How did Prince—whom you perform as and who passed away April 21—influence you and the culture at large?

Prince has influenced my career in many ways. Obviously if there was no Prince, there would be no Purple Reign! I really did not know much about Prince before having the idea to build a show based around him and his music, which came about because of a Halloween costume in 1996. As a result, I became a fan and started really digging into his catalog and studying his character for the role. Impersonating him for so many years, I’ve learned quite a bit as an entertainer and musician. He inspired me to learn to play multiple instruments as well as learn to write and record my own music.

I believe Prince has had the same impact on the music artist community at large and has inspired many people to stretch out further than perhaps they would have. I also believe that for a lot of artists, he made it OK to honestly and bravely express themselves and not be afraid to be different. He was also one of the first artists to shine a spotlight on the music industry and how artists should protect their rights and their intellectual property. I believe Prince’s impact on music, his prolific catalogue of output, and his bravery as an artist, will inspire musicians and artists for generations.

Jason Tenner performs in Purple Reign at Westgate. Shows are 9 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Call 800.222.5361 for tickets.