Jessica Holter - The Head Doctor is IN
When a man speaks people listen when a women speaks people look first and if they like what they see, then they listen
– Unknown –
The lights are dim, incense are burning, music is playing , and in front of you stands Jessica Holter, curly red hair, red lips, black fishnets, mini –skirt, and black corset with boobs for days, and she opens her mouth and this sexy voice says Welcome to The Head Doctor Show….Let us pray
Jessica Holter is not only a writer an activist for physical, mental and sexual health, she is also the founder of the Punany Project. When she hits a mic, Jessica Holter definitely makes you look and listen, when presenting The Punany Project to the world. She has been performing for over 20 years and the punany project is just one of her endeavors.
She was born and bred in the bay area which is evident in her tye dyed daishiki and clogs as she enters any room prior to her shows. she was reared with a strong Christian upbringing and called to preach at the age of 12 but due to circumstances beyond her control she felt alienated and shamed into silence in that environment. Jessica states “in my church there was no room for the harlot or the person that’s been wounded, scarred or hurt to speak”. So what does one do in this situation? Well Jessica created that space although at the time she may not have even known that she was creating it.
The Punany Project began as an AIDS awareness project in 1995, an anthology consisting of works by herself, her friends and family. It was initiated due to the rise in HIV/AIDS deaths around the world and the untimely death of famed rapper Eazy E. One of those friends, contributor to the anthology and biggest inspirations was Dwayne Wiggins of the group Tone Toni, Toney, with his support and name on the line, the punany project was launched and in 2000 the Punany project was shown on HBO's Real Sex. Since the airing of that episode 16 years ago the punany project has maintained and continues to wow audiences.
The punany project travels the world featuring Jessica and the punany poets, not only is every one keeping it cute but they are keeping it above the waist. What that means is that the punany project encourages mind sex first and foremost and with a format that allows for Q & A, public displays of affection, head doctor conversations, and intimacy in a public/private space you can’t help but have a good time.
When you attend a live punany poets show you’re going to talk and ask questions, you’re going to get the opportunity to kiss your mate, honor your mate; you may even get a lap dance with your mate. At the same time, you will be educated on safe sex; there will be demonstrations on BDSM, massage, and oral sex as well as some amazing erotic poetry and good music to get you in the mood.
Jessica created a space with the punany project & the shows she presents. She creates a space for those who cannot speak sexually to one another, she creates a space for those who are shy about sexual topics and she creates a space for those who are sexually active but not necessarily sexually open to talk about sex. In her space you can talk about sex and all that comes along with it. And to think that when she started the punany project she was persecuted for doing erotic poetry and for presenting it in a way that was not widely accepted in poetry circles.
Twenty years later, Jessica is still here, artists are still vying to be punany poets, erotic poetry is widely accepted and the punany project is still going strong with the help of a customer base that keeps on attending her shows faithfully. She states that her retention rate is great. She believes she gets her audience to come out and participate in every show because her idea of erotic encompasses all the ways that people are called to express themselves with one another and as you get older what is sexy is not always sexual and her audience gets that.
But there are some things that the audience doesn’t know about the punany project that they should know and that’s what I’m here for so here you go.
Things you don’t know about the punany project
It is one of the longest running erotic poetry shows out there – 20 years
Jessica /Punany Project has never received any awards, never applied for any awards or given any awards
Jessica Holter is not an erotic poet
There are punany poets throughout the 50 states – I’m one of them
More than 80% of the shows are sold out
The punany project is not backed by any grants of any kind
Who would have thought that the Punany project has not received any awards? Not me, that’s for sure and I’m sure you wasn’t aware of that little tidbit either. But no worries, here at GASP we hope and plan to change that in the years to come starting with this interview.
Now there’s more to Jessica Holter than just the Punany project, she has recently relocated to Atlanta Georgia and she is currently working on several projects, the most important being her non-profit program ProjectCove.org which is an oratory program for foster children featuring a 6 - point plan for the improvement of self esteem and efficacy through development and demonstration of learned skills.
Project COVE is centered on the slogan “trust IN SELF and the world will trust in you”. The primary subject of Project cove is speech development which by itself fosters self confidence through practice, achievement and immediate reward. This program emphasizes the skills youth need to effectively communicate in public and private life. At COVE, they believe that oratory is among the most essential skills necessary for achieving quality and fruitful human relations and for reaching educational and career goals. Jessica states “the power of speech can move men to war and to peace; to love or to hate. The words we say and how we speak them to family and friends, coworkers and enemies can define our futures.” If you would like more information about this program, log onto ProjectCOVE.org.
Jessica is also releasing 2 new DVDs, Roulette and Privacy featuring Max Julian later on in the year and she also has art for sale at www.fineartwhitehead.com. Of course as you know valentines season is Punany season and it’s just around the corner so look for Jessica and the Punany poets to be in a venue near you as well.
Now to tell you why I chose Jessica Holter to be my first interview and why I feel it is important to get to know her and her work. I would like to say its because we are both from Oakland and that we are both hippies in spirit and on some level those reasons are fine but to be honest its also because of what she has done for me and others as artist.
I’ve been following the punany poets since the first presentation of the punany project on HBO’s real sex. In fact, there were times back then when I wanted to be a punany poet but my own insecurities and fears would not allow me to take action.
In any event, when I heard she was holding auditions in Atlanta for punany poets I jumped at the chance. Since becoming a punany poet, yep I slayed that audition, I’ve got to experience what she does and the conversations she creates between her audience and her artist. She’s right she is not an erotic poet, she’s a counselor, she’s a author, she’s a writer, she’s an educator, she’s a teacher, she’s a student, she’s a mentor, and she’s a sexual revolutionary. Her space and the work she does with the Punany project, allows poets and people to be comfortable with sexuality and sex.
You can find Jessica and tickets to all her shows @ www.Punanyplayhouse.com
You can find her artwork at www.fineartwhitehead.com and you can also donate and support her nonprofit at www.ProjectCOVE.org. Jessica has a number of CD’s and novels, her top two selling novels currently are Verbal Penetration produced by Zane and Punany-The Hip-Hop Psalms. She has a sex toy shop called Freaky Cupid and peoplecrush.com a dating site for people who enjoy her shows to meet others who also do. All her books and CD’s can be purchased at Amazon.com and all other products can be found on her websites listed above.
Now you don’t have to accept my word about the punany project, you can check it out yourself. Like I said earlier the punany poets will soon be at a venue near you just log onto one of the websites and get your tickets and thanks to Jessica Holter, the punany project today is to promote the elevation and upliftment of the punany and all the things that we go threw as women. The punany project is an opportunity to speak on everything and keep it pretty. The punany project is a HIV/AIDS awareness project and the punany project has been and will always be a group project.