Go Deeper Happy Hour on the Fringe: Anthony Martinez-Briggs

Happy Hour on the Fringe: Anthony Martinez-Briggs

Posted December 21st, 2019

On this episode of Happy Hour on the Fringe, we sat down with Anthony Martinez-Briggs of ILL DOOTS to talk about how ILL DOOTS was formed, their musical influences and inspirations and New Year’s Funkin’ Eve! ILL DOOTS will be headlining New Year’s Funkin’ Eve in 2019 at FringeArts on December 31 at 10pm.

Listen to the episode and read the transcript below.

Feature Photo: Kate Raines

[Music Intro]

Raina: Hello and welcome to Happy Hour on the Fringe. FringeArts is Philadelphia’s premier presenter of contemporary performing arts. I’m Raina Searles, Marketing Manager here at FringeArts.

Zach: And I’m Zach Blackwood, an artistic producer here at FringeArts and we invite you to pour one up and enjoy our conversations with some of the most imaginative people on this planet of existence. Today, we’re excited to be here with an incredible musician, actor, teaching artist, writer, director, sound designer and member of the Philly Artists Collective ILL DOOTS, Anthony Martinez-Briggs. Welcome Anthony.

Anthony: Welcome Anthony. Thank you.

Zach: Welcome. So you’ll next be here for New Year’s Funkin’ Eve on December the 31st of the year of our Lord 2019.

Anthony: I’m very excited.

Zach: The last day of the decade.

Anthony: Yep. Whoa.

Raina: We keep saying that and it’s always like a whoa.

Zach: Yeah, so this might be your last Naked juice of the decade.

Anthony: I’ll probably have another one though.

Zach: Okay, fine.

Anthony: But fair enough.

Zach: Which brings me to our most important question. What are you drinking here at happy hour?

Anthony: All right, look. Right now we got this green machine, you know what I’m saying flavor blend of five juices with other added ingredients and natural flavors, but no sugar added up.

Zach: And that’s produced by a redacted brand pending their sponsorship check clearing for Happy Hour on the Fringe.

Anthony: Nudity.

Zach: Yes. Nudity juice. Yes. And Raina, what are you beving on?

Raina: I’m having a glacier freeze. I suppose this brand is also redacted, but it’s blue with an orange top.

Zach: They were started in Florida actually.

Raina: Really?

Zach: Yes. As a beverage refresher for a certain college football team. That’s, yes.

Raina: The alligators, crocodiles.

Zach: Yes crocodiles.

Raina: I did not know that.

Zach: And I’m drinking my own spit here because I forgot to get myself a glass of water before we started, but just know that if I was having a beverage, it’d likely be a redacted brands club soda, which is what I go for sometimes with a little bit of bitters and a lemon if I’m feeling rich.

Raina: Great.

Zach: And that’s the last time I’ll talk about feeling rich in this decade. So Anthony, welcome. By now, you are a familiar face around town. Do you agree?

Anthony: Sure.

Zach: So you think you’re a familiar face?

Raina: We see you all the time.

Zach: You’re part of the well known hot house. You work with the Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation and it had been nominated for various more awards in sound design and for the prestigious F. Otto Haas emerging theater artists. That’s a pretty amazing resume to date, but how did you first get your start in performing?

Anthony: Interestingly enough, I went to high school as a computer networking technician, Cisco. I received my CCIE certification before coming to Philly. I worked with common space in my technologically, my vocational tech school I had to like pick an art to do like art class. I was not really good at drawing in the lines. I was like, I’m not going to do visual art. I was like band was not popping off for me. I was like, yo, theater sounds dumb easy. And it was fun and then it was impactful and then I decided to commit my life to it. So it kind of released what happens [inaudible 00:03:44]. I do not network computers anymore. So kind of decided to not go for the money with that one.

Raina: Wasn’t that interesting. So it was a class that you took at your school and did you then take more classes? Was there a track for theater?

