Kevin Jenkins


Take Your Career to the Next Level!

Work 1-on-1 with Dane, host of You Booked It.


EP 170: Kevin Jenkins (autogenerated)

Dane Reis: [00:00:00] You booked it. Episode 170. Okay, let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Kevin Jenkins. Are you ready for this Kevin? 

[00:00:14]Kevin Jenkins: [00:00:14] let’s do it.

[00:00:15] Dane Reis: [00:00:15] All right. Dance magazine has praised Kevin’s work as riveting and he travels throughout the country. Choreographing for state street, ballet st. Louis ballet, San Diego dance theater, the school of ballet, Arizona SUNY purchase CPYB Island, moving company dimensions, dance theater of Miami and big muddy dance among.

[00:00:37] Others. He has served on faculty at Boston ballet school, Joffrey ballet school Walnut Hill for the arts, the university of San Diego and master ballet Academy. His choreography has been performed on the inside out series at Jacob’s pillow dance festival, and he has been awarded residencies 

[00:00:56] with Djerassi and the national choreographers initiative, Kevin, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:17]Kevin Jenkins: [00:01:17] I’d love to, uh, and thanks for having me on it’s. It’s fun to dive behind the scenes a little bit more about myself. Uh, I think two things spring to mind when I talk about filling in the gaps, uh, I am the second oldest of 10 kids. So that was incredibly formative for me. And I was also homeschooled. So, um, growing up in this environment where we had a lot of room to be creative, there was a ton of us.

[00:01:39] We were our own little ecosystem as it was. Um, you know, Um, you know, you learn a lot about, about working with people. You learn a lot about, um, being, becoming a leader at a young age when I was the second oldest. Um, and my mom was incredibly creative. You know, she went to Berkeley. Uh, and majored in art and art history.

[00:01:54] And so growing up in that environment, I really didn’t start becoming a dancer until I was 18. So that’s really late when you think about it in terms of a normal career, but when you think about in terms of a creative career, my creative career started much earlier with, um, you know, we did plays as a kid.

[00:02:10] We were constantly encouraged to be drawing and reading and writing. And so while dance was sort of sort of the last facet to be added to the mix, um, I was already in this, this creative, um, this place, so that that’s sort of where all of the choreography comes from. Uh, I grew up in San Diego. I’m I’m back in San Diego right now, um, for quarantine.

[00:02:27] So it’s kind of a fun little bookend. Um, but in the normal. Of course of life. Uh, yeah, I travel around the country. Uh, I love choreographing. I’m working a lot, mostly with ballet companies, I would say, but I’ve been really blessed to be able to do a lot of music videos in the last few years, get to work with varsities and schools.

[00:02:43]Uh, you know, and there’s always the odd dance studio and Y GP thing. Um, but I’m, I like that I’ve been able to live in this place where I create work for both the stage and for film. I love both of those.

[00:02:53]Dane Reis: [00:02:53] Yeah, very cool. And what a cool and very unique. Upbringing, but also I also didn’t start really the performing arts until later I was 17 and a half nearly 18, but when I started dancing, singing, acting all of that, but I had up until that point, I had been very physical. I was very, I’m kind of kind of like your glee, uh, high school musical story.

[00:03:16] Right. Right. So I was also very in control and in tune with my body. And I never really found that. I loved playing sports. I still love playing sports and being physical, but it never really clicked and did it for me the same way I realized suddenly that dance did. And I was like, Oh, now all these, all this physicality connects with creativity.

[00:03:35] I’m like, okay, I’m sold. This is my thing.

[00:03:38] Kevin Jenkins: [00:03:38] and so it’s the full package. It really is. It’s, it’s all the aspects you look for when you’re talking about, uh, a physical outlet, um, while combining an artistic lens. And I think it’s really the only one that does that. Right. Painting, writing. Yeah. Uh, music it’s, um, it’s the only dance is the only one that really combines both sides of the spectrum.

[00:03:54] So I think, uh, I think when you find it, you, you fall in love really fast. And it sounds like for both of us, and I think, you know, especially this being a podcast about, you know, how to make it, I think a lot of people get discouraged when they start late. Uh, and. I think there’s something that happens while I always encourage people to start early.

