creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

4 Seasons of Fabulous Feets of Daring Do photos in 2013
2013 proved to be the most diverse and busy year ever for this performing artist and creative consultant, with lots of growth and learning opportunities, new experiences, and fantastic artistic celebrations. I spent the New Year's Eve contemplating the year that was, reflecting upon the various accomplishments and lessons. Here are a few highlights by month.

January 2013
The year got off to a good start, with focus and attention being put on creative collages once again. My midnight collages brought my practice of art happening at night before bed, rather than during the day and became a great way to unwind throughout the year. I performed for the Theatre of Note's Annual Theatre Marathon as well as brought "Songs & Stories For Our Days" to Palm Springs (Thanks Tony & Michael). I also began working as an assistant for Video Designer and Programming wizard Jon 9, with my first gig at TEDX Caltech - the subject was the brain!

February 2013
February continued my love of gardening - wintertime being such a great season for growing winter crops in LA at The Alien UFO* Garden (*Urban Friendly Organic). A trip to Tucson for the annual crystal fair/show with good friends Sky, Orit, Theo, and Goldiscruffs (Scruffy) brought home some real treasures. I relaunched "Songs & Stories For Our Days" in LA, this time performing the show as a singing bartender and with some new staging twists - I look forward to finding some time to do the show again sometime in 2014.

March 2013
March brought another fun performance at PLANET QUEER, the monthly variety show hosted by Ian MacKinnon & Travis Wood. My experience with an earthworm in the garden created a festive and educational performance about the importance of the lowly creatures in life on the planet. Once again I worked for the LA Women's Theatre Festival as video editor and videographer. Getting to video and meet the festival gala host Danny Glover was a highlight, as he was one of my favorite actors from childhood. The month ended with a most wonderful camping trip to one of my favorite nearby getaways, Joshua Tree Nat'l Park.

April 2013
April started with the first annual Hay Days LA by the Los Angeles Radical Faeries to honor the founder, Harry Hay's 101st birthday. Joining the new community has become a wonderful part of life in the year 2013. Drag Bomb night was indeed the bomb. A trip to NYC was most inspiring - especially catching all the life in bloom. It was under a tree, with blossoms blowing in the wind like a fairy tale, where I finished writing the song "Are You Running With Me, Jesus?" based on the book by author & gay rights pioneer Malcolm Boyd. I performed the song in his honor at Lambda Literary's event OUT WRITE! I also enjoyed filming a scene for Ian MacKinnon's Gay Historgy Part 3 as Zephyrus.

May 2013
May turned up the heat! Once more Ian MacKinnon and I co-produced GAY MAY DAYS, a fantastic frolic and celebration of gay history and gay nature. Many memorable moments came from the weekend festivities, including a return of Doug Hammett's amazing unicorns, a return of a section of my Cavafy's Caress performance, the earthworm, being a drag queen bee, and a most wild pagan evening that ended in one of the most memorable May Pole experiences. The Alien UFO* Garden kept providing quite the bounty, and helped inspire my role as WildMan for the California Men's Gathering, where I covered myself in mud and garden materials to inspire men to embody the theme of "Flourish" for the opening nights performance.

June 2013
June kept me on my toes. First there was my Legacy Garden installation for The Lavender Effect in INSTALL:WEHO, in which various U-Haul trucks were host to various artist's work. The Legacy Garden is an altar space/shrine honoring LGBTQ greats from history created from repurposed & salvaged materials. It was complete with a glitter nail polish and make-up mirror station which several people enjoyed throughout the days festivities. I enjoyed getting all glittered up once again for original performances at both WIG OUT & PLANET QUEER. I volunteered for various events in West Hollywood celebrating One City One Pride. Then I journeyed up to San Francisco where I participated in FAETOPIA, a most marvelous week-long event by the Radical Faeries of SF. I got to perform 3 different times, including a 10-minute piece based on the poetry of James Broughton at the after party of the film documentary premiere of "Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton." Who knew that after the week was done, I would be on a new mission to create a full length tribute to his poetry?!

