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18 Nov 2011

Sophiah Ko'i'kas' Interview: Lights, Camera, Action!!!

Hello Eltonites. Today is a very special day. Jack Rabbit was thinking, since long time ago, to invite some actress here, but she had to be an Eltonite. Other time, he thought about inviting a movie director. Or someone related to cinema. As the result, he invited someone who has all in one. And she's a true Eltonite, with enrichment experiences related to Elton. We asked and she kindly agree to be here with us. Her name? Sophiah. Sophiah is a multi-talented and very interesting person. You'll see. So, everybody, please: get up, stand up and welcome the magnificient and fabulous: Sophiah Ko'i'kas!!!!!

Thanks so much for your acceptation. Let's start, please. Which are your most beautiful memories of your childhood? How it was growing up in Detroit, Michigan?

My best memories from Detroit was Greek Town, a very small strip of about 3 blocks of Greek restaurants, bakeries, entertainment. Some of it was sold today though to the gambling. I liked the humid weather... School was tough though. Inner city poverty. I like the feeling in the air there, something creative is in it.

And explain us a bit, please, about your relationship with Greece.

My relationship to Greece is emotional. I went there two times. Both parents are from there. When I moved to LA, I sort of got away from anything Greek because they are spread out here in LA. Now that I connected to the LA Greek film festival, I started to listen to Greek music again and that always makes me feel connected. I have writing project for a movie for the future to be filmed in Greece too. I want to also travel there with lots of money and really explore Greece.

That could be a very good idea, Sophiah! When did you became an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?

I heard about Elton through a teacher who was singing a song of his. I asked him what was he singing and he said, Elton John. I said who is that? He said "you don't know!"? My God sister loved Elton too and her uncle took us to a concert for the first time because we were to young to go by ourselves. I started to like his art little by little that I decided I'm going to Los Angeles to meet him. Long story short, I ran from home and it took me 3 months to meet him. There was a concert at a place called Universal Studios and they had a tent for him outside. Before the show I took a wine glass and after the show I met this guy there and we both went to the tent. The guard stopped us and I said, I was in already, here's my glass, I was hot and needed air. So he let us in. About 15 minutes later, I saw EJ and I went up to him and I said hi and then asked "can I ask you something?" He answered, "take a picture with me?" I said " yes, how did you know" I was so naive about celebrities. He was very kind and he posed with me and then kissed me a friendly kiss on my lips. A photographer was there and took a photo of us too and he put it in a newspaper saying "fan meets Elton John".

Good start!!! What do you like most from his music?

The songs, are so visual, the melodies are great, his early stuff so unique I feel. He continued to experiment and I'm always happy to hear a new cd coming out.

Great! What it was like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? And which songs do you think Elton should add on his current set list?

I've seen Elton 76 times if I include charities. When he performed at Universal 7 days in a row, I went 7 days. At the Forum, he would play 3 days, I went all 3. I saw him in London at Wembley 7 nights in a row that is why my count is very high... He doesn't do that anymore I noticed. I buy his music to support him and to enjoy his art.


How many times have you been in touch with Elton, then?

Well, the first time I talked to him was answered on how I met him... the second time, I was working at the Hollywood Bowl which is the shape of a Greek theater... I went early incase I would see him in rehearsal. They were doing an interview with him sitting in one of the chairs. When I was younger, I was bolder now that I look back. I went up to him and the two people running the interview asked him if they minded me being there and he said "no". I asked him if he ever performed in Greece. He said, "no, but one day I would love to, I hear it's a beautiful country". Later on, he eventually did perform there. He let me take a picture with him too. Then the 3rd time, I think, I just walked back stage at another concert and got in but I didn't ask for a photo, I never hounded him and I think that is why he always let me approach him. Then I flew to Detroit to see family and catch his show there, and I got my sister to walk past guards with the winners of a radio show to meet him. So I met him again. Then I saw him in areas of Hollywood. I was driving and he was pulling out of a building and I was letting someone into traffic not knowing at first it was him until he waved thank you. He was driving a white Mazda. He went right and I went left, never tried to follow him.

How did you manage to reach that?

A great one was when I met a few other girls and we went to Atlanta to see him there. I had no tickets, 15 minutes before the show, I get front row but seeing his butt which I didn't care, I rather be close than far. AFTER THE SHOW, people saw him in the lobby with Prince Albert, Prince Charles brother, and about 11 body guards. I became a bleach blonde and so did Elton by chance. So approach him to say hi and this tall man grabbed me from behind around my neck and yelled Elton. I was in shock because I didn't understand the vulnerability celebs were in in a crowd. He said to the guard " stop, let go of her. I know her, She's from Los Angeles." I said thank you Elton, I just wanted to say hi. Didn't ask for a photo this time. I said "you recognize me?". I'm a blonde now. He said, "of course, you're Sophiah". I asked him if liked being blond and he answered, "of course darling, blond's have more fun". All my friends were so like, wow, how come we couldn't get to him etc...

I went to NY for one of Sting's benefits and we waited outside for him to come in and then later go to the show. When he came out of the car, he said hi to me and posed with me. That picture is on my facebook. I have on long white sweater and he was in green. After he went inside, the guards said, "I never saw Elton stop for anybody waiting outside, he must'/must've liked you". After John Lennon got shot, he didn't like being stopped in NY.

