Once the transformation is complete, it’s time to go out and socialize. I like to go meet everyone and make them feel welcome. We are all one big family here. While I am doing this, I can also get a feel of what kind of crowd we have, and I can decide what numbers I want to do and what kind of songs the crowd would like. Then it’s time to get ready for the opening production number. Usually, I have 10 minutes to change into a production costume. I listen to the production number one last time and make sure I can remember everything. After the DJ announces the cast, it’s show time!
After the opening, I MC on the microphone. I get to welcome the crowd to Images. We also call people up for their birthdays and special occasions; we have a lot of people bring in parties for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations—we have even had a few divorce parties. People like to celebrate, and we are here to party! Once I am finished, the first performer comes on and I have 12-15 minutes to change. I put on a new costume, put on new shoes or boots, and then touch up my makeup and hair. This rotation happens three times and it is always a rush to be ready on time. When the show is over, I go out to the audience one more time and thank them for watching our show.
After collecting my thoughts and touching up my makeup one last time, I head back out and socialize again. Our cast is diverse, entertaining, but most of all, we're all approachable. I get a lot of requests to take pictures. A lot of people will want a hug and to say goodbye before they leave. This can happen for another hour or more after the show is finished. Once we close the bar, it’s time to clean up. As the staff cleans the bar, it is my time to reverse the process and once again start planning for the next show. I start gathering my costumes and clothing and clean up my mess. (You should see the mess. How does one person make such a mess? LOL. That's show business!)
A lot of people ask me if being a female impersonator interferes with my personal life at all. I admit at times it has. With a job that requires me to be in costume as a female much of the time, I tend to meet men that may be more interested in the illusion "Samantha Leblonc" instead of the real man underneath. So there are issues I have to navigate when my job complicates my love life. To me, it's a small price to pay. Luckily, my family accepts and supports me without judgment. In my line of work, I see that often is not the case, and it gives me the inspiration I need to continue on despite any difficulties.
Female impersonation is a job just like any other in many ways, but it also contains special meaning to have the lives of so many people intersect with mine at pivotal and even low points. Me singing a moving song in my sparkling costume isn't just visually appealing or entertaining, it also can speak to a person in distress on a much deeper level. I won't compare what I do to a church service, but I do know it has spiritual meaning to me and to my audience. There is laughter and at times there are tears, but that's show business, isn't it? You are welcome to come out to Images, where all walks of life are welcome, and see for yourself.