Greetings from Lafayette, LA, USA!
I am an enthusiastic supporter of The Mercury Phoenix Trust due to their worldwide support and funding to those caring for, fighting this illness and researching for those fighters (both gone and with us) with HIV and AIDS. I connected with The MPT because of my connection with Freddie's "don't stop me now" spirit and the impact that this foundation has on a global scale.
My heart broke when my mother woke me up before a school day to tell me the news that her best friend and favorite cousin had died due to a cold that his body couldn't fight off. Joseph, Bubba, as we all called him, was not only a family member but a beautiful soul. He gave me a gift I felt I could never repay... It's personal to me and I still get choked up about it.
When I learned that I could DRESS AS FREDDIE and use my passion, performance and theatre, to contribute to The MPT I felt I could help "repay" this huge gift that he gave me. I grabbed my best Freddie garbs days before "Freddie for a Day" in 2013 and went to work-- mustache and all!
In 2014, I was able to perform at a local club where all donations went toward The MPT, raise money by dressing as Freddie on "Freddie for a Day", help a local burlesque troop (Boom Boom Burlesque) take tickets as Freddie and they, in turn, allowed me to raise money at the door. Towards the end of the year and into 2015, I got invited as a recurring figure model for a small group and the money all went towards The MPT as well as their generous donations once they learned of the cause.
Now as each "FFAD" approaches, I always feel that I have more work to do: Make MORE of an IMPACT to support the cause, remember my Bubba, and my brave friends living with grace that inspire me to never give up regardless!
I will be giving updates as I perform and dress as The Great Pretender and I appreciate any support. I am overwhelmed at all of the people who have donated and supported me when I began this "crazy" thing that still chokes me up when I speak about the love, hope and help that keeps me going.
2015 began with a BANG! During the month of September I got to partner up with enthusiastic people in my hometown. Chef Manny Augello and his team at "Bread & Circus" in Lafayette decorated, dressed up, and allowed myself and my mini-Freddie to take over the entire restaurant! They created a stage for my Freddie strutting out of three restaurant tables and the Queen tunes were rocking for my performance. My friends at "Bolt Nightclub" hired a marketing agent and we had a huge night of Zydeco and Cajun music mixed with my Freddie drag with all proceeds going to The MPT.
Now it's 2016 and here we are in a year where Freddie would have been 70 and we'd have just celebrated Bubba's 68th birthday. Chef Manny and his team have welcomed me with open arms and hosting me (as Freddie) at "Bread & Circus" again on September 3rd, just a few days shy of FFAD70! I am praying that we break the ceiling and I can set a record of previous years for The Mercury Phoenix Trust. HERE WE GO!
Much love from a small town girl who wears a mustache,
Jan Erin Corzo
"God help those with no money who have this disease." ~Freddie Mercury