Jenkins was born in Limestone and currently lives in Johnson City, where he studies at East Tennessee State University. You can catch him as mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Johnson City Community Theatre’s production of “The Rocky Horror Show,” which opens Thursday for seven performances.
1. What are some of your favorite roles so far?
Link Larkin in “Hairspray,” Jesus in “Godspell” and Clayton in “Tarzan,” but Frank is definitely my top one so far.
2. What is your favorite condiment?
My favorite condiment is Buffalo sauce.
3. What are you studying at ETSU?
I'm currently a 2nd year biology major.
4. What are some of your other dream roles?
Elder Price in “The Book of Mormon,” Peter or Jason in “Bare: A Pop Opera” and Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
5. What are some of your other interests outside of theatre?
Most of my interests outside of theater mainly involve being outdoors, being active or supporting local art!
Q: How did you get into acting and performing?
As for singing, I grew up singing in church with my family so it was always a passion of mine. And as funny as it may sound, it was a girl that got me into acting.
Over the summer before my eighth grade school year, a girl that I had a crush on talked to me and asked me to come audition for our school's drama club because they needed more guys. Thinking it’d be a good way to hang out with her more, I auditioned, and now here I am!
Q: I heard you had a lot of creative freedom with the role. How did you craft your version of Frank?
My creative vision for Frank has been crafted over the past couple of years when I first started really wanting to do the role. I have always been in love with the show for as long as I can remember, especially the notion: “Don’t Dream It, Be It.”
I took the original idea of sexual liberation from the movie and modernized it for what a sexual renaissance would look like in 2018.
Q: What’s it like to play Frank? What are some of the challenges of the role?
There's a line in the show where Frank says "It's not easy having a good time," which has become a running joke among the cast because of how demanding the role is.
It’s physically demanding because I'm cinching my waist to unhumanly proportions, wearing 8-inch heels and huge jewelry, all while dancing and acting and attempting to sing in pitch. But emotionally it’s not taxing at all, if anything it’s a fun way to release thoughts and actions you can’t usually express in Frank's grandiose fashion.
Q: What are some of the other things you like about community theater?
My favorite thing about community theater is that it’s a medium for all actors to come and collaborate and share art with each other. You have people who want to do this for a living sharing the stage with people who only did the show because their kid is in the show. That type of bond is beautiful!
Q: What do you hope the future holds for you in terms of theatre/performing?
The obvious goal that I'm working toward now would be Broadway, but any way that I could make a living doing the art that I'm passionate about is the dream. Whether I'm teaching or performing, I'll be happy!