who we are and how we fit into the world you know like there's so much that you can just take as uh take as a given and then just go for there or go from there rather. So yeah very much enjoyed my time as a performer thus far and I'm looking to do more of it uh like like the on stage part too
MOLLY: Yeah well in 2021 um..
FOX: Yeah like, but like in front of, instead of behind the audience right.
MOLLY: Yeah and thinking that you were a part of the first official virtual performance that we had, yeah do you want to share a little bit about that?
FOX: Um sure, it was so it was very early in the quarantine which was also like looking back on it it feels like, I mean I know the standard joke is like it's been 10 years since march right. But like
uh but even now looking back on it like it does feel so so far back and it's almost difficult to to like remember what that period was like. Because it was so like, for me it took me a while before my day-job was able to uh was able to send me to work from home uh because of all sorts of logistics and whatever it's like, big corporation we didn't we can't buy all of those laptops right now, whatever. But yeah so I think I might have been I might have still been like going into the office and back uh while we were rehearsing for that I can't remember now and it doesn't matter but like that's lost to the sands of time, it was a decade ago.
No it was cool to uh, it was cool to share that kind of uh that that level of intimacy with uh with fellow artists because that's like, and that was one of the things that we talked about during the process of like what are we gonna do with this thing because it really is starting to be about now like this medium that we're using to to to tell this thing or to do this thing. Um and so one of the things that we talked about is that video chat, zoom, right is inherently so much more intimate than other meetings and things like that because like we can like we're in each other's rooms right now essentially, right. And it's uh it feels to me kind of like uh what it used to be like working at a Starbucks drive-thru where it's like, I'm in the drive-through, I own this space uh and I am the master of my universe and I can ensure that you get your caramel macchiato or you don't, right. But then like you drive up in your car and I open a window you open a window and then all of a sudden it's like we're both in each other's personal spaces because like, your car is the extension of your house on the road, and so it's always that weird sort of tension that you get in a drive-through experience of like, yeah why are you in my space?, but also I need that thing so yeah here's this money, fine give me my coffee. Yeah so being on uh being on video chats uh all the time feels similar to that exchange and it's like, there was a big culture shock like in the beginning of getting used to that uh and it and deciding what kind of boundaries you're gonna set about that, right. Like, like my partner she uh like her her deal is like if you want me to be if you want to be able to have me on meetings, I don't have to turn on my camera for you.
MOLLY: Yeah, more of that
FOX: Right it's like you don't need to see into my house, right.
MOLLY: That's the boundary yeah. Mm-hmm.
FOX: So yeah we talked about that kind of thing, we talked about um like what it's like just being uh being non-binary um and did some sort of automatic writing on that. Yeah it was uh but it was still really when it came down to it just like a rehearsal process you know, like we just happened to be doing it in our own houses um so it was still hugely satisfying and I definitely got the same sort of rush from that I usually get from rehearsals right um that feeling of like, oh I'm like I'm dragging I'm dragging I'm dragging I'm dragging, now I've now I'm on for the first time all day.
MOLLY: Right, right
FOX: Um which I kind of wasn't expecting and the same thing with uh with actual with the performances it was like, I got that buzz, you know. Like that stage buzz and I wasn't sure if it was going to happen but I was like, oh yeah there's like there's the adrenaline the butterflies of like, oh yeah people are watching.
Yeah it was really weird and for like the circumstances that lead to it right are unfortunate. But it was so heartening to be able to find that kind of that kind of solace in a way because art is definitely one of those things that is necessary for me to do to be uh to feel uh and to be a whole person, right. Like I have figured out at this stage that I have to have some sort of art that I'm making at any given time like even if it's just something small of like, oh yeah I'm just gonna noodle on the on the keyboard and play with a new match or something right or or ideally it's a big actual thing with other people and deadlines and you're like, okay cool now we're going to do a thing, you bring in you call your friends and they're like, sure we'll sit in the dark for you, um and then you get then you get to make faces at them and [ __ ] it's great.
MOLLY: Um, I'm okay so thinking about asses in seats.
