In many ways, my adult life can be defined by the lengths I’ve gone to avoid the tyranny of a conventional 9-5 job. General wisdom holds that a distinct difference exists between the activities one may love to do, and the tedious, soul-pulverizing activities one must do to earn a living.
While there may be some truth to that, it seems the universe also has a funny way of revealing the most exceptional (and sometimes absurd) vocational opportunities only to those with open minds and the mettle to walk the road less traveled.
Welcome to America’s Most Random Jobs.
As the saying goes, God laughs at those who make plans. That statement could literally not be more apropos than in the case of Aaron Miller.
Due to the of the viral nature of the YouTube clips, you may already be aware that Kanye West’s Yeezus Tour features a theatrical intermission, wherein “White Jesus” emerges from the top of a massive volcano and (amidst roars from the arena) approaches Kanye to dramatically unmask him and dish out praises.
Thought Catalog: What qualifies you to be “White Jesus”? Is there any training for this sort of a thing?
White Jesus: I’m from Chicago. I’m a musician, used to touring, and my father is the Lutheran Bishop of Chicago (so I actually know quite a bit about Jesus). I look like the lie we were all sold, the blue-eyed white Jesus. So really, silly as the whole thing was, in hindsight, I can see how I was the perfect guy for it. “Ye” actually liked that I am a foot taller than he is. (He liked the idea of Jesus towering over him.) And yes, there was an “acting coach”… which wasn’t all that needed. Not that I’m a good actor, but just due to the job being so simple.
TC: Why did Kanye want a “White Jesus”?
WJ: Well, A: the album is called Yeezus. So there’s that. It came out of a production meeting. If I can say one thing about his crew, they aren’t limited. They do whatever the fuck they want. Someone literally said, “We should have Jesus appear.” Next thing I know I’m getting a call.
TC: Was there a job interview?
WJ: Sort of. A mutual friend called me asking, “Can you go meet with Kanye?” I turned my car around, drove to where the dancers were rehearsing, met with Ye and his production heads. I should note, I had no earthly clue why I was there at first. You can imagine my confusion.
Since I’m a musician, hearing them say, “Soooooo… we want Jesus to appear,” I’m like, “Uh huh… okay.”
“We’d like YOU to be Jesus”
“Say what now?!”
Even after the meeting, I somehow thought that was as far as it would go. But an hour later, I got the call, “Can you get on a plane to Seattle and go on tour for 4 months?” I really wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. It seemed so uncharacteristically silly for me. My wife was thoroughly confused. But she loves the Yeezus record even more than I do. Anyhow, I got on the plane.
TC: What were you thinking the first time you were standing in the volcano waiting to walk on stage before 20k people?
WJ: For the first show in Seattle, I really didn’t have time to process what I was doing at all. It all happened so fast. I did have some of those weird lucid moments—standing at the top of that giant mountain, staring down at Madison Square Garden, thinking, “I have the weirdest life ever.”
TC: What’s the most conventional job you’ve ever had?
WJ: I was a temp for a minute, doing things like night-shift data entry for UPS… shit like that.
TC: Was the backstage environment typically debaucherous? Drugs, etc.?
WJ: If you consider weed a drug. I didn’t see much of anything else. It was kind of a “rite of passage” that everyone in the inner circle has to do a “dab.” For those who don’t know, a dab is a high-powered, ultra-concentrated bong hit. Mike Dean was King Dab. My induction into the club came on my first night. Afterwards, I spent about an hour alone looking for our tour bus.
TC: Any tour highlights?
WJ: Man. Such a whirlwind; hard to say. it was great when I got to spend time alone with Ye. I realize it’s shocking to hear, but he’s a super great guy. Funny, warm, even patient. Not at all what we’re trained to expect from him. Playing with North, his baby girl, was memorable. I had some interesting conversations with Kris Jenner. She likes me for some reason.
TC: Weirdest thing that happened?
WJ: There was literally nothing that wasn’t weird about the whole thing.
TC: Any fallout from the religious community?
WJ: Yes! Lutherans like my father just laughed (he loved it), but the far right made me Public Enemy No. 1 right away. Glenn Beck has a site called “The Blaze”, which you should check out if you wanna get your racist hillbilly comment fix. Anyway, they were all saying that I’m going to hell, which I wear as a badge of honor. Those folks couldn’t be lower-functioning—brain dead.
TC: What did you tell your friends and family when you were hired?
Nothing at first. I did the first week of touring without anyone but my wife knowing. So as soon as photos and footage hit Buzzfeed, HuffPo, etc., the cat was out of the bag. If you know me, this was not something you’d expect me to do. Most of my friends just couldn’t believe it.
TC: What are the best perks about being White Jesus?
WJ: Well personally, I genuinely love the Yeezus album. I 100% would NEVER have dressed up as fucking Jesus for anyone else.
TC: Any memorable private moments with Kanye you can share?
WJ: Yeah. For some reason, rehearsing our bit in front of Kim and her family (and the camera crews from her show) really seemed to wig him out. So he would grab me and say, “Let’s get outta here.” We’d go into some other room alone. He’s really great one-on-one. It’s strange trying to merge the image we all have of him through the media lens, with who I experienced him to be in person; they don’t seem like the same guy. Not that all the crazy shit he says is an act… he’s just complicated like that. In person, he’s a sweetheart; on stage he chooses to project a huge ego or whatever. You’ll just have to take my word for it. He’s a good dude.
TC: What’s the funniest thing Ye ever said to you?
WJ: In Washington D.C., he walked up to me and said, “Man! I can’t imagine how much pussy you be gettin’ bein’ White Jesus.”