Jason Jenn is an interdisciplinary multimedia artist, creating often as performer, writer, director, producer, designer, video editor, and avowed protean-of-many-trades. Jason enjoys combining various sensory delights – words, sounds, music, movement, video, and other visual forms – for stage, screen, and gallery exhibition.
His work often reexamines familiar archetypes and themes of universal interest with a fresh, revelatory perspective. They aim to engage the mind as well as the heart, often mixing humor with tragedy, and are frequently infused with sociopolitical and/or queer empowered themes. His visuals can take on a dream-like quality that evokes a fantastical event or suggest a strange narrative, pulling viewers in for an unexpected journey of further examination to fully see the varied connections. To see an ongoing, curated body of recent and past work, also check out his instagram account @JasonJennArtist.
Under the performance artist alias Troubadour Trixter, Jason engages viewers by sharing provocative ideas alongside, uplifting, and imaginative storytelling. One of Jason’s current and ongoing performance-based projects is creating dramatic interpretations of queer poetry (sometimes involving costumes, props, video projection, dancers, and live music). He views these performances as collaborations with the authors and a way to widen awareness and appreciation of important, but underrepresented works of literature. The aim is to enhance the literary experience, making the words come to vivid life on stage and accessible to contemporary audiences in freshly relevant ways.
In 2011 he presented the poetry of Constantine P. Cavafy in a way that told the Greek writer’s emotional life story in a full-length production called Cavafy’s Caress. In 2012 he inhabited French author and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. In 2013 and 2014 he frolicked with the words of James Broughton with a full-length show Ecstasy For Everyone (so named after one of the freely expressed poet’s most outrageous lines and personal mottos “I believe in ecstasy for everyone”). Jason toured at several locations (NY, SF, Palm Springs) alongside screenings of the documentary film “Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton” as part of his centennial celebrations. For the 30th Anniversary of West Hollywood in 2015 he used dancers and live music to present former resident Paul Monette’s heartbreaking poetry about his lover’s death during the height of the AIDS crisis. In 2016 he presented selections for the Centennial Celebrations sponsored by the Beat Museum of Harold Norse, respected Beat generation poet and mentor to Charles Bukowski.
“When I create, I aim to construct worlds that work on multiple levels of interest. I want people to spend more time involved in those worlds, reflecting on how they inform our life in a valuable ways – worlds all viewers can gain from by experiencing. I understand the contemporary art world usually wants to identify artists within one well-defined medium and to keep spirituality out of the work, but my interests are broad and I seek to expand my understanding of life through my engagement with the arts. I am always learning something from both the process and the presentation, the journey and the destination. I like to say that I am a creative and spiritual re-evolutionary, here to explore the known and unknown worlds with art and soul, sharing the results along the way in a responsible and engaging manner.”
Jason was born and raised in rural Iowa surrounded by farm fields, forests, rivers, and gentle rolling hills. He received a BA double majoring in Film & Media Production and Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa. He moved to Los Angeles in 1998 and spent several years working in the Hollywood film and television industry art departments eventually venturing out into his own independent consulting and creative arts company ReEvolutionary Productions in 2001.
He studied and performed for 7 years under the guidance of Rachel Rosenthal, Los Angeles Cultural Treasure and Theatre Maverick. He honed his skills and co-created works for 5 years with the underground performance troupe The Invisible Theater. For four years he co-produced a plethora of crowd-pleasing events and performances at Spirit Studio, a community center and cabaret in Silver Lake. Since 2012 he has produced works for the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, including three years as director/producer of the popular Stuart Timmons’ City of West Hollywood LGBTQ History Tour. Jason produced three one-man shows written by and starring the renowned Robert Patrick Playwright (“Kennedy’s Children”, “The Haunted Host”). Additionally, Jason was the first Production Manager of gallery and stage productions for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Department. He documents the LA underground performance art scene when not performing in them at numerous venues across town.
He loves organic gardening. Bees hold a particular sway on his artistic mythology. Jason enjoys proclaiming that the “ReBegin is here” and wishing everyone “Blissings” (his term for a bliss-filled blessing) with great sincerity and a subtle wink of not taking one’s self too seriously. So – Blissings!
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Interview of Jason
@ Voyage LA