January Feature: J.B. Ghuman, Jr – Building the Merkaba

Best known for his award-winning musical comedy, SPORK, JB Ghuman, Jr. is excited to present his latest original art expression, a 30-minute film that took nearly five years to create, “kEEp scrEEming.” Drawing inspiration from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the film features appearances by notable stars including Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, RuPaul’s Drag Race’sTammie Brown, adult film star Colton Ford, as well as JB Ghuman, Jr., in all his nude glory. Like his previous works, “kEEp scrEEming” is not intended to teach or lecture, but rather to activate minds and hearts. “I’d describe the film as a detailed journey on how to build the Merkaba,” he explains, referencing the divine light vehicle (“Mer” means Light, “Ka” means Spirit, “Ba” means Body) that helps the enlightened connect with others also in tune with higher realms. “The mind is capable of seeing a reality outside of the one each of us live in. My hope is that the film inspires individuals to consider themselves part of a larger, greater force,” “kEEp scrEEming” by JB Ghuman, Jr. is available on Youtube now.

JB Ghuman Jr. is best known for SPORK, his dark comedy musical film that toured major film festivals in 2011, winning “Best Feature” awards at several as well as the audience award at Tribeca Film Festival. He has also directed music videos for EDM musicians including Luciana and Cazwell, and Double Duchess’ “Good Girl Freak Out,” featuring friend, Kelly Osborne.

“kEEp scrEEming,” however, goes beyond JB Ghuman, Jr.’s other works. In it, he manages to dive deeper than ever before in his storytelling. He goes forward and backwards, up, down, left, and right; even directions in-between for a true mind-altering experience.

“kEEp scrEEming” by JB Ghuman, Jr. is available on Youtube now. Visit jbghumanjr.com.

JRK: Before we get into the interview, can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you are from and all that good introductory stuff?

JB: Sure. Born and raised via Miami Beach, Fl. Then at 19 moved to Harlem, NY. Been pulling giant cardboard pieces via dumpsters from early teens to even recently to paint on / curate large installations. Writer director / video installation artist. Uber quiet. Likes to laugh. A lot. Dad’s from India, mother from North Carolina. Had an incredible ride via my first feature SPORK traveling the world. The response showed me how my art could actually affect humans in a bright way. Turned my camera to video art. Here I am. xoxo

JRK: You have just released a new video art installment entitled, “kEEp scrEEming.” Your aim in the project was to “activate an enlightened prism perspective in people.” Can you explain what you mean by that?

JB: Course. The prism perspective is just a term I use to sum up what otherwise would be a long winded detailed description of how a single mind can see multiple dimensions not simply around it’s (self) but within it’s (self). With this ability, one can not only appreciate that which is good in a deeper way but equally make sense of that which feels bad in a rational way. Whether it’s an experience meant to grow you or an experience to give rise to a you that’s maintainable, each will be better navigated with a perspective that’s in constant flux. If our entire species was able to do this, the friction overall within the zeitgeist would slowly dissipate and eventually a golden era would emerge. or return. either way, it’d be dope.

JRK: The inspiration for kEEp scrEEming is grounded in the movie “The Little Mermaid.” Can you explain how this is so?

JB: Well, on a personal tip, as a child I’d listen to the score of the film on constant repeat. It haunted my lil’skull. As a grown up, I found out the largest “force” behind the films magic was a man named Howard Ashman. At the same time, the story of “The Little Mermaid” is a very old story and like most Disney franchises, touches on ancient lore. The name “Ariel” in itself is very old and mixes with our species records of where we come from if even soaked in half-truths.

The film started to surface in my dreams and suddenly Ariel was emerging from the water as if she we’re emerging from another dimension. She did so out of love. From there, I could go on a long rant of “things” and “topics” that start to sound so abstract, it’s hardly even understandable on a sonic level. The reason my film is so abstract is because I’m telling a story that’s meant for the “back” of the mind to decipher vs the front. And in this “arena” of storytelling, words become increasingly cumbersome given they only blur a larger truth. Hell, even trying to explain “that” in its self is cumbersome, ha. But you feel me… sometimes a vernacular doesn’t convey and thus my efforts to curate a visual journey that’s more to do with emotions and deeper vibrations.