MOLLY: Um, I felt that it felt like a very vulnerable performance and I'm, I'm curious I'm thinking specifically about the it felt improvy between you and John that that long conversation back and forth and the lowering of the camera and picking up the phone each time and I'm curious from your perspective would it have reached that same level of vulnerability if you weren't in your personal space?
FOX: That's an interesting question. Uh I mean I don't know, right? Because...uh...
FOX: ...because you'd try it both ways but um, I think that like I think there's a lot of ways to look at that, right? So, I think that I would like the there's a part of me that says I would like to imagine that yes. Of course we're like we're both performers and we still are like we still have the same capabilities and, and craft and technique in the yada, yada whatever you need to to accomplish that thing. Um, we have the right ingredients so if we were in a physical space then we could surely recreate the same thing. But, uh the but then like the zen-part of me that's like uh you can't step in the same river twice is like well no probably not like like it would be inherently different, right? If we were to do it in a it like in a shared space in real life um, just because now you're dealing with a different architecture, right? And, you're dealing with a different set of stimuli that you can get from the other person like you're dealing with the full bandwidth of uh of communication, which is like everything that's not just verbal or what you can see on a Zoom call, right?
MOLLY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
FOX: Um, so yeah I think it's uh it exists in a weird dual sort of space in much the same way as like translations exist, right? It makes me think of um there's a great lecture series by Jorge Luis Borges and the name of it escapes me now, of course. But, one of the lectures that he gives is called uh or is about uh translation um and how like if you take the example of a poem, right? You can have the like the poem exists in its original form in its original language and then you you as a translator, who like who are given the task of saying make recreate this poem in this other language it's like you have similar sorts of ways to go about it, right? It's like okay cool! Are we gonna do a direct like transliteration of a one-to-one match of just this word means this thing and it goes like this and it's in the right grammar and it makes sense, like it's semantically intact? Or, are you going to do something that is a little bit more interpretive or a or like a various mixture of the two and what is that like regardless of what approach you take for that, what is the other thing on the end like the end result? Like that translation is ultimately always something new, right? Even though it is inspired by the original thing and it's trying to be an analog or a like a simulacrum of the of the original thing but, it's not because it can't be because it was written in a different language.
MOLLY: Yeah. [LAUGHS]
FOX: So, yeah I think it's like at the most complex answer to that question yeah it's like a translation.
FOX: Like, yeah it'd probably be similar.
MOLLY: Yeah. cool. Thanks for taking us on that journey.
MOLLY: That was fun, that was fun. Um, so for someone who's listening to this who's really connecting with your journey as an artist um, and, and also someone who is not just an artist but, also like got that nine to five. Um, right?
MOLLY: So, like what have you found useful um to to sustain yourself and to keep moving forward?
FOX: So, honestly it's like the nine to five, right?
FOX: Like, uh because I can remember there was a like there was a period of time uh, when I was a younger when I was a younger artist. Um, and I was like I was definitely experiencing burnout right like I was pushing myself too hard and I was uh my expectations were unrealistic and I was definitely not taking a holistic view of my life and my personhood, essentially. And, like the responsibility that that comes with that um, because like I like I was definitely privileged enough to have uh to have parents who were like yeah well as long as you're doing something that's like as long, as you're actively doing something that just that is towards what you want to do and also you have a job that fulfills 'x' amount of whatever like responsibility to us 'yeah you can stay with us whenever you like however long you want.'
Um, and so that was hugely, like hugely beneficial for so long, like I didn't move out of my parents house until I was 30, right?Because, I was just like wanted to keep doing this artist thing um, and it was very gung-ho about that, about doing art. But I was also like still kind of still laboring under the delusion that I could just like do that and it would eventually like catch and just be like oh cool it's magic now I don't have to worry about it, and I just like my bills are paid and um, but that's not how it worked for me, because like that was about the level of the privilege, right? So, like my parents didn't have the like enough money to be like yeah here's here's some living expenses, right?