July 2013
I did the cross-country trek from SF to Iowa, where I spent another summer working and connecting with my family roots. While I was unable to work as much as I have in years past for Dirty Face Creek Farm I still enjoyed the bounty of farm life. You can still see what the farm is up and the cool wool rugs that Jessica makes at I caught up with dear high school friends at our 20th reunion: I really love our class of '93 and enjoy how genuinely excited we all are to reconnect and how time has given each of us new appreciations and perspectives on our lives. I look forward to the 25th. I also enjoyed creating and presenting a brand new performance piece, "Songs & Stories 2 Fools Between Worlds", a sequel to the first cabaret show.  It was great to explore and share a new piece with around 60-70 friends and relatives and to present various costumes and props (which I dragged across country in my golden trunk case). I look forward to developing the show for a run in LA sometime in late 2014.

August 2013
The trek from Iowa to Los Angeles was another beautiful experience - taking a different route than I ever had before - across Kansas & Oklahoma. I caught up to some work in LA and then prepared myself for the indescribable and most wonderful experience of Burning Man. Check out my previous blogs for more details and images - there was so much to see and do - really remarkable. I am in such appreciation for my friends in The SunnyMooners camp for making it happen.

September 2013
After Burning Man, I once again had to catch up to work in LA. I am grateful to have flexibility with my schedule. I took on some new professional organizing and video editing gigs. One of the great joys of September was producing the gay theatre icon Robert Patrick's brand new, tour-de-force show "What Doesn't Kill You...Makes A Great Story Later" on his birthday! We're bringing the show back for some encores in March of 2014.  I also enjoyed once again performing the "Hymns to Hermes" James Broughton poetry piece for PLANET QUEER audiences.

October 2013
October brought a retreat to South America, where I was able to once more explore the Amazon jungle and complete my writing of the James Broughton show and some new songs! I enjoy the active busy bee life, but it's retreats like this that allow me to slow down and sink deep within to complete new work - much to appreciate.  I ended the month as a Nymphomancer Witch in a fabulous and glittery performance with Ian MacKinnon and Travis Wood - quite a fabulous way to celebrate Halloween and get my witchiness on with friends.

November 2013
In November I co-produced another wild performance art event with the remarkable Ian MacKinnon called HOMO-HARVEST, featuring a large ensemble of some of LA greatest underground performance artists. It was sublime to wear stilts and perform a new piece as Harvest Man. I wasted no time cleaning up the show, as the very next day I flew to NYC to be technical director/stage manager for R. SKY Palkowitz's premiere in the Broadway District of her solo show "CALLING AMERICA: DON'T HANG UP!!" While there I caught up with a few friends, visited museums, enjoyed leaves in Central Park, saw Charles Busch's cabaret, and went to the historic spot of Cafe Cino on founder Joe Cino's birthday and did a special frottage rubbing of the plaque there for Steven Reigns upcoming Feb 2014 event The Gay Rub.

December 2013
Things did slow down a little bit in December so I could catch up on work and enjoy family time in Iowa for the holidays. It was a cold week, but most heart-warming. Before the holidays, on lukcy Dec 13 I attended the comic book premiere in LA for my birthday sister April Hava Shenkman. Last year on our Dec 29 birthdays we performed our The Happy Happy ReBegin Day Celebration, which I know helped manifest the amazingly diverse 2013 year. I also worked backstage for three nights on a dazzling show called "Esque," featuring the remarkable international designer and performer talents of my friend Yozmit. I capped the year off by doing several more collages and grounding myself with artistic energy. Such a year demanded that I spend some alone time hibernating during my birthday and the new year -- otherwise I would never have been able to write this blog! Feeling rejuvenated, now...onward to 2014!

May the year ahead be filled with lots of creative honey to share!