People ask me how I came up with the idea for Vox Lumiere and the answer’s easy… underwear. Vox Lumiere was born while searching for the cheapest package of Fruit of the Looms I could find.
I was living in New York, writing commercials and TV music by day and doing guerilla theatre by night. Guerilla theatre? Basically, my friends and I would find these crazy cheap little theatre spaces (“theatre” being a very generous description) and we would come up with an idea then, write and produce a full blown little musical… for about $1.37. We’d beg, borrow or steal whatever we needed and, like Mickey and Judy we’d “put on a show”! Hell, if we broke even we thought it was a huge success (some things never change, huh?).
Anyway, between making the world a safer place through advertising, and writing and producing my crazy shows, who has time for laundry!? So, as I was hustling my way down 57th Street one afternoon, wearing my last pair of underwear – the pair your Mother always warned you about – the pair you should never be wearing when you got hit by a bus and taken to the emergency room – the pair of underwear that, even though you were lying there bleeding all over a gurney in the emergency room, would be proof positive that you had a terrible Mother and that she raised you in a barn!
But, I digress…
So… I was hustling down 57th Street when I spotted a sign for the local Big Lots Store (you know Big Lots, the kind of stores where you can buy a crate of toasters for $11.95). Knowing that the pair of underwear on my person, was my last, and that laundry day was just not on the horizon, and that my fateful rendezvous with the No. 5 Bus was eminent – I ducked into the store and began searching for the Jockey’s.
Well, as luck (or fate) would have it, as I made my way through the isles of the store, my eye caught a sign that read, “Silent Movies $1.00.” It stopped me in my tracks.
Why? Good question.
You see, I’m a film composer and a songwriter which is a pretty odd skill set. And at that point in my career, I had never had the opportunity to do both of these things in the same movie. So, I had this idea percolating in my brain about developing themes for films, and when it was appropriate, I would write lyrics for these themes that would work to enhance the storytelling and increase the emotional impact of the movie.
I also knew no director in their right mind was going to let me experiment with this in their film. So, I had pretty much scrapped the idea, until I saw that sign that read, “Silent Movies $1.00” As I stood there staring at that bin, I thought, “Well, these are silent movies, and they’re old, so all these people are probably dead. So, who can get mad at me?” I then did the mature, grown-up thing, and took the last 5 bucks in my pocket and went home with 5 silent movie VHS tapes (young people, please see Wikipedia for an explanation of VHS tape).
When I got home, I popped some movie with the weird title of Metropolis into my VCR, and my jaw dropped. I was completely blown away by what I saw. This movie was amazing, and absolutely perfect for my “experiment”.
Well then, how did Vox Lumiere go from Big Lots dream to the big stage? I told friends what I was working on, and kept talking about how I wanted to perform my “rock concert storytelling” live on stage. Then I got a phone call from a friend of a friend at a film festival asking if I’d like to come to France and perform my “show” in The Avignon Opera House. I know, random, right?
I said “yes” (who wouldn’t say yes?), but I really had no idea if it was going to work. Well, it did,. The French loved it and… they invited us back the next year to do our new show (that I had not even written yet)!
And, this kind of stuff kept happening.
Somebody who knew someone, or people that had seen us perform, would call with invitations to perform. It was fun. A complete lark (with lots of amazing travel). Then finally, after a few years of this, my lovely (and much smarter) wife Victoria said, “You know, maybe you should pay attention to this.”
So, that’s what we’ve been doing. Paying attention. Developing shows, touring the world. And now, producing our first Off-Broadway production of Vox Lumiere’s Phantom of the Opera.
See. Told you. Underwear is a much better title.
So, to re-cap…
Underwear = Need
Need = Art
Art = Vox Lumiere
Onward ~ Kevin
Vox Lumiere is fun, cool, magical and pretty darn awesome. Where else can you find a band, singers and dancers rocking it with magnificent silent films? (Hint: no where)
It’s different, and different isn’t for everybody.
But you know us, we want to be helpful. So, to help you figure out if Vox Lumiere is right for you, we put together a little list of who our shows are probably NOT for. We hope this helps!
Vox Lumiere is probably NOT for you *if*
– You think you’re “too old” (for anything).
– You’re not into laughing.
– You’re set in your ways.
– You hate music.
– Love is just not your thing.
– You’ve never practiced your acceptance speech in the shower for your Academy Award, Grammy, Tony, Pulitzer or Nobel Prize.
– You think David Hasselhoff is a rock god.
– You don’t like hanging with your friends.
– Smiling makes your face hurt.
– We’re serious about the David Hasselhoff thing.
– You don’t believe everyone should be free to love and marry whoever they want to.
– You look at a 1968 GTO Convertible and don’t involuntarily say, “Cool.”
– You think God’s okay with killing and oppressing people in his or her name.
– You’ve never put your head back down on your pillow for “just 5 more minutes.”
– You don’t like pie (especially pumpkin).
– Or if you don’t like pie, that’s cool, but you should at least be okay with cake and ice cream.
– You’re a hater.
– You’ve never imagined you’re Captain Kirk while playing with your smartphone.
– You’ve never been really glad your pet can’t talk, because they won’t be able to tell people about the dumb thing you just did.
– Or Spock. Who wouldn’t want to be Spock?
– You’ve never once played air guitar in your car.
– Or tried to sing that really high part on Journey songs (“When the lights go down in the city….”)
We hope you’ve found this helpful.
Now, most of these by themselves are not deal breakers, so don’t be discouraged if there’s one or two things on the list that you’re not into (especially the pie – but we’re pretty serious about the Hasselhoff thing, *that* just might be a deal breaker).
Onward ~ Kevin
Itʼs become a world where “it sells” means “itʼs good”, and art has become boring, dull, and predictable.
Itʼs become safe.
Art’s not supposed to be safe.
Safe will never change lives.
Safe will never inspire anyone to do anything, be anything, or act on anything.
Safe will never be extraordinary.
Our vision is to rock the world creating truly unique live and digital experiences that spark the imaginations in people of all ages, filling them with wonder and creating a community and culture that inspires people to be the best possible versions of themselves, making the world a more vibrant, inclusive, colorful, excepting, interesting, exciting, unpredictable and decidedly *not* safe place to live in.