20 Questions with Susan Kent

Tara
Tara Bradbury
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See this picture? No, it’s not the skeety guy who gave you the creeps in high school — it’s actually the very gorgeous, very blonde and very female Susan Kent in costume as her character Jerry Pack.

Susan Kent in costume as Jerry. Kent will present her one-woman show, “Jerry’d Alive,” at the LSPU Hall May 7-11. — Submitted photo

You’ll most likely know Kent from “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” but you’re probably familiar with Jerry, too, or at least someone like him.

He’s a bike-riding, sparse mustache- and shell suit-wearing 30-year-old, who spends his time calling out to high school girls while hanging out near the cemetery.

“I like you,” he’ll yell. “Mature for your age!”

Kent created Jerry based on a composite of people she knows or has known, mostly a guy she and her best friend would see around Corner Brook as 13-year-olds.

At first, she said, they just thought he was a really nice adult who would give them cigarettes.

“I was probably 19 or 20 before I realized he was a total perv,” Kent says, laughing.

In 2007, Kent and filmmaker Jordan Canning created a six-minute short film based on Jerry, and a year later, with director Sherry White, Kent brought the character to the LSPU Hall’s Second Space as a one-woman show.

That piece, “Nan Loves Jerry,” saw Jerry leaving his life of privilege: his grandmother, whom he lives with, breaks her leg and can no longer cook for him and fold his laundry.

Instead, he’s got to take care of her.

Next month, Jerry will be back at the Hall — this time on the main stage — as Kent presents “Jerry’d Alive,” directed by Andy Jones.

“It’s more of the same, because Jerry is his own archetype,” Kent explains.

 “This time, he’s going after a girl who he’s not suited to and who he’s never going to get, but she’s nice to him, and he’s pinning all his hopes on getting together with her. She’s a Christian missionary, and that’s why she has invested all this time in being nice to him.”

Jerry’s probation officer also shows up in this show, Kent offers.

The original “Jerry” short film was made with an eventual web series in mind, and it’s something Kent would still like to do.

In the meantime, she’s busy on “22 Minutes,” writing and acting. It’s a dream job, she says.

“I love it. Everyone who works for that outfit is so funny and nice, and even the way the place is laid out is like we’re all in a bungalow together.

“I get to be foolish. I get to be smart sometimes. I get to speak to politicians, which is something I never, ever thought I’d be doing — going up to people and making fun of them — but as soon as the light comes on on the camera, you get this shot of courage.”

“Jerry’d Alive” will run at the LSPU Hall May 7 to 11. Tickets range from $23 to $27, and are available at the Hall box office, by calling 753-4531, or online at www.rca.nf.ca.

 

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

 

What is your full name?

Susan Elizabeth Kent.

 

Where and when were you born?

St. Clare’s hospital, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

 

Where’s home at the moment?

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

 

Do you have any hidden talents?

Killing flies. They called me seven in one blow, and everybody thought I was rad at killing giants but really it was only flies I was good at killing. That was a stressful year.

 

What are you reading at the moment?

A scribble on my palm that I think says, “Do 20 questions.” For real, a pop-up that’s promising me sexy ladies. Oh, a book!? I just finished Jon Ronson’s “Lost at Sea.”

 

What’s one act of rebellion you committed as a teenager?

Wearing a thin, torn jean jacket in the dead of winter. I was discovered by my parents outside the McDonald’s at the Corner Brook Plaza and humiliated into their car.

 

What is your biggest regret?

Joining al-Qaida. What on Earth was I thinking?

 

What was your favourite year so far?

Next year.

 

What is your most treasured possession?

My boyfriend. MINE. It’s OK to own people, right? That’s called true love, right?

 

What was your most vivid dream?

I can’t tell you. No, it wasn’t that kind of dream but having the details of the dream printed in The Telegram would qualify for the answer to my most embarrassing moment question. Part of a great dream I had involved watching a kid find a crumpled yellow tank top on a fire escape cry with happiness at the new tank top he had found.

 

Who inspires you?

People who go to work every morning, despite whether they like their job or not, because they have a family to support.

 

Who is one person, living or dead, you’d like to have lunch with?

My nan. I hope you realize that by answering this question I’m making everyone who really wants to have lunch with me very upset. Thanks a bunch.

 

What are your Top 5 favourite records of all time?

This is an impossible one. But I really love the following five: Witchery — “Witchburner” EP; Turbonegro — “Scandinavian Leather;” Metallica — “Ride the Lightening;” Eagles of Death Metal — “Death by Sexy;” Suicidal Tendencies — “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow if I Can’t Even Smile Today.”

 

What do you like to cook?

Tuna steak crusted with black sesame seeds. Oooh la la, right?

 

What would you have been if you weren’t acting/writing for a living?

Celebrated Chippendale’s dancer. Wait — is that right?

 

What was your most embarrassing moment?

There’s no way anyone answers this honestly. Fine, here you go: getting my woman times in a big way wearing white jogging pants in the middle of Bay Street rush hour. FULL ON LIKE HOW IT HAPPENS IN YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE WITH SHOCKED FACES SWIRLING PAST AND POINTING STRANGERS AND EVERY ALLEY YOU RUN INTO HAS TWO OR THREE HORRIFIED STREET FOLKS!!

 

What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m 65.

 

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Mission to Mars. Fingers crossed. But will they accept a 70-year-old on the red planet? Only time will tell.

 

What/where is your ideal vacation?

Mojave desert. Mo-havin’ dessert.

 

What is your personal motto?

Be grateful, ya jerk.

Organizations: Al-Qaida

Geographic location: Corner Brook Plaza, Newfoundland, Dartmouth Bay Street Mojave

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  • Deidre Gillard-Rowlings
    April 21, 2014 - 08:25

    Oh Susan you are the best! I know the show will kick it! KICK IT!