by Jason Bayani
Jamie was one of the first guys I met in slam. We also lived together for a few years. People always ask me questions about it when they find out like it must have been all insane and crazy but I’m pretty sure when it came to living habits, I was probably more strange.
He’s one of the first people I’ve ever met who managed to make the art happen at the same time in several different spaces. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for what he creates on paper or film. Sometimes I think some of his most intriguing art is what happens the moment he hits the stage. It’s not just the pushing or discomfort he can make you feel at times, but the kind of pull you feel into accepting your base urges. It’s a kind of transformation not a lot of poets feel comfortable in inducing. But Jamie is right at home with it.
He’s become so much more than a poet over the years. He’s a filmmaker who directed the movie, Smoked, and is responsible for several of the Youth Speaks produced videos going viral right now. He’s one of the most sought after hosts and is running what is probably the biggest monthly event in the Bay Area. He’s a segment producer and has often been featured on NPR’s Snap Judgement. And he’ll still come by and perform at the slam or coach teams every once in a while.
He’s been interviewed a lot because, as many of you know, he is the great grandson of L. Ron Hubbard and a vocal opponent of Scientology. But I was hoping to get more of a peek into his artistic processes and find out what makes the work he creates.