Profile on actor
JADE ESTEBAN ESTRADA
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Q. WHEN DID YOU ENTER INTO THIS LINE
I don't remember a time when I was not in this
line of work. I was singing and dancing from
the moment my mother let me out into this
corrupt, pristine world. My family comes from
a line of notable Mariachi singers and musicians.
It wasn't surprising to my family when I jumped
My sister, Celeste Angela Estrada, is a
successful Latina playwright, I’m very proud
of her and my brother David Miguel Estrada
is an actor, director and writer. All of us have had our own plays
produced in New York at separate times. You can imagine what it
was like growing up with all that energy around you. When the
three of us are together it’s like a scene from the Witches of
I was in the choir and show choir in school and I just kept on
singing. Going off to New York was a very natural thing for me to
do. I found other people who were like me straight away. New
York is full of people who want to be like the skyscrapers. They
all want to conquer the world. When I stop and look back, which I
feel I don't do often enough, I am amazed at how fluid a direction
it's been. I cannot think of anything else that I could be doing. I
think that is when you know you’re doing what you’re meant to
be doing. I’m one of those artists that feel that everything is
already fixed when we are born. I believe in destiny…fate.
Q. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY DOING IN THIS LINE
Right now my line of work has led me to my one-man show
ICONS: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 1 and it's
new baby sister ICONS Vol. 2. It's a solo musical comedy. I get to
portray 12 movers and shakers in history including Sappho,
Alexander the Great, Michelangelo, Queen Christina of Sweden,
Oscar Wilde, Susan B. Anthony, Gertrude Stein, Billie Jean King,
Sylvia Rivera, Harvey Milk, Mark Bingham and Ellen DeGeneres.
I’m always asked who my favorite ICON is. In ICONS it’s probably
Oscar and Sappho. In ICONS 2 it’s Queen Christina of Sweden
and Mark Bingham. But sometimes, I’m onstage and I find
something completely different and new about these people and I
fall in love with them all over again. It’s such a thrill when
audiences know who or what I’m talking about. Anyone who
loves history, will love seeing Susan B. Anthony sing “The
Politics of Inclusion.” I feel I have a talent for making
important messages fun to see and hear with dancing, jokes,
songs and extravagant costuming. Everyone has a gift. Imagine
how powerful the earth would be if we all were encouraged to tap
into that innate quality.
I owe a great deal of thanks to my school choir teacher Glynda B.
Marrow at Harlandale Middle School. If it were not for her, I would
not have had a clue what my gifts meant.
History has always been a captivating subject for me. In my time
off from rehearsals when I should have been reviewing my lines
in plays when I was in school, I was always reading about World
War II or the Renaissance or something like that. One day it hit me
that doing a show about gay history would not only be fun...but
more importantly...it had never been done before. Not like this. I
don’t mind saying that a man who knows world history of some
sort is totally hot! There was a time I deliberately stopped dating
actors and models. I said, “if they haven’t been published—the
answer is no.” I’ve relaxed a bit about that. Intelligence has many
faces. All the same, it would be my wish to marry a history
professor or someone like that.
One great thing about doing a full-length CD when I did was that I
immediately had an international audience. I am very fortunate to
have had that opportunity. Artistically, it was like someone has
given me a blank check to do whatever I wanted to next. I chose
ICONS as the next project.
Most of the public at large recognizes me exclusively as a Latin
pop singer. I love my job as "the life of the party" ---I’m good at
that. But with the current political wave of injustice, I feel like I'm
doing something very important with ICONS in reminding LGBT
people where we come from and educating our heterosexual
allies that LGBT people have always been among us and have
helped direct the course of history…. sometimes in a leading
position like Alexander the Great and Susan B. Anthony. I am
also thrilled to play Mark Bingham because he is such a
classic example of a normal man, doing something extraordinary
at a dangerous moment. People need to know about these
Someone in Columbus, Ohio told me after the show, “I’m so glad
you did that. I’d forgotten about him.”
I’m here to make sure that people don’t forget about our heroes.
