When Vincent Cooper graduated from New York University this May, he wasn’t sure where the winds of post-college life would take him – and he didn’t mind that one bit. He had already procured a BFA in Acting, a summer abroad studying Experimental Theatre in Amsterdam and a focus on the works and performance of Shakespeare. What would come next?
With his many talents and growing artistic vision, Vincent has already begun to leave his unique mark on the world of gay nightlife, mixing his love of theatre and his passion for partying into a curious cocktail that others are begging to get a sip of.
“I love that I’ve found a way to fuse my nightlife job with my true passion,” Cooper says. “I want to blur the line between nightlife and theatre. I want to provide an experience that makes it worth the time, money and energy it takes to get yourself to a club in the middle of winter.”
Vincent’s first large-scale nightlife theatrical experiment took place at the grand opening of Body Shop, an edgy and artistic new monthly event produced by nightlife promoter Brandon Voss at The Cutting Room. Those who attended discovered a party with not only the requisite bar and dance floor, but also a colorful, detailed and unexpected offering of interactive experiences that focused on the examination of the human form.
One of Vincent’s favorite experiences from that night was a pop-up doctor’s office where visitors were “examined” by actors (one dressed professionally, the other essentially undressed) after being diagnosed by a sassy drag queen nurse. After the examination, the “patient” was presented with a shot served out of a syringe to cure their malady. Vincent’s boyfriend, fellow actor Michael Lorz, also aided in both script preparation and fine-tuning of the concept.
The side effect of this one experience alone, Vincent found, was quite interesting.
“It provided an opportunity for a shared experience, something to talk about or bond over. It was also the perfect opportunity to meet new people. For example, guys were able to strike up a conversation in the doctor’s office waiting room, where it was slightly more quiet than the dance floor.”
This, of course, is only the beginning; Vincent has many plans for the future. He wants to direct his own theatre pieces, perform as an actor in productions and oversee the creative direction for a nightlife company with a budget that allows him to truly unfurl his wings and give the people of New York City what he knows they want.
“I am determined to make it an experience that surpasses people’s expectations of what nightlife is,” Vincent says. “I’m excited to continue working in this way, bringing something to the scene that asks people to be more present. It’s something we need in today’s social climate. We need to be provided the opportunities to connect and be asked to show up fully.”
Want to keep up on Vincent’s upcoming projects like I do? Follow his Facebook profile at facebook.com/vincent.cooper.
XO Justin Luke
Justin Luke is one of New York’s premiere gay party producers and promoters and the co-owner of the nightlife company BoiParty. He is also a six-time published author and entrepreneur.