Interview with Fox

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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?

FOX: Sure

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

FOX: Mhm

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.

MOLLY: 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 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.

MOLLY: Yeah.

FOX: Uh so yeah, let's do like let's do like three or four breaths here.

MOLLY: Okay.


FOX: Yeah.

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.


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: Nice!


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.

FOX: Yeah

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.

FOX: Yeah

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.

MOLLY: Yeah.

FOX: Yeah it's up for central yeah the one that's next to the old post office um..

MOLLY: Yeah.

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

MOLLY: Right.

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.

FOX: Yeah.

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.

MOLLY: Yeah.

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?

MOLLY: Yeah.

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.

MOLLY: Mm-hmm.

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.

FOX: Mm-hmm.

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...

MOLLY: Yeah!

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

FOX: Thanks

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..

MOLLY: Great

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.

FOX: Mm-hmm.