Introducing Seth Lepore: Monologuist, Musician, Man-About-Town

March 17th, 2011  |  by Published in featured artists  |  1 Comment

After running into Seth at the Forbes Library and learning that yes, we share a mutual spirit animal (the Fox), AND receiving the honor of meeting his other spirit animal live, in-person (whose identity will be revealed in the course of this interview…), Seth was my clear choice for featured artist this week.

A multi-faceted performance artist and recent transplant to this area, Seth (or “Sethums” to those in-the-know) has wasted no time plugging into the arts community of Northampton. Upcoming engagements include Seth (aka Older than Hours) at the Flywheel, April 1st, with Timecard and Throwpillow, and his award-winning one-man show, Losing My Religion: Confessions of  a New Age Refugee, September 16 at the Northampton Center for the Arts.

Read-on to hear the strange effects Guided By Voices has on Seth, and read even further-on about all of Seth’s projects at


What are you trying to communicate or explore in your work?

I’m fascinated by the line between sincerity and irony. I’m mischievous by nature and that comes across in anything I produce whether it is music, theater or a mix-mash of performance art. Sometimes I like to be very direct; other times I like to play with language in order to point out the absurd ways humans communicate. Sometimes I just want to make something that will make me laugh, then I want to express an intense emotional experience I’m grappling with. Any which way I want to make something that sticks with people and creates inner or outer dialogue.



Where were you when you created one of your favorite works?

When I going to Naropa University in Boulder, CO I decided to try my hand at choreography. I had never been in that position before but I kept imagining this scene while listening to this song “Look at Them” by Guided By Voices. I enlisted four friends to move around the stage in bathrobes doing this cryptic Butoh-like movement and having them stop suddenly pointing at the audience when the singer said Look at Them. Then I threw a wrench into it with the song fading out while “Cinnamon Girl”  by Neil Young started to fade in  and all the dancers started doing this ridiculous rock and roll choreography.

I just loved how willing we all were to try random shit and trust each other. That creates the best art.


How do you see your art in relation to cultivating community, and how does community effect the work you make?

All of my work is inspired by people and how we relate to one another. The word community is actually quite a loaded term for me. While living in the Bay Area people constantly spoke about community but everyone seemed so incredibly busy that they didn’t seem to have time to create the thing they were constantly talking about. The definition of community is something I’m intrigued and frustrated by. Sometimes Facebook can feel like community, a really interesting discussion can take place. Other times it can feel desolate and isolating. I’m an in-person face-to-face engager although I love Skype. The phone and social media are irritating and wonderful simultaneously. I’m also incredibly fascinated by cults. It’s one of the reasons I decided to tackle on the new age movement in my one-man show and why I’m writing the next show on the happiness industry.

I think in general people have good intentions but they get distorted by misunderstood motives and a lack of honesty about their own shadows. When you get a bunch of people in a group and they all agree on the same ideology and they have no sense of humor about their beliefs then you got trouble.

I see my work as a way of mirroring back my observations of the world and the communities I am a part of and/or fascinated by. Of course I have my own distortions and idiosyncrasies so it’s skewed. Community to me is the ability to be part of a large collective that is sometimes cohesive, sometimes chaotic but ultimately respectful of diverse points of view. I also think it is our responsibility to one another to point out each other’s bullshit when necessary.



What is your spirit animal?

My dog Ruby and foxes.


What spaces in Northampton are you most curious to see inside of, or to make work in?

Environments have a huge effect on how I engage with an audience  and I realize that certain spaces work well for certain projects and not others. That being said I would like the opportunity to make work in spaces that are available or easily manipulated for the use of performance. I prefer back box theaters or something similar for my one-man shows that are scripted, but I like to perform in warehouses, living rooms and raw spaces for more improv-based work as well as music performances. I don’t like performing in clubs where people are more interested in drinking and potentially getting laid then being there for a performance or band.

I also have this idea for streaming some of my improv-based shows online to create a bigger audience so I need spaces that have wi-fi access. Again this could be a home or a bookstore. I want to use Facebook as a way to gather suggested material for the shows. Might work, might not. If the space feels right and the idea stays with me for a long time, I’m up for the challenge.



What are some strategies you use to sustain your art practice (while living in Northampton)?

Well I tour my one-man show so that I can continue to make new work in the Noho area. I’m also trying to come up with some fun and engaging creative ways to fundraise for my art and get participants involved in the process. The wi-fi streaming performance is one of those ideas but I’m always looking to expand creative ways to gain capital because grants  and traditional methods of fundraising are too competitive or outdated. Not to say that I still don’t apply for grants if they seem worthwhile. I’m also going to tour my new one-man show in 2012 with a friend who has a solo show so we can share the workload and the resources. Collaborating in that way is really exciting.


What 5 items do you always carry with you?

A piece of paper folded with nothing written on it, some form of tissue or kleenex, my library card, a nickel, dime or quarter and… shit, I guess only four things (at all times).


About Seth

Seth Lepore is an interdisciplinary performer hop scotching between music, theater and performance art. While living in the Bay Area he was part of a plethora of music projects including Spore Attic (pop sacrilege), Music for Sight Seeing (lounge is the new lounge) and Jesus Year (completely ironic christian metalcore). He has been recording at home and performing his solo project Older Than Hours since 2004 and will be performing his freak electro-pop at Flywheel on April 1st with Timecard and Thrillpillow.

His one-man show Losing My Religion: Confessions of a New Age Refugee is a humorous look at the blurry line between self-help and faith. He has self-produced the show in Brattleboro, VT; Northampton, MA; San Francisco, CA and Providence, RI. The show recently won an Encore Award at the 2010 Boulder International Fringe Festival. He’ll be touring the Fringe circuit this summer and performing it in Northampton for ONE NIGHT ONLY on Friday, September 16th at  Noho Center for the Arts. Tickets for that show can be purchased here:

His follow up show SuperHappyMelancholyexpialidocious will be performed in Northampton in April 2012. Talk about long term career planning!

More info on Seth and all his work is available at

Sethums aka Older Than Hours with Timecard and Thrillpillow at Flywheel in Easthampton on April 1st


  1. Cameille says:

    March 24th, 2011at 4:42 pm(#)


    What a great and informative article. You are not only creative but have tapped into the inner workings of mankind.

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