AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist
Has been performing as a Male Illusionist since 2008. Currently holds the following titles:
International title of Master Male Illusionist
National title of Mister Boiling Point
Mister Florida Ultimate Illusionist Emeritus
Mister Rainbow House Emeritus
Mister Riot Emeritus
Mister St. Augustine Pride 2012
Mister RCN Magazine 2012 1st. Alt.
Mister Ultimate Illusionist 2011 1st Alt.
Mister Lake City Pride 2012
Mister Savannah Pride 2010
Co-Host of the “Pit Stop” Radio Show on GSHRadio.com
Author of “Voice Addiction & Recovery” for “We are 1 Voice”
Author of “AJ’s Tool Box” for the “Male Illusionist Exchange
Author of Male Illusion 101
Very Community Orientated. Works very closely for Holiday Helpers, Pflag, Nfan, Kings for a cause, Jasmyn and Coming out Monologues.
Has experience in judging local, city, state and national pageants and is very professional at all times.
You don’t necessarily have to read my bio to see who I am or what I stand for. I make it quite obvious. I don’t run from my mistakes and I use them as examples of what not to do anymore.. I’m a parent, a teacher, a title holder, I’m an advocate & I’m a mentor. I’m also an alcoholic and an addict. Although people who met me after sobriety may not see it now, I was also a whole lot of things I’m not proud of…
I was aggressive, egotistical, self centered, selfish, untrustworthy, disloyal, lacked humility, unprofessional, angry and one sided. Those are just a few of my old characteristics. If I think about it long enough, the list can go on and one. The short version is; I wasn’t a nice person at all. I hurt a lot of people, I did a lot of things I’m not proud of, I caused a lot of havoc and mayhem. When I stopped drinking, the damage was still there. Although there is life after addiction, there is almost always quite a bit of damage that was caused during active addiction that must be taken care of. Picking up the pieces can truly be a bitch. We never realize the damage we cause until after the fact. By the time we do, we experience guilt, shame and sometimes disgust. If we give in to those feelings, we’ll surely loose the battle we’re fighting. It’s best to role up the sleeves and move forward. Time to face reality and do what needs to be done.
We loose respect, we loose family and friends, we loose trust. Sometimes we regain some of what we lost back, and other times we don’t. My reputation was just about in the toilet by the time I got sober. I can’t blame anyone but myself. I couldn’t get mad when people didn’t trust me or believe me when I said “I’m done this time for real.” I couldn’t get mad when people looked at me with doubt and disgust. Most of all, I couldn’t undo the damage that was done.
In early sobriety, around the time we start to see things clearly we start to feel better and expect everyone to just forget the damage we caused. We want pats on the back for our sobriety and can’t see that we are finally living the kind of life we should have been living the whole time. Just getting sober is only part of the process. The people in our lives that we have hurt don’t want to hear more promises, they’ve heard it all from us before. The only way for us to prove anything to any one, is to lead by example. Let our actions speak for themselves. That takes time. We didn’t become alcoholics and addicts over night, we’re not going to join the human race over night. In time, and with work, our actions will prove us not to be the people we were during our drinking / using days.
As a direct result of my own drinking history, it’s taken me a few years to pick up the pieces and redeem myself. Although I’ve come quite a ways, I’m sure there is still more work that must be done. I like to think I’m on my way. In the beginning, it was all about proving myself to other people. After awhile, it was about proving it to myself. I noticed the changes and discovered I liked who I was turning into. People were starting to trust and believe in me. I was no longer looked upon as a failure. I began to realize that the world did not revolve around me AND I was more than okay with that. Damage control takes time. It’s something only we can do. The best way to do it is ONE DAY AT A TIME little by little. We made the mess, the good news is although we can’t undo it, we CAN change things for the better.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist
February 9, 2015