Performers Risa and Zane Rubin along with Poppy Jean Crawford are all dropouts. Not only have they all split from school, but they have all dropped out of the repetitive sameness of the L.A. music scene.
That’s why they decided to throw the Dropout Variety Show, something fresh that regular scenesters might get inspired by. Something new for a young artist to discover. It’s a show that combines stand up comedy with music and even has a piano player in between acts, just like in the golden days of entertainment, when people didn’t take art for granted and when artists gave a shit about their craft.
The hour and a half show, with one intermission, will take place at The Smell on Sunday at 9 p.m. Get all the detail here.
Lo-Pie got to hang out and ask some questions to each member of Dropout. See what they have to say below.
Where did the name “Dropout” come from?
Risa: I chose “dropout” because the three of us have all dropped out of school. When you leave school, the word dropout starts to take over a lot more aspects of your life than you would think. You find you don’t have a schedule or a place you need to be regularly. You don’t know very many people because your friends are all in school, and you may not have a place to live because you either don’t want to live with your parents or they don’t want to live with you. So it starts to feel like you’ve dropped out of life entirely. I thought the title was a good way to identify ourselves as social pariahs, who are sort of taking back the bad/taboo parts of ourselves and turning them into good.
Poppy: Well there’s the obvious surface answer, then there’s the deep inner-message answer. First of all Zane, Risa and I are all dropouts of sorts. I not too long ago dropped out of high school to pursue music. But in a deeper sense, it just means breaking from the norm and dropping out of what’s expected.
The show isn’t just music, it has comedians and other acts. What made you decide to combine the two?
Risa: Zane and I are sisters, and she does comedy and I do music, so it made sense. We have the same taste, and I have always liked the idea of interdisciplinary shows. I also know a lot more about comedy than music, or at least that’s been true up until recently.
Zane: There was a show at Spacedust before this that Risa hosted, and I read poems there. We weren’t allowed to have stand up comedy, which was a bummer because Risa and I are sort of obsessed with comedy. We really just wanted to have anything that was great, no matter if it was music, comedy, poetry, performance art, etc. Luckily we now have the chance to do that.
Poppy: We thought it be fun to have a little bit of everything.
Will it be like the old school variety shows with a host and everything? I noticed there’s going to be a pianist!?
Risa: That is the idea! I’m not sure how much hosting there will be because I’m not that good at talking, but Poppy and I do have a little theme song for the show. And yes my friend David [Hertel] will be playing piano at the beginning and in between acts!
Zane: There is no host, unfortunately. But maybe if it gets bigger someone will step in. The pianist is very exciting though, he’s a good friend of mine and a wonderful player.
What else will people be in store for at the event?
Risa: Some really talented people! I know everybody says that, but we’ve worked really hard to make sure every person is exciting to see. We have a great comedian, Jake Weisman; a rapper, Waju; and some really unique performances from my friends Aman Showbiz and Judge Boothby. Aman is sort of bridging comedy and music, and Judge will be doing a performance in character. Plus us! I’m a harpist, Zane made a feature film at fifteen and Poppy is sort of like the teenage girl version of David Bowie.
Zane: Hopefully an audience.
This event is different than a lot of other shows in L.A., what would you say to a scenester to lure them into something new?
Risa: I would say this is something different, come to this and you could be on the cutting-edge of a whole new scene. And we are girls! Talented, young girls who make stuff and aren’t using shock or bubblegum cuteness to gain attention.
Zane: If you don’t come I’m going to kill myself and it will be your fault.
Poppy: The Dropout Variety show differs from a typical club show. Instead of having one person play for 30 min then a break then another person playing, it’s gonna be about an hour and a half show with an intermission in-between.
Do you plan on hosting other events under the name Dropout?
Risa: Yes, I would really love to. We are hoping to make this a monthly show if all goes well.
Zane: If it goes well, definitely.
Poppy: Yes. We definitely want to make this a monthly show with new locations every time (wink wink wink).
If anything, what do you want to achieve with this event and/or Dropout?
Risa: The goal is to make a beautiful, funny, fun, inspired show. To make something I want to see! It is also to create a community rooted in real creativity, rather than in being cool, hip, trendy or popular. And to give ourselves a community, as people that have never really had one.
Zane: Something, dare I say, original?
Poppy: I guess we just want to make something of our own, something special for the unusual.
Most importantly, what is your favorite kind of pie?
Risa: Apple pie a la mode from Astro Family Restaurant!
Zane: One I can afford. But also one with ice cream on it, which I know adds to the cost.
Poppy: Cherry. Or do I like cherry? Okay, like a very unhealthy purely artificial cherry.