Robyn Cage set to premier video for ‘Theatre Noir’
Robyn Cage wants to take her fans to the circus.
The Park City-based singer, songwriter and pianist plans to do that when she premieres her new video "Theatre Noir" on YouTube on Tuesday, July 14.
The song, which appeared on her record, "Tales of a Thief," that was released last fall, is about a young man who visits a circus sideshow and falls in love with the tattooed woman, Cage told The Park Record.
"I cowrote ‘Theatre Noir’ with Stuart Maxfield (lead vocalist and bassist) for Fictionist," she said. ‘I would come up with these bizarre stories and he really liked them."
The song came about when Cage decided to stay in Utah a not move to Los Angeles.
"I had met my husband here and he had told me he would move to L.A. with me," she said. "Anyway, I felt like I was this circus freak and that my husband was this normal person who was willing to join the circus to be with me. So, in a sense, I saw myself as kind of like the tattooed lady."
Cage wrote out a story poem that didn’t rhyme or have a rhythmic structure and gave it to Maxfield.
"He loved it and told me to reformat it and make it rhyme and we would turn it into a song," she said. "So, I did."
Even when Cage was writing the story, she knew she wanted make it into a video.
"That meant I needed to cast a ton of people including circus freaks, performers, audience members and a band," she said with a laugh. "I also wanted to do a live video and not a traditional video where you play a produced track and make a video over it, because I felt the energy of the song translates a lot better in a live performance."
One day, while she was at her day job at the Granger School of Music, the headmaster Bruce Dahl told her he wanted to try out a new videographer named Andrea Peterson.
"I told them I would cover the extra expenses to make sure we would do it right," Cage said.
Shortly afterwards, Cage met Scott Thompson, who oversees the performances and talent that appear at O.P. Rockwell on Main Street.
"He saw me play at Prime Steakhouse during the Sundance Film Festival and told me about O.P. Rockwell that had just opened at the time," Cage said. "He told me that the venue had a speakeasy and I went to see the March Fourth Marching Band there and it was the perfect place to shoot my video."
The venue was a dream come true for Cage.
"It had everything — the ambiance, the chandeliers and the cool setting that brings to mind the Prohibition Era in the West," she said. "Plus, they have a great sound system and stage and bar. So, I pitched Scott the video idea and he went for it."
The only thing left to do was organize the cast.
"I reached out with one of my friends who is a casting director in Salt Lake and asked if he could put out a notice for specialty performers and extras," Cage said. "Between that and Facebook posts, we got a whole cast and crew together."
The characters included multiple aerialists, a strongman, a unicyclist, a fire dancer, snake handlers and fans who contributed to Cage’s album via a Kickstarter campaign.
"Andrea and I sat down before the shoot to discuss the video," Cage said. "One of the things I wanted to convey was the real message behind the song, which is that we’re all a little freaky and it’s about learning to love the things that make you unique. So we need to embrace our inner freak."
Cage also wanted the atmosphere and design to be dark and beautiful, but positive.
"There really isn’t any way to enforce that or really create that," she said. "I thought if that happens, then great."
Well, it happened.
"Most of the people in the cast had not met each other," Cage said. "Some knew each other, but there were a lot of complete strangers."
However, the shoot took 10 hours, giving the cast time to get acquainted.
"After spending a full day together performing and having lunch and performing again, they came together as a family," Cage said. "I know that many of them are now friends on Facebook and planning video-release parties as well. So, I think it’s so cool to watch the video now because we managed to create that strange family of circus freaks."
Only one glitch occurred during the shoot, which took place on June 14.
"We had cast a real couple to be the young man and the tattooed lady, but they got stranded in Tooele," Cage said. "At the last minute, I asked my drummer Jarryd Wark and his wife, Sara Camilla, to fill in. They had a wonderful presence and both jumped into their roles."
In addition, Wark not only acted and drummed, but also did the audio engineering during the shoot.
"It worked out great," Cage said. "I’m excited to share the video with everyone."
Robyn Cage’s new video "Theatre Noir" will premiere on YouTube.com on Tuesday, July 14. For more information about Robyn Cage, visit http://www.robyncage.com or follow her at facebook.com/robyncagemusic , twitter.com/robyncagemusic , youtube.com/robyncage and instagram.com/robyncagemusic .
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