Pason Interview
(Dancer - Model - Performer)

She started modeling when she was just 14 years old, but soon gained recognition the world over.
She studied dance in Chicago, Los Angeles and Honolulu, as well as acting.
As a model she’s been featured in over 80 magazines world-wide.
She’s a former Tennessee Grand Supreme Queen, and Miss North West Georgia.
She is  - Pason.

Q – Pason – is that your first name or your last name?
A – That is my first name. My website is: Ms. just because was taken by some technological co. So I couldn’t use that. I started thinking, well, what’s fitting for my site. If you ever teach dance especially to little children they call you Miss, Mrs. or Mr. and your first name. So, in the dance world you don’t go by your last name. So, I went that’s it! Ms. Pason that’s what I used to be when I taught Creative Movement. (Laughs).

Q – I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the name Pason before.
A – Yeah, my mom made it up. She asked me if I liked it when I was 4, so that was the name I agreed to. I laugh when I say that’s what you get when you let a 4 year old pick out their own name.

Q - Had you said no to Pason, would she have named you Patty?
A – Oh, no. She said she started asking me different names when I was 2 and finally when I was 4 she was watching t.v. and there was a lady names Pason with an f and she didn’t like that, but, it had a ring to it. She made up Pason and asked me if I liked it and that one I agreed to. So, a few years ago, I guess almost 10 years now I finally asked her, ‘well, if there was a 2 year period where you were asking me different names, how often did you ask me names’? Kind of curious as to how many names she went through before I picked one. She said, ‘Oh, I asked you a few a week’. I said, ‘A few a week’? She said, ‘Yeah. I thought you never were gonna choose one’. (Laughs). But, my family calls me Sissy. In the South, your siblings or family usually call you Sissy or Sister.

Q – Pason, you’re a dancer?
A – Yes, I am.

Q – You’re a model.
A – Yes.

Q – You’re a performer.
A – Correct.

Q – Now, what’s the difference between a dancer and a performer?
A – That’s a good question. There’s not much of a difference. It’s just, I do more than one style of dance. When I’m at certain venues they don’t call me a dancer just because there could be some confusion. So, they call me an entertainer or a performer. My dance numbers go anywhere from classical ballet to burlesque to Cirque ‘de Sole style stuff, pole work, aerial hoop, Bob Fossett style jazz. So, there’s a really wide range. I consider myself a dancer, but I put performer on there just because I know that that’s how other people announce me for their reasons.

Q – Are you what they call a “Feature Dancer”?
A – Yes, I am.

Q – As a Feature Dancer do you dance nude or semi-nude?
A – It depends on the venue, but you, I will go implied nude which means I keep it very Gypsy Rose Lee style. If the venue calls for it and I need to pop my G string it’s off!! But, they’re still not going to see anything, Strip-tease is a tease. It’s an art form.

Q – You would then be more of a Burlesque Dancer?
A – Some of my routines. I have 3 different routines that are classic burlesque. If the venue is a Gentleman’s Club, even the Tinker Bell outfit, the Ballerina, everything is still done in a burlesque style ‘cause it’s the art form of how you take your clothes off. But, then the actual dance styles I’m performing could be classic burlesque, could be jazz, could be very acrobatic stuff and then there’s the aerial hoop work I do.

Q – You perform all over the United States?
A – Correct.

Q – You perform where? You mentioned Gentleman’s Clubs.
A – I do Gentleman’s Clubs. I’ve done film, t.v., special events, corporate events, private functions. I think that pretty much covers it.

Q – Yeah, that’s impressive enough. That’s quite a bit.
A – Yeah. (Laughs).

Q – You started modeling when you were 14?
A – Correct.

Q – And you became known internationally. How did you do that?
A – I actually started out as a hair model. The place that I used to go to, to get my haircut, because they did beauty pageants back then, they were doing a big photo shoot to submit to all the hair magazines and hair books. My hairstylist asked me if I would be his model. I said, ‘Sure, as long as you don’t try to color my hair we’re good’. He goes, ‘That’s why I want you’! I said ‘O.k. Great’. (Laughs). So, I did the shoot for him and still to this day I’m the most published model that hair salon has ever had. I got in with that. They said it was over 60 different hair magazines and hair books, all over the world. So, even in Japan I was published.

