You can't love music and not know Jake Shears of the Grammy nominated Scissor Sisters. The legendary group has rocked the world since 2001. Originally the group came together as almost a 'lark' performing in different clubs in New York. The rest is history as it became one of the most successful groups in music.
Jake Shears was born in Arizona and grew up on the beautiful San Juan Islands in Washington. While attending high school he was constantly bullied and had to finish his secondary education at another location. He attended Occidental College
Ironically it was Dan Savage who urged Shears to come out of the closet. The singer, writer and actor even did an "It Gets Better" video about his years of being bullied.
Jake is multi-talented. He is composer, dancer, songwriter, actor, author and great performance artist.
Here are "Five Questions For......Jake Shears".
1. In the "It Gets Better Project" you say you had been bullied. How did your family and you handle it?
Yeah I was bullied before and after I came out. I remember my freshman year of high school being held down in the hallway and three kids writing FAG on my forehead with permanent marker. The following year I came out at school, but not to my family. So I was living this weird double life, constantly terrified that somehow it was all going to boil over. It was a nasty time in my life. I've always been so thankful though for coming out when I did, I was able to figure it out as well as I could and move on with my life. I've been out now more years than I was ever in.
2. You have a remarkable comfort level with nudity. Where did that come from? What advice would you give others about body esteem issues and enjoying the freedom to be naked?
Everyone thinks I'm naked all the time or something. In fact the funny thing is, I cant really stand it when someone is totally naked. I find it a real turn off. I've only really gotten momentarily naked in front of an audience probably 3 times. That is if you don't count my balls falling out of my Calvin's that one time in Paris.
If I seem comfortable with my body it's just an illusion. I've absolutely fallen prey to the age old trope of the queen who's obsessed with becoming some sort of porn star look alike. In some ways I've become exactly what I stood against when I was younger. Am I proud of that? Not particularly. But I think it's because when I was a kid, and that includes my twenties, it was something I always wanted but wasn't really able to have. I'm much happier feeling like a man than a boy. But strangely I've had three separate people tell me in the last week or so that I was like Peter Pan. I like getting older but I'm not really too keen on growing up.
3. What obligation, if any, do musicians, composers and artist have to lend their voices and their art to create change in the world? Do you feel you have done that with your art?
I think anybody worth their weight as a writer or a performer is someone that's writing or presenting themselves in an honest way about their life and the times that surround them. I've never considered myself an activist. In actuality I'm pretty lazy about getting off my ass and doing anything to incite change. But I've always considered my own work as a kind of Get Out of Jail Free card. I should hope by doing what I do, and working as hard as I do, I'm contributing to the greater good.
4. What performer, alive or dead, do you wish you could do sing a duet? Why?
I've sang onstage with Kylie, Elton, Dolly, David Byrne, Fred Schneider. I feel like I've pretty much filled my daydream allotment. However, I'm still waiting to sing with Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age.
5. What is the most embarrassing moment that has ever happened to you on stage?
My most embarrassing moments have always come from stupid shit that I say on stage. Talking to a crowd isn't especially my strong suit. I can be very awkward and some horrific things have come out of my mouth. I did an improv intensive class this summer, primarily to just be more comfortable and quick when I end up having an audience.