Columbus Makes Art Presents: Shadowbox Live Bringing Gallery of Echoes to the Columbus Arts Festival
Stacie Boord wears many hats at Shadowbox Live and not all of them are on stage. In addition to being a triple threat, she is a power house behind the scenes directing community relations, special events and fundraising (among other duties). As the Shadowbox Live crew gets ready to wow Columbus Arts Festival audiences with its meta-performance Gallery of Echoes—The ColumbUS Public Art Project, I caught up with Stacie to learn a little more about what drives this creative dynamo.
Lacey Luce: When did you start performing?
Stacie Boord: When I was younger I was REALLY private about my singing. I knew I could sing, but I never let anyone know. When I was 12, I went to our town’s community theatre auditions strictly to support my friend. I had absolutely no intention of auditioning. Then I heard everyone else and thought “Oh come on! I can do better than THAT!”
I auditioned and got the lead role.
LL: At Shadowbox Live you do EVERYTHING, but is there an aspect of creative expression that you find particularly satisfying?
SB: I love the raw inhibition of singing rock; the outrageousness of sketch comedy; the physical commitment of dance; the challenge of creating new work; the joy of developing new corporate partnerships and educational programs; etc. The reason I’ve chosen to stay with Shadowbox for 27 years is because I am always learning and pushing myself to explore unchartered territories.
LL: How do you prepare for a role and/or show?
SB: Hours and hours of practice. Shadowbox produces so many different types of shows that the preparatory work is different for each one. If it’s a musical tribute show, I try to immerse myself in the music and learn about the featured band/genre, and what was going on in our world during that time. For a musical, I read the script and make decisions regarding my motivations throughout. I then learn the lines void of emotion so I can be nimble when given direction. The magical moment is when I find that connection to the character that just locks in and feels right. It informs so much—my vocal inflection: my movement; my mannerisms; etc. It’s at that point when I can get lost in the character the joy of discovery begins.
LL: What, for you, is the most challenging part of performing?
SB: Memorization! Lines and lyrics don’t come as easily as they did when I was 20. I’m notorious for my “artistic interpretation” of lyrics.
LL: If you could be mentored by any performer living or dead who would it be and why?
SB: I have so many artists that have influenced me professionally: Aretha Franklin, Carol Burnett, Etta James, Ann Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Janet Jackson…etc. I don’t think I could ever just pick one.
LL: What was the inspiration for the first Gallery of Echoes, in 2014?
SB: Stev had always loved Emerson, Lake, Palmer’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” so when Nancy Turner approached us about collaborating during the time the museum was going to be renovated Stev jumped on the opportunity. It all came together when he and the band visited the museum and received a guided tour lead by Nancy and the curator at that time Dominique Vasseur. They learned the details and inspiration of the art and artists and this completely changed their perception of the work itself. It was this experience that inspired Stev to create an opportunity for audiences to experience a similar understanding of the work through this production. The band wrote music based on the artwork and the artist’s story; we videotaped the works, manipulated the images, and projected them onto a 30-foot screen, so viewers would have an unprecedented opportunity to see the works up close. Then we supported the various pieces with vocals, dance and spoken word. The end result was impactful and our “meta-media” format was born.
LL: What are you most excited about with this new Gallery of Echoes production?
SB: That we have the opportunity to illuminate these amazing artists who reside right here within the Greater-Columbus community! To present their works at the Arts Festival will not only expose these artists to a much larger audience then would normally be expected, but will also give 450,000 Festival attendees a completely unique and innovative way to engage with art and theater.
LL: What does “free time” look like for you?
SB: I love to cook. But most importantly, spend time with my husband and kids. They are the best entertainment around. Many antics and lots of laughter in my household.
LL: What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
SB: Red wine. HGTV. Food Network. Oh..and dance movies/shows. I absolutely LOVE them! Step Up. Dirty Dancing. Stayin Alive. Center Stage. Flesh and Bone—the absolute best.
Shadowbox Live will present Gallery of Echoes—The ColumbUS Public Art Project on the ABC6 Main Stage at the Columbus Arts Festival June 10 & 11 at 9 p.m. Gallery of Echoes is an innovative meta-performance involving music, dance, theater and large-scale media projections of artwork from 20 central Ohio visual artists.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at how #artmakescbus.