Interview with Erica Nix for ‘Erica’s First Holy S—‘

We got to interview the up and coming Austin talent Erica Nix for her film ‘Erica’s First Holy S—‘ it’s a weird unique labor of love and will be mind baffling for some audiences but will soon become an instant cult classic.

AJ:
Hey Erica. So how did this movie all come about? Because it kind of almost has a Troma Entertainment film to it when you watch it. Right. So what were some of your inspirations for this film?

Erica:
Oh, man. I have to say AJ, my life was pretty much falling apart. in that moment, I guess you kind of tell, COVID just started, but also is going through a divorce of a short lived marriage. It was kind of embarrassing. My icon grandmother had just passed that was a huge loss to me. Just got diagnosed with Ms. I didn’t know that at the time I just knew that my leg wasn’t working. And there was like a month that I couldn’t really walk very well. And then even during the movie while my nerves were working, I was having a little trouble keeping shoes on and stuff like that. Yeah, but COVID in general, the anxiety that we were all feeling was multiplied by five, for sure. The best way to get through that is through, um, laughing about it with your friends. Right. Kind of making fun of it.

AJ:
Just explain how you, like, you talked about it a little bit and explain how that all came into fruition too. Cuz that had to be such a wild pitch to like open a movie like that right then and there as well.

Erica:
Well, that actually just happened in my life. Right. Like right before COVID I went to a little sexy play party with a bunch of queers and it was kind the first time I had experienced that as a sober person and it was very exciting and then COVID hit and all of a sudden we can’t touch each other. Right. You know, hang out on crowd. We can’t play parties in person. So I just contacted a lot of the people that were at that party and asked if they wanted to do a weekly zoom session where we got sexy for each other there . Yeah.

AJ:
Right. Just when you were was that a group of your friends in that zoom, meeting as well? Or was that just people you casted in that zoom meeting?

Erica
Well, as all play parties, you’re not really supposed to say who was there.

AJ:
Right, right.

Erica:
So it’s a little mix of both

AJ:
Cause like opening that with that zoom meeting was almost kind of like watching eyes wide shut again. like it just like hitting you in the face. And then as the movie went on, it just got kind of more rare and more unique. So were you just kind of like, you know what, I’m gonna go outside of the box with this film and if you’re in it in front the ride, you’re gonna enjoy it. If not, that’s fine. Cause it’s probably not gonna be for everybody. But for those that stick around, it’s gonna be a unique experience. So how do you feel with this, you know, kind of making it strong at festivals and getting ready to come out and the recept and it’s been getting, what has kind of surprised you or not surprised you at all during this whole process?

Erica:
Well, yeah, I love the way you put that because I do feel like just putting it out there in the very beginning is a good idea. Right. And I kind of do that in my personal life as well and out there personality. And I think when you’re as loud as I am, people either love you or they don’t love you. They, they hate you . So instead of trying to like figure it out or change who I am for who I’m talking to, I just like to put it out there and then, you know, if, if I’m not your cup of tea, then you you’ll move on or I guess turn off the movie. yeah. What was the second part of your question? I, I heard the first part and I was kind of keen in on that cause I liked what you said.

AJ:
So like during the festival run and you know, the reception has been getting, what has surprised you or not even surprised you about kind of their response are reset and that it has been getting thus far?

Erica:
Well, I think what’s been a really pleasant surprise is that we were a little worried that it would be very like Austin specific. Like we we’ve done lots of things here in Austin produced lots of fun shows and we know that our community loves our work, you know, and a lot of the information or the things that happen are talking about Austin and things that are specific to here. But, um, so I sent it out to different people that live other places I was worried like, I mean, it was a hit here. I think like people I know here love it, but how are they gonna think about it? And everyone has really connected with it. You know, I think a lot of cities are going to the same growth spurts that Austin is. And um, a lot of the themes, you know, are just universal themes for everybody.

AJ:
Right. And what I’m really laughed at, I think the most during this film is the secret of you talking to the female God character. And like you guys talking about white guilt and everything like that, which has really became a thing over the past, like year and a half. Right. So just having that conversation and almost like the sat tiredness of it all, like how was that writing that down in the screenplay because that’s kind of a subject to where it’s kind of hard to balance it as well in a movie like this.

Erica:
Totally. Because obviously as white people, we do have a lot of work to do. Right. Yeah. And it’s ridiculous. It’s come to like this time for us to finally figure that out. But then it, that’s also funny. It’s like every white lady I knew was starting like a mean white supremacy book club, including myself. , you know what I mean? So it’s like, thank God it’s happening. But also it is a joke like that it’s just now happening. So yeah.

AJ:
And so when you were filming this, of course, you know, it took place during COVID, what were some of the most challenging obstacles you had to overcome to get this film made and prepared for people to watch?