JRK: You have said that your views on war, racism, sexual assault, and other disturbing topics in the news today could be described as “gifts” because they help us to realize that despite their darkness, we can shine as individuals. Can you expand on that a bit?

JB: Yea… I did say that. It’s my hope that the future will be passed such a need to even “have” to prove to our own selves we can maintain our shine despite the dark. Until that “time,” it’s odd to try and know your “Self” until you’ve gone though experiences that enable you not to define yourself, but in truth, “realize” your self. If you’re a small flame that came from a greater fire, then in order for you to really “grasp” yourself you’re going to have to exist within the dark first. Then, once your fully able to maintain your light in the shadow, you can now return to this great fire. Still apart of it yet now… conscious of your own being. And can commune, coexist and share space with other beings who have equally created a self not out of thin air but from gradually making sense of what they’ve always “been.” I too have had some extremely dark times that I’d probably never even speak of publicly. But it’s not out of shame or fear rather an even deeper urge to share just how these dark times revealed to me… how loving I can “still” be in the face of said darkness. It’s easy to speak of what’s right. But once your faced with so many reactions towards humans or situations that burn to the bone, then the real test comes and suddenly how we each “react” becomes what we “are.” And if you want to be filled with light and thus are, then your going to have to face off with the shadow… and maintain said light. Thus the conviction and deeper sense of knowing ones self when looking into the mirror and saying “I am the I am.” These… dark times and moments we all see, hear of and experience are awful. As an empath, it brings me to my knees when I read of the constant pain that soaks our everyday world. This species has so much potential. Magic and capacity to create. But without the ability to stand face forward, chest out, head tall towards the wind, then each of our wings will never grow the strength to fly towards the heights they we’re meant to scale. So yea… the darkness is a gift. But only regarding the means of self realization it brings towards a single soul. Other than that, it sucks. And I grasp that enough to still hold someones hand as they cry over their pain while simultaneously knowing… their going to survive this. And will surface stronger and more loving than ever. It just takes time.

JRK: There is an ever growing, and blatant disregard for nature, especially in this current toxic political environment. What is your perspective on this and how does kEEp scrEEming help to make people more environmentally conscious?

JB: Sigh… it’s been an extremely quiet couple of years for this cat as I’ve dug in deep to curate this film. About 90% of my days, months and years have been connection with momma earth. Her limbs from trees to animals to the very air in her atmosphere(s) has become so intimate it’s all I can do to not feel a knot in my stomach at a drying leaf. Yet still our species gives so little energy to her needs. Though the truth is… Earth isn’t the one that’s in danger. It’s the humans the live within her that will end up wiped out as lady earth spins on, simply re-growing all that we destroyed in less than a century as it takes humans vast vast vaaaaast spans of time to even get back to a rolling wheel once it’s all wiped clean. Though I’m in the hopes that experiences like “kEEp scrEEming” and others that attempt to insight a growth of a mental capacity matched with a deepening of the heart to inspire humans to care that much more for the planet that currently spawns them. Like most of the dark behaviors from humans, all stems from a lack of understanding. From rape, to jealousy, to racism, to greed, to arrogance, to insecurity, to a lust for things over depth of soul, to all dark vibrations, once someone stares long enough at eache’s and all’s origins, they’ll find it always and i mean always… comes from a lack of depth of perspective and a lessening of the use of the heart that curates it all. From human to human. Hurt feelings to misunderstandings to anything that pains us. The same can be said for a lack of concern for momma earth and the creatures we share her with. Cause the truth is, our ability to care for earth shouldn’t even be the goal. All planets, even the ones that harbor no life, are alive. And deserving of care and concern. It’ takes eons of time and gravity to create a planet. Each has a life span and each has a story. Earth is where our story is today. And if kEEp scrEEming can kick off an inner fire of a deeper understanding of this, then that’d make my soul sing. literally.

