Interview With Erica Andrews
Posted 03 January 2007 - 06:33 PM
Miss Gay USofA, Miss Continental, Universal Show Queen, Miss Transsexual America, National Entertainer of the Year and fresh off the plane from Pattaya, Thailand, the newly crowned Miss International Queen...What in the world can Erica Andrews do next? Well that is precisely what this interview will tell us. Erica and I are siblings, if you will. Tandi Andrews was a "Mother" to us both in many ways. She had many "kids" from all parts of our great country and over the years we have all united as one big family. I have recently spent a lot of time with Erica in Tampa, Florida where she performs once a month at the fabulous Flirt Nightclub. Having only been back in the States for a few days, she flew into Tampa for her victory party celebration and found a few minutes to sit down with me and chat...here is the result...enjoy CF'ers!Hey sister! Thanks and welcome to CarrieFairfield.com! The staff and management appreciate you taking time to conduct this interview. So lets start this off by having you tell us about your upbringing. Where were you born and what was life like as a youngster?Let me start off by saying hello to you, the staff and management of CarrieFairfield.com and to all of its readers; it's a pleasure to do this interview. My childhood was as normal as any other little boy. I played with dolls, put on makeup and slipped into my mother’s dresses while she was at work. LOL. But really it was pretty normal. Growing up in Mexico I spent most of my time with my Grandmother, Sister, Mother and many female relatives. We lived in a small ranch called Los Aguirres located in the outskirts of Allende, Nuevo Leon. Where there was little electricity, spring water, and a rural setting with a beautiful river that we made our playground. We spent most of our childhood summers there swimming, fishing, and even washing clothes...I looked forward to that all year long!When did you originally move to the states? What year did you begin female impersonation? Also, tell our readers about your drag mother and father and how they came to be part of your life.I moved the states when I was about 8yrs old and started doing female impersonation then, but didn't get paid for it...lol!I lived in a border town (Laredo, TX) until I was 18 then moved to San Antonio where I began my career in the make-up industry and DRAG! All my friends had always called me Erica, but I had no last name...so we came up with Hutton, Erica Hutton...It had a nice ring and I love Lauren Hutton so it all made perfect sense. I went by that name for about a year or so (89-90), right around the time is when I met Mr. Raphael Ruiz de Velasco at a talent night at the Saint. We became very close and our relationship grew strong for years to come, he was my Father...the Father I never had.Through Raphael, I met Tandi [Andrews]…OMG…I was blown away by this person; she was an image of perfection to me, in so many ways! We immediately bonded and were inseparable...and one day, just like that, she asked me to change my last name to Andrews...i was like "WHAT? Are you crazy, the queens will let me have it!" and she said "fuck the queens"...I have to say that it wasn't easy at first, but she taught me so much and told me to believe in myself...and "don't rush things, they'll all come when the time is right"...she was right! I owe so much of my success to Tandi and Raphael...I feel their spirit with me every day of my life and I will never forget all the good they both instilled in me...I love them both so much!Amazing story! Thanks for sharing that with our readers.Now, lets talk a bit about the Miss International Queen Pageant. As you know, there was a lot of controversy concerning your entry into this pageant. Erica, was that a hard thing to go through? What were your thoughts during all of this? Was there a lot of pressure to win so that you could return to the States victorious?Miss International Queen, such a beautiful thing! I first heard about Miss International Queen when I competed at the World's Most Beautiful Transsexual Pageant in Las Vegas. It seemed like an impossible task at the time. However, the promoters and producers of this pageant provide all the contestants lodging, meals and accommodations making it that much easier, inviting, tempting, and convenient for a girl to do. All I needed to come up with was the roundtrip ticket to go.After winning Miss EOY, I was asked if I was going to compete in Thailand for the Miss International Queen Pageant and assumed that as a national title holder couldn't and why would I? I just won a prestigious title. I had been preparing for Miss International Queen for the past three years and was going to go next year. Then the opportunity of a lifetime for a queen in this business came along, I couldn't resist, neither the Miss International Queen nor the Miss EOY promoters had a problem with me competing. It felt like the right thing for me to do. Even though there was some controversy, I made sure that this was something I could handle. Win, lose or draw I was going to go…if anything, to prepare for next year. Now there was a lot of pressure because I only had a month to prepare! With the help of Darlene (Flirt Night Club, Tampa, FL), Denise Mykles, Angela Toscano, Rodrigo, Courtney, Michelle, Jonathan (Tily), y mi gran Dios, I had all the support I needed to go! My thoughts at this point were “OMG what have I got myself into?” I was scared, nervous, intimidated and overwhelmed…the exact same thoughts and feelings that I get every time I compete…so it was good. This pageant is run like the real Miss Universe Pageant; daily activities leaving you with no personal time. By final night I was about to have a nervous break-down (Kim Cleveland love you!), it was so overwhelming, so big, and