FOX: Uh, so it definitely came up against that ceiling and uh it was like okay cool, well I have this job. Uh, it is in like a good company that is like a stable industry and like a stable company, in its own uh in its own sort of space, Uh what is probably going to be around for a while and they're also the kind of company that does like to promote from within so, while we're still here we might as well just get on at least get on that escalator for a while and and see if it'll see if it'll take us take us up to the level of like moving out of your parents house and, it did. Um, initially at the expense of uh of burnout um, because I was trying to do it all at the same time and then I finally got some clarity on that and was like, oh okay cool, if I really want to progress at this job and build something like a career. I'm gonna have to reassess the way that I'm spending my time and allocating my resources um and so, what that meant at the time was uh was stepping back from the work that I've been doing with Orange and just going into trying to make a career um which I am happy to say that I have been doing uh fairly well. Knock-on-wood. Uh at over the last three or four years uh since I really started putting my nose to the grindstone um and it's paid off and one of the benefits that took a little while to kick in after I like said, okay cool we're gonna step back we're gonna try to get out on our own.
And, like eventually was able to move out, uh move in with my partner like have have a home life that even though it's still shared is something that's mine, you know. Um, and once that was really established and said okay cool like this this boat will float, like this is gonna keep for a little bit. Then I was able to go back and add art back into the experience and not a moment too soon, because again like I need art. I need to be making something. And, so that was really not great for my depression and so it's, it's become an interesting journey of like balancing all of these things, you know. Like, it's like playing the Sims, right? Like, it really is kind of like that you just have all of these bars that are like yeah you need to eat, yeah you need to be hydrated, but, also you need to go the bathroom, like and you need a house, you need a social experience, you need to be doing something creative or like making sure the house is clean, you know. Um, and if you do all of the right like all of the right things you have a reasonable expectation outside of the confines of late stage capitalism and the rest of that and, then also a pandemic. But, outside of that you have a feel decent about yourself and like the small like scrap of humanity that's been that's being told out to us every paycheck.
MOLLY: Yeah. [LAUGHS]
FOX: But, anyway enough with the positivity. Uh...
FOX: [LAUGHS] ...but, but no it really is like it was something that uh that as that as a younger person I was like no I don't want to be a sellout, right? Like, even though I don't know if I ever said that specifically like that. It was definitely the emotion that I was feeling, like I don't want to be a solo and I just want to make it. Um, and what I learned was that it's okay to not like it's okay to also take care of yourself and, also admit that like we live in a society, right? And, there are requirements and it doesn't make you any less of an artist to have to to like have to eat and pay the electric bill, you know. Like, especially in Phoenix, like you will die....
FOX: ...it does happen all the time. But, yeah it was it has really been freeing in that way, because now I have that set schedule. It's like it's a nine to five and it is literally that. Like, I don't work on the weekends, I don't work in the evenings, I am free during the times that are that have usually hitherto been reserved for rehearsals anyway. So like, and my needs are being met, like my my responsibilities are are being taken care of, so and also I count myself lucky to be working in a day job that does not follow me home.
FOX: So that's another like that's another really good thing of like I clock out of work. I am done with work. I don't have a work cell phone. I don't like, I don't have anything like that. Like, I'm not on call um they can figure out what like if they want to ask me something more at the next scheduled work time.
MOLLY: Yeah. [LAUGHS]
FOX: That is also really, really, uh really, really good for doing art in my spare time, because then it's like okay cool I'm done with this I can be totally into this project for the next chunk of time or I can be an absolute just like garbage person and take a night off and feel okay about you know playing video games and eating junk food or whatever. So, yeah it's the balance that uh that like I can am only able to be doing art, because I have that job, you know. So yeah I'm really proud of it, right? It's worth it's a worthwhile pursuit and even though it's not producing the type of content that like I would prefer. It's the kind that they're willing to pay for, so,I can do that for now.
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah that's great. Like, finding the stability in one place to allow for that fluidity to happen someplace else, um.
FOX: Yeah once, once I really was able to to internalize and to process that idea fully, I was like okay fine I get it it works like it actually it's just great and it just works and it's not a problem. You don't have to feel ashamed about yourself, right? That you can't like...and it also it makes me think of just like one other thing. And, then we'll get then we can move on.
MOLLY: This is great.
FOX: Awesome! But it reminds me of uh oh gosh and I can't remember her name, of course. But uh but the woman is the author who wrote um Eat, Pray, Love; right?
MOLLY: Um, Elizabeth...Gilbert.
FOX: Yes, Elizabeth Gilbert!
