The Ringmaster: Jake Stratton

Age: 41
Neighborhood: Wallingford
Favorite Place: Lake View Cemetery
Last Book Read: A Lion’s Tale, Chris Jericho

In geek culture, Jake Stratton is Seattle’s P.T. Barnum.

The Indiana native built his following in the mid-’90s as the owner of before-its-time Capitol Hill arcade High Score and frontman for Blöödhag, the world’s only death metal band committed to performing songs about science fiction books. He added to his cache by emceeing the Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling League as well as the Rat City Roller Girls.

In the last year, Stratton has put on specialty shows at Re-Bar, including Grudge Rock (a monthly Family Feud-style game show that pits local bands against one another) and World Extreme Pencil Fighting, which casts a schoolyard game into the universe of professional wrestling.

“He’s a rare bird,” says music critic Chris Estey. “A ringmaster of the flow, doing live in venues what cubicle gremlins rely on Facebook for.”

This year Stratton will continue to refine Grudge Rock, with hopes of building an online audience, and turn his pencil fighting night into a lead-flinging monthly event. He also plans to stage a play and start a new event at Re-Bar called Tape Traders, where he’ll play tapes of professional wrestling matches supplied by fans like him.

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Photography by Kyle Johnson at Melrose Market Studios.

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