[00:04:09] I think there’s something that happens when you start later because you are more mentally ready to accept concepts. You are more, uh, you’re more understanding of the ideas behind movement. And so you can progress a lot faster than an eight year old. Who’s just thrown into a ballet class who has no clue what they’re doing with their body.

[00:04:26] So sometimes there’s hope for people who start a little bit later.

[00:04:29] Dane Reis: [00:04:29] for sure. And I think it’s also a bit of the mindset, right? You’re like, well, I really like this. Oh, I’m going to do this. And you can you approach it differently? You approach it. More intensely and you cold on and retain more information

[00:04:42]Kevin Jenkins: [00:04:42] Exactly. Yeah. I think you, you comprehend it and absorb it at a much faster rate. And so your progress can be a lot, a lot more expedient.

[00:04:50] Dane Reis: [00:04:50] Yeah, for sure. And let’s dig into this first section here and Kevin, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:05:02]Kevin Jenkins: [00:05:02] Uh, I love that you have this question for yourself. I have, uh, two notes. On my, on my phone that are nothing but quotes. I write down quotes obsessively, because I think they are the greatest things to live your life by. And the quote I chose to share today is, um, is from, uh, Austin Kleon. He’s an author who wrote a steal like an artist and show your work.

[00:05:21] You, he really writes wonderful work for artists. And he says the best advice is not to write. What you know is to write what you like. Do the work you want to see done. Uh, and that’s kind of dense. I’ll read it again. The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like, do the work you want to see done.

[00:05:42]Dane Reis: [00:05:42] yeah, really like that. Can you explain and expand on that a bit on how it’s worked its way into your life?

[00:05:50]Kevin Jenkins: [00:05:50] Yeah, so it’s, it’s, it’s actually completely counter to what most people say artists should do. Right. Create what you know. Uh, and, and there is truth to that, right? Everything has a polarity. So there’s the end of the yang to everything. But what I like about what Austin is saying is that actually, that’s not just what you should do because, uh, Right.

[00:06:06] If I, if I create for, let’s say a dance and I create a dance and it’s based on the way I move and I put it on dancers, the truth is if it looks like crap, I should’ve put it on stage. Right. There’s there’s, there’s not necessarily a perfection to the way I create. So for me, I, I absorbed this quote. As I take a step back and I say, okay, well, besides just creating what I know, what I actually want to see on stage, when I go see dance, what do I really get excited about?

[00:06:32] What if I created something that would make me excited? Because, um, the truth is sometimes the stuff that comes to my body is not that interesting. And so there has to be this place where I, I have a critical eye and I look at it and I decide, do I actually like this? Um, or is this just my truth? And the truth is sometimes my truth doesn’t need to be said, you know, sometimes there’s, there’s a validity to it and sometimes not so much.

[00:06:53]Um, so I think, I think it’s a good quote to point us in a direction that I don’t think a lot of people get pointed in.

[00:06:59] Dane Reis: [00:06:59] Yeah, it’s very, it’s a subtle mind switch and perspective, but I think it’s really powerful and it really allows you to. Do some great work right in you keep kind of compounding and building off of what you’ve know and what you’ve experienced through all of life, right.

[00:07:18]Going to performances, what what what’s kind of kind of working and how do we, how do I incorporate this into my work and add my own flavor to it?

[00:07:26] Kevin Jenkins: [00:07:26] Exactly.

[00:07:27] Dane Reis: [00:07:27] Very cool. Yeah. And let’s get into this next section here. And Kevin, of course you are an entertainer, I’m an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries in existence.

[00:07:46] And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like your having now takes a lot. Of dedication and hard work and wild. Yeah. There’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being an entertainer, doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures.

[00:08:04] We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:08:18]Kevin Jenkins: [00:08:18] Great question. Yeah, there, I mean, absolutely this career is the best and the worst thing that can ever happen to you. It, um, it will tear you apart. And, um, the, I would have to say one of the biggest challenges I faced was back in 2018. Um, I really, I really feel like that was the year that I sort of hit my stride.

[00:08:34] I was booked almost every week of the year. It was worth companies I wanted to work with in dancers. I was excited to create on and. You know, it was at a level where I could, I could afford to live a very comfortable life. I was finally making enough money to, to feel like I was, um, validated as an artist.