This is our culture. It’s our past, present and future. I’d love to
Lincoln-Douglas anyone who disagrees with me on that.
I also believe that people need hope and courage now. They
need to know that they are not alone and that hatred and
prejudice are not acceptable. I think that everyone, gays and
straights alike need to take a firm look at the definition of church
and state and why it’s important to keep them separate.
Ignorance helped get George W. Bush elected. Education and
awareness and networking, as in grassroots talking to people,
town meetings, etc. is going to get the mess he’s making undone.
There is work ahead of us but there is such light at the end of this
tunnel. Women, Jews, African-Americans, Chicanos…it’s our turn
to fight back as LGBT people. It’s all about balance.
I encourage LGBT and straight allies to form groups and meet in
church basements, schools, people’s homes and talk about
tolerance and education in their own areas, at the workplace and
most importantly in their own homes. The Internet is powerful. I
encourage our 21st century leaders to use it.
There are many people who don’t want us to have the rights that
they have. If Americans can’t come out of the closet, how is the
country ever to know that LGBT people really are everywhere? If
we continue to hide, our enemies will capitalize on that and make
sure we never come out of our caves.
I did a show for the Indiana Youth Group recently in Indianapolis
and it felt so good to know that I was passing on the courage of
hundreds of years into their energetic young minds. I am so
proud of them. They ask so many questions. They are so geared
up to fight the good fight and I am proud to be part of that.
The simple act of making a decision is powerful. Coming out of
the closet is one of the most liberating feelings anyone can ever
experience. All it takes is two words. “I’m gay.” I think that is what
my show is really about. It’s about being who you are and being
proud of it. It’s about linking to a history that was always there for
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT YEAR?
I'm on my Silver ICON Tour at the moment. The tour will take me
from London to Manila and through most of the United States,
Canada and Mexico. I’m actually planning to do ICONS in
Spanish. That is going to be a trip. In Latin America, I am proud to
talk to my fans about AIDS. In Spanish it’s called SIDA. It’s not
going away. We have to talk about it. The fear of the 80s is gone
but the disease is still hear and bigger than ever. Leaders, talk
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT 2 YEARS?
I plan to take a vacation at some point before the creation of
ICONS: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 3 and
after my new CD, which is already in production.
I love the party music of ANGEL and the work I did on it. It was
very well received and I'm grateful to have won so many great
new fans globally. However, I do feel there are many songs in me
that have not been sung and I'm anxious to put them all on some
Q. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?
I plan to take my comedy and music to television and film. I want
to work with the best. I want to do good work. Life is so short. I
also want to have a child.
Q. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR OUTSIDE HOBBIES?
Outside hobbies? I love spiders. I used to collect them when I
was a boy and I still am totally intrigued by them and their webs.
North Carolina's Triangle area has the most brilliant spider webs
you've ever seen.
I also love palmistry. I love hands. I think hands are the most
beautiful things on the human form. O.K. I’m starting to sound like
Michelangelo, now. I love playing him but I loved hands before I
took on that role.
The first things I ever notice on a man are his hands--the veins,
the color, the texture and the feel of the skin. I would paint and
sculpt them for the rest of my life if I wasn’t so involved in my
music. In life, there is so much we have to decide. With my love of
the human hand and spiders, it’s always nice to surround myself
by the close seconds.
I also love dialects. I love finding out where a person is from and
why they pronounce words in a certain way. I’m Tejano, so my
original—I say original because after living in New York and
London, it’s all but gone—accent is a mixture of so many different
influences. It’s really a cute sing-song way of talking. I guess I still
talk like that when I’m tired or asking for turkey tacos at
Q. ARTIST INFO: CD RELEASED? WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND
YOUR WORK? TOUR DATES? ETC?
My website www.GetJaded.com has my date book and reveals
where I’m going to be and when. There is also a list of my CDs
and my past shows. The shows have their own home at www. IconsVolume1.com and
Q. CLOSING THOUGHTS?
Yes, Pay attention.
There are enemies among us.
Learn the language of today's political warfare.
Remember, they can't steal your soul.
More importantly, don’t give up. Don’t you dare give up.
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