With a break in the Michael Jackson IMMORTAL Cirque du Soleil tour, I caught up with the show's lead guitarist, 21 year-old Desiree Bassett from Ashford, CT for a brief Q&A about her experience so far. #MJIMMORTAL just finished a two day stop in Worcester, MA and will make a show stop at UMass in Amherst, MA on Thursday, March 06, 2014. Additional March stops in the northeast include Rochester, NY (10-11), Philadelphia, PA (25-26) and Trenton, NJ (28-29). For tickets and info visit the show's website. To learn more about the show read Michael Jackson tribute by Cirque du Soleil arrives in Hartford and for inspiration read Top ten Michael Jackson songs and videos in celebration of Immortal Tour.
- What’s it like to travel the world and how different is it from Ashford, CT?
Desiree Bassett (DB): It is truly an incredible experience to be able to have an amazing opportunity like this to be able to see and experience the different cultures, everything from the people, the food, the traditions, etc. And a VERY huge culture shock in some places compared to the States for sure, some places makes you wish it were like that back home, and some others makes you appreciate a lot more of what you truly do have.
- What is life like, living on the road, from one city to the next?
DB: It's a lot of fun for sure, sometimes it can be very exhausting with the quick transitions, having doing so many shows and not as much free time to be able to see everything in one city all of the time, but definitely a lot of fun!
- What do you miss about being home in CT?
DB: I miss being home with my family and friends, being able to play with my band whenever possible, and simply just relaxing at home in my own bed.
- What is one of your most exciting memories on tour so far?
DB: One show night that I definitely would never forget was our very first show, the premier in Montreal back in October of 2011. At first I didn't know what to believe, I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, are we really performing for all of these people? How did I end up being on such a huge production?" The feeling was a bit overwhelming, but once we started playing, there was no turning back, and by the end of it all, I couldn't help but burst into tears because of how incredible the feeling was to have just done our first big show with an enormous arena filled with a roaring crowd.
- What is your favorite number to perform with the tour and why?
DB: My favorite number would have to be Beat It because it really gives me a chance to be able to go full on character mode and also to represent the famous guitar solo played by Eddie Van Halen
- Who do you admire and why?
DB: I have a lot of idols and people that I admire, but the one person that I admire most would be my father. If it wasn't for him and all of his love and support throughout my life, I certainly wouldn't be anywhere close to where I am now. He has always been my lifetime idol, from being my manager, my teacher, and simply just being dad.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to the music industry as a career?
DB: You NEVER know who knows who. It is a small world out there, and you never know who you'll come across in life. Just keep doing what you love to do and stay focused, sharp and motivated. But most importantly, have fun and love what you do.
- When you look at the “woman in the mirror” what change would you like to make and why?
DB: Change is constant, I'm always open to make myself better in some way, shape or form. One thing for sure, is that you can NEVER learn too much of something; I would definitely like to learn more styles of playing in music and I want to keep growing and learning more about what the music industry is about.
- What are the pros and cons of social media for a public performer such as yourself?
DB: The pros of social media is that you get yourself more exposure and it helps you further promote yourself. Getting your name out there in any way possible is vital to your career, otherwise, who's going to know about you? The cons of it is that because you expose yourself, you can also make yourself more vulnerable in the sense that you have to be more conscience about what your actions are or what you say in front of the social media. If you set a bad example for yourself, anyone can easily take that and spread it like wildfire to the public eye. You never know who's watching