Enrique Acosta x The Local Artistry

Sitting in a local Mexican restaurant sipping apple soda and eating a breakfast burrito, Enrique Acosta talks to me about his 2004-2013 play “Spider Baby the Musical”. I got to hear about this epic musical adaptation, life on the road, and some behind the scenes action from his cast!

Photo from Google Images

thelocalartistry: Why did you choose to direct your play Spider baby the Musical?

Enrique: "Well mostly because no one else would do it. I went to the empty space and told them 'I guess I’ll do it'. I have no idea on why they said yes, but they said, 'yes'. That’s what started the idea of ‘Hey. Maybe I can direct’."

thelocalartistry: What is Spider Baby the Musical?

Photo from Google Images

Enrique: "Spider baby the musical is a horror rock musical based on Jack Hill’s post film in the late 60’s. It follows the Merrye family. Each member has a generative disorder that hits at puberty that causes them to lose control of their impulses. Along comes some distant relatives that want to sell off their land and then the hilarity ensues. It’s this really dark, funny, sexy show that we decided to set music too. One of the things we tried to do though was stay away from pulp culture references. There’s no self-aware camp, we are actually trying to disturb the audience at several points."

thelocalartistry: So Spider Baby wasn’t originally a musical?

Enrique: "No, we got the rights from Jack Hill the guy who wrote and directed the original."

thelocalartistry: What was the process for that?

Enrique: "Well the first thing was tracking him down which was harder than I thought it would be. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want people going out and bugging their favorite directors...so I get in contact with him and I give him my pitch. I play him some of the songs I came up with. He looks at me and says, “Ok people are talking to me like once a week with trying to make spider baby a musical. What makes you think you can do it and other people can’t?” I said “That’s easy. I’m not trying to make any money”. He laughed and let me have the writes."

thelocalartistry: Did you always direct your play in other cities?

Enrique: "There was this guy who did a production of my show in San Diego, Jeffrey Wienckowski. He just finished his grad program to become a director. He did such a better job!...Quality wise, the look of the show and the show itself just flowed so much better. Jeffrey just understood how to do stuff in theater that I just didn’t know how to do."

thelocalartistry: How long ago was the last showing of Spider Baby the Musical?

Enrique: "The last production of Spider baby was in 2013 at the Ocean Beach Playhouse. That was with another director taking it on."

thelocalartistry: What made you take the show on the road?

Enrique: "The whole idea about taking my show on the road came from a conversation I had with the guys who did “Evil Dead (the play)”. They told me that’s what they did: took the show on the road on their own. It was on their own dime. The idea was to show it to as many people as possible and try to find a producer. That’s what we did took it on the road and put it in front of as many people as possible. I went into a crazy amount of debt. We traveled all across the country and went up into Canada."

thelocalartistry: What was life like on the road?

Enrique: "It is 70 percent mind-numbingly boring, it is 20 percent terrifying, about 10 percent mind blowing. It’s kind of like wading knee deep in shit and once in a while finding a diamond. You find one often enough to keep on going but not so often that it’s an entirely pleasurable experience and the cast got laid so much. I know this because they kept on telling me (oh God they just kept telling me)."

thelocalartistry: Do you like directing compared to writing?

Enrique: "Looking back on it now, I’m an “ok” director. I’m not bad I can occasionally make something cool. Over time I became a better director using trial and error. For the most part, I just think I’m happier writing."

Enrique Acosta for our August Blog Interview

Photos from http://809347867863812564.weebly.com/photos.html

Editor: April Reed

#acting #directing #plays #travel