Photo by Kyle Terboss

JAMIE DEWOLF

Jamie DeWolf’s diverse career as a performer and filmmaker has taken him from the lyrical brawls of the National Poetry Slam scene and HBO’s Def Poetry Jam to filming dangerous documentaries in the militarized streets of Kashmir. He’s written and performed with inmates at San Quentin Penitentiary, won “Performance of the Year” by NPR’s Snap Judgment, was voted “Best Poet” and “Best Filmmaker” from the East Bay Express, and has lead writing workshops at over 90 universities, high schools and juvenile detention facilities nation-wide, also coaching the Youth Speaks slam team two years in row to the Brave New Voices Finals, featured on HBO. As one of the most in demand hosts in the Bay Area and beyond, he’s a regular ringmaster and curator for circus troupes, vaudeville showcases and music festivals across the U.S.

DeWolf started his performance career as an Oakland Grand Slam champion, winning his way onto 7 slam teams in a row and quickly evolved his “raw and raucous” lyricism into a fast paced fusion of ferocious hip hop, fearless comedy, and hard hitting theatrical story-telling. He toured with his acclaimed spoken word trio The Suicide Kings and their play In Spite of Everything, that focused on youth violence and survival through art. The show was described by the East Bay Express as “a poignant, chilling, knockout of a play…that beautifully incorporates their visceral verse into the brutal narrative of a school shooting”. The three-man show premiered at the Living Word Festival in 2007 and toured worldwide, performing at the Public Theater in New York for the Under the Radar Festival, Washington D.C’s Living Word Festival, and the first hip hop theater festival in Moscow, Russia.

His filmmaking career has run the range of audience award-winning dark comedies, from his feature film crime caper Smoked, to gritty documentaries and devastating exposes of social justice issues paired with the Center for Investigative Reporting with the Off/Page Project, the NY Times featured Bigger Picture Project and the XQ Super School Project. He continues to produce and host the largest and longest running variety show in California, Tourettes Without Regrets, and the groundbreaking Ruckus and Rumpus Revival podcast series, as well as writing and directing multiple film projects with his production company Punch Up Productions. He lives with his partner, the underwater performer and filmmaker Iara Mandyn in Oakland, CA.

FAQ

1.) Are you really related to L. Ron Hubbard?

Yes. He was my great-grandfather on my mothers side. My grandfather was L. Ron Hubbard Jr. who later changed his name to Ron DeWolf. His first child was my mother. No, I have never been a Scientologist in any way shape or form. Wasn’t born one. Never was one. I'm the only one left in my family who will go on record about the cult. Also, why the hell would I make that up? If someone can see an advantage to that, please let me know. I’ll be waiting.

2.) Do you know Leah Remini?

Yes. But that’s not your business. We got some stuff cooking. I love and support what she’s doing 100%.

3.) What's up with the Suicide Kings (Geoff Trenchard and Rupert Estanislao)?

After a wild half a decade run that took us all over the world from colleges, theaters and prisons, our proudest achievement was the full length play “In Spite of Everything”, which toured until its final performance in 2011. The film Ricochet In Reverse was adapted from the same play. You can download every track we’ve ever done for FREE here. Everyone is busy doing solo projects, Geoff's a lawyer in NYC and his new book “Murder Stay Murder” is excellent and is available now. Rupert continues to perform in bands and is writing short stories and novels, and I'm burning the world one word at a time. We love each other like brothers who’ve been through war together. You can see all of us in the feature film “Smoked” playing more idiotic versions of ourselves, which is available online at Youtube, Amazon and Itunes.

4.) How do I perform at Tourettes WITHOUT Regrets?

Sign ups for the Slam and the Freestyle Battle are taped to the wall outside at 8pm. Performers are chosen by lottery. If you're on tour, you'll get priority, but make sure to contact me first. Featured performers send us video typically unless we see you live, and we book through word of mouth as well.

5.) What's up with the name change to DeWolf?

My mother was Hubbard, then DeWolf, then married and changed her name to Kennedy. My first years in slam as a performer I was Jamie Kennedy, then the comedian of MTV's "Jamie Kennedy Experiment" blew up and he and I were constantly getting mixed up. One pivotal moment came when the comedian and I were booked twice at the same comedy venue in San Jose within a month of each other, friends of mine ended up going to see the wrong Jamie, and the confusion had reached such an absurd point where he was being asked on air if he was related to L. Ron Hubbard. I said enough of this nonsense. I took my mothers maiden name, which was DeWolf. It's not an MC stage name like I'm a werewolf, it's our family name.

6.) Do you direct music videos/documentaries? Can you direct mine?

I’m always looking for new exciting projects, email me and we'll discuss concepts!

7.) What do your tattoos mean?

Each one has a purpose and a story. Some of them are stupid. 21 year olds shouldn’t be allowed near a tattoo gun. Yes the triangle is the Scientology symbol. If you look closely it’s been altered to say SP. Look it up.

8.) Can you perform at my school?

Yes! I have a mission to give young writers the experience I didn't get in high school. Contact me!

9.) How can I get texts of your poems? Can I cover one of them for a class/speech/performance?

For covers and speech classes, absolutely. Just make sure you give me credit so they can come here to this site and be offended. I'll blame you.

10.) Where is this {Fill in the Blank} Poem or Performance?

It may have gotten pulled offline for various reasons, or sometimes I shockingly stop liking it. Depending on the piece, I can maybe find it for you.

11.) Are your stories/POEMS all true?

Yes. That may be hard to believe, but trust me I’m even holding back on some crazier ones. Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you all about them.