[00:08:49] And, uh, in February of that year, I did something, uh, you know, I went out for a jog and when I came back, my hip was really just not feeling great. And, uh, you know, I went and saw acupuncturists and chiropractors and all, you know, physical therapists and all these things, and it kind of went up and down. Um, but by the end of the summer, I can no longer walk.

[00:09:06] And I, I had this, you know, this period of time where I just realized, like I could have easily achieved everything I wanted to achieve only to have it taken away from me. And I have to start over again, doing something else. And, um, and that was a really. Honestly, it was the best year of my life because pain teaches us so much and it teaches us so much so quickly.

[00:09:25] You don’t have the normal, um, the normal resistance to growth that we all have as human beings. Um, you, you have to change because life is forcing you to change. And so. I learned two things out of that. Um, because going into that fall, I was slowly getting back on my feet. I finally found an amazing physical therapist, uh, um, Justin, um, here in San Diego and he had put me back together and, um, I was like slowly hobbling along and, um, It taught me two things.

[00:09:50] It taught me to really, really value the moments I had because I didn’t know how long I was going to have them. And so just to throw everything into it. So, uh, that fall, I was choreographing my first full length ballet about Charlie Chaplin on state street ballet. And I was doing it with, um, bill solo and editors and de Haas.

[00:10:06] The three of us were collaborating to do a full length ballet and, um, You know, I, I could only sleep for like four hours a night because my, my, my hip would just wake me up with a searing pain, this intense like level nine pain. Uh, and so when I would wake up, I would just, I would just get out of bed and I’d hobble to the car and I’d go to the studio from like 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

[00:10:25] And I just work on the dance because I’m like, I don’t know if I’m going to have a brain tomorrow. I might be exhausted. And so I would, I would just go to the studio every night and I would just work by myself for hours. Um, because I realized this could be my last project and then the pain also simultaneously Tommy, that I had to let go of everything.

[00:10:40]You know, like when, when I’d have those moments of being like, I can’t choreograph today, I can’t really move. I’d be like, great. I’m going to have to let go, and I’m going to have to let the dancers, um, have more of a voice here and I’m going to have to guide them. And I’m gonna have to, if you know what I mean, if they’re not getting exactly what I want, I’m at a certain point, I’m going to have to let it go because it teaches you limitations.

[00:10:57] And, uh, and I think how to be in the moment. So I think pain is an amazing teacher in that sense. So that was the biggest year of growth in my life. I’d have to say. Uh, it just, it taught me so much. And I think, um, I’m incredibly blessed that now I can walk pain-free I can run, I can dance. I can play basketball.

[00:11:13] I can do all the things that I used to do. Um, but there’s a sense of, um, sacredness now, too. Any time I approached the work, because I know that feeling of it being. You know, around the corner, it could be taken away from me at any moment. And so when I, when I approached the next big commission, which was, uh, uh, ballet for ballet five, eight, uh, in Chicago, I just threw everything I had into it.

[00:11:33]Uh, you know, I did the same thing. I realized I just stayed up nights and I just like put in the work to make sure I was so proud of it. And I think I really learned that lesson. I, in 2008, when I was in so much pain,

[00:11:45]Dane Reis: [00:11:45] Yeah, for sure. It’s amazing how experiences like that can really change our perspectives because it’s easy to take things for granted, right? If you’re so used to the same routine, the same grind, and then suddenly what your passion, your livelihood, everything. Is on a knife’s edge of not being able, you know, you know, being taken away from you.

[00:12:04] It’s amazing. And I’m so glad that, of course you’re healthy at this point, but also all those lessons of how to not just work through pain, but also how to be creative and productive and, and to. translate your vision to,  dancers. And so they can then create it and you can see what you would create it in your head, but not being able to teach it and show it in traditional ways.

[00:12:27]It’s, it’s really cool that now you have that skillset and so many different subtleties in that.

