creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Feast of Love

Harvest Man Jason - all photos by Gregory Frye
Nov 8 & 9 brought a bounty of the freshest, hottest underground gay performance art that Los Angeles has to offer in the show HOMO-HARVEST: a mix of music, spoken word, video art, and fabulously interactive tasting ceremonies - all centered around themes of food, nature, and the rituals of autumn. I co-produced and curated the event alongside the amazing Ian MacKinnon and featuring over 20 different performers. 

I started off the evening on stilts as Harvest Man, an 8’ tall "Green Man"-like figure. I re-purposed one of my original costumes (The Tree Spirit, from a performance piece called "Ash: Axis Mundi World Tree" - I'm glad I keep my costumes organized) with a few autumnal leaf flourishes and a staff of fall flowers.  As audience arrived to the venue through the parking lot, they were greeted with a fire pit and my larger than life presence. Once inside, they were treated to a warm atmosphere complete with our sacred Cornicopia altar, a Tarot card reader, and Glitter Manicure station.


click on photos to enlarge
After a pre-show band warmed up the audience, Ian hosted the evening and summoned me into the theatre to propel the audience into our sexy & sacred evening with a performance ritual that cleansed the space and introduced the concept of our interactive tasting rituals - which started with our sexy Harvest Tribe feeding grapes to the audience after I told the myth of the difference between heaven and hell.  I then finished the piece with an original song I wrote called “Feast of Love.”

The performance helped set tone for our evening of autumnal festivities.

The script and lyrics are below.
All photos by Gregory Frye (
IAN summons Jason as Harvest Man to invoke some ritual. Jason on stilts enters at side door near stage – stands there to perform:
HARVEST MAN JASON: Happy HOMO-HARVEST everyone! It is Harvest time, the season of the year where the bounty of our labors has been gathered and it is time to share with each other and celebrate.  It is the time of year where our hands have worked hard to gather up the goods, the harvest grains, vegetables, and food we need to sustain ourselves. Our hands have toiled. They have touched the sacred energy and grace of the Earth. They have reached into the fertile soils, both physically and spiritually. They have gotten dirty in that process and there’s nothing wrong with being a little dirty. I imagine tonight you're in the mood for some good clean AND dirty fun! Am I right? It's ok to have a dirty mind, but let's maintain some good hygiene. So let us welcome to the stage our sexy Harvest Tribe to help invoke a bit of ritual magic for us to cleanse our spirits so we can enjoy our rich feast.
As he speaks the Harvest Tribe enters in reverent procession to the stage down the center aisle, lead by two performers with a bowl of soapy water and a bowl of pure water. They step onto the stage and face out to the audience in the center, about a foot apart from each other, soapy water stage left, pure water stage right. They have enough space in front of them for other Tribe members to walk in front of them and still remain on the stage. All Tribe members have a wash cloth over one shoulder.
4 Sexy Harvest Tribe members line up behind Doug & Jeff on the stage in a semi-circle. They pause. 

HARVEST MAN JASON: Ah yes, we must maintain a proper balance between what we deem as clean and dirty. Both are essential parts of life, and we shouldn’t be scared getting a little dirty in order to gather up the goods. But we are here to feast on those goods. And so we must cleanse our hands.
The tribe member stage left moves to side with the soapy bowl. He dips his hands inside, sloshes around sexily, and holds up the soapy water and lets it pour out of his hands slolwy, rubbing the soap around - sensuous. He moves across in front to the other side and rinses his hands in a similar manner. The next tribe member dips into the soapy. And this cycle continues. When all are done rinsing, they take the towel on their shoulder and dry their hands. All 6 tribe members fulfill this task.
HARVEST MAN JASON: Our hands are the greatest tools for our labors and we must cherish and respect how they serve us.  There is a time and a place for each. But out of respect for each other tonight and to better serve everyone, our Harvest Tribe cleanses themselves. And as they perform their ritual act, they cleanse for all of us. We create a sacred space here at Spirit Studio where all of us can cleanse ourselves from the outside world - enabling us to be fully present to receive the presents of HOMO-HARVEST. Breathe in and breathe out – feeling clean and refreshed. Our Homo-Harvest tribe has performed their ritual washing the hands - stick around you never know, you may get to see them cleaning up some other body parts too. Now, just to be certain we're germ-free, we’ll give ‘em a quick antibacterial squirt... as required by the various health codes and regulations of state and federal government Food and Drug Administrations! Ah. Ok.  Good.
Ian squirts everyone with anti-bac lotion as a final little funny moment. Ian rings the chimes again. The Harvest Tribe raises their hands into the air, palms to the audience to show they are all clean. They then walk over to the Cornicopia Altar, and lower their arms to grab a bunch of grapes in their hands - keeping their elbows locked. They then mingle upon the stage. 

