Sawaddee ka!! Happy Tuesday!!!
My name is Pattaya Hart, what’s yours?!?!?? --- I think I’m keeping this tagline
Hope everyone had a spook-tacular Halloween season! Welcome back to my MGA newsletter, here’s the second one:
This month is the start of the Holiday Season, the season of giving. Many people take long vacations or go home and spend holidays with family and their loved ones; like they say in the song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
‘Tis the season, I would like to take the opportunity in my second newsletter to tell you about my experiences living in New York City during the holidays for the past 10 years. As a foreign dance student on a budget, like many other aspiring artists who might not have the luxury of going home that often, we come together and do something wonderful for the people.
Back in 2009 when I first moved to the city, one of my favorite Theater Dance teachers, Mr. Jeff Shade, organized a group of dancers from his classes who happened to be in the city during the holiday season to go perform a fun dance concert and serve food to the homeless at a church in the Bronx three times a year; Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
We would all get together and rehearse a week or two before the holidays, choreographed by Mr. Shade himself along with fabulous volunteer choreographers including musical theater, hip-hop, lyrical, tap and also some amazing singers. We called our dancing-singing family, “Dance It Forward” or “Dancing for the People Troupe.”
From my very first time joining the troupe in November of 2009, I have to tell you, it is one of the most life-changing experiences. Not to be cliché, but how often do you get up at 4AM in the morning and leave your house in the freezing cold weather for something that is completely not about you or for yourself? It is so fulfilling to share the joy of dance and help those who are less fortunate than us.
I became good friends with so many wonderful and talented people throughout this entire experience. One time, I met Hugh Jackman and his wife as they were volunteering; serving food as well. The feeling from interacting and spending time with those who are shunned by society in their everyday lives is so rewarding. I do believe whole-“HARTedly” that this is what shaped me into the person/teacher I am today, and I’m very grateful to have been a part of this experience.
Unfortunately, with the church’s new mother superior’s policy in 2016, we weren’t invited to come help spread the joy of dance and help out there anymore.
With this being said, it was one of the promises I made to myself and Jeff Shade that if I win Miss Gay America, I would do anything in my power to get our “Dancing for the People Troupe” back up and running again. And I did win!!! --- so this newsletter is kind of a low key proposal from me, your reigning Miss Gay America 2020 to those who have connections or know of any institutions or venues that would host soup kitchen during the holiday season (or any time of the year), whether you are in New York City or other cities (all you wonderful MGA promoters and patrons, I’m talking to you!). I would love to take an opportunity when I come out to your prelims, to host a free dance class for all levels -- for LBGTQ youth, and anyone that would want to join in on the fun. All I ask in return, if the time & arrangement is possible, is that we all head over to perform and volunteer community service at any institute that would allow us to participate; homeless shelters, churches that host soup kitchens, food outreach, senior home, etc.
I hope this outreach sparks consideration. All I want to take from this is to help spread the joy of dance around the country and to inspire, educate and create an outlet and safe space for the LGBTQ youth or adults, where they can express and explore themselves without being judged.
For those who have read this newsletter thus far and would love to further the conversation regarding this community outreach proposal, please contact me at PattayaHartMGA2020@gmail.com
I’m really grateful for the opportunity and the possibilities that the Miss Gay America community has shown me and can’t wait to give back in my own special way. For that, I THANK YOU ALL from the bottom of my HART!!
See you on my next newsletter..
Miss Gay America 2020
Good morning America, Sawaddee ka!!!!!
My name is Pattaya Hart, what’s yours?!?!??
Welcome to my very first MGA Newsletter, “From the bottom of my HART” (yes, it spells H-A-R-T)
First off, I’d like to say THANK YOU so much for all the love and support that I’ve gotten leading to, throughout and even after the pageant. I’m so honored and grateful to be your 48th Miss Gay America!!! I’m looking forward to a fabulous year full of so much love, joy and a whole lot of dancing!!
For my first newsletter, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about myself…
My boy name is Methawee Sayampol and I also go by the name Plu (both names are legit, as Thai People generally have 2 names, official name for document and paperwork and nickname for everyday use). Methawee means ‘Wiseman’ and Plu means ‘Fireworks’. I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. I went to school in Thailand and have a degree in Advertising and Marketing. I decided to follow my dream and quit my 9 to 5 office job and moved to New York City about 10 years ago to pursue dancing. I’m now a professional dancer and dance teacher, a proud faculty member at Steps on Broadway, one of the most prestigious dance studios in New York City. I teach Jazz and Theater dance, so if you’re ever in town for a visit, please don’t be afraid to come out and dance with me!!
A lot of people asked me “what inspired you to make such a drastic switch in your career path from a successful marketing executive job to a dancing/performing freelance job?”, and I always responded, “Don Quixote made me do it!” People think I was joking, but I was not!! Fun fact, I got cast in a huge Broadway-production musical of “Man of La Mancha” in Thailand. I was the only cast member who was not a professional actor, singer, dancer or dance teacher. I was working my 9 to 5 office job at the time and was taking adult ballet classes on the weekend just for fun. Until one day I heard about the open call audition for this huge production, I snuck out of work to go audition and made it all the way to the end. It was such a life-changing experience, learning how to become a professional actor, singer and dancer within 3-month rehearsal period, getting to work alongside a group of Thailand’s top actors, singers and dancers in the industry. And on top of that, the core message of the show spoke true to my heart and with all the help and support I got from the production team and cast mates, it made me realize my own capability and potential.
The song “Impossible Dream” (from the show) had struck a very emotional cord in my heart every time I hear it and it gives me the power and the will to push through to achieve anything I set my mind to. This song has been my mantra on how to live my life for the past 12 years, and just like I said, I owe it all to Don Quixote!
After the show closed in 2008, I decided to make a huge move to New York City all by myself for intensive dance training. After months of hard work, I started booking dancing jobs… and I’ve never looked back since.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is my ‘Coming to America’ story. I am living proof of the American dream and I’m very proud to share that if this little Asian boy from Thailand who speaks broken English can do it, you all can do it too!!
I’ll tell you more about my drag career and the birth of Pattaya Hart in the next “From the bottom of my HART”. Meanwhile please don’t hesitate to leave me some comments, questions or even your concerns below and please keep checking back in for more..
Until next time,
Miss Gay America 2020