A GoPride Interview


Mercedes interview with ChicagoPride.com

Fri. October 15, 2010  by Kinley Preston



photo credit // kinley preston
When thinking of fun in Boystown, Chicago one name always comes to mind, Mercedes! A native of Ohio, Mercedes has spent the last few years honing her craft, pushing the limits, raising the volume, and increasing the level of fun in Chicago's famed LGB-and-T nightlife!

Mercedes Tyler was born and raised in Columbus, OH. At the age of 19 she moved to Cincinnati, OH where she got her break as a showgirl. She began working at noted Cincinnati haunts such as the Subway, Pipeline, and the Dock. It wasn't long before she took the scene by storm, and made a name for herself.

After nine years in Cincinnati, seeking new opportunities for growth and advancement, Mercedes moved to Chicago, IL in 2003. With such iconic influences as Mimi Marks, Monica Munro, and Victoria LePaige, she felt right at home, and embraced their influences. In 2007 Mercedes competed in, and made top 12 at Miss Continental Plus. It was one short year later she earned the coveted title of Miss Continental Plus 2008.

In addition to traveling the country, winning other titles such as Miss Big Apple Plus 2010, and Miss OH US of A at Large 2010, Mercedes recently placed 2nd runner up to the Miss US of A at Large pageant in Tampa, FL. Mercedes is always looking to increase the level of fun in Chicago, and hosts many great events such as Trannypalooza, Spin's Shower Party, Drag Queen Bingo, and most recently SIN at Roscoe's.

Mercedes' most prized event is Trannypalooza, usually occurring the last Monday of every month at Spin Nightclub.

Trannypalooza was created to offer a safe, friendly, and fun environment for TS, CD, TG, and TV women to meet and party with men from our area. There are often misconceptions about this event, but it simply fosters the meeting, and mingling of people who wouldn't normally have a comfortable place to do so. Trannypalooza offers great dance music, exciting energy, and the country's finest TS entertainers performing twice each party.

You can find this Diva on Facebook by simply searching for "Mercedes Tyler".

KP: As a performer, what is your most memorable moment!

M: I had just come off stage from performing Bette Midler's "Miss Otis Regrets". A man came up to me and told me that he recently lost his lover of 30 years to AIDS, and his lover's favorite singer was Bette. He said for 5 minutes I brought his lover back to him, he opened his wallet, and told me to take whatever i wanted. I simply took a twenty, as there was nothing smaller in his wallet, and thanked him for his kindness and generosity.

KP: Care to share your most embarrassing moment?

M: Competing for Miss OH US of A in 1996. I had no idea about pageantry, and didn't want to lose my Miss Cincinnati title, so I had to go. The theme was Egyptian nights. I came out for presentation with a sign that read, "Cairo or Bust". I placed dead last, but the audience lived!!

KP: You have been very busy traveling the country and hosting events in Chicago, do you ever feel burned out?

M: I get exhausted, but I do love what I do. Sometimes I just need to some time to myself to recharge, and it's all good!

KP: Some of your hair pieces are huge, do you ever get headaches from all that weight?

M: I have a strong head, so no, my pieces don't bother me. I've just become accustomed to them. I can't imagine performing without big hair!

KP: Do you feel like you are at the top of your game on a personal level or do you still see your self constantly improving?

M: I hope every day that I can be better than the last. I don't ever want to think there is no room for improvement. i strive to be the best I can personally be every single day. It is such a thrill to learn something new about your craft, and your self as you grown professionally, and personally.

KP: You have a strong persona on when you are one the microphone that some people find hard to take, is that you or is it and act?

M: I do have a strong personality, and I make no apologies for that. Depending on the time, place, and circumstance I can mold my persona to fit the demographic of the audience. The way I MC a pageant is different from when I host a regular show, for example I like to have fun, and I believe in most cases my persona is received well. You can't please everyone all the time, so I don't expect to be appreciated by all, but I do well, and have a great fan base.

KP: Whats next for Mercedes?

M: I am preparing for some future pageant endeavors, and always keeping an eye out for the next best gig. I believe I will find myself living in NYC within the next two years as well.

For more information on Mercedes Tranny Palooza Party visit http://www.myspace.com/trannypalooza

Interviewed by Kinley Preston