[00:12:33]Kevin Jenkins: [00:12:33] Yeah, it really, it, it, it brings outsides. You never, ever thought you needed or, or, or even more interested in, and it’s more tools in your tool belt, you know,

[00:12:41]Dane Reis: [00:12:41] yeah, for sure. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:13:02]Kevin Jenkins: [00:13:02] Yeah, that’s a great question because I think that that. Has happened for me many times. Uh, there even there haven’t been moments in my career where I decided to step away from dance. I was uncertain in my mid twenties if I was even going to continue. Um, but I think the most powerful moment was I was, uh, I was leaving San Francisco and it was really hard for me when I moved away from San Francisco, because I had such a beautiful community there.

[00:13:24] And, uh, when I left San Francisco, I went on this, um, The six week choreographic tour. And I think I hit, you know, eight cities in those six weeks. And one of the flights, I was, it was the crack of Dawn, you know, it was 5:00 AM. And so as we’re pulling out onto the runway, the sun is rising over the, over the Hills.

[00:13:42] And so these beams of light are shooting in the window and I’m half asleep and I’m listening to music and I always have a, I love travel because I have these sort of very powerful, uh, Tiffany moments and. Something about losing my community of artists in San Francisco, but striking out on my own. Uh, and, and just the experiences I was already having on this, this choreographic tour I was on.

[00:14:04]Um, I had this moment of realization that I didn’t want to just be employed as an artist. I didn’t just want to make a living, which in and of itself is a huge blessing. I mean, that’s like very few of us actually can make that. I realized that I wanted to be bigger than that. I want to leave my Mark on the dance world.

[00:14:21] I wanted to leave it better than when I found it and I wanted to leave it. Um, having done something that I was proud of. I wasn’t happy to just sort of fly below the radar. The funny thing is I’m not really a performer. I don’t like being on stage. Um, you know, I almost like have it written into my contract that I don’t have to take a bow after my ballets.

[00:14:36] I hate being on stage. I love being behind the scenes. And so part of my journey was overcoming. That fear of the spotlight actually. Um, and being like, no, I want to be big and I want to map, or not in a sense of ego, but in a sense of, I want to do good in this industry. I want to do something beautiful.

[00:14:54] And, uh, and I had, and so just the sun rays coming up through the, through the plane window that morning, I just had this moment of deciding to take that leap to, to not be afraid to go for bigger and bigger things every year.

[00:15:05]Dane Reis: [00:15:05] Oh, very cool. And I completely am right there with you. It’s not out of ego,  it’s not for the fame and fortune of it. Right? It’s Right? It’s it’s it’s I didn’t even know how to describe it. It’s more of just. You just feel within yourself, like this has to happen. I have the ability to do this. I need to move forward with this.

[00:15:25] It’s like a calling. Is that

[00:15:27] Kevin Jenkins: [00:15:27] a calling, I think. Yeah, I think so. And I think, I think we, I think, I think you’re an artist and you got into this to make money and be famous and you see you’re doing it for the wrong reason because none of us really achieve that. I mean, you know, no one stops you on the street unless you are. You know, you know, maybe Andy blink and Bueller or someone who’s, you know, achieved that level of, of fame.

[00:15:44] But besides that, you know, you don’t do it for the fame. You do it because you want to do something beautiful. And I think you want to do something that matters and that changes people’s lives because your life has been changed by the arts.

[00:15:54]Dane Reis: [00:15:54] yes. Yes, for sure. And let’s piggyback on that real quick and talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and callbacks, if they happen to be a part of it, but what was going on in your life. And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book? That moment?

[00:16:16]Kevin Jenkins: [00:16:16] Yeah. So the funny thing is, as a choreographer, my, my moments are the, you know, the, they don’t come at the end of callbacks. Uh, it’s it’s an email in my inbox and it’s a phone call and that’s a text message. And the first one that really they’re really just. Really meant a lot was when, um, state street ballet in Santa Barbara commissioned my, my pre-existing work called Saint Luvvie and it had come at the end of an arduous email campaign.

[00:16:42]Um, On my end. I had marketed to probably between 150 and 200 dance companies in America. And each of these emails was, uh, uh, you know, researching the company, finding email addresses, like seeing what they w researching their repertoire. I mean, exhaustive research into each of these companies. And so to finally get, uh, you know, a email back where I really, I garnered the commission from.