Back to London, forgot to mention that after his show, there were 3 people waiting for him to leave, it was late for us 3 to be there. Princes Diane comes out and we call out her name and wave and she waved back and said "hello". Then Elton comes out and he walks in the cold all the way to the fence to sign the autographs. I got from one of the roadies this huge cardboard of Elton's face down to his shoulders, and Elton signed it... I read his Palm too. I said he'll have a long life and he said "oh good, the rate I'm going"


Lots of experiences like this.. maybe I can have a book just on them. The best one was at the Forum in LA. I went all 3 nights and brought him flowers all nights. On the 3rd night, I went to the stage and this HUGE guard over, 6 feet grabbed me from behind and wrapped his arms around my waist. I grabbed the edge of the stage and he was almost lifting me off the ground. I was screaming Elton, Elton help me... This was when he was using that small piano center stage, all of a sudden you hear the music go from LOUD to drowning out to nothing. Elton stopped playing in the middle of his song and his whole band stopped to. Elton comes from around the piano to the front of the edge of the stage and yells at the guard. "You leave her alone, she's been coming to my shows everynight and bringing me flowers you bitch". Then he turns to another guard and says "tell him to leave!". As the guard is walking to the side and away, Elton follows him on stage to make sure he leaves.. The audience APPLAUDS... I say thank you... and he smiled. After the show, a lady comes up to me and says, I never saw Elton, ever, never stop in the middle of a show to protect a fan. She said she recorded it too..she took my address and mailed it to me... I have it somewhere, I need to find it and see if I can put it on a cd now... it was on tape.

He's let me in a party in NY... He's always been nice, I was told by his security that Elton said I can come in but not to bother any guests that were behind the red ribbon... I better get to the next question...

You’re an actress but also a director, writer, producer. You know an Elton John biopic is planned, due to be released on a next time. Written by Lee Hall, the film will document the ups and downs of Elton’s life and career, through fantastical musical sequences. But can you make a film and say what the man is about? What could depend the success of a film like this?

If a documentary is being made about Elton, I hope Elton has his say in it. To make a movie of his life, I would want it to be true to what he lived, I think that is what will make it interesting and successful.

What do you think of Bernie as a lyric writer? And which one of Bernie Taupin’s songs would inspired you to make a story for a film project?

I love Bernie Taupin's lyrics, they are so picture perfect with a story. The song, THIS TRAIN DOESN'T STOP HERE ANYMORE inspired my to write a whole scene in my movie DISAPPEARING BAKERSFIELD. I wanted that song but the cost would be to much but because of that song, in my imagination I wrote this great scene that I love for the movie. I met him for the first time years ago when I worked at a movie theater, he came to the cash window and asked if I can make change for a dollar so he can use the phone.. no cells ha ha.. I was so shocked. I gave him the change. He was so handsome and recently for the Leon Russell show with Elton, I got into rehearsal from a roadie and I got his autograph for a friend from facebook who is a huge fan of them both who lost his dog so I asked Bernie if he would sign his name for this person to cheer him up and he did.

How do you value the experience about the movies you directed “Disappearing Bakersfield” and “The Lady and the Taxi Driver”? You have been in all crew positions I see, but in which you feel more realized?

I value the filmmaking process because of the imagination it brings up and to make it a reality is great. I was into acting first but my type is not straight so I started to write for my personality. It all goes king of together. I like to produce for the fact you have the say, although I don't like the paper work. I love to see how all the actors bring the words to life and bring their ideas too.. I enjoy being in the editing room and steering the editor in the direction the movie should feel a lot... it feels like it comes to life.. I like those moments.

Ok! You know that’s the Month of Dolls, toys, dummys, etc. related to Elton, obviuosly. We have seen Elton in felt, paper, as a bobble, a mask, as a wax figure, as a lego recreation, and in chocolate. Maybe it could be an Elton doll, but if not, which is your Elton's item that you really appreciate, for being hard to get or for the happiness you've got to have it?

One of my favorite items from Elton was half of his piano stool. At his show, he broke it up and was giving it away by throwing it to the audience. I asked for a piece and he put it directly into my hands and a girl from behind me grabbed it! I started to cry, Elton, she took my piano stool. He went and asked his roadie for a whole new piano seat and broke it in half on stage and gave it to me very carefully. I love the cardboard, which stands about 3 feet that he signed in London that I carried on the plane in my hands back home. I love a personal thank you letter he sent to me from Australia when I sent him about 2 good get well cards when he had through surgery. I sent so many thinking, so many people would, that I wanted to make sure, he'll get mine. He wrote in the card "Thanks for all of you cards, love Elton". I was shocked, it came to me like 6 months after it was post marked.

What other projects have you become involved with? And what are your future goals?

I volunteer for the LA Greek film festival, I am writing another screenplay about a dog. I have a long short that is ready to be edited. I have two other ideas for screenplays. This man approached me to help him produce his life story. My goals are to make enough money where I can finance my own projects.

Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton John's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList, please?


Hahahaha I know, I know ;-) Thank you. Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

Suggestions for fans of Elton, I would like to say, there are still more stories meeting him and having to talk to him... I think the reason he stuck up for me and or let me stay at his parities, is that, I am not aggressive, I'm polite, then I leave. I met a girl who was angry that I met him... there were a group of fans talking after a show. This girl told us how she JUMPED THE STAGE once (I remembered her when she told me the story) and tried to grab his privates! I remember Elton pulling his body away from her hands as she kept trying like they were going in a circles. The guards finally caught her but he must've remembered. That is so rude and gross... Elton is very friendly, very funny, gives out autographs if you asked... he says now, now that he is sober, he really appreciates the support of people who've been buying his music and he sees them from the stage too.

Sophiah, I would like to thank you for your kindness and for the time we spent here. It was really an honour to have you. I will never forget that experience. As Jack Rabbit says: Eltonites' have talent, and you have. My best wishes.

Pictures courtesy of Sophiah Ko'i'kas

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