Anthony: Same teacher. It was just like you had to take an art course every year. Freshman year I took theater and then I was like, well, I’m obviously going to keep taking theater. Like it’s fun. Like all my homies was in it. We kind of took over the class and then backstage that’s where everything goes down. So it really just appealed to my nefarious nature, the theater.

Raina: What shows did you do?

Anthony: Let’s see. The first show I did, I think was Tom Jones. It’s like a British, I don’t know. I played Mr. Western and his catch phrase every time he gets to the stage was, “Tally-ho”. So, I just got to one point where I’d run around screaming, “Tally-ho”. That was lit.

Anthony: I did Up the Down Staircase.

Zach: Okay.

Anthony: I was Joe Ferone. I did, I don’t know. I did some other stuff too. Most importantly though, I was introduced to August Wilson’s work my senior year and I was in Gem of the Ocean. Not Gem of the Ocean that was later on I’m sure. I was in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone in which I played by Bynum, which I seen Daniel Wallace do so well here in Philly. And that was kind of like those shows, mostly August Wilson though. That was the one I was like, “Oh no, this isn’t just for play. Like this is for serious”. I felt myself communing with the ancestors and then I knew that was something that I really needed to dig into and see how far that road would take me and took me here.

Zach: That’s exciting. Are there any parts of like the computer networking world that you’ve kind of seen like I don’t know, emerge in like some of that thinking or some of that practice. Has any of that bled into like the way that you think about making theater like networking with the community of electric theater artists in town?

Anthony: You’re not really far off. I see you reaching, but go ahead and hold your arms up because you’re actually very much on your way because that sense of connectivity. I mean it was kind of a trip learning how our whole internet was connected. You know what I’m saying? And like actually thinking that there’s actually really practical ways in which that worked. That’s helped me think a lot about, I don’t like to use this word, but it’s helpful for this context like hierarchy and like how within organizations, everything has a function and a role and works towards the greater functioning of one piece. You know what I’m saying? Like within the network there are different modules that have different functions. Likewise, with devising original work. Likewise, with work that does not need to be devised.

Anthony: But of course there’s a lane for everybody, I take that with me everywhere, especially with those dues because we have to run it on our own. There’s no managing force behind what our whole brand and that’s someplace I really bring that idea yeah, that idea of how things are connected and modular nature and stuff like that. It’s definitely important to my work and how I make it.

Raina: And so you went to the University of the Arts?

Anthony: Big Facts. Yep.

Raina: So was that like your introduction to the Philadelphia theater scene?

Anthony: Yeah, absolutely. Actually I came to UArts for their pre college program prior to my senior year in high school. And actually that’s when I fell in love with Philadelphia over the course of that two weeks. And I did get a chance to see some theater while I was here during that time. Even during that time I went to Broadway for the first time with UArts.

Anthony: So it actually introduced me to even the wider swath of what the theater was. Not that there’s not so much in Philly, but like I literally did not know there was a thing called Broadway when I was in Southern Maryland. It’s just not something we talked about or cared about at all. Sports and computers. So Philly and UArts specifically, UArts is the gateway to the city. It was the gateway to the whole scene. Man, I’ll never trade the people that I met at UArts. I’d never trade that for the world.

Raina: Yeah.

Zach: So I kind of want to pivot and talk more about ILL DOOTS. That’s like the history of ILL DOOTS. So what is like ILL DOOTS superhero origin story?

Anthony: Okay. So the story’s pretty cute. So Scott is our basses and our music director and basically when I used to rap when I was in middle school as opposed to doodling. Some people doodle and others I would write rhymes as a way to not listen. It was my way to doodle. But as I grew through like high school and stuff like that, I come into college, I was like, look, I’m not going to try to be a rapper in Philly where some of the best rappers ever are. Like, I’m going to give that up. Like nobody needs me to rap. Nobody needs that. We had an open mic and I had like a rap that I had written my senior year that I didn’t get to perform at open mic there. But I was like, okay, cool.

