Thursday, November 29, 2007

What Up? Casey Spooner

Casey Spooner is not only "Performance Art Extraordinaire" or simply one half of Electro-Pop duo Fischer Spooner but, with a wit and charm like no other, he is also the stuff that good girlfriends are made of. His unique style and individual spirit have elevated him to super star status igniting an international fan base and cult following. AND he's a really nice guy.

From his early days in front of Starbucks to his collaborations with such greats as David Byrne and Susan Sontag, Casey's work has been featured on the highly rated series Nip/Tuck and his performances (which have been described as some of New York City's most exciting) have linked him to Andy Warhol. He has been described as a "flamboyant trickster" and it is his ability to straddle genre's that gives his versatility universal appeal.

Since September Casey has been entertaining audiences in Hamlet with the esteemed Wooster Group and will soon be releasing Fischer Spooner's third album. His schedule is relentless and I was thrilled that he found time to have a conversation with me via iChat, where he expressed his feelings about not only the art and music world but how he sees his role and accomplishments in both.

I adore Casey Spooner! His talents are endless and he is a lot of fun.

What's Up Casey Spooner?

JD Ferguson: Hey giblet!
Casey Spooner: I'm up. I'm up. I'm up.
JD:
Oh my god your on iChat, you do know how to IM,
I'm impressed. No rush, I'm eating instant oatmeal.
CS:
Lemme make coffee.

JD: I seriously don't know what happened to me last night. I feel like I got hit by a truck. Could be all the Manhunt at 1am.
CS:
Ouch!

JD:
I know.

CS:
I'm beat. I have not had a day off in 3 weeks other than Thanksgiving and I barely got through that!

JD:
NO! Really? You were that way when I saw you months ago.

CS:
I know!

JD:
Should we start?

CS:
We started.

JD:
So how's the show going? How long has it been?

CS: I have been working full time on this show since September as well as performing (previews included) since October 9th, 6 days a week.
JD:
That's a lot. Has it been worth it? Fulfilling?

CS:
TOTALLY fulfilling just physically and personally challenging. I've also been doing photo shoots for my past two days off for the new FS album. Yesterday was incredible, I was so tired I just let the stylists go ballistic and there was no mirror in the studio so I couldn't see what anyone was doing to me.

JD:
I read that FS was created as an outlet for your creative frustration and then it happened and you sort of blew up in a big way. What has the whole FS journey been like for you?

CS:
I was a painter first and always a visual artist as a child (my mother taught art) I went to college and got into performance and worked in an experimental group for about nine years. So performance and visual art is my thang. FS was an antidote to the lofty and difficult performance styles. I wanted (initially) to speak in a language of performance more people could connect too.

JD:
So you knew it would happen in some capacity. Did you think it would be with music or in the form of a collaboration?

CS:
Well, I knew lots of musicians and loved music but it wasn't something I was studying. As far as collaboration,
I am a very loyal person. Nine years with Doorika, the first group I was in, and nine years with Warren and FS. I like to get into it with people and go there. Hamlet, however, is my return to where I began and The Wooster Group was my art school fantasy.
JD:
And you were aware of The Wooster Group for awhile right? Like always wanted to be there?

CS:
Since I was 20. I am 37 now.

JD:
So you must be on top of the world being able to pick and choose your projects. Do you have a dream gig?

CS:
Dream gig...hmmm, I want to make a movie next. Or at least be in one. I want performance that is captured and can withstand the test of time.

JD:
Your perfect for movies, I can totally see you singing and dancing in wild costumes. What's the new album like? Is it a departure from FS past?

CS:
The new album is great. I am super excited. Warren is doing an amazing job. I can't wait for people to hear it. I am very proud of it, it's like the first and the second record, Electronic but better song writing. I feel like I finally figured out how to write and HAMLET helped! Being immersed in that language has given me a new perspective. I had a hard time with rhyme structures before, I felt that they limited the idea and meaning of language too much and DUH, rhyming is a big part of songwriting. I was more of a rhythmic writer but this is tough on melody. But after Shakespeare for two years I really have a love for rhyme and see how form and content can merge in a magical way. Not that I am some great singer/songwriter, that's not the point for me, I am an artist finding my way through American culture and entertainment is the dominant form that I love and hate.

JD:
Well as a multi-faceted artist ( I guess we could say) it only makes sense that all things creative for you would affect the other. I love people that are just complete creative beings especially ones who are recognized and admired for their talent.
CS: I feel mostly despised. Art people loved us but then when we chose a "real" entertainment career they were put off. It was no longer a secret guilty pleasure and music people are generally very dismissive. I feel a bit like a failure.
JD:
Doesn't that always happen though? And as obvious as it is, that, I guess you would still feel very affected by it. I would hardly say your a failure though.

CS:
I thought (naively) I could bring the worlds of art and entertainment together.

JD: Well you sorta did though.
CS:
Sorta. I thought and think it could go much further, really pushing the language of performance into an exciting and interesting place. But business models are what kill it.

JD:
Really, how so?

CS:
Well, art and entertainment are inherently in conflict on a business level and especially in terms of "value". The products of each business undermine the other. One is about total access and one is about limited access.

JD:
So how do you deal with that?

CS:
Well, I do what I love and I don't waste my time on creative work that I don't. I'm thinking smaller these days. I am not going to push myself so hard. I had a boyfriend early in my performance career who was very frustrated with how poor I was and could not understand what I was doing or why. He asked me what is was that I was headed for and I said, "I want to be famous in such a cool way that you don't know who I am." I think I have achieved that.

JD:
Well if L'uomo Vogue has anything to say about it you have. How does someone with no PR get 9 out of 10 pages in the Fall style section? I had no idea you were such an icon in men's fashion.
CS:
I'm not. But I would love to be.

JD:
Well we both saw it with our own eyes.
Hey our shots of your apartment looked great by the way. That was a fun day.
CS:
Yeah, it was. I love making pictures, even if it is of a closet!

JD:
I have to say since being in your place I've really been craving a home, its so comfy your place.

CS:
Yes, home is a good thing. You just need some books and a good rug.

JD:
And your cats certainly help.

CS:
Oh shite! I have to go to rehearsal! It's 1:30 and I have to be there at 2pm!

JD:
Okay GO! We're good here!
CS: Gotta run! Laters! xoxox- CS
JD:
Thanks I'll talk to you later!
CS: And stay off MAHUNT!! Go out!
JD:
Ugh...I know.

4 comments:

MR style said...

i want to be an icon in men's fashion too !!! we should all reunite to fire andré leon talley !!! lol

matty said...

CASEY SPOONER IS MY HERO!!! HES LIKE LUCY IN THE SKY MEETS Y-3!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Case!

Oliver said...

My GOD. You IM'd with Casey Spooner? Damn. The man is my hero. Great interview!