TAKING THE SPOT LIGHT HOME WITH YOU……… By: AJ Menendez
I’ve never been the type of person to hold back my thoughts and feelings…I’m Puerto Rican and lets face it. it’s not in my DNA to hold back..LOL I don’t believe that any one should and I strongly believe that everyone has the right to speak how they feel as long as they are professional about it and not childish. So lets just put it out there shall we? Let’s talk about Egos and how there is absolutely no room for them on the stage. I feel it’s a good topic for ALL entertainers. Not just male or female illusionists, but all entertainers. Of course my feelings and opinions are my own. I’m writing about my own observations and not directing my observations to any entertainer in particular. Have I gotten your attention?? LOL Okay, soooooo I’ve been in the performance industry for quite some time now, and although I have had the honor and privilege of meeting, performing with and talking to some amazing entertainers, I found some to be unapproachable. Not only unapproachable to me as a fellow entertainer, but to their fans as well. That disheartens me a great deal. It seems to me that some take the spot light home with them. They forget that their onstage, larger than life personas should be left on the stage when the spot lights go out. With regard to the fans: I for one absolutely love getting out of drag after a show. I’ll come out of the dressing room as “me” and hang out with the fans. It’s my second favorite part of performing. I enjoy allowing the fans to get to know me as a person as well as an entertainer. I allow them to see I’m just as down to earth, out going and friendly as any normal person. At no time do I ever divulge any personal information, but I do allow them to see I’m not this larger than life, it’s all about me kind of person. Some entertainers reach a level of notoriety and fame and they forget where they came from and that it was their fans who helped to get them there. I was actually at a National Pageant once, and I saw a fan ask one of the entertainers for an autograph, with out a second glace they said that they will have pictures for sale later and that they didn’t have time for conversation. I was floored to say the least. I remember thinking to myself, if that’s what popularity does to you, than I don’t want it. We can be as talented as we want to be, but lets face it, without the fans we would be absolutely nothing. They are the ones that fill the seats in the venues, they are the ones who follow us from show to show, they are the ones who brag about us to their friends and bring them along to see.
Yes the fans can get out of hand and a little crazy but most of the times all they want is a kind word, some kind of acknowledgement, an autograph and a picture taken with them. How hard is that? I have been stopped out in public out of drag by fans who have asked for autographs and pics and I was flattered to death. Taking a few moments out of our time to make the fans feel appreciated shouldn’t be that hard of a task. With regard to fellow entertainers; We are all in the same industry. At no time are we above anyone else. We did not just wake up one morning, decide to become and entertainer and automatically become good at it. We had to learn from someone….Someone had to take time out to teach us and give us the tools we needed to improve our skills. I have seen popular entertainers (not all but some) give newbie’s who want nothing but advice from someone they admire that “How dare you speak to me, you‘re beneath me.” attitude. I’ve experienced it myself first hand and thank god I didn’t let it discourage me. I am a firm believer that Egos have absolutely no room in this industry and if you reach the point where you feel you know it all, it’s time to quit. There is always room for improvement no matter how far your career has taken you. Newbie’s will carry the torch when we are gone, they must learn from someone and it is our duty to teach them the correct way of doing things, it’s our duty to help them prefect their craft so that the craft itself will live on after we’re gone. It’s extremely important to show them that they don’t have to be scared to approach us with questions, concerns, advice, tips. We aren’t larger than life. We are regular every day people who entertain for a living. I had extremely amazing mentors who taught me well. I’m not as good as some, but I have had my share of popularity and success…I do not in any way think I’m better than anyone else and feel I still have much room to grow. I am always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who asks for it. Maybe it’s just me and my crazy thinking but I truly believe we shouldn’t take the spot light home….