Anthony: We’re going to do it as spoken word. We’re going to take our time. There’ll be no beat. So I met UArts, what do you call it, orientation week. It’s an open mic and I’m doing this poem there. So later that evening, I come home to a Facebook message from this dude Scott. Now, I don’t know who this is at this point.

Anthony: He’s like, “Hey, I liked your rap”. I told him so. My first thought was like, dang I got caught. I’m trying to rebrand myself as a spoken word artist. He’s like, “I see you rapping”. I remember one of the lines was like, “it’s hard to hit like a drive by with a musket or something”. I think that’s when he knew that I was a rapper, not a poet. Either way. He was like, “Hey, you want to come like rap in a jam session with me? There’s me and this drummer and Jordan who would be our drummer. He’s like, “me and this drummer have been getting together and like doing Dilla beats”. I was like, “That sounds cool. Yeah, sure. I’ll come by”.

Anthony: I came through that session freestyled while they played tracks. That’s it bro. We’ve been working together since that point. Our first meeting it was do you want to do music. The second meeting was trying music that was on planning. The third meeting was us like continuing a relationship that would be where we are today.

Anthony: So that’s kind of really our origin story. Like every between myself, Jordan and Scott, we would just bring more people to do like, “Hey are you also interested in making music”. Until eventually we were a 12 person band during our time at UArts. We are not 12 people now.

Anthony: But yeah, I think that’s just super.

Raina: Yeah.

Zach: That’s cool.

Raina: Well, so when did you decide that you were ILL DOOTS?

Anthony: That’s crazy because like barely ever. Like I never decided. I mean it was we just kept making music. Like we really just kept making music. We kept shirking our homework. We just kept not like our responsibilities in school. Fuck those. We kept coming together in that dorm room at pine and like, excuse me, don’t smoke in school. We would just smoke and make music like all night long. Eventually we had like 25 tracks like, Oh we want to put this out. Who are we? Like what name are we putting this out? I didn’t even know my band members names. Like real talk.

Raina: Wait, what are you saying?

Anthony: You don’t know what I’m saying?

Zach: No.

Anthony: So people who are in the band right now, like Chubs, like B Pad, who’s been in the band, like they’re members of the band. I didn’t know them. Like our first time performing live on stage, I didn’t know their names. We just was making music. Like it came first. It can sound pretentious now because we’re I mean all about town, but our egos were not present. Even in the sense of who are we collectively? Who are we? No, it was just like this is the beat. I got some raps. I got some more free beat. This other person has raps. Eventually we had to take stock of who is in this group.

Zach: Was there anyone you said no to like somebody who showed up with like a bassoon and you were like…

Raina: You don’t have to name names right now.

Zach: We could.

Anthony: Let’s not name names.

Zach: But was there anybody who showed up and you were just like no, the ego has arrived based on moment here and like this glockenspiel, I don’t have space for.

Anthony: Absolutely.

Zach: This pedal steel guitar, like you need to take it home.

Anthony: There are people who know who I’m talking about. I’m not going to name no names, but they’re doing great in the city right now. They’re doing great for themselves and what they do well.

Zach: Well, that’s great.

Anthony: It is great. They were my roommate at the time. I kind of got brought on like kind of on the singing wave and it just, eventually we would just like this ain’t really cutting it. And really what happened or to be candid is they were coming from a like operatic musical theater background at our school. That ended up not really being a wave we was on and so there was like a day where I had to kick my roommate out of the group.

Zach: And then walk home together?

Anthony: No, he went home solo, but that was rough. Yes, there was a time where egos were present and we were like this doesn’t sound good. That was the only time. It wasn’t nothing except like this don’t sound as good as we want it to.

Zach: So somewhere there’s like a shelved cut of like an ILL DOOTS cover of Defying Gravity that we’ll never hear. I’m trying to think of like the worst songs in like the musical theater cannon or something from Bear, a pop opera or like Zanna, Don’t!. I’m trying to think of like the worst plays anyone’s ever made.

