Original member Troy LoCoco talks about how we have grown over the years, finding love in the company and his new role: film student.
InViolet: What has your Inviolet journey been like so far?
Troy: My Inviolet journey so far has been life changing and full of extremely pleasant, happy memories. When we went on our first retreat ten years ago I knew about half the people from Maggie Flanigan acting school. The other half of the people I didn’t know at all. We went into the mountains where I had a play I wrote read aloud. I got to read in other people’s plays. It was this instant camaraderie; a feeling of lets just all create the best work we can together regardless of our back-rounds or where we were from. Inviolets from that first retreat have since become some of my best, life-long friends.
InViolet: You are one of Inviolet’s original members! How have you seen the company change over the years?
Troy: Over the years people have come and gone. The biggest changes I see other than the new faces in the company are that I feel the work has gotten better and the we have streamlined our processes to make things easier. The first couple years we were all learning how to do everything. How do we do a fund-raiser? How do we put on a show? How do we load in and build sets? How do we stay connected with our community? How do we do multiple shows year round to stay active? Now we have set pieces in place that have become tried and true. We do the One Night Stands, we got the Second Monday Socials, we have done full productions as well as workshops and festivals. It’s easier to pull it all off because of the years of experience we have now. We have a freaking Inviolet guidebook on how to get things done like a retreat or benefit. Ten years ago there was no guidebook.
I say the work has gotten better as well because now everyone has ten more years in the theater biz under their belt. Instead of being 25-year-olds learning the craft, we have become 35 year-olds doing the craft. Also we don’t drink as much and stay up as late as we use to so we get more done. Like fine wine, Inviolet has gotten better with age.
The thing I like most about theater is what I mentioned above, the camaraderie. I love to make art and bring it into the world with these amazing people who have become my best friends. I love it when we are all in the mountains on retreat together and one of our writers brings in a brand new play and it blows us away. The actors who read the play haven’t seen it before but their performance is amazing. We all witness something special in a cabin in the woods. We workshop the play and work out the kinks. We decide it will be out next full production. We build the sets, we get the props, we get the space, the actors rehearse and the writer does re-writes. We wake up at 7am and get to load in. We build sets for twelve hours a day for 5 days straight. And in the end, we took something special from a cabin in the mountains and we brought it to life for an audience in New York City. We did it all together and there is nothing like it. That’s what I love about theater.
InViolet: Do you have a favorite InViolet memory you can share?
Troy: Oh man, I have so many InViolet memories over the years its hard to pick one. Every single retreat brings at least one or two funny moments. Creating theater can be exhausting and hard, but it’s the people around you that make it worthwhile. After working all day on plays, just having a drink by the fire and getting to know everyone is the best. We once all got locked on a rooftop at a day long retreat we did in Brooklyn. The door leading to the deck locked behind us, and we were all stuck on the roof for hours. We had beverages, which were great, but we had no bathrooms or food. But it is things like that that bring us together.
InViolet: You met the love of your life, our dear Sam Thomson LoCoco in the company, our first InViolet love story! How did your love come to be? Did you lock eyes during an InVi fundraising meeting and just think… “I must make her mine”?
Troy: I met my lovely wife Sam in the company. When she first joined the company we hit it off, but we were just friends. I was super into her, but being in the same theater company I was cautious to make my move. I didn’t want to make things weird in the company if we tried something and it didn’t work out. We were friends for about a year. We would meet for drinks all the time and have lunch together. After a year of getting to know her and becoming good friends, I was like “I’m a damn fool if I don’t ask this girl out”. We went out on a date, and we have been going out on dates ever since.
InViolet: Let’s talk Second Monday Social, you have been our most excellent bartender since day one, mixing delicious drinks and being such a welcoming energy for all our guests. Thank you! Has it been fun for you? And… you recently presented work at our #SMS for the first time. How did it go?
Troy: Bartending the Second Monday Socials have been so much fun. We have regulars that come every month and we have new faces every month as well. The atmosphere is laid back and fun and the work is really good. I had a short play read in January and the actors did such a great job. It’s super fun for me to bartend for friends and watch some good work happen.
InViolet: You are in school for film production. How cool are you? What has that process been like for you so far? What does the typical day/week of a film student look like?
Troy: I’m currently getting a degree in film learning all facets of film production. Editing, sound engineering, camera and lighting, you name it. I am hoping to shoot a ten-minute short film this summer. Going back to school in my mid thirties has been an experience, but I’m loving what I’m learning. The biggest learning curve was getting better at budgeting my time. I work full time, I’m in school full time, and being a good partner to my wife. I spend my weeks watching a ton of good movies and doing projects. I’ll come up with a simple script. Rent out a camera and lights from the school and shoot it. Then edit it together and fix the sound. Basically doing that over and over again until I get good at it. I like figuring out how to tell a story visually. Figuring out what colors, lighting, and camera angles will get the emotion I’m trying to convey across to the viewer. I got one more year and then I’m done with school!
InViolet: What’s next for you?
Troy: When it’s all said and done, I’d love to write my scripts and then get my talented friends to act in them and shoot them myself. I have some scripts that I would of course sell if given the opportunity. But I have other scripts that are close to my heart and I would rather get the funds and shoot those myself. That is the dream, for my friends and I to make theater and films together. I have two feature film scripts I want to finish this summer. One of them is halfway done, the other I have an outline for. It should be a productive summer. I just want to keep on writing. That way when one thing I write hits and they ask what else I got, I can say I got these other ten scripts over here they can check out.