FOX: Totally! So, she turns out is super fantastic! Uh she's been on a couple of episodes of uh of one of my favorite podcasts which is, My Brother, My Brother and Me um, and they brought her on. They do an advice show but they're also just really silly. They brought her on as a guest expert, a guest-spurt uh to answer questions from their audience. Um, and one of the things that she talked about was like like one of her rules or recommendations for like being a creator; 'don't quit your day job, like absolutely not do not do it hang on to that thing as long as you can, because the moment that your art becomes your sustenance like something changes about that relationship,' right? Because now it's not just like 'oh everything is taken care of and I get to do my work'' I get to engage in my creative side and do all of these kind of things and it's okay like inherent in that; like a compact that you have with yourself, right? It's cool I've taken care of the vegetables and now I get to have the candy, right? Or, whatever.
FOX: But, if now the candy has to be the vegetables like it's going to affect the way that you think about it, and the way that you put your energy, devote your energy to that and it's going to change things. So like hold on to that to really that freedom until it reaches a point where you can't hold on to it anymore and that feels like a pretty like a pretty solid way to transition, like if you do like happen to be one of the lucky people who get like catches a break or like the stars align. Or, like whatever it takes to to like achieve success, which is of course a variously defined term for everybody but but to achieve like that classic idea of success of like hitting it big and like now I'm an artist for the like, I can be an artist on my taxes, right?
MOLLY: That's great.
FOX: For, what it comes down to.
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah. Um I actually so I have like a bunch of post-it notes um to, to the left of me and I like pick out whatever one I need for the day. And, um Elizabeth Gilbert, her book um Big Magic. I think that's what it's called...
FOX: One that it is...yeah totally.
MOLLY: Yeah. Um has uh to be a disciplined half-ass and uh to to move through my perfectionist tendency for whatever fear-base, whatever I'm dealing with um that's my post-it note. Yeah she's got some really great, I don't know if I'd say like radical, but like really like counter culture to what it is to be an artist.
FOX: Absolutely! And, like it feels like a very healthy sort of realism and pragmatism right of like, yeah. She like having heard her on the podcast like she just feels like a real person, right?
FOX: And, it's just yeah this is me and I just happened to do this thing and it seems to have worked out so, like this is great.
FOX: But, also like that I'm a normal person and, like I had a day job too, right? Like, it doesn't have to be always like I happen to be from the elite class, and now I get to do this because of whatever.
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah. Oh that's great, thank you. Um, are you up for some rapid fire questions?
MOLLY: And, they're like rapid fire I'm not very good at like; anyways. Ready?
FOX: It's because you need, like you need theme music, right?
Duh, duh, dun, dushh.
MOLLY: We need Mario Kart, like...
MOLLY: All right, well next one.
FOX: In the absence of that, yeah we can imagine.
MOLLY: Okay, so here we go. What is your favorite prop within a Grey Box Collective show and why?
FOX: Um, definitely the newspaper from Empty. Uh, so much like I remember you brought, you're bringing it in in. Like, the big uh in like the big containers uh, and then we pulled it out and squished ,squished it all up and it became so much bigger of a mountain that you could bury two people in it. Um, yeah fantastic. And, it took up so much space both, uh both physically and like semantically it was so imposing and the texture the way that it moves, yeah there's my it's absolutely my favorite prop.
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah the sound that first day, like we were both like it's really loud. Yeah. What is your favorite artistic risk that you have taken within Grey Box Collective?
FOX: Uh taking the risk of calling myself a sound designer and just jumping in with no, with no like real practical experience of I've designed a sound for a show ever. Uh...
FOX: ...that was a huge one a huge one was just like claiming that for myself and hey it worked out!
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah. I love that! Um, okay what's the weirdest thing you've had to Google for show research uh, or like the weirdest rabbit hole of the internet you've wandered down in the name of art?
FOX: I think probably the weirdest thing with regards to Grey Box has been polyvagal theory.
FOX: Yeah of which, of which I still only have a very surface understanding because like that's what was appropriate to structure my, like, my work um and I didn't really need to dive super deep into it but it's very very cool. Um, and would like to know much more about this big nerve that connects to everything.
