Alexia Dox [Interview]

Alexia Dox 2

So, I have absolutely fallen in love with the Hulu Original Series, Quick Draw.  It is hilarious, poignant, and tastefully grotesque at only the right moments.  But, the finest part of the program is without a doubt the brilliant cast.  Each character of this wonderful little program bring their own bit of genius to the full project.  And what I didn’t know until recent days, is that the show is entirely improv!  Which only blew my mind a bit more when I thought about how talented I thought this cast already was, even before learning that the whole crew makes up their lines as they go along.  Absolutely brilliant!

And this got me thinking even further into how great of a cast this truly is.  I instantly thought of one of the supporting characters, Pearl.  She is a young lady who produces some of the most delightfully awkward scenes in the show.  Then I began to think about the actress behind the character Pearl, the lovely Alexia Dox.  What a woman!  In one character alone, she can lead one to assume that she is beautiful, witty, and simply brilliant.  So, I wanted to know if this were the case behind this wonderful rising star in the acting world.  And, even through a few simple correspondences and a bit of Facebook/Twitter stalking, I have come to realize that it is absolutely true!  Ms. Dox is a blessing to us all if you truly think about it.  The young talent, especially females, seem to get a bad rap sheet due to the actions of few, and our newly developed part of our human nature that makes us feel compelled to dwell on silly shit and meme, post, tweet, etc. about it for a few days, until said young female does something else to ridicule.  We are all to blame I believe.  But nevertheless, I am here to clearly state that there is definitely hope!  Young brilliant people like Alexia Dox are making all of the difference!

And I thought it would be brilliant to ask Alexia Dox a few questions about Quick Draw, her career thus far, and what the future will hold for this amazingly funny and witty actress who I haven’t a doubt in the world will one day be taking the world by storm.  So here we go!  Enjoy!

 

When did you first realize you wanted to join the world of acting?  Has it always been something you have wanted to do?

I wouldn’t say I always knew I wanted to act, but I was definitely and notoriously a huge ham as a kid. If you watch our home videos, half of them are me forcing a parental figure to video tape me dancing to Backstreet Boys for way too long, or stuffing my sister in a Tupperware cabinet (done with some pretty strong comedic timing). But I think the moment I knew I wanted to act was after I signed up for the school musical, “Oliver!”, in 7th Grade. I say “after” because I definitely signed up just because all my friends were doing it. But I ended up really loving it. I had one line, but man, I was stoked. And I think in terms of deciding to do it as a career, that happened in college. I was going to UCSB for their Marine Biology program, since that seemed like the more practical, less risky career and passion to follow. But after getting cast in a couple shows my first year, I knew that the Cuttlefish and Moon Jellies would just have to cheer me on from the sidelines, because there was no way I could just make acting some small hobby and still be happy. UCSB actually has one of the better BFA acting programs as well as a great Marine Biology program, so I kinda lucked out…or subconsciously, I may have totally known that.

Quick Draw is an absolutely brilliant show that I am so excited to come back for a second season.  I understand much of the show is improv?  With that in mind, and the pure comedic genius of the entire cast, how is the set life on this show?  Is it as fun to shoot as it is to watch?

Well shoot, thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! From what I’ve seen and filmed so far, Season 2 is going to be AWESOME. I’m so stoked to see it all come together.

It’s ALL improvisation! Not everyone realizes that watching the show, but I love when I read comments like, “Who wrote this?! This is great!” And I think viewers enjoy the comedy that much more when they figure out we basically make all this stuff up on the fly.

This is how a day at Quick Draw goes: you arrive, you go into hair and make-up, put your costume on, show up to set, and then, and only then, does Nancy Hower (our fearless and talented leader and director) explain what is going on in the scene in the perspective of your character and what has happened before this scene to give it context, as well as the plot points you’ll need to hit for the scene to make the episode’s story make sense. And you just go. It’s awesome. Nancy will shout things out for us to say or riff on if we start to stray too far or forget one of those plot points, but for the most part, we’re on our own. She’ll also be on us if we say anything that’s not period enough. Common culprits are ‘sex’ and ‘awesome’. We all know  at least 3 period-appropriate synonyms for ‘sex’.

For me last year, as an actress working her first professional job, with no real improvisation schooling (but having a real love of it), surrounded by comedic geniuses who have been doing this for, at the very least, a handful of years…I’d be lying if I said the set-up didn’t make me pee my pants a little at first. But honestly, the set on this show is so supportive and kind, and led by such good people (John Lehr and Nancy Hower, the creators: so much talent in such humble and nice people), that you just fall into it. I love it. I’m never memorizing lines again. DONE. I’m improvising everything. Can’t wait for my next Shakespeare audition.

But yeah, set-wise, I’ve been spoiled. This show is so much fun, the crew is the best kind of people, and the cast I get a chance to work with, John Lehr, Bob Clendenin, Allison Dunbar, Nick Brown, Michael Anastasia, Kate Frisbee…that’s right, I’m name dropping EVERYWHERE. These people are hilarious, on camera and off. People need to watch the outtakes of the show to see what we had to cut out because we just didn’t have enough time to stuff it all in. The Whiskey Support Group outtakes are probably my favorite.

