creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ecstatic Alignment in ECSTASY FOR EVERYONE

“Bring your orbits into harmony - time to plant starseed in one another’s eyes”

5 performances begin Feb 15 - more info
Counting down. 2 weeks until the opening of the show. Yesterday I had one of those “aha” moments as if my inner being had suddenly moved into some sort of cosmic alignment. I felt the harmony of my actions, saw the bigger picture of my life in play, and gained an appreciation for what already has been and an excitement for what is yet to be. I’m feeling the ecstatic bliss of working on ECSTASY FOR EVERYONE. Sure, there is a lot of work to do yet, but I’m feeling great about the show and my connection to the material. The more I rehearse, the more the words are taking root inside of me, and I feel that my life thus far has created a fertile landscape for its growth.

I have been swimming lately, and enjoying the way the movement in the water is making me feel. Admittedly I have been out of shape - enticed by many festive feast indulgences and using my busy busy activities as an excuse for not having enough regular exercise. But this show has activated me. I am indeed in a process of training, both the body at the gym and yoga mat, and in mind with the rehearsing and memorization. Creating a full length show of this scale is putting forth a good challenge to reach for. I think about the athletes training for the upcoming Olympics and the extreme amount of focus and discipline they manifest. Their dedication is why so many will be watching them in awe. Then of course my mind goes out to those who don’t have access or ability to the level of support and skill that Olympians do, and to all the people in Russia and other countries where being queer/gay has dire consequences. I feel very privileged in my life to live as open and free as I do. The community in LA is full of gay cultural riches. It may in fact, be too much and overwhelming at times, but right now I am in sincere appreciation for all those gifts. I feel that my creation and process of putting on ECSTASY FOR EVERYONE is making good on the opportunities I am granted.

from Arboretum/Ash 2006
And this show fits in so perfectly with the body of work I have already been doing over the past 13 years as a performance artist and 26 years as a multimedia artist (counting since age 13 when I got my first videocamera and made movies). I’m 39 years old and aware that the time is flowing by. I’m not a youngster anymore - there are certain things as a performer I just can’t do anymore (or at least not without aches and pains or other consequences). But this is exactly why I love working with James Broughton’s material - he is an eternally young trickster and his poetry is so utterly vibrant it brings out the inner child to frolic. In this piece I get to take all the years and various experiences of creating lush, sensual, homoerotic, fantastical, magical performance art and put it to use with the exquisite body of work that James Broughton brought forth into this world. It makes so much sense - the arc of my work over the years and now this piece of the cosmic puzzle allows me to appreciate and see the bigger picture.

from Cavafy's Caress 2011

I see connections to the show I did called “Cavafy’s Caress” - about the gay poet Cavafy. In fact it was because I did that show, that I recognized one could be created from James’s poetry. I see connections to my unorthodox spiritual cabarets - soulful singing and storytelling plays well with Broughton’s wise words - and I’ve even crafted three songs out of his poems. I see connections to my days in the Invisible Theater were we created some rather wildly amazing archetypal performances ranging from profound to campy for an intimate and mostly gay audience. I see connections to the various productions for Rachel Rosenthal or at Planet Queer/Queer Mondays/Phyllis’ Garage. It’s making sense to me, and I am in sublime appreciation of that.

from Confessional 2009

Sometimes I feel that I “should” be doing more for human rights around the world. It pains me to sit by while the world continues to mistreat and/or demonizes gay people. There are indeed amazing strides that have been made, but the battle is far from over. But I don’t feel I’m sitting by casually - I am incredibly active, and truly feel that I am doing my small part by creating a show like this, if nothing else because I can. And because it brings to life the words of a great man who deserves greater recognition in this day and age. And because it is so free and expressive of a show that celebrates sexuality and life, and will leave people feeling uplifted. My rehearsals for it are certainly bringing me to a euphoric state - it takes a lot out of me, but if it can be a fraction of as thrilling for those to see it as it is to perform, then hooray - that’s my little part to play in this crazy world we live in. I feel so utterly grateful for the opportunity to create and share this work.
Ok, back to work - only two more weeks - training, training!

“This is an alleluia of life - This is the humming of humansong.”

from Red Lights 2006
from Invisible Theatre Dreams & Desires 2006

from The Myth of Snowflakes 2005

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