Anthony: It is possible, man. I wouldn’t know. I ain’t know the name of the members. So, I wouldn’t know the name of the song, but it definitely is probably one of those cuts out there.

Zach: Yeah. I’m going to stop naming things before somebody… I’m just going to find out. It’s like a Philadelphia composer made like Bear Pop Opera. I’m sorry.

Anthony: My bad.

Zach: I’m so sorry. No, it’s not bad. It’s just dated and it will never be remounted ever.

Anthony: If we’re being honest, I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

Zach: Oh, it’s bad. It was one of the first plays I ever directed. I got really into directing in high school.

Raina: Did you choose it?

Zach: No, a close friend did. Yeah.

Anthony: Are you still friends?

Zach: That’s actually a really spicy question these days. But I’m going to leave that one right there. Anyway. Speaking of spicy questions, what’s the most successful aspect of ILL DOOTS to reorient that a little bit? Can you name like what’s your proudest moment? Is that a spoon?

Anthony: It was a spoon in my pocket.

Zach: We have spoons you don’t have to…

Anthony: I need a spoon. I’m warm. I’m taking this off, this layer. It’s cool, just keep rocking with the questions.

Zach: So is there something that’s happened kind of in the storied history of ILL DOOTS that you can point to as maybe like a moment where you felt like this is a watershed moment or like ILL DOOTS is like a crystallized now in this moment of like pride?

Anthony: Wow, it is a spicy question and it was one of the questions when I read ahead I was like, I don’t know how to answer that, but I’m going to try. So one thing I’ll say is the first time we went on a tour, like we left the state of Pennsylvania with a van that we had purchased.

Zach: I’ve been in that van.

Anthony: With a van we had purchased. That was kind of a monumental moment and not only that, but we were able to raise funds to do it. Like people cared about the movement enough to send us to take the movement elsewhere. And I think that was the Send us Back to Space tour. So our first tour was monumental, but also, I don’t know. It keeps going from there because later on I think our Unified tour was our first tour where we went again self sponsored like either our money or our momma’s or our friend’s money, but we took that money on the road. And we also simultaneously did educational workshops across the nation. So we wasn’t just hitting venues and doing the gigs, but we was like hitting churches or hitting after school programs.

Anthony: And like that I think was a crystallization of us because that’s when we realized that ILL was actually an acronym. We ain’t even know what the hell our name meant. We ain’t know, I ain’t know my band members’ names. We ain’t know what our name was for. But eventually, I was like ILL sounds good. That’s about it. But it was around that time when we started doing the going across the nation where we realized like “I love living” was the benchmark of our work.

Anthony: Like why do we work? Why do we do what we do, which actually comes from this passion for this blessing that we have that is life. Which is not to say it ain’t hard or even shitty, but that we have something with which that we can do work with it and it’s about appreciating even the ups and downs and that crystallizing that moment for us. When we realized what was ILL and furthermore, “I love learning.” We looked around and said, “Wait, we’re all teaching our craft to others”.

Anthony: How are we even doing that? I mean for a check, let’s be real. But also we kept doing it. Other checks became available and we still would not put aside these. We felt this responsibility to pay everything we had every learned forward. I’m in between. I love living and I love learning, those two things kind of met during the Unified tour. That felt our success was starting to realize ourselves. Many realizations have come, accolades have been awarded or whatever since that point, but it can’t be nobody else’s accolade that’s given to us that is what I think is important. It has to be what we have deemed ourselves to be impactful. I think that answers your question.

Zach: Yeah, that does a lot. Yeah. I don’t know why you’re worried about it. We would’ve struck it if it was a problem.

Anthony: I was just like, what am I?

Zach: It’s a hard question.

