It’s 10pm, Hollywood, and there are people amassing everywhere. It’s a beautiful mess in a way only Hollywood can be on a Tuesday night. My nose picks up the hunger-inducing smell of LA’s infamous bacon-wrapped hotdogs. I come to, only to remember that the last time I was here a riot broke out in front of Avalon. I then realize that I’m alone and I have no way inside. I’m then quickly reminded that I’m in a banana costume. What the hell was I thinking? How the hell did I get there? And how the hell am I here now, writing this post?
So how do we get from lonesome banana-wearing-raver to blog post writer? To begin, I have to take you back to 2012. To give you a little background, Eyewax makes videos, specifically of the music variety. They’ve been at it since the early days of festivals and massives and that’s actually how I came into the mix. I wasn’t always taking up real estate at the Eyewax office. Like any other newly graduated 20-something – I was dressed in a banana costume, walking the street.
At this time of my life I happened to be a huge Dada Life fan. Having been dressed in banana fatigues earlier that year while attending EDC Las Vegas, I had my outfit at the ready. Once I heard they were playing a free album release party I grabbed my suit and hurried over to Avalon Hollywood. Aside from the multi-block spanning line, there was only one real problem: all the free tickets were spoken for and I was not lucky enough to get one. Sad banana.
Newly transplanted to Los Angeles, this solo ‘nana didn’t know many people in the area. So while waiting in line I told people my story and how I was hoping to get in by way of my unrelenting suit-wearing fandom. I’d get parting high-fives and well wishes hoping I’d be seen on the other side of the velvet rope. As the line was at its peak the video crew for Dada Life showed up to get footage of the massive pre-show crowd. Enter: Eyewax Films.
I told Eyewax my story on camera and apparently told it quite well. They brought my case to the Dada’s – Stefan & Olle, via my video confession where I was later added to their personal guest list. Needless to say, I bolted inside as soon as I got word just in time to see them take the stage. The show was complete with the usual Dada-goodies including wearable smiles [likely to eat cookies with], a rider of bananas and champagne, and of course a giant inflatable banana to volley in the pit.
The set raged on, people got ugly, and what would a Dada Life show be without inviting some locally grown bananas on stage? As if by some unworldly forces, Olle pointed through the masses towards the back where I was standing and shouted over the mic ‘You!’. I looked around for other bananas because it hadn’t quite sunk in that he was actually talking to me. Once I was able to shake off the confused dog look I proceeded to bum rush the stage.
The crowd parted like the red sea. This was it – my first time on stage with the Dada’s. In my total fanaticism I seemed to lose all motor skills and had to be arm-craned onto the stage by one of the security guards – knocking my knee into a speaker in the shuffle. As if my awkward entry wasn’t bad enough, once on stage I turned to face the crowd and froze. The lights dilated my pupils and I just sort of stood there not knowing what to do next.
The stage fright was short lived once I was joined by a few other bananas. The five of us danced through a couple songs where we were promptly soaked in champagne [which burns the eyes by the way] before exiting stage right. It’s not every day you get pulled up on stage with one of your favorite artists. And it’s not every day you score entry via the video crew you just met outside the club. In that moment I knew Eyewax was every bit as cool and different as was the genre of music that’s responsible for one of the largest paradigm shifts the music industry has ever seen.
While that’s surely not my typical Tuesday night anymore and I’ve since retired the banana suit, whenever I hear ‘Rolling Stones T-Shirt’ I’m taken right back to that moment of my life meeting Eyewax. After some research, it turns out I was already familiar with Eyewax. They’re responsible for a ton of videos that played a huge roll in my excitement for years of EDC Las Vegas and Kaskade’s Freaks of Nature tour, and gave me chills with their work for Something Wicked.
Looking back, it’s because of that moment in music that I now work with the team heading up their business development initiatives. The last 6 months leading to this post have been a wild ride. Eyewax has a lot of cool things in development from this blog, a podcast, and a BTS miniseries. Which means there’s a lot going on in front of the camera and of course even more going on behind it. It’s too good not to share and that’s what brought me to writing this blog. Myself or a fellow Eyewax team member will be writing weekly to bring you into this world of music, video creation, business, and of course the feels that come along the way. Stay tuned!