Greetings everyone! Below is the first of a series of interviews to be conducted with Philly Horror/cult personalities. This time around it is the multi-talented Roxsy Tyler, hostess of the often hilarious and always fun Roxsy Tyler’s Carnival of Horrors.
LM: How did Roxsy Tyler’s Carnival of Horrors come into being?
RT: It all started back in the Fall of 2009 when my friend Blake Powell told me he started co-producing a Horror Hosting TV Show, Midnite Mausoleum with Marlena Midnite. I had already known Blake for quite a few years via myspace and facebook and all that fun social networking stuff so when he told me about it I was very excited for him. Blake bought my book when it was re-released so if you read “Big Boots and Black Hair Dye” you already know who Roxsy Tyler is. When I mentioned to him that maybe Roxsy Tyler can be a guest host on Midnite Mausoleum sometime, he said yes, Marlena gave it the green light and before I knew it I was on my way to Clinton, Iowa to host “Carnival of Souls” with Marlena Midnite and Robyn Graves. That was a fun experience especially since I finally got to meet Blake in person after talking to him for so many years. It was great to meet Marlena and Robyn also. They’re both very nice and very talented ladies. Everyone seemed to have had as much fun as I did on set. I was expecting to return to my normal life back in Philly but I’d say that maybe less than six months later I suddenly had my own show.
There were quite a few people who suggested to me that I should do my own show. I didn’t feel ready for it and when I flirted with the idea I saw it as something that would happen in the distant future but it came along a lot sooner. I work for Potent Pictures as an editor and still photographer… occassionally as an actress aswell. My manslice, Christian Grillo, owns Potent Pictures. He’s a film maker, a composer, a writer, and a producer. So, I started thinking, why not? I already had all the resources to make a show. Christian would man the cameras, set the lighting, do the sound, and compose all the music for the show. All of our music on the show is done completely in house. We do not borrow or use royalty free music. In fact, Christian came up with our show’s theme song in under 15 minutes. I would of course be in front of the camera and take over all the editing. The last piece of the puzzle was Johnnie 13.
I don’t like being on screen alone. I can do it but I’d rather have someone next to me that I can rip on and someone there to rip on me aswell and have the viewers choose who’s side to be on. At this point I already knew Johnnie for a few years and knew that he and I had similar tastes when it comes to Horror so there was no question about him coming on board for the show. People will joke around and say they don’t like Johnnie 13 but without him and those stupid scenerios we get ourselves into the show really wouldn’t be the same.
This is something we started doing just for the five people who wanted to see it. Now we’re grateful to say there’s many people out there who enjoy Roxsy Tyler’s Carnival of Horrors and we feel extremely fortunate to have all the love and support that we’ve gotten within the past year. As long as there are people out there who want to see it we’ll keep doing it.
LM: Describe the creative process for putting together an episode of the Carnival.
RT: The hardest part is always figuring out what exactly we’re going to do. We mostly like to parody something that’s happening in the movie we’re showing and have that carry along as a story in itself each time we come back from the movie. I’ll write as much of the ideas out as I can by myself but a lot of times I’ve had Johnnie and Christian (Mr. Potent) help me out along with Christopher Walter who’s been on the show a few times as well. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to come up with an idea and next thing you know I’m writing an entire episode based on their idea. Once it’s written, Johnnie and I usually only have a couple of days to go over it and then we set a date to film. Most of our shows were filmed in one night. Once we film the episode, I immediately start putting the episode together in editing and then it goes to Christian (Mr. Potent) for all the audio adjustments and background music. Once the entire editing process is complete the episode will be put online within 24 hours.
LM: If you and Johnnie 13 could host any film, what would you pick and why?
RT: Wow! There’s so many I would like to host. I can’t speak for Johnnie but I would really like to host the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I think that’s on top of the list along with Rocky Horror Picture Show and Halloween. I also want to host “Freaks”. I was heart broken when I found out it wasn’t public domain. “Theater of Blood” starring Vincent Price is another one. It’s actually one of my top favorite horror films. There really are so many films I would personally like to host including ones that have nothing to do with horror like the Marx Brothers Films and the Batman film from the 1960s’. I think if Johnnie 13 had his pick he would host the Universal Horror Films. I want to also but if I had to pick just one I would pick Texas Chainsaw Massacre because that film to me is Horror at its best. Other than that, this question is too hard for me to answer. I would be up all week typing out a list for ya.
LM: What are your long-term goals for the Carnival and yourself as a writer/hostess?
RT: To just keep doing what we’re doing now and get progressively better at it. We might try to get our show on television somewhere down the line but I’ve been against the idea. If people want to watch our show I rather them be able to do it when it’s convenient for them and they can because we post our show on the internet on vimeo (http://vimeo.com/carnivalofhorror). They can even download the episodes there if they wish to. I think when you’re trying to gain exposure for something you’re doing you want it to be convenient for people and if we were on television we’d probably be more esteemed for what we do but how many people are actually going to see it when it’s on some random public access channel in the middle of the night? We’ve done fairly well on the internet so I’m very happy with that.
LM: Will there be more literary endeavors in the future like your collection, Big Boots and Black Hair Dye?
RT: You never know. I started writing a new book shortly after I published Big Boots and Black Hair Dye but I never finished it. I would love to have another book completed especially to show how much I’ve grown and have improved since Big Boots and Black Hair Dye. The book I was working on was another compilation of short stories and poetry. I would like to get around to finishing it someday.
LM: What is a fun, little known fact about you that your viewers and readers of this blog may like to know?
RT: I clubbed a nun when I went to Catholic school. It’s a totally true story. My Mother can back it up for she witnessed the hit heard around the heavens. Just so you guys know, the nun did hit me first. I would never condone unprovoked violence towards nuns. 🙂
There you have it, ladies and gentleman. Roxsy Tyler, host of Roxsy Tyler’s Carnival of Horrors, which can be viewed at: http://vimeo.com/carnivalofhorror
The Carnival is a hell of a good time so I highly recommend watching. Thanks for reading, folks!