Anthony: It is. Pride is a hard thing to like really…

Zach: Articulate, especially in this place where you’re like, it’s not about the ego, it’s about the music. And then when somebody is like, yeah, but what excites you about it? Like, what’s the part that makes you feel like this is worth doing because a lot of people love making music, right? It costs money. It costs time you could be spending doing other things. So to make sure that you really have the space to continue doing it, there has to be some level of excitement which does involve kind of like inserting yourself and your values in the practice. Whew.

Anthony: Yeah. I mean it’s something we’re still learning for the realest of the real. Inserting ourselves in because how can we really get the message out there if we not I mean for lack of a better way to say it, if we’re not shouting from the rooftops, we believe in this. Just whispering I believe in the art I make, you should check it out. Like that’s cool, but nobody’s convinced. And for a long time we might’ve rested on the laurels of we’ll just keep doing the work and the work will get itself out there. It ain’t true.

Zach: And then there becomes this moment where people because in kind of my own practice, I think you brought up against that, right. Where you’re making work, right because it feels good to make work and then all of a sudden somebody asks you, “so what is it? What is this thing that you’ve been doing?” And you’re like, “Well it’s mine and it comes out of my body”. But like to actually learn how to better articulate what it is, what your values are, why you’re doing it is like this huge watershed moment that then opens up all of these additional doors outside of like the things that kind of you naturally trust fall into.

Zach: Like all of a sudden you can direct it. There’s strategy attached to it, right? It’s like if I know that I make work that’s all about elevating like not the actual text to a theater perspective. I’m thinking about another company. But if that’s what you do, then all of a sudden you know kind of who that audience is, how to message the value proposition of what you’re doing and all of that. I think ILL DOOTS is there. And that’s really exciting. Yeah.

Raina: Yeah.

Anthony: I’d say we’re on our way, but I appreciate it. If it feels like we’re there to some other folks, that’s a really good sign.

Zach: Well I think ILL DOOTS has a purpose, has a message of purpose and like a value proposition that feels really, really clear and the value proposition to be, and not based on capitalism. It’s basically explaining like what the value of this is to other people and to a community. And that’s really important. That said, who are the people looking around the city who you see as like deeply exciting? They don’t have to be musicians, but they can be musicians and they don’t have to be independent musicians. We can talk about anybody in the whole world.

Anthony: Is this question on the paper? I don’t know.

Zach: Oh, I tricked you. Sorry. I usually just start here and then kind of go nuts. So, I guess that was number five. So if you’re following along at home, that’s sort of number five. We’ve jumped ahead.

Raina: When you’ve talked to us about your musical influences or as Zach said artists who excite you around town?

Anthony: Musical influences. That’s the question I was prepared for.

Zach: Who’s lifting your luggage?

Anthony: Okay. So now we’re talking about locally like around town?

Zach: Sure, I like that.

Anthony: Yeah, me too man. So one of the first names that comes to mind is actually somebody who was one of my students. I think a lot of Emyne who many folks got a chance to see, hopefully at Late Night Snacks.

Zach: Late Night Snacks.

Anthony: Yeah. So dope. Such a powerful performer, and I mean I get really excited about what’s next. I used to be young.

Zach: You’re still young.

Anthony: Yeah, sure. But it’s about to be over.

Zach: I feel like we’re like the same age, if you keep saying that, I’m going to past out.

Anthony: I’m sorry. I don’t know what you want me to tell you Zach.

Zach: I’m very young.

Anthony: Okay. You’re very young, Zach.

Raina: How are your knees?

Anthony: Chill, Raina, chill

Anthony: Okay. For what I’m really saying is though, I’ve been in spaces where it’d be like, we need to get you on board because we need more of the youth. Like we need those people who say something like that, you got to be a boomer plus to think I’m the youth. Come on, you playing. So there are real youth out there like they are and I’m excited by the work that they’re putting out there. I think, and so thus I mentioned Emyne that’s how I mentioned another one of my students, Kaheem. [inaudible 00:21:56] who was just like another young rapper who isn’t just a rapper.