MOOLY: [LAUGHS] Yes, um I will nerd out anytime. Um yeah. All right last thing to wrap it up. Are there Any Other Anything's? that you would care to share?
FOX: Uh I'm just really excited to make more work like, um yeah. That's the the thing that I want to do next is uh is something that we didn't have the time to uh to really incorporate in asses in seats, which is to um, which is to, now start including sound design in Zoom right because we've finally figured out that you can like, technical-technical jargon, whatever like you can do the thing and it's like it can work
FOX: So, I'm super excited for that and, really uh really looking forward to to playing with that or even just like jamming uh with folks. Uh, like Dienae tried to have, Dienae and I had tried to have a jam session a little while ago and then we were both just like hey this just wasn't the right time, let's rain check. And, we just haven't got back to it right so, um like I'm so looking forward to new opportunities to just like explore this weird virtual space that we find ourselves in. Even though it's like oh great another video called meeting but like it feels so different when you're like okay cool this is now a medium for us to work in, to work on. As opposed to like well I guess I have to use this thing and I wish I didn't wish these people couldn't see my dirty sheets.
MOLLY: Yeah I appreciate that because, it does it feels so different to to hop on here even like to have a conversation with you versus like to have a rehearsal it's like no this is like a thing we're gonna like figure out versus oh I have to like figure out how to sit in the meeting to like block some of my piles of like whatever...
MOLLY: ...but I don't want to be like so close.
FOX: Um, it's like that's why the camera is low right now because, like now you can't see all of the all of the mess of things that are on my bed right now right. Sorry that's not the...
MOLLY: Yeah, yep. Strategic, strategic. Awesome!
FOX: And, so...
MOLLY: All right, would you like to do a check out?
MOLLY: A formal closure. Um yeah, how you doing? What are you thinking about?
FOX: Uh I'm doing great! I am feeling much more awake than I was uh when we started, because I had literally just woken up off the couch. Um, so thanks. That's always always a nice side effect I find of these kinds of things and yeah I am looking forward to having a little dinner and uh, maybe making a music I don't know I played with some music last night maybe I'll just play a video game tonight.
MOLLY: What video game?
FOX: Ooh definitely, I have no idea. [LAUGHS] Um, I've been playing, I've been playing a lot of Stardew Valley recently, and uh and just like grinding a lot on Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart.
FOX: Yeah but a friend of mine recommended it recently. Recommended a totally different game on switch so, I might look that one up and give it a shot.
MOLLY: Cool, yeah cool.
FOX: Yeah. How about you?
MOLLY: Um doing well. Yes, always like energizing to be able to chat with you and and talk about creative stuff um how we always kind of go for our 90s references I don't know why.
FOX: Because we're 90s kids.
MOLLY: That's true, that's true. We're the same vintage. Um, yeah um I'm also think I've been getting back into video games courtesy of the pandemic and like nostalgic ones.
MOLLY: Um, okay so there's this game called Aqua Aqua, like dreamcast we're going back.
FOX: Oh wow. Okay. I was always a Nintendo kid, so I don't know a lot of the second games.
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah. Um, Aqua Aqua, Crazy Taxi...
FOX: Yes Crazy Taxi.
MOLLY: Yes! I still can't drive for anything on it.
MOLLY: And, uh Worms Armageddon.
FOX: Oh my god forgot about Worms! Yes.
MOLLY: Yeah without the bombs and the holy hand grenade. Yeah it's been like a walk down memory lane of video games this summer.
FOX: Fantastic! Oh yeah that's the other thing that I go back to every once in a while. I've been going back to like Super Mario World on Nintendo on super Nintendo because, like you can, you can pay a monthly fee and then you get access to a bunch of old games on the Switch, which is super cool. So, I'm like going back and rediscovering how hard those old games are and also rediscovering just how much time I sunk into those games when I was a child and it cost nothing, right? Like so cheap. I was like yeah yeah I'm gonna six hours trying to beat five levels on Super Mario World.
MOLLY: Yeah, yeah exactly and like all the, in Worms Armageddon, like training how to use the ninja rope and all of that like go through every level until like I aced it and now it's like, I, I don't know but it does come back up I'm like, yeah still got it.
MOLLY: Feels never, that time comes back, that time comes back for us awesome...