Interview with RAWards’ Hollywood Performance Artist of the Year

We recently caught up with Jacob Jonas and Jill Wilson, Hollywood RAWards Performance Artists of the Year. Through the RAW: natural born artists program, 3-5 nominees, in each craft, showcase in their city (54 shows across the nation on the same night). The local community casts a live vote and three local judges, invited by RAW, also cast their vote. These two factors decide who will represent their town in RAWards Finals. Jonas and Wilson beat out talented nominees Taryn Wayne, duende LA and Noelle Andressen & Rubans Rouges Dance. Get to know the winners in our interview below.

Congratulations on winning the semi-finalist Hollywood RAWards Performance Artist of the Year! How does it feel to win and what does this mean for you guys?

It was really exciting because Jill hasn’t been in LA for a while. She’s been studying at school in Philadelphia so the chance to dance and perform together was great, and on top of that to have the honor to win the award was amazing. It is very special because in the dance industry, and other artistic industries, you have to work for other people until you get to create your own opportunities and this is something that ensures that what you’re doing is accepted, giving us that boost in our career to stick to what were passionate about.

Who comes up with your dance routines or is it a collaborative effort?

Every dance is different in terms of how long it takes or what the specific process is behind it, but Jacob choreographs the dances and works with Jill to create the vision.

How long have you guys been dancing/performing?

Together we have been dancing and performing for 5 years. Individually, Jill has been dancing for 16 years and Jacob 6 years. It has been really fun to join our styles together and see the growth of our collaboration over the years.

Can you tell us about your first time onstage? What was the experience like?

The first time we performed with RAW was right before Jill left in August. It was sentimental because it would be the last time we performed together until she got back. It was a great performance and the event was a lot of fun.

Do you have any advice for performing artists just starting out?

Learn your craft: the history, the education, and the techniques.

Surround yourself with artists that inspire you.

Be determined and ambitious and confident.

Create your own opportunities.

What valuable lessons have you learned while being in the industry?

Be true to your art and yourself. Do things because you are passionate, not because there is money. Don’t let others take credit for your work.

Who are some of your influences? Are there other performing artists you admire?

Thomas Edison, Michael Jackson, DV8, Kevin Clash, Sean Penn, Marcel Marceau, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Banksy, Ellen Degeneres, Wade Robson, Crystal Pite, Guy Laiberte, Glen Hansard, Miranda July.

Who would you like to collaborate with and why?

There are too many to list and even unknown possibilities. One of our goals is to collaborate with as many artists as possible.

Where can we catch you next? Any upcoming shows?

The RAWards show January 13th! Check out for more info

Also we always update our Facebook and Twitter accounts with performances, updates and news.
Twitter: @jacobmjonas  @jillwil42

For more information, visit:

About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.

Questions, comments or suggestions?

Categories: Events, Interview

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