creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Monday, May 13, 2013

GAY MAY DAYS Satyrday Night

GAY NATURE was the feature presentation of GAY MAY DAYS on what we called SATYRDAY NIGHT.  We designed the show as a wild pagan frolic of performances centered around gay essence in relationship to the planet, nature, and our identities. The energy of the evening was phenomenal, beyond our  expectations, but not surprising given our line-up of performers for the evening.  Click on the images to make them larger.

Performers included: Travis Wood, Clint Steinhauser, Gordon Vandenberg, Leopold Nunan Soares, Martin Martinez, David LeBarron, Andrew Henkes, The Miracle Whips, Prix de Beauté, Dan Poirier,  Juval Porat & Jose Promis, Paul Manchester, Ian MacKinnon, Jason Jenn, along with our faun helpers Jol Devitro and Marc Allan Toslu.

The evening started off by putting our production in the context of a historic Greek Satyr Play. After the presentation of 3 Classic Dramas, the Greeks would follow with a bawdy, fun, sexy performance to lighten the mood of the audience after the performance of the tragic plays. In this day and age, we always need such performances to brighten our spirits from modern dilemmas. So, Ian appeared as a Satyr host with a giant phallis, a typical element in many satyr play performances - which he "unloaded" on me with glittery tinsel, helping to transform the intellectual conversation and lead into our sexy Gay Nature production. The show was off to a great start.

Then David LeBarron and Andrew Henkes brought some fierce magic to the stage, doing a rousing and playful  rendition of a pagan invocation of the elements and directions.

This was followed by a fiery performance by the Brazilian dynamo, Leopold Nunan Soares, who thrilled audiences with his amazing three piece samba band, and practically bringing the roof down with his provocative energy.

Following such a performance is no easy task, but Gordon Vandenberg as the Empress was the perfect follow up, as she commanded the stage with her outrageous and witty comic monologue, taking the audience on her booze and drug fueled time traveling exploits. 

Next up was Martin Martinez, who shared a humorous and sexy story about daddy figures followed by a sultry and beautiful rendition of George Micheal's "Father Figure."

We then settled into a whimsical world to delight our inner child with Paul Manchester's story involving himself dressed up as Mother Nature and a story about wishing to be something other than we are with a puppet flower and mouse. 

Then to end Act 1, I  reappeared in a multi-colored glittery cloak and discussed how I was getting more in touch with my Gay Nature, by spending time in gardens, where I presented the importance of the lowly earthworm in the cycle of life, how interesting their hermaphrodite sexual natures are, and ended with a magical experience with an earthworm and I strip down to a worm-like outfit . It gave the audience a very pleasing end to Act 1.

We had a pre-show act of Jose Promis on piano and singer Juval Porat doing some rather sublime cover songs along with an original song by Jamez D, Palacio. During the intermission, Juval returned the to stage to sing a Hebrew spiritual song about the origins of the rainbow. 
Act Two began with Clint Steinhauser's colorful and mysterious performance involving crystal sound bowls and video exploring the essence of nothingness, emptiness, and the void within our lives. 
Then came the powerful performance troupe The Miracle Whips, composed of four phenomenal women. They created a comically provocative and crowd-pleasing piece about the menstral cycle, complete with one of them dressed up as a giant vagina and awesome video visuals!  

Travis Wood brought some Butoh dance intensity with a performance about the nature of being human stuck inside the shelter of a home and the yearning to be free set to the music of Bauhaus' "Stigmata Martyr"!

The spectacular performance artist Prix de Beauté aka Miss Puddles gave a Burlesque treat with her naughty kitty act which included glittery poo and a costume that became a vagina to roars of delight from the audience. 

Ian MacKinnon  treated the audience with a sneak peak of a piece from his  Gay Hist-Orgy Part 3: Mondo Mythological. The myth of Apollo and Hyacinth included video performances by DJ Billy Botox, Lark, and Jason Jenn with masks by Danny Hill.  

