An exciting grass-roots movement has been brewing in Bohemia that has everyone tweeting, and sharing, and blogging, and commenting, and kickstarting, and producing, and writing, and starring, and watching, and re-tweeting. Voxism is everywhere you google, and it’s not going away.
THE VOXIST MANIFESTO:
Voxism is like water; it finds the empty spaces.
1. For the Voxist artist, publicity is an art form much like war, and guerrilla campaigning and self promotion, are the weapons. The Voxist is a general in wartime, searching for the path that has never been taken until the moment that they go viral and the battle is won.
2. Voxists think both as the artist and the producer, keeping their mind on both the money and the message until the two paths find equilibrium.
3. The Voxist is both the performer, and the audience.
And who is the Voxist audience?
To understand that, you have to understand the progression of the audiences through technology over time. See, back when God was a boy, an audience had to sit in a room with an artist to see or hear their piece of art, we call that a “Simple Audience.” Then came the advent of radio and television and artists were able to reach a “Mass Audience.” Then Theme parks, and theme restaurants, and cell phones, and internet all came along and people’s attention began to be pulled in many directions. We call this phenomenon the “Diffused Audience.”
(The Holodeck on Star Trek is the perfect example of a Diffused Audience, where the person in the Holodeck is both the audience and the star of the show.)
Are you still confused?
Don’t be. Voxism is all around you. I’ll prove it:
Voxism in Theatre:
There might be no better example of Voxism in theatre than our very own Ryan Scott Oliver. The fact that you’re reading this blog of his only proves Mr. Oliver’s passionate belief in the Voxist ideal. What could be more Voxist than writing a musical review (35MM) whose songs could be extracted out of context and splashed on the screens of youtube for teenage and college Gleeks alike to enjoy, and share, and spread. What could be more Voxist than successfully mounting your own production of said review using Kickstarter, the Voxist secret weapon, and recording your own cast album of said production?
(You can check out Mariah's new play MAGIC TRICK, about a paraplegic burlusque performer at this year's Fringe NYC)
You don’t have to search youtube for very long before you find one, or two, or six hundred thousand artists posting videos of covers, originals, and mash-ups in hopes one of them will be the key to their stardom. Most musicians that I know created their own home studios years ago, and produce their own records. If you want a concrete example check out any artist on Reverb Nation. I like Karmin.
(Here's one of the 52 Songs I wrote this year which will be performed by Jennifer Foster (Fat Camp, If There Is...) and Derek Klena (Dog Fight, Carrie) at my 52 Songs: Abridged concert at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on Sept 5th.... make your reservations now! )
One word: Pinterest.
Voxism in Cinema:
So the Voxists in the screen world have been shoving their webisodes and short films down your throat for years, but no other Voxist seems to have had more success on the screen then Lena Dunham, of HBO’s GIRLS. If you’ve watched her show on HBO, you’ve probably been blown away when the credits role and you see that Ms. Dunham writes, directs, produces, and stars in her own series. She did the same for her first feature film, TINY FURNITURE, and I can only assume there will be more where that came from. Lena said it best in the pilot episode of GIRLS: “I think I might be the voice of my generation, well... A voice... of A generation...”
Having your own voice, and creating an outlet to express that voice is what Voxism is all about.
Now you might be thinking, “David, stop trying to make Voxism happen, it’s never going to happen!”
But it has.
It happened inside of artists over the last twenty years when the gap between art and commerce became so wide that a future in self-expression seemed bleak.
It happened when the cost of mounting a Broadway musical rose to ten million, twenty million, seventy-seven million dollars, and all of us lowly musical theatre writers down in Bohemia thought we might as well put down our pencils and give up our dreams of writing for the stage.
It happened when high-tech recording devices became smaller and smaller, and easier to operate, and easier to afford, and big budget studios stopped making small movies with good stories.
It happened when digital downloads and file sharing became the norm, and record companies went bust, and musicians had to set up their own home studios.
And thank the lucky stars for Mark Zuckerberg, and Tom Anderson, and Jack Dorsey, and everyone else who gave a platform to the little guy who had no place to express his voice.
Who knows how long it will last. Who knows how long it can remain effective. Who knows if people won’t shoot their annoying actor friends who keep asking them for a dollar on kickstarter every few months, and inviting them to self produced productions of their brilliant little plays, in crappy black box theatres. Who knows.
But one thing seems clear. The voice of this generation will be heard one way or another because Voxism is like water...
...it finds the empty spaces.
DAVID DAVILA is half of the song-writing duo Havrilla & Davila, author of the Tex-Mex plays ADAN Y JULIO, MEN OF GOD, CREDO, REQUERDOS OF MY LIFE, and AZTEC PIRATES AND THE INSIGNIFICANCE OF LIFE ON MARS. He is a self proclaimed Voxist, a Diva enthusiast, and founder of Lone Star Theatre Co. Wanna talk about it? www.daviddavila.net
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