Interview with our August feature! J Mase III

Here is a lovely interview we did with our upcoming feature, J Mase III!

CHECK IT OUT! And don’t miss the San Francisco Queer Open Mic, this August the 23rd!



1.What is your favorite show (TV or Slam, or both) right now? Why?

Of course my favorite show is the San Francisco Queer Open Mic, duh! My favorite show right now is Orange is the New Black. Why? Because trans people of color as main characters on a hit series is epic!! And of course the hip outfits, ’cause ya know- I’m gay.


2.What’s your biggest struggle as artist?

Money!!! So, if you all would just kindly empty your pockets…No, but seriously, having a balance between what can help me pay my bills and what do I want to say as a creative entity is hard.


3.Name writer you admire, or have learned a lot from?

I love the sound and texture of words, so for me Saul Williams and Beau Sia have really influenced my work. Saul because even on the page you know how his poems sound and Beau because there is something beautiful about using a range of emotions (beyond just anger) to speak about social justice. Beau makes me love the sound of laughter as a defiant force.


4.When did you decide to be an artist, what made you decide that?

A year ago I was working for a brilliant organization and doing poetry part time. The organization ended up losing a lot of funding and I freaked out. Now I was part time at a place that already paid me the smallest salary I ever had and really ended up using poetry as a way to keep afloat. I was worried this wasn’t sustainable, so I got a job at a university and tried to do poetry on the side. What a stupid decision! I was miserable. To make matters worse, as soon as I moved to a new city and away from my family and friends my sole surviving grandparent fell sick and passed. That set me back a bit. Then a couple months later, my dad, who was my best friend, had a stroke and ultimately passed. How did my university respond? Well, I couldn’t keep up, so I got canned. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was like a weight lifted off me. I hugged everyone and left. In that moment, I realized that the two most important things in my life are family and poetry and trying to be happy at a desk job prevented both of those things from happening. So, I choose to be a full time artist, not because I expect it to make me rich and famous, but because I can’t live doing anything else.


5.What is your favorite Cereal?

I avoid breakfast foods all together. Hit me up at brunch when there’s champagne involved.


6.What fictional character from a novel would you make sexy whoopi with?

Do graphic novels count? Scott Pilgrim. I love awkward people.


7.What has been your favorite venue to perform in?

Recently I got to do a tour around London. I loved every venue I went to in that city from UK Black Pride to Bar Wotever to Lipped Ink!!


8.Describe the super power you would have if you could pick any one?

Photographic memory.


9.Do you twitter? If no, why?

I do sort of,  @jmaseiii I still don’t fully understand it though!!


10. What’s wrong with the spoken word literary world today?

The same things that are wrong with the world at large! Not enough space for marginalized communities to share their experiences.


11.Favorite junk food?

Anything from Checkers.


12. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Anywhere winter doesn’t exist!

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