Thank You Prince!

Prince Rogers Nelson.

In 2009, I shot a
music video project for Richard Lawson’s Professional Development
Program class. I shot and edited the video to “Hot Thing” by Prince.
Above are some of the stills from the video (The PG-rated ones at least
LOL)

Prince’s death hit me hard. On that devastating day, I
experienced a wave of emotions from sadness to rebellion to sexuality to
shock. I saw parts of myself in Prince and connected to his music more
than I did to his contemporaries like Michael Jackson.

A genius. A
pioneer. Along with Madonna, I looked up to Prince because he
transcended notions of sexuality, gender and race. He fused different
genres of music and made it colorless. He was dangerous, sexy, unapologetically himself and true to his artistry. I became hooked on
Prince when he released his “Sign O’ The Times” album. My older brother
bought the record and played it all the time.

Till this day, I
have people tell me that I look like Prince. Or that I remind them of
Prince. My ex, who is a hairstylist, did private hair sessions for
Prince in 2014. I even drove my ex to Westwood one night so he could
work with a “private client”. Little did I know I was dropping him off
to do Prince’s hair. My ex later told me:

“Jorge, I gotta say
that Prince reminds me so much of you. Your body types and mannerisms
are so similar and you both sound alike. When Prince speaks, he sounds
just like you.”

It was amazing to hear that–and I’ve never shared that story with anyone before.

Artists
like Prince and Madonna inspire me to stay true to who I am and true to
my artistry. To not be afraid of my power and influence as an artist.
To express myself. To be grotesque. To push boundaries. To challenge notions of
masculinity and femininity. To have a point of view. To be the best
artist that I can be. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

And I’ll leave you with this:

On
July 21st, 2015, I posted a picture of Prince on my Facebook page and I wrote underneath it,
“One of the roles I was born to play. Might have to write the biopic
myself. Prince.”
My cousin posted the following comment, “If you were
shorter, I could see that.” I immediately responded with, “They’ll just
have to cast taller co-stars around me.”

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