Anthony: I’m not really enthused by rappers who just rap. I need you to also feel like you write songs. I need you to though. I ain’t telling you what you got to do. I’m just saying what I need is an audience member and these young people, they’re doing that. When I think of people who are more so like pure peers, I think of like Kemist, I don’t know if y’all familiar with Kemist. He’s a spoken word artists. Kemist with a K. If you’re not familiar with Kemist, everybody stop what you’re doing. Get familiar. I like to say a Kemist, I’m going to just go ahead, put it out there is the best rapper in the city. If you ask me, I’m the best rapper in the universe for sure.

Anthony: But he’s the best rapper out of Philadelphia and it truly inspires me with the way that he works. I’m just thinking about rappers right now. When I think about artists, like I got to mention James Ijames because James is like my, whether he knows it or not, that’s like my artistic big brother. And the way that I look up to his moves and the way he functions, especially from him, I appreciated him as an actor first. I think I first saw him in the Whipping Man at the Arden, but then to watch his expansion from there. That’s what I’m talking about.

Zach: James is a superstar. We’re lucky to live in the same city as him.

Anthony: I was at the Kesselring Award that he received and that was just so beautiful to see my brother shine like that. It was like crazy. I couldn’t be more enthused and it was such a blessing to work on Killing Paradise. It’s like I’m talking about James, I can finish this whole podcast just talking about James Ijames.

Zach: So we have to move on.

Raina: That is right that you mentioned because the first time that I saw ILL DOOTS and James Ijames was in An Octoroon at the Wilma. First, I kind of oh that’s so cool to hear.

Anthony: That’s a juicy…

Raina: That’s also one of my favorite shows I’ve seen. I love that show.

Anthony: Thank you. I was like what role did I have in that. I thank you for that. Also somebody you saw on that stage Jaylene. Jaylene Clark Owens.

Zach: Jaylene Clark Owens is a superstar. A living treasure.

Anthony: Yes. The most recent Haas recipient come on and come through and get your check queen. Yes. She just wrote her first book. Another just like inspiration performer, poet. Like people who have this appreciation and agility with words and performance like deep, those are the people who really wet my whistle. Those are the people that peak my interest. If we’re talking also like theater, I think about applying mechanics. I remember seeing Portmanteau, like at UArts and they pulled their fucking play out of a suitcase. That’s aspirational for me. We’ll do shot of a suitcase and it fully fills a whole room. Like you know what I’m saying?

Anthony: So like what Becky’s doing, what she’s been doing. And like anybody who ends up working with her they got the juice. The Berserkers. I think about the Berserker Residents, Justin Jain. Dave Johnson that’s a funny dude. He from the plater so shout out to Southern Maryland. And yeah, Justin Jain is like also a big brother. I met him at pre-college. He had us doing cardio. He taught stage combat. Yeah. He had us in there like if Lizzo was around at that time, he definitely would have been doing cardio to Lizzo. Lizzo is not from Philly but like it’s also an inspiration right now to a whole world.

Zach: I just watched Hustlers on an airplane. I didn’t know that Lizzo was in that and when I saw Lizzo, I screamed on the airplane. I was like yes. I was so excited. It was also kind of strange to watch Hustlers on an airplane anyway. They were like children in the next row over and I was like I have the subtitles on because I’m not great at hearing all the time. I’m like sitting here and I’m like sitting here, “Oh my God, let me cover that. Jlo just said something nasty”.

Anthony: Now, I’m excited.

Zach: Well and I think what’s interesting about Lizzo and what all of the artists that you’ve talked about kind of have in common is this like breadth of practice that like they’re not the idea of lanes almost don’t exist.

Anthony: Yes.

Zach: For me the great joy is that these people kind of swerve around and like finding kind of the next opportunity like closest to them and most relevant. Rather than saying like this is my set path as an artist really like allowing themselves to be expansive and adaptive and I think that’s why they’ve had the success that they have.