I returned to the stage, once more transformed by the excitement of the evening's Gay Nature - and all those drag queens and pussy on stage. This time I appeared as Polly Nater, a drag queen bee, to discuss how we all contribute to the creative pollination of ideas with each other. And also to encourage us to spread the love - and to bloom creatively while we can - just like our iconic  heroes once did and how they have pollinated their ideas into our culture! 

Performance and visual artist Dan Poirier led us into the finale, by emerging as a enclosed flower bud...doing a writhing dance, singing the lyrics to "Let the Sunshine In," and then the costume unfurls to reveal a fully bloomed flower. Audience was invited to sing and dance along with the cast in a climax that lead us into the maypole dance grand finale - more on that in another blog entry.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

GAY MAY DAYS: Friday Night

Cody, Jason, April, Jared. Click on photos for larger image. All photos by Travis Wood.
GAY MAY DAYS got off to a beautiful start on Friday night with an evening of special performances in tribute to LGBTQ icons in "HOMO HEROES." Several LA based performance artists got to honor the spirits of gay greats alongside the Legacy Garden Altar that was constructed from the stage to the back wall.
Neil, Jol, Brian, Tyr

The evening started off with the lighting of the bonfire, a traditional element of Beltane. Tyr Geoffrey Jung-Hall brought a fun assortment of twisted candles that were used in a previous ritual and so several of us got to stand in a circle and pass the fire around as we said blessings for a wonderful weekend.
Jol Devitro and Brian DeShazor pass the fire around
Everybody lights the fire as one
Honored guest Malcolm Boyd in the fire's glow
Then Ian MacKinnon propelled us into the evening with a segment of his Gay Hist-orgy, his tribute to Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, which was also the first piece that ignited his entire tour-de-force series.

This was followed by the darling of the underground music scene, Monica Howe, aka La Muff, paying tribute to the iconic cross-dresser and provocateur, Marlene Dietrich.

Keeping with the Weimar Republic of Germany theme, we moved on to honor the renowned German psychologist Magnus Hirschfeld. Neil Eliot read from his original script about the "Einstein of Sex."

The audience was then treated to the cabaret-stylings of Jose Promis who sang the song "Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves" from the cult classic movie "Querelle" with lyrics by the one and only man of wit, Oscar Wilde.

Then I took to the stage to present a specially formatted section of my play "Cavafy's Caress" about the intimate world and words of Constantine P. Cavafy. With the help of Jason North, we helped deliver a sexy tribute to one of the most celebrated modern poets.

Then to add a bit of performance art variety to the evening, Doug Hammett performed his crowd-pleasing playful striptease number, "Softman", which includes a stunning quilted costume sewn by the multi-talented artist himself.

Act Two got off to a rousing start with the comic stylings of R. SKY Palkowitz and a raunchy tribute to the gay icon, Mae West, whom you should definitely come up and see sometime.

Then Ian took to the stage once again and presented a very heart-felt song "I'm a Man" by the first openly gay pop star, Jobriath, a man far ahead of his time and who sadly was shunned by the public for daring to be too effeminately out in the 70's.

Broadway Playwright Robert Patrick then took to the stage and gave us a little history lesson about early Broadway lyricists and how they depended on female characters in musicals to sing about their sexual longings for men. He charmed audiences by singing a cappella.

Then Brian DeShazor shared an audio clip about the early Radical Faeries movement from the vaults of Pacifica Radio KPFK, where he is in charge of the archives.

Jean Spinosa and Mike Penny paid tribute to one of the greatest rock bands in history, Queen! With Jean as frontsman Freddie Mercury and Mike as guitarist Brian May. Jean explained how well Freddie took care of his many lovers throughout his life and sang "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" with backup dancers Ian and Jason.

Terrence Luke Johnson paid homage to his friend the beat poet Robert Duncan, who was an essential part of the San Francisco Renaissance.

The final performance of Act 2 was Coral Lobera and a tribute to the Grammy-Award winning Ranchera musician, Chavela Vargas.

Of course we finished off the night with the audience participating in a festive may pole dance. Check the next blog for photos from that!