Quoth the Loki

Twenty-two is an age at which most of us were goofing off, partying, or absent-mindedly throwing a drink in someone’s face. That’s not the case, however, with Chico phenom Loki Miller. This week, along with local producer Lanai Winter, Miller will debut The Raven: A Musical of Karmic Proportions at The Victoria Theatre in San Francisco.

The musical was written by his father, local theatre veteran Jerry Miller, and is set to a rock n’ roll soundtrack by Chico State professor, Marcel Daguerre. The script was inspired by Edger Allen Poe’s, The Raven, and is an imagined telling of the events, often dark and supernatural, that lead up to where Poe’s classic poem begins.
In addition to directing, Loki’s been involved in every step of pre-production, from building the set to hand-picking the musicians (locals Joshua Hegg, Michael Bone, Melinda Maxwell, and Gavin Fitzgerald). He’s also assumed the role of lead guitarist for the band which performs live throughout the show.
With little time to spare, Loki graciously took a moment to give us some insight into the magical world he’s helping manifest for the fortunate denizens of the Bay Area.

What’s different about this musical?
I think the play does a wonderful job of capturing Poe. I don’t think there has yet been written a work that so strongly can represent Poe and not be Poe himself.

How would you compare this production to the last time it was performed?
I remember the 2004 production very vividly. I was fourteen years old and I ran the spotlight. Very powerful, very strong, positive memories of that. I think we’ve evolved this performance from that production. I’ve purposefully sought to reinterpret many things or otherwise change or alter them, but my thoughts are naturally based on my memories of the show. They’ve been marinating in my mind for eight years.

What’s it like working in San Francisco?
Very similar to other experiences I’ve had in artistic endeavors. The only thing that’s really changed the process is the people involved. The team makes a world of difference. Same show, different people equals different show. It’s been certainly one of the most rewarding artistic experiences I’ve had in my life.

How is it working with an unknown group of “big city” actors?
Very rewarding. The actors I’m working with are well studied. In the rehearsal room, they challenge me like I haven’t been challenged before as a director. It’s some very exciting artistry in those rehearsals.

What’s your favorite thing about this musical?
My absolute favorite thing about this musical is that it came from my father. Sometimes he gets the eyes like the angel behind God in the Adam and God painting at the Sistine Chapel.

What drives you?
What keeps me motivated? I DON’T KNOW. It’s very satisfying though. Every day in the theatre I get to play doing work. I work on the set, I listen to the band practice, I chime in here and there. It’s fantastic.

How has bringing a band from Chico affected you?
It’s like being in a dream in some ways. I used to literally dream of being accepted in to art schools and to be able to just to be among artists and things like that. This is very much like a dream for me.

How do you manage directing the play and playing guitar in the band simultaneously?
I watch and play guitar from the front. The band is under some platforms. I think they like it.

You’re doing a rock ‘n’ roll musical based on work by one of the stalwarts of English literature. How do you achieve a balance between a classical genre and modern medium without alienating fans on either side?
For me, classic literature and rock and roll go hand in hand. I don’t think fans of classical literature and fans of rock and roll are necessarily different people. I enjoy my classic literature with my rock and roll and vice versa. I consider many works of classic literature to be rock and roll and vice versa. I think people who come to this show are going to get both at once. I think anyone who enjoys classic literature or rock and roll will be in heaven in this audience.

If you’d like to be in the audience, send someone else, or simply get more info, visit www.victoriatheatre.org

Sara makes the words happen.