Anthony: And that’s why they inspire me. You know what I’m saying? Because that is the way that I like to move through my work and to see other folks doing it. It’s just like any type of visibility seeing it done, it helps put that fire underneath and to say I can do it too. And you will notice I’ve named a lot of black and brown people because that’s important to me as well. That type of visibility and what that represents for a city that is like, I don’t know the exact stats right now, but it’s like 60% black. Like there’s more than white artists out here which is important to see and so I’m like I’m really inspired by those people. That being said I want to shout out another white person, which is John Jarboe and what the gritty ladies be doing man…

Zach: She’s a superstar. She was the last person on this podcast.

Anthony: Really?

Zach: Yeah. Well maybe. I’m forgetting the publishing order, but she was just here to check in.

Anthony: Yo John yo because the way that she works is just full of not giving a fuck about how it’s supposed to be.

Zach: The permissive environment. We were just on a panel, actually the three of us getting interviewed by Katy Dammers, my co-producer. It was so interesting. I don’t think I’d heard her really articulate the values of the beard ladies in a while and because me and John go way back. I ran a payroll for a show over time like 2013.

Anthony: Wow.

Zach: So not like, again, I’m very young. Well no [inaudible 00:27:53] here. It was interesting to hear the values articulated in that way because it was all based in like kind of demonstrating the entire ladder at the same time. Right. And I say ladder because there is a real hierarchy that exists, right. It’s based on an experience and that’s basically kind of what opportunities have been afforded to who.

Zach: I think so often the resources are focused towards the middle and kind of top of that ladder. And what John and the beards are doing is really working to say, “Hey, you’ve committed to saying that you want to do this. You’re in, come on and just dragging people along”. That feels such a fantastic answer. Funny you did to kind of because the Bearded Ladies started as the resident company. Well, it didn’t start, but it had a long history as a resident company at the Wilma into now see the beards taking on residents and taking on like a whole kind of incubatory class is beautiful and so important to see kind of the expansion of that company. We’re so lucky.

Anthony: Yeah.

Zach: We’re lucky to live in Philly.

Anthony: Yeah, I mean Philly’s blessed man. Philly is blessed. It’s why I’m still here.

Zach: Yeah. Don’t tell anybody. No, I’m kidding. No. If you’d like to move to Philly, moved to Philly. We’re not going to be exclusion.

Anthony: It’s complicated, but we love you. Definitely come spend your money here.

Zach: Come here. Yeah, spread the work that’s happening here. Ask some questions.

Anthony: Give us your coins.

Zach: And that feels good. So do you have anything kind of super secret or special plan for New Year’s Funkin’ Eve here? This is not on the sheet either.

Anthony: Special. Yes. Secret. I can’t tell you. It wouldn’t be a secret.

Zach: I mean we’re trying to get people to come.

Anthony: Okay, cool. I will tell you that I’m very excited. We’ve got like some folks who have left and gone overseas that are coming back into the fold. So there’s like a bit of a reunion going on for some of ILL DOOTS and we’ll be bringing some folks that you’ve never seen collaborate with ILL DOOTS to the stage. Yeah.

Zach: So.

Anthony: Yes, we’re bringing some heavenly voices to the stage and I think we’ll be also, I think there’ll be some fun surprises as far as efforts we’ll be making to play some songs that folks recognize. We want to do what we do, which is what we do. But we’ll be moving, making a little space to just have some fun reflecting on some of what’s happened in the year.

Zach: Okay. That’s exciting.

Raina: Yeah.

Anthony: I think it’s exciting. I’m chuckling so deeply internally I’m only letting a little bit out.

Zach: My brain is going in so many different directions, like are we getting like an LD Kiss from a Rose cover.

Anthony: Okay. First of all. That’s amazing.

Zach: That is amazing. I would love that.

Anthony: Yeah, that sounds like that’s one of my favorites. Like when karaoke hits I’m looking for that single. Okay.

