Interview with Chicago's Angelique Munro - from Ricki Lake to Las Vegas - read first hand about her struggle to beat the odds and get back on stage to do what she loves - Perform...
DT: How long have you been performing and when/where did you get your start?: AM:
Nine years ago was the first time I dressed up as a woman with my best friend Patrick and my boyfriend at the time. We all went out in Drag to the bars for Halloween. While out bar hopping I ran into a bartender from The Baton Show Lounge, he said I should talk to Ginger Grant who books the special quest on Sundays for The Baton. So the following Saturday I did so and the next day Sunday I had my first quest spot. I did guest spots on Sunday like once or twice a month for about 2 years then branched out to other bars, etc.
DT: Was there anyone specific that inspired you in the early days? If so, can you tell us a little about how that person has/does impact(ed) you as a performer: AM:
While at The Baton performing on Sundays , I was so thrilled to get to know and perform with the girls. They all taught me so much. However I was and am so inspired by the one and only "wild and creative Monica Munro ". Within my first year performing, Monica took me under her wing and embraced me. She took the time to teach me how to apply make-up, pad my body and most of all gave me the confidence to shine on stage. Monica blessed me with her last name. I believe and realize it is an honor, something that you have to earn.
Other performers which I just adore, admire and learned alot from are: Fuchsia Lame`Molgrove, Chilli Pepper, Maya Douglas, Ms.Peaches, Sassy Trade, Xviara Snow, Monique Moyet, & The talented Viviana Mendez.
DT: Looking back on your experience as a performer, can you tell us about one or more performances that made a special impact on you? Had a special meaning?:AM:
Over the years I have met so many wonderful people that have touched my life. Here are some that have special meaning:
Market Days w/Absolute Diva
I performed 4 years with " Absolute Diva " , which are a group of very talented , hard working ,creative people. Burt Pitcher (the director) who is a God, has made such a special impact on my life. He gave me the opportunity to grow and try new material that I may never have thought of doing before. I have learned so much from him and all the girls, we all have become friends for life.
Las Vegas MGM Grand
3 years ago, I was asked to join and represent "Sidetrack" at The Bar & Restaurant Convention in Vegas. I performed with 4 males dancers , it was incredible to work with Ted Greenwood & Todd Keish.
Appearing on cables E! Entertainment Television " Wild on the Windy City " filmed while performing at The Mashed Potato Club.
DT: You took a break during 2003 as a performer - can you tell us about that and what you missed in regard to performing the most? What you learned from that whole experience?:AM:
2003 was a roller coaster ride of a year for me. I had shows booked from Jan till May of that year which I needed to and did find replacements for.
I took off work from my day job from the end of Jan until end of feb in order to take care of my dying Grandmother at home. It was very dificult , she died in my arms. I love and miss her so much .
One of the hardest things for me is dating, finding that special person who can and will accept me as I am - a performer. All I ever wanted is to love and be loved in return for me. They either want me as a boy or Angelique , not both. So I met someone and decided to take off some time and focus all my energy on the relationship. It was a rocky relationship from the start ( I have learned with no regrets never allow yourself to stay with someone who doesn't respect you ). The relationship ended in October.
Then finally to wrap up the year, in November I was diagnosed with a rare form of jaw Cancer ( for the second time in the last 4 years ). I had the tumor removed and I am pleased to say I just had my blood done and there are no signs of cancer anymore!
I realize life is too damm short - I am going to take charge and live my life for myself - do the things that make me happy. That's why Angelique's Back !
Looking back over this past year of heartache and pain, I truly missed the love, support and respect that my fans gave me. I can never say Thank you enough , I sincerely appreciate them all !
DT: After speaking with so many performers, we've learned one of the best learning experiences can be a show disaster - can you tell us about a particular show that turned into a disaster for you and what you did to make the best of it?:AM:
I must have been lucky, I can't think of a disaster show. However, I was the offical Chicago Ambassador to Alize`( promotional work ). I would go to different bars representing the liquor company Alize`. Well my boyfriend at the time was a muscle boy who couldn't handle the attention I would receive from other guys. He caused a scene by shouting " I dont feel like your boyfriend , I feel like your body guard ". That made that night a disaster ! ( we broke up shortly after that )
DT: These days "illusion" enthusiasts can see everything from drag troupes to individual artists perform throughout Chicagoland on any given night - do you regularly perform at any specific club? Where can us enthusiasts catch your performances?: AM:
I do have my own show! It's once a month at The Edge Blue Island. " The Angelique Munro Revue " - for show dates and times go to: www.theedgeblueisland.com
DT: Taking a jump back into time again, when did you first decide that you wanted to perform? What appealed to you the most about the thought of performing?:
What I find the most appealing about performing and entertaining is, I'm proud to say I am intriged by the way I look as a woman. From total boy to woman without any work done . I feel that's what a true female illusionist is.
DT: How has/does your family friends reacted to you performing? Has it changed over the years?: AM:
I am so very fortunate I have so much love and support from my Mom and Stepdad. My friends are my family and without them , I dont even want to think about it ! When I decided to perform again , I think and know they were all so much more thrilled then I was at first. But I know now I've made the right choice to come back to the stage.
DT: If anyone has any questions or comments, how can they contact you?: AM:
My website is being built as we speak. Coming soon! Booking info please call 773-327-1316
DT: Online interviews can hardly cover all the areas that really make up the the whole experience as a performer - is there anything that you'd like to add or share with the online readers?: AM:
Look for many great new adventures for Angelique Munro. I am in the process of developing my website. I will be appearing on " The Ricki Lake Show "
title "Surprise , I am a Drag Queen" to air in Feb. 2004. More television, stage & travel in the works for the future! This interview originally appeared on Dragtastic.com. Republished with permission.
Dragtastic.com - Chicagoland's Delicious Art of Illusion.