by Megan Minutillo, The Write Teachers
Andrew Barret Cox has found success as a performer in the New York and Boston music and club scenes with his original music and choreography. His music has been described as “electric, explosive, uniquely contemporary electronic pop.” Since 2007 he has been composing in various genres of pop, electro pop, EDM, country, and orchestral. He received his BA in audio post production and visual media arts from Emerson College, focusing on music production. In 2012, he joined the cast of Tony award winner Diane Paulus’s “The Donkey Show” at The American Repertory Theatre’s Club Oberon in the heart of Harvard Square, the same venue where he later premiered his original immersive nightlife experience “Clubland”, as well as his original score for Mark Mauriello’s “Oscar: At The Crown”. These productions, along with his re-imagined Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show” and others, gained him notoriety in the Boston community. Under the advisory of Friend’s producer Kevin Bright, two of his productions were featured at the Emmy award winning EVVY awards. Along with the success of his original works, direction, and choreography, Andrew also became recognized as an accomplished costume and make-up designer. In 2014 he was invited to speak on the New York University Style Panel along with Emmy award winning Sex and The City costume designer Patricia Fields. He has performed for people such as New York’s nightlife queen Susanne Bartsch, and along side Lady Starlight and Breedlove of Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball and Art Rave tours. In his live shows, Cox has incorporated a theatrical element as well as avant-garde aspects.
MM: When did you first realize you wanted to be a composer and lyricist?
ABC: I think I wrote my first song on my tiny keyboard when I was in the 5th grade. I came home every day after school and instead of watching T.V. I would play my piano all night every night and learn how to play my favorite songs. I was fascinated by how intricate pieces by people like Jason Robert Brown were and by the 8th grade I had all of The Last Five Years and Songs For A New World score memorized. I think it was in high school that I started getting seriously into composing and using it as an outlet for my creativity!
MM: Of all the roles you’ve created thus far, which ones are the closest to your heart?
ABC: Well, I didn’t necessarily create her but I put Shirley Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church into one of my first musicals (Pokemon: The 90’s Rock Show) and that was pretty cool. She’s one of the most hated people in America! In the show she starts the “God Hates Pokemon” campaign, so it was funny this year when the WBC had the spat with Pokemon Go users. I like to think I predicted it.
MM: When one walks into your home, what books are permanently on your bookshelf?
ABC: “Many Lives, Many Masters” by Dr. Brian Weiss MD. It was on Oprah, you should all read it.
MM: If you were stranded on a desert island, what television shows and/or movies would you want available to you, (assuming of course you have a television and Internet connection?)
ABC: Rupaul’s Drag Race and Jim Carrey’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas would be enough.
MM: What’s the best piece of advice you’d want to offer aspiring actors and writers?
ABC: If you want people to respect your art, you need to put in the work, and create art that is meaningful to you. Putting a video on the internet of you eating an ice cream cone and calling it art is not art, it’s a synthesis of social media culture and it needs to stop.
MM: What sound do you love? What sound do you hate?
ABC: I love the sound of K-Pop music! I hate the sound of my room mate breaking up with his long distance boyfriend over a Skype call!
MM: What literary or musical theatre character is most like your personality? Least like your personality?
ABC: According to my room mate Michelle (not the long distance one), I’m like George from Sunday in The Park with George. Just kidding, she say’s that I’m Fosca from Passion. And me? Well, I’d like to think that Audrey II is pretty close to my personality!
MM: In today’s economic state, arts education programs are being cut. What reasons would you give to a school board or politician for preserving arts education programming in schools?
ABC: The arts are all that got me through my middle school and high school years. It kept me going and made me feel like I belonged in, let’s face it, a society that says I didn’t. I was lucky enough to have great arts programs both inside and outside my school system to nurture my creativity and challenge me to be better.
MM: Who is/was your greatest teacher? (Can absolutely be more than one)
ABC: My director, choreographer, teacher and mentor Carl Rajotte essentially taught me everything I know. I don’t know where I’d be without his guidance and expertise.
Live, Love, Learn,