Zach: That song is so funny to me because it starts with all children. Right. And I just imagine like a monastery. Right. And it’s filled with these monks and they’re like sitting down in the dark with like candles and their big hoods on and it’s not scary and they’re like chanting and then Seal just bust the door like baby and it’s like excuse me.

Anthony: I thought Seal would have been one of the monks, but he just like whips the hood back.

Zach: Yeah.

Anthony: Yeah. Can’t give it all away for free.

Zach: Yeah, so that’s happening. Tickets are on sale now. There is no refund if we do not do Kiss from a Rose.

Anthony: Last kiss of the decade.

Zach: Yes, oh my God.

Anthony: Whoa.

Zach: Wow. Crazy to think about last kiss of the decade. The first kiss of the decade is probably going to happen that night.

Raina: Just make that the overlap song.

Zach: I’ll be available. I’ll be in the kissing booth, come on by. It’s 60 dollars.

Raina: So I think we typically always ask what your high brow, low brow inspirations are to wrap up. I feel like we really dived into a lot of the artists that inspire you.

Anthony: If I’m going shout out the low brow, I’d be wanting to shout out to every joke on The Office. If you’ve been watching me on the stages at the Wilma for the past couple of years and if you really know your shit, you will spot Office jokes. I put an Office Easter egg in each of my performances.

Raina: Really?

Zach: I’ve never watched The Office, but you two are both big fans. I never watched it. I watched like two episodes of the Ricky Gervais one and that’s it.

Anthony: Those are different.

Zach: I know. It’s funny because you know who was on here a million years ago, not a million years ago…

Anthony: Ricky Gervais?

Zach: Trey Lyford. It’s like, Oh yeah. When I think about clowning, one of my favorite examples of like popular American clowning is The Office and he’s like, “when they just turn and look at the camera it all of a sudden goes from is that being disclosed system to this open one in which the audience is included in the conversation”.

Anthony: That’s loyal.

Zach: I was like, “damn, maybe I should watch The Office“. And that was a year and a half ago and I have not.

Raina: I still cannot believe you haven’t watched it.

Zach: What am I watching right now? Succession.

Anthony: I heard it was very [crosstalk 00:32:40].

Zach: I call it my white Empire. It’s so good.

Anthony: Yeah.

Zach: And my favorite person is French Cookie who is on it. She’s always just mad like walking around. She’s not like, she doesn’t have like big Cookie energy where she’s like yelling at people and stuff or like hiding behind the car as people are shooting, but it’s just her vibe.

Raina: Well, that’s the two dynamics of Cookie.

Zach: It’s just her vibe to like walking around to close the door like on somebody who’s talking too loud in a room and just to me that’s very, very Cookie.

Anthony: It is.

Raina: That sounds like something from The Office, closing the door while someone’s talking loudly.

Anthony: That’s so good.

Raina: Okay, Thank you, Anthony.

Zach: We have to end on time. We’d like to go forever, but we both have other things we have to do.

Anthony: Can I tell people about like something I’m excited about?

Zach: Please do.

Raina: Please do.

Anthony: So Boom Shakalaka, I do want to present that 2020 is going to be popping. Like once, we’re in this new decade, ILL DOOTS is planning on giving you not one but two albums.

Zach: Two albums, you’ll record in 2020?

Anthony: Yeah, 2020, two albums. Two. Jordan is a Gemini. He’s our drummer. Whoa. How does that fit in? We don’t know. I’m really excited man. Just look out. I’m very excited for the music sets to come because it’s actually, it surpasses anything that has come before. That’s what I can say right now. I’m just very excited, so keep your ears peeled.

Zach: That’s exciting. Well, thank you so much, Anthony, for joining us for this episode of Happy Hour on the Fringe and to all of you listening at home, thank you as well.

Anthony: Thank you.

Zach: ILL DOOTS will be performing at New Year’s Funkin’ Eve at Fringe Yards on December 31st of 2019 make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and download the FringeArts app. You can also visit us at

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