Performer Jason Nikas Dies at 51

LOS ANGELES—Jason Nikas, who performed under about a dozen different names, and worked on more than 120 titles between 1992 and 2012, died after a long battle with cancer on Sept. 18, 2023. He was 51.

Performing mostly as Jason Nikas, his real name was Patryk Strait, which he sometimes used as his credit when he worked as a production assistant or other behind-the-scenes work.

A versatile performer, he started off as a cute blond bottom twink performer and used the name of Johnny Guitar and Jason Wikes. He worked for Leisure Time Productions and for veteran porn director Paul Baressi.

He spent most of his career working with director and performer Karen Dior both in front of the camera and working in production. It was with Dior that he explored his trans side, and performed under the names of Ann Drogeny and Ann Drajenny, as a girl with a penis.

With Dior, he performed in a number of clever groundbreaking trans titles such as Gender Transcender, Melrose Trannie, She Male Voyager, That Dick's Got Tits, Trannie Angel and You've Got She-Male.

As a bisexual performer, he showed up in Bi Claudius, Bi the Rear Window, The Bi Valley, Bi Curious George and Bi-Nanza.


I personally remember the story of Nikas as being the production mastermind who figured out how the toy ship should sink in the special effects for Dior's award-winning Bi-Tannic: The Ship Where Everyone Goes Down.

Sabin, publisher of the Gay Video Guide, and the Gay Video Awards Shows for Aid For AIDS, said he worked with Nikas for many years.

Sabin and I got to see Jason in the hospital over the summer. At the time, he had every hope that he would make it out in good health and hoped to see a Madonna concert in January with his mother and sister.

"He loved Madonna, and he collected every obscure recording of her music, he would find every version of every concert he could," said Sabin. "It was good to be able to see him in the hospital, he seemed like he was in good spirits."

Sabin hired Jason to handle subscriptions for the Gay Video Guide and we worked together on the productions of the magazine's award shows. "He was always a fun and conscientious worker and always reliable," said Sabin, who also worked with Jason at the GreenWood Cooper softcore gay adult company, as well as 10 Percent.

"I was glad to see him and see his laugh," said Sabin, who gave him a pair of Pride sunglasses in the hospital because Patryk couldn't make it this past year.

Journalist and reviewer Billy Masters said, "All he wanted at the end was to spend time with people, I'm so glad you got to do that."

Director Kevin Clarke, in New York, said, "When I heard about Patryk I was thinking how grateful I was that you and Sabin essentially said good-bye for me in the hospital. You gave him my message and it meant something to him. All I could think about is that life is not about death and loss. It is about life and living."

Jason worked with Clarke in Pleasure Principle for Jaguar and Barry Knight. Then, he hired him for Something Very Big for Odyssey Men.

"He was my assistant director, one of the cameramen and was instrumental in model handling," Clarke recalled. "He did everything and everything well. He was one of the few performers who without strings, helped others. When a young model was in trouble, I would send them to Jason."

Clarke added, "Cherishing every day is not enough. We must cherish every second. Look into our lives and cherish those we love care about every second. We can't bring anyone back. We can honor them by living."

Clarke said, "We can remember everything they gave us and share it with those we love. That keeps them alive. That is how they want us to live. Life is not about death and loss. It's about living, loving, and doing whatever we can to let those we love and care about that every moment with them is a gift that defines our life and is the heart of our living."

Patryk Strait was born Aug. 17, 1972 in Arcadia, Calif. and died in Las Vegas with his mother and sister by his side.

His first movie was Hunk Hunt 26 for Leisure Time. And his titles included Cocks in Frocks, Dungeons and Drag Queens, Here Cums Santa Clause, Jur-Ass in the Park and Seaman Training Day.

Versatile as an irrepressibly cute twink, he also worked with All Words Video, Vivid Video, Studio 2000, He/She studios and many others.

Clarke remembered, "At a pivotal point in my career, he was there to guide me. I owe him all. He died the way he lived, fighting to the end. Caring more about the people around him than himself. Goodbye, my friend."

In my last chat with Jason, I asked him how he'd want to be remembered, and he said, "For always being there for people when they needed it."

And yes, he was.