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Drag performer Jaye Lish balances love, life and the stage

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Balancing a performing career and a relationship can be difficult. All too often we see in the headlines that another pop singer or movie star is filing for divorce or breaking up with his/her partner. There are ways to balance both but it does take a little planning and commitment to make it work. Drag Queen and producer of The Other Show at http://www.jungleatl.com, Jaye Lish recently gave input on how he and his partner balance their demanding careers with their every day lives.

Arabella Aaron: What is your name?

Jaye Lish: Jaye Lish

AA: How long have you been performing?

JL: 8-9 years total, 5 of that consisting of 1 or more performances a week

AA: Are you currently in a relationship?

JL: Yes, married legally in Massachusetts

AA: What is your partner's name?

JL: Joel

AA: How long have you been in a relationship?

JL: About 7 years

AA: How do you classify your sexual preference?

JL: Gay

AA: What has been your greatest challenge in your relationship?

JL: Finding time to share together outside of our careers. I balance two, sometimes three jobs and drag... which creatively, could be a full time job itself.

AA: What has been your greatest achievement in your relationship?

JL: The ability to legally marry and share that with our friends and family is a great achievement, but honestly we did very little to make that a reality. I value and appreciate those that took on the courts and government offices of the nation. Our greatest personal achievement is continuing to value each other every day no matter what life throws at us.

AA: Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your sexual preference?

JL: I can't remember the last time I was singled out in a discriminating way because of my sexual preference alone.

AA: Have you ever been discriminated against because of your relationship?

JL: We are only legally recognized as being married in 17 of 50 states... so yes.

AA: How has your performing career affected your relationship?

JL: My performance career evolved after we had been dating a little while. I was nervous that Joel wouldn't be amused. To my surprise, he was quite amused and impressed with my creativity. We look at each other's careers in a very similar way, just mine being someone more entertaining than his. We usually work around performance and event schedules when we take vacations or travel. We talk a lot about what more performance work would mean for us and how that would change the at home balance. More than anything, having the extra demands increases how much we communicate as well as how much we value our time together.

AA: What is one special thing you do to keep that spark in your relationship?

JL: You really have to maintain intimacy and communication. For me, that means going to bed together and getting up together and doing the little routine things that can easily be trivialized. I think it could be easy to get caught up in the ego and social demands of performing, and it's not something I would trade a relationship for.

AA: How has being "well known" in the community affected your relationship?

JL: Again, it's easy to go out and get noticed.... I have found that I can be as recognizable or unrecognizable as I choose. It's fun to get the little perks of being a local talent. We get invited to more things that we probably wouldn't be exposed to. Joel gets a kick out of people recognizing my stage persona when we go out.

AA: What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone with regards to dating and relationships?

JL: If you are going to set a goal for yourself, let it be to experience something new, not "find a partner." Live your life. Do what you like and you will meet people who like those things as well.

AA: Please add anything you find would help someone with regards to relationships.

JL: Don't waste time inside your head being a librarian of all the thoughts and feelings that don't serve you. Let go of doubt, fear and lack of confidence and just be. Allow yourself to be embraced and loved and love back. You can make the world whatever you want it to be for yourself.

JL: Thank you for including me in the article. Writing down all these thoughts really emphasized why our relationship works.

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