Updated: May 7
Many of you already know me and my unusual life, and to the others- welcome! Please enjoy this grand surprise. In addition to hosting ceremonial events I am a Michael Jackson impersonator. Yes. strange and true.
I've been a professional dancer my whole life and by a stroke of fate I got cast as a back-up dancer in the late 90's for a female celebrity impersonator show, men impersonating female celebrities like Madonna and Cher. They were "over the top" performers and I felt very small, invisible and insignificant as one of six women backing them up. We danced our butts off and got no glory. It was all about "the stars". One of The Queens impersonated MJ and even though it wasn't a drag role, the producer loved MJ and had him in the show.
I just accepted my destiny for the back of the stage until I had a dream. I dreamed I was impersonating Michael. On a huge stage. With people cheering for me. I lost a shoe on the way to the stage (representing my obstacles or a loss of my past self?) but I performed anyway. It was exhilarating. I was not only dancing the role, I felt the power of this huge icon enter me. Then I woke up.There I was, small and insignificant
I worked on "MJ" in my spare time, in secret. Once the queens knew what I was plotting they tried to dissuade me. "Oh Honey, the producer would NEVER hire a WOMAN to perform, just do your job as a dancer". After one year of struggling to learn his moves, make costumes, and learn to "paint" MJ's face on top of mine, the producer did put me in the show. For one week. Then I got fired for standing up for the dancer's rights in a story that would take too long for this newsletter.I came back to San Diego (I had been living and performing in Aruba!) shattered. I didn't know what to do with myself. I was already in my 40's, an old lady to be auditioning in the dance world.
Then I heard about Firedance. A sacred gathering in the forest of Santa Cruz. I signed up. Every summer I went back for a week to meet new people and connect to something greater. To what? To the magnificence that was inside myself. To the power within ME. To the flow of magic that is unlimited. I wrote on a prayer flag, (a small strip of cloth that hangs on the perimeter of the fire circle)
"Michael Jackson is my Vehicle". And so the magic began. I took a horrible job at a drag themed restaurant just to work on my impersonation because honestly, I was terrible at first. After several years I got an agent and started to get booked for non drag gigs. I had to step into a power that was beyond my smallness, not into Michael, but into a greater version of myself to be able to hold the energy of a great star.
I went on to produce a Michael Jackson Tribute show in 2010, then a one woman show about my life's journey in 2012 called Woman In The Mirror, A Dancer's Journey. I won a Bravo San Diego Award. Me. A back up dancer, no longer.
I can honestly say it was doing the deep work of shedding the layers of smallness while dancing around a sacred fire that allowed me to step into the shoes of an icon. I burned away all the years of playing small, hiding and not feeling good enough. I found the boldness that was within me. It's not to say you will find a celebrity to impersonate. But you might just find a power inside yourself you haven't yet tapped. Who could you become after shedding those layers?
20 years after attending the first Firedance event I'm now offering this most incredible experience to my community in San Diego. I have stepped into the shoes of Event Producer, Priestess, mentor, business person, workshop presenter, teacher and many other hats. I can say honestly that the work around the fire was personal alchemy. I am such a different person now that before the fire. I transmuted my proverbial lead; feeling small, unqualified, no self esteem into gold; my bigger bolder, powerful self. And I have the gold sequins to prove it!