Erica:
Yeah, well, a lot of the film, even just writing the film, we had started on some sketches I think, but we just couldn’t, we hadn’t really nailed down like the structure or we had some huge scenes that we kind of had the idea, but weren’t written at all. So, you know, at the beginning of COVID, I think everyone was afraid to be anywhere with anyone inside. Um, I mean, and we, we were careful throughout the entire season, but you remember like, we were like wiping down groceries, you know,

AJ:
Right. Yeah.

Erica:
Things that were really hard just to do regular life things. So we went to, my friend has that little house in the country and we went and I mean, it’s just, it’s just in the country, there’s, it’s not fancy or anything. And so we planned on camping there. Some of us did, some of us just drove back 30 minutes and we sat in kitty pools in the middle of September, Texas heat. And like, you know, so it was the whole thing. And then also just getting together all at the same time, you know, you have to test, you don’t know if the next time you’ll be negative or positive. So really, you know, the zoom orgy that you saw that was shot the same weekend as like one of the Paltrow scene. Really at the end of the zoom orgy, I thought we had nothing because, we were so dead by the end of it.
It was, it’s amazing that Jessica was able to edit that to look the way it does. We were all flabbergasted. Basically there were, most of the scenes were kind of like on green screen. So with one person, so rescheduling wouldn’t be that terrible. It would be annoying. Right. But it was a slow process anyway, and everyone else in the room would be wearing masks. Some of the bigger scenes, like the guilt scene that Jeremy’s been thinking about forever, I really tried to not do that scene because it was the most expensive and like most difficult scene possible. That one was the one that was like, we rented the venue, we hired a lightning person. We did, we have all these props made. Like if anyone shows up positive, what do we do? You know? It was very stressful, but thankfully it works out

AJ:
The Paltrow scene was phenomenal. It was really funny. It was so great. So like that’s another one I wanted talk to you about cuz you touched on it a little bit, just one like Paltrow of all people you could have kind of put in that scene. Why was it Paltrow

Erica:
I mean the movie is true. I did go on a psychedelic journey and she came to me during that journey all of the jokes that I had about her kind of melted away, you know, I don’t know if you’ve ever been on one of those journeys, but you kind of like forgive yourself and forgive everyone, see every weirdo in your life as a teacher. And so I just like finally realized that, you know, she wasn’t, you know, even though go sells things for a million dollars that you could, you know, it’s definitely, there’s some ethical things happening. I just decided she’s doing her best. She doesn’t know better, you know, lives in a whole other world than me. I was able to finally, forgive Gweneth and let all my judgements go away. So she had to be there, you know.

AJ:
So speaking of Erica’s First Holy Shit, what were some of your favorite moments that you got to film? Were there be with a group of people in the movie or like your own dialogue monologue? What were some of your favorite points of the filming process?

Erica:
Hmm, well, I really love the intro scene after the Covid. We call it a coven bang. I really love that sequence. I just think that Sawyer’s writing skills, like his dialogue is really good. Um, and I think I’m a funny person, but I don’t really have the kind of communication skills that those, you know, that his dialogue has. It’s just so interesting. He makes things like the next level hilarious to me. So, and it was really fun too, to have my little Richard Simmons helpers dress up and ,it was a really pretty day, so I just loved the way that one turned out, but every single scene was really fun. I think actually the God scene was probably that day. Nikki had had a really long day and we had to bring in this green screen into her house and it was like, we were almost knocking things around and God was actually kind of mad at us that day, which worked out perfectly because she was mad at us in the movie or mad at me in the movie.

AJ:
So you kind of helped her kind of go into method acting.

Erica:
Yes. I don’t know if she enjoyed it, but

AJ:
Yeah. So what is next for the film? What do you have planned next for Erica’s first Holy shit.

Erica:
Well, I mean, I think that we’re just hoping to get it into more festivals and get more people more of the world to see it. We’re really excited to see, see who’s ready for us, you know? It’s really exciting to finally have it out there. It’s been a long time of working together and seeing all of our ideas kind of mesh together into this crazy psychedelic like cluster-Fuck, if you will, right? Yeah.

AJ:
Well, Erica, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been really fun and congratulations on the film.

Erica:
Thank you so much, AJ. Oh, I wanted to say too really quick. I just found out the other day. Did you see that Gweneth is going to be on? Um, what does that show? We have it in the movie for a second. Can’t believe I’s forgot it. But the show where you shark tank, she’s about to be a judge on shark tank. Isn’t that amazing that we like saw the future

AJ:
Yeah, you had ESP with this movie too.

Erica:
I know

AJ:
Like watching the Simpsons episode.

Written By: AJ Friar

https://vimeo.com/730503847

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