Aerialist and cabaret performer Jason Mejias has taken the burlesque world by storm, performing all over the country. Currently, he’s the co-producer of Boys Night: An All-Male Cirquelesue Revue in New York City, bringing some sexiness to circus.
What started your love for burlesque?
I got into the burlesque scene at the same time as my boyfriend at the time did. We meant to do circus, he was already in the scene with some burlesque performers, and so we started performing an acrobatic act together. From there, it evolved to our own things.
From there, how has your art changed and evolved to get to where you are today?
Once you’re in the scene for a while, you see what’s out there. There are acts that are amazing and there are acts that are not. When you see those, it makes you push yourself more. I try to find ways to push myself out of my comfort zone. Recently, I’ve played a lot more with androgyny and drag since it’s something different and something you don’t see a guy do very much in this scene.
How has the monthly residency of Boys Night stretched you as a performer?
Mostly by having to come up with new concepts on a consistent basis. We do a brand new show every month so coming up with concepts and being able to execute them on stage has helped me grow as a performer. I’ve become more comfortable with what I’m doing on stage, and being able to perform so much here in the city has certainly helped.
As you’ve grown as an artist, how have you felt empowered by what you’re doing?
I like to try an act a few times since an audience is never the same. Sometimes it can be really quiet and calm and other times it feels like the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. Either way, being able to put your work out there for a live audience is the best thing. It’s empowering when people hire you and trust you because they know you’ll deliver. I don’t get asked to do a specific act when I go places because I’ve been doing this for long enough, they trust me to go on stage and do something great.
What’s coming up for you?
Besides Boys Night at The Slipper Room, I am starting to develop a new act with my partner. We did the Burlesque Hall of Fame this past year and I was with her in New Orleans performing with her this past week. Now, we’re developing a new act for next year. There was such a great response to our very technical circus act so now that it’s gone well, we have to figure out how to top that next time. For what we do, it’s tough, especially when you’re on an apparatus, but that just means adding more ground choreography into it and elevating it even more. It’s a good challenge.