Burner Handle(s): Jin (or Gin or Djin(n), I accept all spellings & meanings)
Defaultia Region of Origin: Chicago, IL
Years Burning/home burn: 5 / Lakes of Fire is my 1st and most attended (4x), but I've always been a bit of a floater. Mosaic & Reclaimation are close to my heart.
Years of Servitude, ahem, volunteering: Three. I started out slow and attended one burn a year from 2014-16. I didn't volunteer at my first 2 burns (Lakes & TTITD), but that trend would change. During LOF '16, my friend, having signed on for an overly ambitious amount of hours, decided he didn't want to work his impending volunteer shift and shouted loudly in no particular direction, hoping someone would go in his stead. I decided to jump on the opportunity to participate immediately. It was fate. My first shift was at GATE. I have worked at least 1 Gate shift at almost every burn I've attended since. In 2017, I went to a ranger training at B.U.R.N. Burn in a similar fashion. I have Rangered at Lakes, Paradox, Mosaic & Reclaimation. I also tried Bridge Troll & Parking at B.U.R.N. Burn, Perimeter Ninjas at Lakes, and Medic & Lamplighters at Reclaimation.
Role: Gate Co-Lead
Why: Gate is my first and greatest love. There was an opening for a co-lead last year and I marked that I was interested when I was signing up for my volunteer shifts. Not Applicable sent me more information and it sounded enticing, so I decided to apply! It was one of the best decisions I've made in my burner career.
Why does your dept matter?
Gate is the last stop before you enter the event. We keep things safe and secure while also being the first point of contact when people finally make it home. Gate is IDs, waivers, and wristbands...you know, a teeny tiny bit of radical bureaucracy. Our job is to make getting it out of the way as smooth as possible for everyone involved. All of the fun things in life require waivers!
Why does volunteering improve your burn/make you happy/work for you?
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. Some of my most amazing and very best friends are individuals I met while volunteering. And sometimes it is exactly the change of scenery you require. This year, a Ranger shift got me out of my camp and walking around. It was the break from setup I didn't know I needed.
Why should someone consider volunteering for you?
Gate is great for people who are organized. We have shade and seating. Join us! Take the black and protect our island of misfit toys. Also, I have a 6th sense for checking in on my volunteers AND I'll give you lots of rides on the cart.
What's your best burner skill?
My masterful Tetris-like packing abilities. My neighbors ask me if I'm moving every time I load my car for a burn.
What's your choice nugget of wisdom for a virgin burner?
DO NOT FORGET YOUR CUP.
Why do you love burning?
Burning is all about the principles for me. I love and respect what this community is about. Whenever and wherever we get together with those intentions, we burn bright and anything is possible.
Have burns changed your life? How?
Burning has been a hugely positive force in my life. I find myself with more agency and confidence. I have not only an outlet to do whatever I can dream up, but also the support of an amazing community that allows people to empower themselves and each other.
Which principle is primary for you and why?
Lists start at zero and I consider consent to be the 0th principle! Asking first creates a more expansive experience for everyone because it gives people a chance to set clear and informed boundaries with each other. I truly believe that all of the other principles build off of consent. Come find me and we can chat about it more!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
If I could get paid to use the skills I've honed from burning, I'd be very happy. I'm honestly still trying to answer this question. If you like what you see, offer me a job?
What's your drink of choice?