I have skilled my share of sad milestones over the quarter-century I have been involved in Orlando’s executing arts scene, from saying premature farewells to cherished colleagues to observing beloved institutions go extinct. But the flip side of this kind of longevity in this local community is the possibility to witness artists I’ve adopted for several years as people today lastly coming jointly, making a excellent new full that’s far more than the sum of their previously impressive components.
This weekend (Aug. 20-27), ME Theatre will present a ideal illustration of these imaginative kismet: Reside All in Really like, an original “passion undertaking” from one particular of Central Florida theater’s most photogenic electrical power couples, dancer/choreographer Elaine Hoxie and performer/photographer Daniel Cooksley. I’ve recognised them the two as well lengthy to fake journalistic objectivity, so I not too long ago invited them above for a chat on my porch about their to start with-ever co-manufacturing, and was stunned to learn in the process how I’m unwittingly woven into their passionate journey.
I 1st grew to become mindful of Daniel Cooksley in the early aughts, when he captivated attention for his delicate portrayal of Billy Bibbit in Just one Flew Around the Cuckoo’s Nest. That was adopted by a string of acclaimed performances Orlando Weekly’s Steve Schneider named Cooksley “Ideal Young Actor” in 2005.
But what I hardly ever realized was that prior to that change in Cuckoo’s Nest — which was only his 2nd on-phase position — Cooksley experienced currently savored a full vocation as a fisherman in the Caribbean before the acting bug bit and he (unsuccessfully) auditioned for a enjoy in Essential West with Kelly McGillis. “I was a licensed captain, 100-ton Around Coastal Master’s, that I would been operating for 16 decades. And I claimed, ‘You know what? I am heading to cling up that hat to pursue performing.'”
Elaine Hoxie, who grew up finding out dance in the Midwest and credits “a wild hair up [her] ass” for her 2003 go below, came on my radar not long right after Cooksley for her function with Casey Saxon’s CineDance, as properly as the theme parks and Orlando’s then-nascent burlesque scene.
As it turns out, Hoxie and Cooksley very first fulfilled in 2007 in the Orlando Shakes greenroom for Bent, a Holocaust drama I co-generated by means of Empty Areas Theatre Co. With Cooksley playing a tortured concentration camp prisoner and Hoxie undertaking a dance preshow, Cooksley recollects their get hold of was “just in passing [because of] the context and the information of the demonstrate. It wasn’t like we ended up backstage and all people was like all pleased and joyous.”
Dancer/choreographer Elaine Hoxie and performer/photographer Daniel Cooksley fulfilled in 2007, turned associates in 2021.
Right after that temporary face, each went their individual ways. Cooksley grew to become a chook coach and a skilled carpenter, and concentrated on getting sober immediately after a long time of struggles with substances, lately celebrating 10 yrs of sobriety. Hoxie sojourned in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, stunt-doubling for Pink (which she calls “1 of my most loved positions I’ve at any time experienced: We are shut in age, we’re each Virgos, we vibe”) and co-starring in alluring shows on the Strip. But each individual sooner or later manufactured their way back again to Florida. Cooksley starred in some of Theatre Downtown’s closing productions right before concentrating on his pictures business and Hoxie has danced with troupes throughout the area, such as her very own Foxy’s Den, who are weekly fixtures at Mathers Social Collecting.
The pair arrived alongside one another once more in 2019 on the solid of Phantasmagoria — yet a different exhibit I co-manufactured — and speedily grew to become near platonic pals, ultimately producing the transition to intimate associates through the 2021 Orlando Fringe Competition. Hoxie has also turn out to be the muse for Cooksley’s putting pictures, which he posts on Instagram at @allin_images1. One particular of these images — that includes Hoxie with flowers Band-help-ed across her body — was selected for an art expo in Tampa final calendar year, sowing the seeds for their new present just after she choreographed a dance for its debut.
Motivated by Alice in Wonderland and their beloved artwork-rock band, the duo nurtured that single piece into an total evening exploring the summary thought of appreciate by way of spoken word, motion and visible projections, all made by the couple. With Cooksley serving as narrator, Hoxie embodies the like-trying to get protagonist, joined onstage by Carlos Dimas and Kim Matovina in a dance-pushed narrative encouraged by her own tale.
Since the subject is so individual, Hoxie states she and Cooksley “have basically completed almost everything from the enhancing, the movie, the photography, the promotions, the internet marketing,” mainly because as Cooksley claims, “It is tough to hand that around to someone who may well not be as passionate, and place as a great deal psychological truthful energy into it.”
“We are not in any way indicating we are gurus or daily life coaches, or anything at all like that,” Cooksley disclaims in his opening monologue, insisting “all we’re carrying out is just telling a story that is important to us,” but do not be amazed if his and Hoxie’s radiant glow — which is obvious in the way just about every listens with laser emphasis though the other speaks — rubs off you on a tiny.
“I assume that there are periods when we focus on the adverse, particularly in these fucking periods,” observes Cooksley in closing. “It is so simple and you get inundated and consumed by that, but there is certainly just as much enjoy there is certainly just as a lot optimistic electricity out there as there is detrimental if you opt for to emphasis on that.”