Q – What year would that have been?
A – ’94.

Q – This whole time you were based out of Georgia?
A – Yes. It was right next to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Q – How did being a hair model lead to dancing?
A – I was already a dancer. I was on the dance team, took my classes. I also did a lot of beauty pageants. I was filmed for the special they were doing over in Europe for beauty pageants as well. That was back in ’95 or ’96. That was actually the first time I was actually aired overseas. And then, my Senior year of high school which I used to do a lot of jazz dance competitions, but, then my Senior year of high school I went to a performing arts high school as a dance major. From there after I graduated I went to Columbia College in Chicago as a musical theatre major with a dance concentration.

Q – Why have you chosen to base yourself out of Los Angeles? Is that where all the work is?
A – I’m very comfortable here, love the city, plus it’s very accessible. If you want to be at the beach, mountain, pretty much anything you can think of, it’s only 30 minutes to an hour away. Plus, Palm Springs is 2 hours away. Las Vegas is 4 (hours). Napa is 6 hours. So, it’s a real convenient place. I love change. I constantly…..I love progression. I like trying new things. But, also being in Los Angeles, since I am a Pilates instructor as well, it’s a very, very good place to be!! It definitely I a good place for the modeling stuff. You have the Burbank Airport or LAX. It’s easy to fly to places for dance performances, when I get booked for those things. There’s several different reasons why I like Los Angeles as my base.

Q – Do you have celebrities in your Pilates class?
A – Oh, yeah. I have several. I only teach one on one equipment classes. I got certified for the equipment back in 2003 or 2004 it was. I’ve taught celebrities in film, t.v. a very famous stand-up comedian. I’ve been training her for years.

Q – Are you able to name names?
A – I don’t tell names. There are some that wouldn’t mind. I know one I could mention because he wouldn’t mind, but, I do try to keep everyone…..especially because people know where the studio is, you try to keep their privacy. It is their personal time. For Pilates there is a lot of focus involved. It’s their time. It’s their money.

Q – Do you advertise the fact that you’re an instructor?
A – Oh, yeah, plus I’ve been out here teaching for quite a few years. I moved back to Los Angeles 3 years ago from Las Vegas. I started out at Beverly Hills Country Club teaching Pilates. They already had a wide-range of well-to-do business people, moms and celebrities that came in. So, you get clients from there. Then I went to Sports Club L.A. to teach Pilates there which has an even bigger clientele as far as celebrities. I just decided it was time for me to go and have my own time for me to go and have my own personal clientele. I had enough people that wanted to follow me as well. Then, it just started to become word-of-mouth.

Q – You have your own place?
A – No. I do not. I don’t work for somebody else. I rent studio space. There’s a lot of Pilates studios that even if you work for the owner of the studio you’re considered an independent contractor. But, what I do is I have my own clientele and I just rent studio space from them. So, I let them know what my schedule is like and then I pay them per hour that I train. But, I do have the first Pilates ‘live’ Webcam Instructional website that has ever been built that is being launched June 1st 2008. It is the only one that has been created. I had an idea because I travel a lot. My clients all travel a lot. It’s hard for them to fix to a program when they’re out on the road which I argue, no it’s not because everywhere I go I always work out. I made a lot of them DVD’s and I sent them text messages of exercises to do. Then, I went DVD’s are kind of boring. You get tired of it. So, what else could I do? I also don’t like the problem of obesity in our society. I think it’s very unhealthy especially with children. It really gets underneath my skin. I thought if I built a website using my webeam and made it very cost efficient for people it might motivate them. They don’t have to travel anywhere so they’re not having to find a babysitter or extra time sitting in traffic, so they might get discouraged that way thinking they don’t have the gas money. As long as they have a computer and a credit card, they can log on the classes. They get 8 different classes, per month, for $19.80. If they can’t log on during the actual ‘live’ class, all of the classes are archived, so that they can go back and work-out when it’s convenient for them. They can also download it onto their IPOD. They can burn DVD’s. If they don’t have enough space in front of their computer, but their t.v. isn’t set far away, there’s a cord called the S Video cable that you can plug from your computer to your home t.v. and that way you can see it larger. If you’re traveling, if you’re in a hotel you can work out.