[00:17:06] A company that is, uh, you know, known and, and has a budget and could afford to fly me out and put me up in the way that I’d always dreamed and to work with dancers of a caliber that I’d always dreamed about was amazing. Um, I, you know, it was, again, it was this kind of quiet moment, you know, I just woke up one morning and I checked my email and yeah.

[00:17:22] I had an email from state street and I have this ritual and, um, I don’t know if it’s a good ritual or a boundary tool, but it makes me wildly happy when I, when I have a really great book that moment, I don’t tell anyone for 24 hours, I don’t tell it. A soul, no one, because it allows me to enjoy it, um, in all and to, you know, enjoy, enjoy not just the, the joy of it, but thinking about it and planning it and fantasizing about what the rehearsals are going to be like and all that stuff.

[00:17:47] Because as soon as I share it with someone else, Uh, it becomes theirs as well. And you know, maybe they’re having a bad day and they’re excited for me, but they’re not thrilled. And, and maybe quite frankly, sometimes it’s an artist friend who’s excited for me, but it’s a little hard because maybe they’re not getting the commissions.

[00:18:01] And so, um, so my, I don’t think I told a soul that day. I think I just got the email from state street and I just walked around with a grin on my face, the rest of the day. And then I told everyone the next day.

[00:18:11] Dane Reis: [00:18:11] Yeah. I really liked that. I think I’m going to have to try to implement that. I’ve really enjoyed it. That idea of just keeping it to yourself for a minute and enjoying it, relishing in it. That’s so cool.

[00:18:23]Kevin Jenkins: [00:18:23] Yeah, I think, I think it, it gives it a, uh, beauty, uh, and I’m an introvert like to the nth degree. So, I mean, so living in my own little happy place by myself as a wonderful place for me, I don’t, you know, you know, I think if you were an extrovert sitting on that kind of news would be like torture. Um, but, but I think, I think it’s, I think it’s a fun way to save her things.

[00:18:41] Dane Reis: [00:18:41] Yeah, I really liked that and it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?

[00:19:00] Kevin Jenkins: [00:19:00] I’m ready. Let’s do it.

[00:19:01] Dane Reis: [00:19:01] All right. First question.

[00:19:03] What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:19:08]Kevin Jenkins: [00:19:08] Fear of the spotlight.

[00:19:09] Dane Reis: [00:19:09] Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:19:14]Kevin Jenkins: [00:19:14] Um, my mom is my biggest, uh, mentor as an artist and she always says, just jump off the cliff, take the big risks. Go for it.

[00:19:21] Dane Reis: [00:19:21] Yes. Third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause

[00:19:33]Kevin Jenkins: [00:19:33] I finally, in the last two years, I finally cracked the code for staging what I would call stage and like, you know, moving a lot of people around stage in a really beautiful, effective way. I I’ve always been great at small, intricate, beautiful, interesting movement, but moving people in large numbers has always been a challenge.

[00:19:50] And finally, in the last few years, I finally like was able to finally see it and figure it out.

[00:19:54] Dane Reis: [00:19:54] ah, brilliant. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.

[00:20:09]Kevin Jenkins: [00:20:09] Absolute best resource. It changed. My life was when I read the artist’s way by Julia Cameron.

[00:20:14] Dane Reis: [00:20:14] Oh, so good. Everyone picked that one up fifth question. If you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:20:33]Kevin Jenkins: [00:20:33] I would do most of it. I would trust myself more earlier on, I wouldn’t doubt what I see in my head, even though it’s different than what I see. Out there. I would, I would, I would go for it because again, you’ll always learn whether it’s going to work or not, but I think I would have just tried what the choreography I was passionate about earlier on

[00:20:51] Dane Reis: [00:20:51] Yeah, it’s so easy for us and we do it so often. Right? We, we, we stop ourselves before we even put it out. We’ve made these preconceived ideas of something in. We’re just having this silly little internal battle. No, one’s seen it. You don’t even know, you don’t know anything about if that’s good or bad or indifferent, you just have to take the leap and put it out there and see what the heck happens.

[00:21:16]And know for a fact that  not, everything’s going to be perfect and that’s really part of the process. So  you have to put stuff out there that, and you’re like, well, Guess that’s a learning experience

[00:21:24] and that’s totally cool, but you have to do that to get that feedback so you can improve.

