HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN DANCE?
Well my mother was a professional ballerina, as well as my aunt. So dancing is in my blood. They both studied all over the world, and I grew up getting an eyeful of what the human body was capable of, and how much training it took to make dance look so effortless. So my mom enrolled me in dance when I was 3 years old. I got serious about it almost immediately. Within a few years I was competing and professionally dancing. Getting paid for gigs and winning scholarships to studios all over America. I began to teach dance in high school, but shortly after I got hired to be the dancer in my dads show... and as we all know that is a full time job!
AND HOW DID YOU TRANSITION FROM THERE TO A CAREER IN PERFORMING?
It was a pretty easy transition. His shows are so wildly theatrical that my brand of physical slapstick comedy, and the dramatic nature of the way I dance fit like a glove. Once directors and filmmakers saw me in the show, I started to book horror movies (which is also in my blood), and then it branched into comedy. That’s what I have the most fun doing. Making people laugh.
YOU'VE TOURED EXTENSIVELY WITH YOUR FATHER ALICE COOPER, WHAT IS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE?
I would not have been the same person I am today if I had not said "yes" to his offer 12 years ago. He just wanted me to try it out for the summer. But I took to it so fast that I knew it was what I was supposed to do. I had no fear of huge crowds, I could live on a bus with all the boys, I looked cute in a nurse’s outfit, and I could take a punch in the face. I was a shoe in! I have seen the entire world 12 times over, met all my heroes, and I have seen and experienced things that most women my age could not even dream. But most of all, I got to work and form an unbreakable bond with my dad. That is the priceless part.
OFTEN IT'S DIFFICULT TO WORK WITH FAMILY, DO YOU HAVE ANY OF THOSE PROBLEMS?
We are not family on stage. Not at all. We are characters. When I look into "Alice" the character's eyes on stage, all traces of my dad are gone. His eyes seem colder, more villainous. It allows my characters to have a healthy fear of him. And vice versa. I punch and push and pull and spit on him as hard as I can. We are both people that get REALLY into character. The only thing that has ever broken both of our characters on stage is when the other one does something funny on accident. Then it’s impossible to not turn from the audience and laugh your head off. You’re like "I’m dressed like a bloody corpse in a tutu and that’s my dad over there pointing a sword at me.... HAHAHAHAHA!"
THE SHOW YOU PUT ON HAS A LOT OF THEATRICAL AND SPECIAL EFFECTS, WHAT KINDS OF SKILLS DID YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO PULL IT OFF?
Well the dance background certainly helped immensely. I had to train in all types of dance, so the acrobatics helped me pull off certain stunts that look really difficult. My mom did the show originally, so I just took the characters she created and made them my own. A little grittier, a little crazier. She had to teach me to use a bullwhip for the song "Go To Hell". I was 16, and just starting to figure out that I had a sexual appeal just because I was a young girl with a weapon. But I looked like a ringmaster with the whip rather than a bad ass guardian of the gates of hell that I was SUPPOSED to look like. She taught me how to sneer, to crouch down, to crack that whip like I was actually defending myself, and POOF, a character was born. Each and every person I play on stage, whether it’s a gang member, or cold ethyl, or Nurse Rosetta has had a special skill I had to figure out on my own. When we decided to shoot sparks off my crotch with a metal plate and an angle grinder in Nurse Rosetta, I have to admit, I was like, "you want me to put WHAT WHERE?!!?"
YOU'RE ALSO AN ACCOMPLISHED ACTRESS, HOW DO ACTING AND TOURING COMPARE?
Nothing compares to a live audience. Nothing. Live feedback is indescribable. Hearing an audience gasp, and scream, and hate you, and love you, and cry for you... you get to see the results. With film, you get time to really dig into a roll. There is less spontaneity to it, but it is a more difficult art form for me personally. To do a scene over and over and over, and still hold a genuine emotion is exhausting. But when you do it right, and if you’re brave enough to watch a movie you’re in with your friends, and they cry or laugh when they are supposed to, you feel really accomplished.
AND HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE DIFFERENT WORLDS OF ACTING AND TOURING?
I try and do both. I’m really working hard on my film career because there are very few women in comedy that are Jim Carrey/ Chris Farley like comedians. I think I have that. I have been doing way more acting work lately, and I miss the tour. I miss being dirty, I miss being injured... I miss the free beer.
YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY MULTI TALENTED, DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER HIDDEN TALENTS WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YET?
I’m great with kids. I know. Weird right? I think when you are in the music business; part of you never grows up. I think kids can see that in me and identify with it. As far as it being a talent, I don’t know.... maybe I'll make a movie called “The Kid Whisperer”. Oh, and I'm really good at sprinting. And I love to race people. I’m like a cheetah. My dad was a runner too, but he was a long distance runner. Not me, I just run as fast as I can for as short of a distance as I can. I think I just like to beat people. lol
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
Well I am studying improv with the comedy groups The Groundlings and The Upright Citizens Brigade. I’m training to be on Saturday Night Live. It’s always been a dream of mine. I just did a cameo on the new Farrely Brothers movie called Hall Pass, I just did another film called City Of Jerks where I take a dive in a giant pile of poop. And I also just wrapped a film I star in called disintegration. It’s about what happens when you do what your instincts tell you, and it backfires immensely. It’s a brutal movie. You will laugh, you will cry....you will probably pee your pants. Its great.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
I’m really into emo punk. Alkaline trio. The Descendants. The Marked Men. I have to admit, I loved blink 182 in Jr high...and I still do to this day. But without sounding dorky, I love my dads music. I love it. He spans so many different genres that it’s hard to NOT find something you love in his catalog. My favorite record is from the inside. It was an amazing album.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
Try and keep up with my dad.
See more of Calico Cooper: