This piece of work features three of my most recent songs supported by an assortment of handmade puppets. Like many of my video pieces, I don't begin with a concrete storyline or direction. It's a process of organizing and re-organizing ideas born from interacting with the puppets and settings. During and sometimes after compiling the footage, music is randomly placed to see if any unplanned happenings inspire new directions. I strive to be surprised throughout the entire endeavor, balancing somewhere between controlling and guiding things.
Jeffrey's human persona created almighty Opp in 2003 and has been offering its free community service every last Saturday on the corner of Western and Elmwood in Koreatown, Los Angeles since 2006.
almighty Opp combines all of his artistic endeavors (music/songwriting, puppet-making/performance, illustration, fabrication, social-commentary and improvisation). Until the outbreak of COVID-19, almighty Opp preferred a rather limited social media presence. Shortly thereafter, Jeffrey presented "The Softening Hour", an almighty Opp live-streaming service via lnstagram. The weekly happening is designed as a place of solace where the community can continue to congregate for one hour to disappear and forget about the overwhelming and stressful effects of our present world.
What comes to mind when you hear "For the love of L.A."?
I have a love/hate relationship with L.A.
I've lived here for almost 25 years. It is the place where I formed my ideas and found the people who I love and consider to be my family and friends. To counter the things that I dislike about the city, I created almighty Opp, a non-exclusive gathering where anyone is welcome to attend regardless of financial or social status. It is a place for free thinking and free speaking and it is offered free of charge.
How does Puppeteering/movement inform your craft?
I feel that one of my strengths is that I don't consider myself to be a "professional" puppeteer, nor are any of my assistants.
Of course it is necessary to have a basic understanding of mechanics of the puppets but to me the most important element is the ability to play and improvise.
I feel that my lack of knowledge of puppet shows and puppet troupes has allowed me to keep what I do free of the cliches and trappings that are normally attached to puppets.
I've said for over 18 years....
almighty Opp is NOT a puppet show.
How has this moment influenced your work?
Until February 2020 I had a 16 year, monthly ritual that took place the last Saturday of each month on the corner of Western and Elmwood in Koreatown, Los Angeles (90004). The almighty Opp Monthly Service is quite involved and requires a tremendous amount of preparation and dedication.
When it became apparent that I could be fined for illegal assembly it created a void in my life that led to something that I had previously opposed, offering an online, streaming-version of the almighty Opp Service.
The online Service has required me to approach almighty Opp in entirely new ways and has increased my productivity greatly.
For now, it is being offered every Saturday night via Instagram/YouTube.
At this time I'm working everyday to make new songs, puppets and videos in order to display something new every week.
What is Up and Coming?
I wouldn't want to spoil the surprises to come.