[00:21:28] Kevin Jenkins: [00:21:28] You’ve got to get the data and it helps to get the data earlier on, you know, like, like in a relationship you don’t want to wait until you’re three years in to find out that you’re really not compatible. You, you kind of kind of want to find out in the first few months, and we want to do that with any artistic careers.

[00:21:42] Just try things because you’ll find out very quickly. If you’re good at it, if you can get better at it, if it works, if it doesn’t work, you’ll get the data quickly. We’re just scared to get that data. It’s scary.

[00:21:52] Dane Reis: [00:21:52] sure, but the more you do it, the easier it gets as well, that there’s always that catch, the more you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, the easier it becomes to keep getting to that limit. And then your limits keep getting expanded, which is great.

[00:22:05] Yeah. Brilliant. Well, thank you for bringing that up.

[00:22:08] And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.

[00:22:20]Kevin Jenkins: [00:22:20] this is a rather specific to choreographers, but I think it could apply to filmmakers and, and any really creative person. Uh, the power of, uh, there’s a term called dream scaping and dream scaping is basically where you, uh, It, we all do it. It’s where you put on a piece of music and you let the music speak to you.

[00:22:36]You know, you, uh, you know, you, you get into the zone and you sort of let your, let your subconscious mind go nuts. You know, the things that, the things that my mind can come up with when I just give it space to think are really amazing. And the truth is the movement that comes out of my body is good, but it’s not that next level.

[00:22:53]Uh, you know, and I think, I think. As a creative where we are always going to be limited by our physical resources. But if we, you know, if you take the leap to just sit there and just take an hour and just don’t do anything, just think and just see what your mind comes up with creatively, it’s going to be amazing.

[00:23:08] You might not be able to implement all of it, but the chances are you can implement a lot of it. I think we have to get outside the realm of our own abilities and imagine something bigger.

[00:23:17]Dane Reis: [00:23:17] Yeah, I really liked that. And I also think that. It kind of expands into everything if you really wanted to. Uh, it’s kind of like the concept of, if you don’t dream it or if you can’t envision it, how could anything actually ever become fruition? let’s take Elon Musk, you know, if he didn’t envision that he could go to Mars, he would never go to Mars.

[00:23:39] Kevin Jenkins: [00:23:39] right. Right? 

[00:23:39] If You

[00:23:40] don’t envision yourself doing 15 pure wets, you will never

[00:23:43] be able to do your mind when you start to do that, your mind starts tackling these problems on a subconscious level with, uh, you know, with a hard, you know, hard drive power that our conscious mind doesn’t actually have. We’re only 

[00:23:55] as smart as our education, the books we’ve read all that stuff.

[00:23:58] Yeah. But our subconscious mind can do, you know, quantum mechanics at a level that like we can’t do, right. So there’s obviously an unharnessed power down there. Um, you know, and, and we all see it, you know, I had this moment, um, this is a great story. And, um, I was driving and I get these visions of movement.

[00:24:12] When I drive. Sometimes I’m listening to music and I’m driving all of a sudden, I’ll see this movement in my head. And I had this epiphany one day and I thought. The only thing, keeping me from becoming a really amazing choreographer. I just have to remember this stuff when it pops into my head, because the truth is I start doing stuff with my body and I’m like, ah, this is not great.

[00:24:31] And then I’ll see stuff in my head and I’ll be like, Oh my gosh, this movement is. Brilliant. And I realized it was just an issue of translation. I just had to be able to tap into that dream escaping that I didn’t know I was doing, remember it at some level, even 10% of it. And then, and then be able to communicate it to the people I was working with.

[00:24:50] Dane Reis: [00:24:50] for short remembering. That is the tough part, especially when it is a physicality thing. I it’s the same thing happens. I’m sure when you just have ideas, like throughout the day of, Oh, I could have a simple to do list for instance, something so menial as that. But I mean, I’ve got this app on my phone.

[00:25:04] I use drafts. It’s like notes, but it opens quicker. 

