We had the good fortune of connecting with Joré Aaron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joré, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I always knew that whatever work I did in my life, it would be in service to and in collaboration with people. Finding my artistic voice and the agency I found in my own creativity made it very easy to realize the necessity of engaging with one’s own creativity and to also collaborate and witness others’. Creative work is essential–it affects how one perceives the world and the person they are within it. It allows people to acknowledge how their creativity can be actualized and impactful in the world. I can’t really picture myself doing anything else in my life because art is such a massive part of my identity. I also am encouraged and inspired to support and assist others in keeping in touch with and having claim over their art, in whatever capacity/medium they choose it to be in. That is also part of my desire in seeking justice and equity in the world. So, an artistic/creative career allows me to express myself in a multitude of ways as my livelihood, while also allowing me to connect and protect other artists in order to create impactful change in the world at large. An irresistible way of living, I think!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I guess I can be a little typical and start with a quote: “The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.” That’s from Toni Cade Bambara, an incredible Black author, film-maker, and activist. I’ve had a lot of difficulty really pinning down why I’ve been so committed to being in Los Angeles–I’ve just always felt so compelled to stay here and make change, but figuring out how to make change not just an abstract noun had proven difficult, especially as I don’t have nearly as much access to resources as other people do in this city. This pandemic has affected all of us in so many negative ways, but a positive I can take from this experience is that it has demanded everyone to have more clarity about what they are doing with their lives and why. My goals, now, are to develop a support network for underrepresented artists who are based in LA, to help make LA more of a creative home for Angelenos that don’t typically have access/resources/community care, and to develop actionable items that bring accountability and justice into the entertainment industry. I’m currently working on an EDI initiative that I hope to bring to production companies in LA in order to begin conversations about the actual meanings of equity, diversity, and inclusion and how to implement these tenets into their companies. After taking a pause, I’m jumping back into auditioning and acting, as well. Another theater company I’m collaborating with, Art Rat Theatre, is solidifying that framework for an alternative and progressive support network for creators in LA. And I’m taking care of myself, because although being incredibly productive is encouraged and rewarded in our society, it’s not the only thing I need to be. Sometimes one just needs to finish playing Breath of the Wild and take some naps.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would stay home and order in, because the pandemic is still happening. They actually shouldn’t be visiting me at all. Now, if we WEREN’T in a pandemic, I would set up the week to be checking out each part of the city (LA also has its own burroughs)–from hanging out at the Central Library in DTLA, seeing some live music shows in Echo Park, having brunch at The Serving Spoon in Inglewood, going to the Complex Theater to catch some indie play or improv, to commuting all the way to Culver City to grab some Tito’s Tacos. Each section of LA has its own culture, and I hope that the locals who invest so much of themselves into these communities are able to survive this pandemic so that we can support and enjoy them again in the near future.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
At the present moment, I would have to thank my incredible theater company, On The Verge, for giving me an opportunity to be incredibly creative and challenging me to expand my own skillset. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer the “usual” theatrical productions due to the pandemic, but working with them has shown me what these changes can mean for making creative landscapes more equitable and how my creative voice can create necessary change. Working with them has definitely increased my standards for who I will collaborate with in the future and has clarified what I am truly capable of (which is A LOT)! Also, the members are just incredible friends to have–the love for them is massive.
Rose Kim Mars Arayza Josiah Davis