HARVEST MAN JASON: And now, for a story. A parable for each and every one us to ponder. The Difference Between Heaven and Hell. There is actually very little difference. And it is all make-believe anyway - we pagans know better. But if you were to ever visit hell, you would find a large and ornate banquet table. A sacred altar, which we all gather around for sustenance. And tonight this stage, and this entire theatre space is our sacred offering table altar. And piled upon that table is a feast of the most delicious foods you can imagine - the smells are incredible - the visuals a delight. And surrounding the table the denizens of hell are gathered, and they grab the food and look forward to eating it…however, they have no elbows!
HARVEST TRIBE struggles…trying to get food into their mouths, but with elbows locked can’t do it. They moan, groan, growl, salivate, frustration!!!

HARVEST MAN JASON: Oh! How terrible. To have everything you could ever desire to eat in your grasp, and yet be unable to taste it, unable to enjoy it! And so they struggle and are utterly tormented by the fact they can not eat the glorious feast! That is hell!!! Now, if you were to go up to heaven, you would actually see a very similar situation. For once again, there is a beautiful banquet table laid out - exactly like in hell. Everything that you could want to eat is there to tempt you. And just as in hell, those gathered around the table in heaven, have no elbows. However, they are happy. They are joyous. Why? Because while they have no elbows and cannot feed themselves, they have figured out, that they may feed each other. AHHHHH!!!!
HARVEST TRIBE becomes happy and blissful, holding the grapes up to each other to bite and nibble upon. Frisky! Fun!

HARVEST MAN JASON: And that simple act, makes all the difference between Heaven and Hell. And oh, how fortunate we are, that we are here on Earth. The space in between those worlds. And that we have elbows. So we are at choice. We can feed ourselves, or choose to feed each other. But tonight, if you are willing to play the game with us…our sexy Harvest Tribe, would like to treat you with a taste of heaven…so if you would like, let our clean-handed helpers feed you.

HARVEST TRIBE steps down from the stage and makes their way out to the audience, feeding various audience members the grapes, spreading out and taking their time to connect with the audience. Audience may enjoy more than one grape from different tribe members. They may opt out of receiving one. All is welcome.

So we’ve invited you here to dine at our table
And we wish to perform for you, if we are able
In exchange and in honor of life’s banquet which has been set before us here!
We wish to dazzle your tastebuds and pleasure your palettes
All the while amazing you with the alchemy of performance arts long time collected and transformed into confections!
While they delight all the physical sensations, of sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste
How we shall also feed the mind and nourish the soul!
Oh we are blessed that we get to enjoy such moments where we get to share in this Feast of Love with each other
Oh yes, it’s a Feast of Love
That we sweetly deliver
It’s a Feast of Love
That we totally savor
It’s a Feast of Love
That will feed us forever
It’s a Feast of Love
That we’ll always remember
And we’ll hum, hum, hum
For it’s so yum, yum, yum
Oh yes, it’s a Feast, A Feast of Love
And I will happily sing for my supper
Alongside the rest of the gang we have gathered
And when the time comes I will even gladly wash the dishes
With the best possible of wishes!
But for now, I’ve already cleared my plate, and eagerly await for seconds and thirds!
And the harvests and banquets will go on and on
Long after the time we are done, done, done
And the sharing we give keeps on giving
To nurture us as we carry forth living
There will always be new ingredients to entice us
Different methods and styles to try galore
While we can endeavor to explore them all
This HOMO-HARVEST of ours is beyond compare to enjoy!
Oh yes, it’s a Feast of Love
That we sweetly deliver
It’s a Feast of Love
That we totally savor
It’s a Feast of Love
That will feed us forever
It’s a Feast of Love
That we’ll always remember
And we’ll hum, hum, hum
For it’s so yum, yum, yum
Oh yes, it’s a Feast, A Feast of Love

And for that we’re eternally grateful
That we shared in this feast of love while able
So I can truly, truly say, I will always appreciate
The invitation to dine with you at the table!

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