If you're going to follow your dreams, you better be ready to bare it all, get judged, succeed, lose the worry, take the stress off, remove the fear, let your mind get naked and just go and get it gurl! Allow me to introduce you to singer, dancer, actor, Brian Scott Bagley, one of the most talented people in Paris who is following his dream. All the way from Baltimore, I met Brian a while ago and randomly saw his performance one nigh at Très Honoré in Paris. I was mesmerized. Dark room, sparkling lights, and Brian twirling around the room with a mic, hypnotizing the audience with his talent. I had. To meet him. I needed to know more about who he was. You see, when you meet Brian, you don't just meet him, you meet his Dream as well. What he represents is possibility. And this, I needed to know more about. His story is honest, it's enchanting, exciting, and just as dreamy as ever. A beautiful soul dancing his way to Paris and doing what he does. A few looks at his performance, and he might also have you under his spell. Here are my 10 Questions and the photo shoot with The Artist, Brian Scott Bagley.
Brian! Finally! Finally. I've been waiting so long to get a chance to sit and talk to you. First, I gotta ask, where are you from and how did you get into Cabaret and end up in Paris?
Im from Baltimore Maryland. The city of Billy Holiday, Thurgood Marshall, and John Waters!
How did I get into Cabaret? Blame it on Disney. I grew up with great music. But seriously thanks to an American musical culture. Expressing once self in my blood. So I didn’t get in to Cabaret, it was always there. But how I got to Paris…WOW while studying at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, I was living with an amazing dancer named Jason Reed who introduced me to an Amazing singer named Nkinge, who was auditioning for a show that would tour Paris and throughout Europe. This show happened to be about one of my spiritual heroes, Josephine Baker. I jumped like hot coals burning my biscuits at the chance to work with Nkengie in hopes of landing a job myself. I began to coach her on how to dance like Josephine Baker. One morning Nkengie called me and told me to come to the Belvedre Hotel. That is where I met the famous French director Jerome Savary who gave me the opportunity to be his eyes of dance during his auditions in New York. At the end of the audition process I was offered a contract. And as they say the rest is history.
What has been the most challenging part of pursuing your dream?
First thing, keeping the faith and not giving up. Understanding the business. How to get from A to Z. The details of it all. Artistic thieves. It's not easy when someone steals a show and starts doing the exact same act as me. Clients not paying up or not paying on time is sadly also part of the business. I know I'm talented. Knowing and owning your talent is a true test of confidence, and not ego. Anyway, once you know you got it, you must learn that there is a skill in figuring out how to promote yourself etc. Finding the right representation. That's been a learning experience for me and I am learning every day.
What are some pros and cons to living in Paris?
Pros: It's Paris! It carries a sense of possibility. Not as saturated as the States. Paris has quite a certain magic for me. It still feels fresh and alive to me
Cons: French Administrative System. Rudeness. There is that.
When you were in high school or college., was this a dream of yours to live and perform in Paris?
Never imagined I would be here. But I always told God, where you want me to go I will go. So I guess here I am.
What else would you be doing?
I don't know what else I would of been doing. I have such a deep passion for dance and theater. My life is involved in what I'm doing, I don't think that I have a plan b, if this doesn't work, except, accept, say “Oh Well” and re-create. At the moment all I want to do is be a entertainer. It’s in the blood and all over me. It's really all I've wanted and it's what I'm doing
What is some useful advice you can give to someone who wants to move to Paris and be a performer?
If you really want it, don't be afraid to be raw and 100% real. Let go. Just do it and perform. Have business sense. Do your research. It will help you in making better decisions and also shed light on what your getting into.
Ok I heard your performed with Dita Von Teese, true or false?
True! We both performed at the Casino de Paris in the show La Gentry de Paris Revue. I had a great time. In 2012 I also was the Assistant Technical Director and Assistant choreographer for her show Strip Strip Hooray.
And a little birdie also told me that you were on American Idol. How was that experience?
It was OK. But those are reality shows you know. Paula said to me "your too old fashioned for what we are looking for!". But I thought to myself, that's who I am. It's me. Old fashioned. It's what I do. And today Retro and Vintage is in.
What has being a performer brought to you in your life? How has it made you stronger?
Lots of joy, pain, sunshine and rain. There have been days when I'm up and going and things are on track and other days where it's just not working out as I imagined. But this is the life of an artist. It has and I believe will always bring me joy. Joy to perform and joy to see the joy from the audience, thanks to the gifts that God has given me to use…Just to help someone get little happier than how they felt before they came into the theater.
Nothing beats a failure but a try. And nothing beats that but “JUST DOING THE THANG!”