was televised in front of a live audience with over 30 million viewers. I didn't expect to win and nearly fainted when they called out my name. The sweetest reward was a phone call from my mother in Mexico watching me being crowned in the Mexican news. The whole experience was truly one that I will never forget. My EOY family has been so supportive and I have to thank them once again for allowing me to spread my wings overseas.So your Mom called to congratulate you? How wonderful! Is your entire family supportive of your career and life choice? Tell us a bit about that Erica? Also tell us what you have in store for your future? Any plans to take your career mainstream? If so, how?It is a wonderful thing when your family accepts you for who you are and what you do! I know what its like to not be liked by some people, but with your family’s support, that means nothing. I have been blessed with a very loving mother, my best friend is my sister, and I have two great brothers.When I'm not working at The Saint, Flirt, traveling with prelims, bookings, or doing make-up for The Maury Show, I'm at home in San Antonio, TX, resting and trying to catch up with my personal life. I'm a very casual, no make-up, get up and go kinda girl...I keep the drag in a bag for showtime, which I love...bottom lashes and all that!The future is so unpredictable, I think I’m done with pageants..."I think" LOL, who knows...As far as mainstream, well its always been my dream to be an actor and I feel that if we can dream it we can do it. I'm working on a play for 2007 in San Antonio called Miss America (how appropriate) and "Trantasia" is scheduled to come as well. I’m so excited!Erica, what type of regimen do you follow to keep up with all of your responsibilities? Do you work out at a gym? Exercise? Do you have an assistant that helps with all of your scheduling, etc? Also, do you know when "Transtasia" will be released?I always say I’m going to start my diet on Monday but never do! It's challenging when you are limited to airport food and late dinners (after the shows) however, I've managed to make the best of it by limited portions, eat fruit instead of a Snicker’s bar, drink water not sodas, and exercise when I can…I’m planning on using my gym membership card next year...lol…for real!As for an assistant, I do most of my personal bookings but I do have a manager and Flirt Night Club works on my MySpace account, always keeping it fresh and updated. They do a great job!"Trantasia" has already had some premiere shows in L.A. and other cities, its supposed to be released sometime in mid 2007.Thanks my love for the perfect interview. You have definitely opened up to our readers and allowed them a peek into the world of Erica Andrews.Before we go Erica, one more question...What to you most want the fans and gay community to know about Erica Andrews?Last but not least...Thank you from the bottom of my heart for working with me on this project. You have been incredible to work with!!Bobby, Thank you as well!As an entertainer I’m humbled by the support that the gay community has given me in this wonderful art of female impersonation. For the past 17 years this has been my career and livelihood, I have to thank Tandi Andrews and Raphael Velasco for teaching and guiding me. This is a tough job and, like the military, many are called but few are chosen...If you believe in yourself you can do anything you set your mind to. Don't feed into the rumors and gossip for they will hold you back from your goals, and don’t give up if you fail, just keep on going! I've always followed my heart in making decisions, that way there is no one to blame and a lot to gain!God Bless and Lots of Love Always,Erica AndrewsVisit Erica’s MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/flirtericaandrews
Crystal Chante during Onstage Question - 1996 Miss North Carolina America Pageant
"Lights, camera, and me without a stitch of make-up on!"
Posted 05 January 2007 - 07:11 AM
Bob, you really have outdone yourself this time!!!! I'm so glad and proud to be able to call you my friend!!! GREAT JOB!!!!!
Tell the truth and you'll always remember what you said....
Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:35 AM
Bob thanks for a great interview!
"THE GODDESS OF GOSSIP"
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Posted 05 January 2007 - 01:14 PM
Hugs and smooches... Lovelace
P.S. My favorite excerpt - "My childhood was as normal as any other little boy. I played with dolls, put on makeup and slipped into my mother’s dresses while she was at work." S*H*I*T!!!!
Posted 05 January 2007 - 01:23 PM
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Edited by bobtaylor, 09 January 2007 - 08:20 AM.
Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:56 PM
WONDERFUL INTERVIEW MR. BOB!! I CAN REMEMBER A PHONE CALL FROM TANDI TELLING US ABOUT THIS "LITTLE FISH" SHE HAD MET!! SHE HAD ALWAYS SAID SHE WOULD NEVER HAVE CHILDREN, BUT THIS ONE WAS "THE T". ME AND VONDA WERE PASSING THE PHONE AROUND LAUGHING AND HOOTING WITH THE GODDESS, KIDDING HER HOW THIS LITTLE FISH WAS GOING TO GROW UP AND HAVE MORE MEN AND CROWNS THAN HER!!! TANDI PROMISED US SHE WAS STILL A VIRGIN, AND CROWNS DID NOT MATTER, IT WAS ABOUT HELPING THE PEOPLE!! AND THAT THIS LITTLE FISH WAS GOING TO BE THE SAME WAY!! LITTLE FISH HAS GROWN UP, AND HELPED MANY!! THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD LOVE HER!! TANDI AND RAPHAEL ARE BOTH LOOKING DOWN WITH PRIDE!! THE VIRGIN THING......WELL I THINK TANDI MAY NOT HAVE BEEN TELLING THE TRUTH?? ERICA, I'M SURE STILL IS!!
WOW is WOW...Your comment gave us all goose bumbs!!
Erica has always recognized her mom Tandi on and off stage..its without a doubt one of the most beautiful stories any queen could share with us.
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