[00:25:09]Kevin Jenkins: [00:25:09] Oh, 

[00:25:10] Dane Reis: [00:25:10] Uh, 

[00:25:10] Uh, and it just, and you can do audio notes and everything, but it’s just super snappy. So it takes me almost no time. I have an idea in my head, I swipe it up, drop it in. And then because sometimes I’ve lost, you know, I’ve lost. The idea of something waiting for an app to load, you know what I mean? you know what I mean?

[00:25:24]Kevin Jenkins: [00:25:24] Oh, it’s so brief. And so, and so, um, you know, transit dental, this, this thing, because it is it’s, it’s like dreams, you know, you lose them 10 minutes after you’re awake.

[00:25:32] Dane Reis: [00:25:32] yeah, for sure. It’s about getting that information written down. However you can retain it as fast as possible is the key for 

[00:25:38] sure. And to wrap up this interview, Kevin, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:25:54]Kevin Jenkins: [00:25:54] uh, yeah, so the biggest place I am is on Instagram. Uh, Kevin underscore Jenkins, underscore choreographer, and, uh, you know, I post content. Almost daily. Um, and, uh, you know, that’s, that’s a really great place to follow me and see where, what I’m up to. Um, I also have a website, Kevin And the only thing I would promote is I just did a course over the summer, a 10 week course on choreography.

[00:26:16] And I’ve been wanting to do this course for so long because while I took some choreography courses in college, they all deal with. The artistic side, uh, which is wonderful. Uh, Uh, so I, I spend the first five weeks dealing with the artistic side of being choreographer, staging, printing your movement, vocabulary, dreamscape, and all that stuff.

[00:26:31] And then I spent the second five weeks doing the business side. How do you market yourself as a choreographer? How do you find success on social media? How do you film your work? How do you craft an email to prospective companies? How do you even find the email addresses of artistic directors? All that stuff that I was never taught, but I had to learn the hard way I break it down for everyone, because I feel like that’s just information that we should be sharing, uh, to try and, you know, even the playing field, I think, I think equity is a big thing right now.

[00:26:57] And I think that’s wonderful because I think everyone should not have to work as hard to make a career. Um, and I think, I think we should share this information. So anyways, that’s a choreography course. That’s available on my website, um, on the classes page.

[00:27:10]Dane Reis: [00:27:10] Brilliant. And I think you’re so right. It’s the business side of everything, this entire industry that no one really talks about. And it’s so important. It’s so integral to making this career a career, you know, otherwise, how do you, how do you possibly pay the bills? How do you create a lifestyle out of the art?

[00:27:30] If you don’t understand the business side of it?

[00:27:32]Kevin Jenkins: [00:27:32] Exactly industry is rapidly or just wildly changed in the last, I would say, 30 years. And you know, you don’t, you don’t dance for one company and then just stay there. The rest of your life. You don’t sign onto one Broadway show and you know,  you know, you, everyone does so many things and there’s no one clear path.

[00:27:49] So we really have to teach each other how to be. Entrepreneurs in, in, in an arts field, which is wildly unstable. And so I think that’s, um, uh, you know, the, the fact that you have this podcast is wonderful where people have access to that information. Now, I think, I think the, um, the internet is making it a lot more accessible and I want to help that continue.

[00:28:07]Dane Reis: [00:28:07] for sure. And that’s a big reason why I created this podcast in the first place was to. Have conversations with people like you who are doing it so we can learn from you and say let’s possible, but these things are important. And to get these takeaways. It’s fantastic. Thank you.

[00:28:23]Kevin Jenkins: [00:28:23] Yeah, no, I love that you’re doing this and thank you so much for having 

[00:28:26] Dane Reis: [00:28:26] Thank you. For sure. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything that Kevin just talked about into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with him and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know, you know, aspiring to create a career in the entertainment industry for all the reasons.

[00:28:52] We were just chatting about you booked it as the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career case in point, everything Kevin just dropped here today makes you rewind a few of those sections and relisten to them. If you enjoyed this episode, hit that subscribe button.

[00:29:11] So you don’t miss the next guest. Kevin, thank you so much for being here today. So glad we got connected, such a pleasure.

[00:29:19]Kevin Jenkins: [00:29:19] this was wonderful day and thank you so much. It was really a joy.