We had the good fortune of connecting with Angie Scarpa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Angie, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Honesty. I know that sounds like a weird, pretentious answer, but in art, I feel like it really is all that matters. For many years now, my entire life has been wrapped up in live performance. Either playing music in front of a crowd or directing, (stage directing, production managing etc) live shows. In life I’ve made records for very big labels and very small ones. I’ve directed tiny indie features and written scripts that were in consideration at major studios. I’ve directed live shows for thousands of people, directing large huge crews, with massive amounts of equipment, and I’ve done shows in tiny clubs, where I lit the whole thing with a mag light, while running the sound board myself… and, in my opinion, the one element that separated the successes from the failures was honesty. I feel like remaining true to yourself and making yourself happy is really all we have. The best art projects that, regardless of venue or form. When I’ve gotten wrapped up in trying to make other people happy or trying to “sell the project” it has almost universally ended in failure.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think the biggest challenge for artists today (and historically) is trying to maintain creative output while also paying the bills. This get exponentially harder when you live in an expensive city like Los Angeles. It definitely is not easy. My whole life has been a juggling act of entrepreneurial energy and I think that’s what makes me a good production manager and stage director. Keeping a live show on the tracks is a task that requires not only split second decision making but also wearing many hats. A lot of people think that working in the entertainment industry is either stardom or waiting tables (with nothing in between) but the vast majority of artistic professionals are people who “make a living” at art. That’s what an artist’s life is. Most of the time you are working at something that isn’t bringing you an immediate financial return. Sometimes it gets difficult to keep that in mind. Be it practicing an instrument or writing a first draft of something that never gets made. All of it is part of the process… and when you make a dollar, for any part of your craft, that dollar was earned in all those hours that felt like you weren’t “at work”

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Such a tough question to answer in the middle of a pandemic lockdown here in LA. This year has consisted of home cooked meal, lots of creating at home (music, video projects etc) and putting together show that people watch in their own living rooms. As we all get vaccinated and the city starts to open up again, I’m frightened to see which of my favorite spots didn;t survive the year. If you visited me this week we’d be choosing between the hiking trails at Elysian park, Griffith Park or Muholland and possibly getting a sando delivered from Howlin’ Rays, to eat in my yard (to single positive aspect of the lock-down is ability to get Howlin Rays delivered and not having to wait in the hour plus line. I’ve lived in Echo Park for many years now and I like to walk everywhere (it’s the NY roots) so if you visited in a normal year, I’d take you to Dinette for brunch, pop into Stories for a coffee and a book browse, hit up Cosmic vinyl for a few record purchases and then stop in at The Semi Tropic for a good drink or nice glass of wine… then I’d take you to the Mayan to see Lucha VaVOOM.. the greatest show in LA 🙂 Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost my band-mates in Black Sabbitch (Melanie Makaiwi, Emily Burton and Alice Austin) for helping keep my sane through the pandemic. As we’ve been unable to tour (or even get together in studios) we took it upon ourselves to start doing live-stream shows from our backyards (much to the delight of the neighbors I’m sure). It has really helped us keep our momentum over the past year and has done wonders for my psyche. Also my producer at Lucha VaVOOM (Rita D’Albert) who shares a love for the ridiculous and absurd. Getting to work on her show, over the past decade, has been an incredible joy.

Instagram: @angie_scarpa

Other: www.blacksabbitch.com

Image Credits
photos of Angie Scarpa onstage by Michael Wise

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