Alexia Dox 3So, without giving too much away, can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect to see on the new season of Quick Draw?  Especially in regards to Pearl!?

Oh man.What can I tell you?! I can tell you with utmost confidence that Season 2 is going to be even more ridiculous and entertaining than the first season. I don’t want to give away anything I’m not supposed to. But I guess you’ll find out it’s off limits if Pearl suddenly gets killed off this season.

I can say that we definitely get to see more of who Pearl was and is, and there’s a lot more character exploring in general this season, I think. Pearl and Eli’s relationship goes places this season, outside of exchanging money for Pearl’s services, and Pearl’s complicated past definitely catches up with her this season. Some characters come back, in more ways than one. And a bear. We have a bear this season. I think I’ve said too much.

I saw on Twitter that you finally got a week off from shooting Quick Draw, and had no idea what you were to do with yourself.  So what did you come up with?  What do you normally do when you are not working or developing your craft?

I totally had to double check that tweet: my first thought reading that question was, “I said ‘finally’?! What’s wrong with me? We’ve only been shooting for two and a half weeks!” I’m glad I didn’t, I’d have to call myself out on that.

Even on days off, I kinda feel like I have to do something productive in relation to acting or writing, or I go a little stir-crazy. But if I really commit to relaxing: I’ll sleep in until 9AM (I like to live dangerously), watch some morning TV with a good cup of coffee, read a good book (if you’ve seen The Room, you have to read The Disaster Artist, it’s gold), get a text from my boyfriend making sure I’m actually relaxing and not just pretending to, maybe go to the gym (or strongly consider going), and cook or bake something. Cooking to me is the perfect, relaxing creative outlet. I’m totally that girl who takes all those pictures of her food. And I’m a big LA King’s fan! I love going to hockey games: it’s a love I found when I moved to LA, weirdly enough. Beer and men on razor blades. Who would’ve thought. I’m still learning all the rules because I definitely didn’t grow up with hockey, at all but that doesn’t stop me from yelling my face off at games.

Can you tell us about your sketch group It’s Like Science?  How did this come to life?

I actually joined It’s Like Science after they already were up and going for a while. Justin Marshall Elias (one of the two guys who started the group) and I were in a short film together: a super dramatic film about a bipolar, semi-abusive painter, which isn’t funny at all. But between takes, we both would try to take that tense air out of the room by cracking jokes or improvising as different, weird characters together. We just clicked comedically. So after the super depressing shoot, he invited me to shoot a sketch with him and his co-member, George Parker Mann, who also has a fancy three-part name. After that, they brought me in as a permanent fixture in the group, which I was stoked about! I love writing, and it was a way to flex those muscles and actually get my work filmed and out there. I’ve learned so much about production, editing, directing and writing just by having to wear different hats in this group. It’s something I’d totally recommend to actors  who are “looking for work”. At some point, you gotta just start making the work and those parts yourself, or you’re just waiting by your phone or refreshing your e-mail.

Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming short XR91 BioRebellion 2.0 featuring James Franco?

I honestly have absolutely no clue how the James Franco part of that transpired. I did this short when I first got to LA, but it was added to my IMDB page recently. I clicked on it, and saw that James Franco apparently makes an appearance in it somewhere. The film’s a mockumentary-style, improvised comedy short about this guy who wants to make action films while everyone else in film school is doing depressing artsy films. I’m a pretty small role (it was improvised, I played one of the film school kids), and I have no idea what it looks like, but I guess it gives me a “I was in a film with James Franco” card, which I’ll totally take.

So what else can we expect to see from you in 2014 and beyond?  Anything exciting?

Definitely expect the new season Quick Draw to come out in the early-Fall! I think a lot of the shorts and web projects I’ve been working on in the last year are coming out in the next couple months, so I’ll look ridiculously productive when that happens. My friend and I are also working on a Downton Abbey musical parody, which hopefully will be going by the end of the year. But I’ll hopefully be doing a lot more comedy and maybe even a splash of something dark and dramatic. And a lot more writing and improvising on the horizon, hopefully. I try to keep people (my mom) updated by posting projects that come out on my Facebook page.

Alexia DoxWhat was the last thing that made you smile?

This probably wasn’t the last thing, because it was about a week ago, and hopefully I cracked a smile between then and now…but the first thing that comes to mind is we had one of the producers of the show and her son (who’s probably about 4 or 5?) come to set one day, and the kid is completely infatuated with superheroes, specifically Super Man. He dresses up like Super Man almost every day, and he’s basically the cutest kid I’ve ever seen in my life. So during lunch one day, we’re all outside at the tables eating, when we see these red boots and cape in the distance…and Super Man appears! One of our prop guys dressed head to toe as Super Man: the hair, the suit, everything. The whole cast and crew was cheering, and the kid was so shocked and surprised. He didn’t say a whole lot but you could tell he was beaming on the inside. You couldn’t not smile at that. Didn’t I say our set was awesome?!

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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