It all started with a sleepover. It was 2013, and a group of Robots had gathered in Dave's old apartment in The Valley on a cool October-in-LA Friday night. The evening was to be spent reviewing performance tapes from our shows in the Cherry Crush at iO West, 13 minute snippets of chaos and magic and adrenaline Sierra had filmed for us, so we could hammer out more of our musical improv form. We also needed to prep for our very first photo shoot, which was to happen the following morning. We had two spankin' new robobabes in our ranks, and we were STOKED to finally be getting team photos.
We picked a loose theme of vintage sci-fi and made plans to pick up dry ice in the morning so we could stage an alien abduction shot. Nikki had stocked the fridge with craft brews and Dave was making some weird macaroni dish that only single guys in their 20s eat, and we were feeling good. It was pretty much what you'd expect from a bunch of singing comedians at a mandatory bonding event. Loud. Boisterous. A serious amount of fun.
At some point we all started trying on outfits to wear for the shoot, encouraging each other to come up with character names and back stories. Chris put on his hat and tweed jacket and was trying to pick out a tie to wear, but rather than selecting one tie, left all the options around his neck and became "Professor Allties." Bryan had a ridiculous purple jumpsuit that he paired with green alien eyes and a lunchbox for that authentic 'blue-collar alien' effect. I convinced Sam to wear some black studded leggings, and Molly started bouncing round the room in moon boots. Somehow, at some point, the idea of turning our looks into characters in a full-length written musical was floated and we "Yes, and'ed" that shit all the way to today - about a month before our time travel musical TIMEHEART premieres at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
A lot has happened since then. That very night, Sam fell asleep using my white faux fur jacket as a sleeping bag. We stopped performing at the Cherry Crush. At another sleepover, all the Robot ladies wore onesie animal pajamas. We road tripped to gigs in Lake Arrowhead and San Diego. Later still, we got t-shirts printed with our name and logo printed on them! I wear mine constantly (witness my #WLW above). The outfits have changed, our TIMEHEART costumes continue to evolve, but we've always been working on this wild idea we dreamt up, outlining then improvising then writing then re-writing and revising some more. In many ways, crafting a musical together has been just like that first sleepover - loud and boisterous and an incredible bonding experience... but we're not in Dave's living room anymore. We are about to go live, on Theatre Row in Hollywood, on a warm summer night in 2015, one and a half years later.
It is so good to look back at some photos from that shoot (thanks again Brendan Dekora for shooting + EastWest Studios for hosting), to see where we came from, and to dream of what the next year and a half may bring! I hope you get the same joy looking at them (below) as I do...and if you wanna see the finished product, our sci-fi musical baby, I hope you come to see TIMEHEART at the Hollywood Fringe!