Q – Now I know why no one else thought of the idea-----they don’t have the tech knowledge that you have!!
A – (Laughs). Yes. Exactly.

Q – You have said, “Follow your heart and use your brain to figure out how to get what your heart wants”. Nice advice, but, how many people live by that philosophy? Have you gotten what your heart wants?
A – Yeah. I make a list and I work my little butt off to get what it is. I think one thing people do is, they do the reverse. Or, they let fear set in. They let their mind take over and forget about what their heart really wants, which I think is a horrible way to live. I’m a very honest person. I try to be very self-aware and I just can’t imagine living any other way. Not to say what your heart wants, it might take you awhile to figure out how to obtain what it is, because it’s not always easy. (Laughs). I figure if you can usually think of it, there’s pretty much a way for it to happen. It might take some research and some time and some hard work.

Q – I’m guessing you would like to be an actress.
A – I do love acting. I think it’s really fun to play other characters. It’s an extreme challenge. For dance and Pilates those are physically challenging. To learn someone else’s lines, so you’re not thinking your normal thoughts, you’re trying to become someone else, where even your mannerisms can change, which goes to my dance background, I find really intriguing especially the great actors who can really do it. Johnny Depp is phenomenal. From one character to the next he really dives in. The tester for me is, o.k. you made me believe what you were saying, but the way that you move is also the exact same way that you move when you play this other character in this other film.

Q – So, when you’re not dancing professionally, one of your hobbies is to go out dancing?
A – Yeah. (Laughs).

Q – You’re going to discos?
A – Just regular nightclubs. I haven’t done in recently or in the past 6 months just because I’m swamped with work stuff. But there are times, I still have several performer friends that live in Las Vegas and so they call me up and say, ‘Hey, you wanna go out’? ‘Sure’. It might be 9 o’clock at night, but, I hop in my car, drive the 4 hours, get to Los Vegas, drop-off my bag at my friend’s house, go out to the nightclubs, dance until like 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, go back to their house, sleep and then drive back home. (Laughs).

Q – And that’s a fun night for you?
A – That’s fun. It’s exciting. I haven’t done it recently, just because my schedule hasn’t been that free for me to do something like that, but, when the opportunity comes up, then especially if my ex-dance partner, he’ll call me. Dancing is my passion. I also enjoy movies and shopping, wine-tasting and just hanging with friends. But, I would say, my Number One thing is being able to-----Dance. The thing with dance is, whether you’re performing, in a class concentrating and trying to do what the teacher just told you or showed you to do, or if you’re at a nightclub free-styling, you don’t think about anything else. When you free-style you don’t even know you’re more than likely not even going to remember the moves you just did. You’re just going with it and feeling the music. It’s a way to relax and get out of your shell and forget about everything else in the world.

Q – Do you have a room in your house where you practice your dance routines?
A – No, I don’t. Sometimes I’ll use my living room ‘cause there’s a huge mirror in there. But usually, I get up every morning, my ballet class is at 9:30, private ballet instructor on Tuesdays at 11 and then I can either schedule time to rent studio space and practice routines there so you have a large space with a real dance floor, mirrors, your stereo. Eventually what I want to do is have my own Pilates and Dance Studio, which I plan on having by the 1st of next year (2009) here is Los Angeles. But then, after that, I would also like my own studio in the back of my house. A lot of people have guest homes. I want my own studio. (Laughs). That way I can use it for dance, photo shoots, put my pole in there. If I had it built. I can also put a supportive beam for my aerial hoop stuff.

Q – How do you know what the public wants to see, what they will like? Do you have someone critiquing your act?
A – I just come up with my routines. I always get compliments on them, but I figure as long as I keep working on the routines and keep progressing with them, ‘cause I’m constantly tweaking them-----I never know what the audience wants to see-----it’s just whatever your creation is and what you show. People can go, ‘I really like that’. Since I have 12 different routines, just from the feedback I get from people was that they like certain routines. I can usually see what my stronger routines are. Therefore I continue to work on those but I work on the weaker routines more.

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