from the archives of: www.newyorkcool.com
want to be sure there are a variety of sonic effects
throughout the show and make sure we are not repeating
the same effect. Each piece should have a particular
sound and feel to it, both from a sound standpoint
and from a lighting standpoint.
NYC.COM: WHO ARE
THE ARTISTS YOU LIKE LISTING TO?
Jackson! (This is no surprise. He moves just as
well - if not better - than the legendary Jackson)
who play with their voices a lot like Bobby McFerrin,
Take Six, and Manhattan Transfer. We put our own
spin on things but they have been an influence.
We have been called Take Six on Crack and Manhattan
Transfer on Drugs.
NYC.COM: I WANT
TO ASK ABOUT THE AUDIENCE INTERACTION. THE AUDIENCE
MEMBERS SEEM TO REALLY ENJOY IT. WHAT DO YOU LOOK
FOR WHEN YOU PICK SOMEONE TO BRING ON STAGE? HOW
DO YOU KNOW THEY WILL PLAY ALONG?
show is constructed so that each volunteer has
maybe has just a little more to do than the last.
That’s why we start with group responses
from the whole audience, it loosens people up.
Paul has the first volunteer, (In a sweet, romantic
date vignette) who can basically just sit there
and look nice and be a cute girl and not much is
really required...except to put up with Paul.
want them to be as uncomfortable as possible!!
all of us there has to be a little discomfort.
You don’t really want an actor up there,
you really want a normal person who is maybe a
little timid but ready to have some fun and kind
of learns with you as the bit progresses. We never
sit there - we never speak in the show - so we
can’t sit there and tell them “OK,
now you should do this.” So it’s fun
to throw these challenges at people and watch as
they learn. So they realize what we want them to
do and then, if it really works, they start to
add their own spin. We actually hope the whole
audience does that to some degree throughout the
Rene: That is a
very big part of the show. We say in the show “Never
underestimate the power of the human voice.” It’s
not just the idea of how we communicate with other
people with our voices, but how we communicate
without our voices.
NYC.COM: YOU REALLY
DO CONNECT TO THE AUDIENCE. THEY
REALLY FEEL LIKE THEY ARE A PART OF THE SHOW.
the audience is feeding it back to us, we put on
a 150% show, it’s awesome.
really fun when we are backstage listening to the
opening segment. It’s more fun for us when
we hear the audience going nuts...we don’t
want to hear anyone shhushhhing!
NYC.COM: DOES THAT
show is so non-traditional, sometimes it takes
a few minutes for certain people to catch on.
is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is not
an extreme either, like De LaGuardia. It is important
to remember that we are not doing anything to demean
people or make fun of them. We are not doing it
in a simple way, we do it in a really smart way.
We want the audience to think.
NYC.COM: YOU HAVE
BEEN ALL OVER WITH THE SHOW. MEXICO, CANADA, THE
CARRIBBEAN. HAVE YOU FOUND THAT THE NEW YORK AUDIENCE
IS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT THAN OTHER AUDIENCES?
expected that it would be and it really has been
surprisingly very, very receptive and pretty wonderful
NYC.COM: DID YOU
THINK NEW YORK WOULD BE LESS RECEPTIVE?
thought it would be a tougher audience to win over
and it’s just been amazing!
knew it would be a smart audience so I think there
were a couple of instances where we said “You
know what, let’s play up to them - the intelligence
that we are going to be greeted with here.” It’s
not that other audiences aren’t intelligent,
it’s just that New Yorkers have seen soooo
much! They are...
and not easily impressed.
DO YOU SEE THIS ULTIMATLY GOING?
idea and the original intention was to be able
to put something together that would become a franchise
like Stomp or Blue Man. I think it’s not
effective to look at that happening in the long
run. I think right now we are especially looking
at putting our intentions into making this as successful
as we can, making this run as strong as we can.
Where it takes us from there? It’s just a
question of what we want to tackle next because
we have got to find the audience. Right now we
have a situation of audiences really loving it,
but we are not selling out every night. We are
trying to figure out how to reach more audience
and create more business than we know what to do
with, so that we have a reason to create alternative
goal is to make Toxic Audio as recognizable as
Blue Man. So when people hear the name, many of
them will automatically just get it. We would love
to “brand” Toxic Audio.
NYC.COM: WHAT WOULD
IT BE LIKE TO CAST THIS SHOW WITH OTHER COMPANIES?
ARE THERE MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO CAN DO WHAT
far as what we have done creatively, probably not,
because it has been six years behind putting it
together. But, performing it, the way that we have
set it now, we do believe that there are people
out there who can do that.
NYC.COM: SO THIS
IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE LEARNED?
very first year of Toxic Audio, Paul was not doing
any vocal percussions at all and literally picked
it up in a couple of months and honed it and has
worked on it a long time to get it to the point
where it is today - but it can be learned from
the right people and the right skills, it certainly
can be learned. We hope that we have put in the
creative legwork and now the learning curve will
be easier for any new cast.
other option is doing what we have done with our
group. That is finding people with unique talents
and building pieces around them.
With the audience
now lining up in the lobby, I reluctantly let this
talented group of artists go. Spread the word!
Toxic Audio in Loudmouth are voices that must be
heard to be believed!
Toxic Audio in Loudmouth
The John Houseman
Theatre. |450 west 42nd Street, NYC
Related Links: Toxic
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