We had the good fortune of connecting with selena rox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi selena, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I grew up in a small city in Maine, just a bit north of Portland on the coast. I have spoken to other people that I tour with/work with in film that are also from “middle of nowhere” type places, and my conclusion from our shared experiences is that not being from a major city where entertainment industry jobs are more common, we have all had to put in a lot more legwork to get experience and networking opportunities to have gotten ourselves where we did. We all had to get creative to break into our industries and create our own opportunities to fill roles that we wanted. I did a lot of volunteering to learn skills for working in live events, a lot of putting yourself out there, but balancing trying to be proactive vs. being an annoyance. It’s a delicate dance to say the least. You can’t be too overeager or you could lose the opportunity you are chomping at the bit to obtain. I think growing up in a place with harsh winters also softens you as a person. I get comments from LA locals from time to time “oh of course you’re not from here, you’re so nice,” and I can’t speak for all other parts of the country, but being from Maine and the way the community is there, how small and tight knit everything is, you have to be kind to everyone. You never know who is going to end up being your boss some day. Personally, I think life is hard enough as it were, without the added challenge of people being shitty to one another.
Aside from the psychological and social aspects from being from a place far out of major cities, I also think about the environment and sustainability a lot, and I do try my best to incorporate that in my work environments, and do my part to lower my impact on the earth.
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 am so overjoyed that I am finally getting recognised for my creative works, more so than my professional event work. I spent a long time creating music, photos, videos, etc, that were private and personal and seldom shared with others. I was wildly intimidated to even tell people that I was a creative because of that good ol’ imposter syndrome and never feeling like anything was good enough to even be mentioned. One of my musical projects was featured on a compilation that my friend’s label put out last fall- Tower To The Sea Records. It’s all instrumental, so I don’t know if I even consider it finished, but I love that track so much. It’s the first time I have technically had a release! I also have only ever played one live show, and it was a very rewarding experience for me. My friends that came out for it had no idea what to expect because, as I said, I never really talked about the fact I was making music. I had stage fright because I keep my music pretty personal to myself, so I created visuals from videos I had shot and images I had created and told the audience not to look at me hahah. I hope to get to do more with my music and visual art moving forward. The most “performing” I do is djing at bars or parties, which is my favourite way to spend most evenings. I am really excited for djing at bars to make it’s full return so I can curate the sonic aesthetic of the evenings for others again.
I have been working in art department for film and tv in between tours the past couple of years and this past month I have gotten a bit more creative freedom on the feature I have been working on. I feel very grateful to be able to work in visual arts and to be creating sets and props that the rest of the crew and the producers have been loving and stoked on. It feels very surreal to get paid to do stuff that you love to do. I hope I get to production design music videos and films more in the future. I think it’s something that would actually inspire me to retire from touring. Unless someone wants to let me be the next Anthony Bourdain, then I am jumping on that and not looking back 😂
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am still reacquainting myself with Los Angeles-Post-Lockdown, a lot of things sadly aren’t the same or didn’t survive and I also haven’t been to many places outside of my neighbourhood since I moved back from Maine in May.
Here is my east side LA run down:
– Breakfast: Millie’s Cafe and Bowery Bungalow
-Coffee: Muddy Paw, Maru and Stories Cafe
-Sticky Rice Echo Park
-Bulan Vegetarian Thai
-Sage Vegan Bistro
-Lady Byrd Cafe
-The Black Cat
-Hyperion Public (for FYeah Fries alone)
-El Flaming Taco Truck
-Taco Zone Taco Truck
-Leonardo’s Taco Truck
-The Black Cat
-El Prado (wine bar staple for me)
Things to Do?
I like to hang at parks with friends, go for long scenic drives, go to catalina island. I like walks as well. There is always something happening so it’s just a matter of finding out what is going on. My friends dj at The Ace DTLA and Cha Cha Lounge a bit, which is always a good time. I love seeing films at the Los Feliz 3, the Vista and Alamo Drafthouse. The Egyptian used to have really niche double feature nights which were cool, I saw a Bergman double feature there once. Cinespia outdoor movie nights are always fun, Gayasstrology Nights at the Satellite were always fun. The Echo/Echoplex has had great programming and a bunch of my friends work there so it’s always a good time. If you look around LA, you’ll find something you like. Houseparties still reign supreme in my eyes, though.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It’s hard to pick just one person/organisation/etc to shoutout for my success. My heart tells me I have to thank all my friends and colleagues I have made along the way. Everyone that housed me (and the bands I first started touring with) while we were in our van touring stages, friends that made sure I had food to eat and things to drink when I wasn’t financially stable, friends that check in when the going gets tough, friends that have stood by me when I am away, and treat me the same when I come back—as if I never left. It’s the little things, it’s the big things, but they all make a huge difference and impact on our lives. I really wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of the real ones. They know who they are ♥️
yellow instax- me, self portrait rooftop polaroid- davis ayer