JRK: You have stated that all characters that do not show their faces in “kEEp scrEEming”— from the ejaculation sequence to the body covered light dancers — are, in fact, you. Your intent in letting folks know these scenes were yourself was grounded in a desire to protect participants in the project from any judgment or critique. What has been the reaction to kEEp scrEEming thus far in terms of the sequences you are concerned about?

JB: Um… it’s been pretty chill. It’s still sort of being “seen” as I type this so not much has stuck out to me as of yet. The idea that I curated a story meant to be understood over time vs. in a single gulp kind of puts me at ease with “needing” for it to be full understood upfront. As far as my “Dance of The Tribe Of light” sequence, I was hella nervous to put that out there but the deeper message is extremely important to me and thus I’m cool with whatever response I get. But yea… as of now, nothing harsh. Only support and love. Maybe some confusion but… like i said, that’s expected.

JRK: There are some in the queer community, myself included, who feel the gay rights movement has become somewhat stagnant and immersed in issues grounded in self-interest and self-validation. While it is important to have a sense of self and to feel part of a community of like-minded people, many of us have shifted focus and embarked on a more enlightened path to discover self-truths that go beyond sexual orientation and gender identity hidden deep inside our subconscious. What is your take on this and do you think a more enlightened perspective overall can help the gay rights movement go forward with fresh energy to make the world a better place for all?

JB: Gosh, what you said on your own accord is actually quite beautiful. And yes, I fully heartedly agree. Cause the truth is, as a gay man, I really don’t feel my “desire” is what defines me. As a heterosexual man or woman doesn’t feel “defined” by what gets them off neither should it for me or my gay brethren. From male to female to that which is in-between. Suddenly, we “all” become brethren and like any (movement) a certain time within a certain zeitgeist will determine what is needed to move our species upwards and forwards. Though as we gradually get there, then said movement will become more and more… obsolete. And if the goal of any movement is meant to take us to a future where it’s message is finally within most of society, then that’s a beautiful thing. Racism still exists today. As too does anti-gay humans and darkness overall in many forms. Yet things are changing. And now, to be “gay” is becoming less and less a term that defines “anyone” and again… that’s a good thing. Yet the lane to feel safe and at ease within yourself in a world where your the minority is still needed and thus here we are in this weird grey zone of belonging to the “gay” club vs the over all “human” club. But I feel to be gay on any level is only enlightening (because) of the hardships and living life as a minority not only in society at large but for most of us, within our own families. It’s like being born blue in a family where everyone is red. Or vice versa. And it’s more (this) scenario that inspire long walks… alone. Deep thoughts… alone. And though we all find our place eventually, these forced “introspective” experiences can thus create a human who’s mind is… well… expanded. And more open than the average human. But to think it’s (necessary) is not only reverse judgment but greatly wrong. This plant is filled with intelligent and magical heterosexual humans. So… in the end, it’s simply how you “Are” that will decide whether being gay is something that can inspire deeper growth or if even your not gay at all yet still find your self staring into the sunset daily asking the right questions as to how you came to be. But again, anything that speeds up the cycle of the soul to realize should be welcomed. And it does seem to do as such when your born a lone wolf in your own circle of humans. So either way, we’re all headed in the right direction. Gay or not. S’long as we walk together, it’s a march for “all.”

JRK: Now that kEEp scrEEming is completed, what is next for J.B. Ghuman, Jr.?

JB: Sigh… man, after this long on this project, I kinda just wanna go somewhere and travel as I get back to a life where I’m not so chained to my edit desk. ha. But… alas, I’m already in the midst of another music video for a dope artist as well as gearing up to do a rad Marvel short film and of course my next feature script that’s been busting at the seams for me to get her set up. That and I’m equally looking to do another art film though on a bigger scale. It’s as if I can’t shut my mind off. From dreams to quiet sit downs by the lake, it’s all I can do to “not” ponder things… and then want to share. Ugh… I’m like… never going to get to just chill, am i. lol.

JRK: Do you have any parting thoughts you would like to leave Diversity Rules readers?

JB: Nah, I’m cool. My answers we’re so long winded, my fingers are basically dried out. You rock and thank you for even caring. Much shine you way all day. ox jBjR!


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