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Meeting Tatiana
Dreams Sometimes Do Come True!!!

by Godspeede

[Versión en español]

[Picture: Tatiana with Godspeede]

I have been Tatiana's fan for a number of years. It began when I stumbled upon her show, El Espacio de Tatiana, on the local Univision outlet. [Picture: Tent Sign] At first, I just tuned in when it was on. Then I found myself getting up early to catch it, and within a few weeks I was making sure that each episode was taped. That I was impressed with her talent, beauty, and charisma is an understatement, and the fact that she was supposedly a "children's entertainer" mattered not all. Soon I began delving into her career and I began collecting her recordings all the way back to before her pop star origins in the 1980s. As devoted as I became, I never actually dreamt that I would be able to meet La Reina in person. After all she was an international star who worked and lived in Mexico, and when she did come to the United States it always seemed to be the West Coast, Miami, or Chicago. Despite the growing local Hispanic population, she had never come to Atlanta where I lived, and I assumed she probably would not for the foreseeable future. Thus I was completely surprised when I received word that she was coming to do a series of shows. Fortunately by this time I had developed some indirect contacts, and after much effort arrangements were made to meet with her briefly.

[Picture: Adam] To say that I was nervous misses the point. It was all just so unbelievable, so entirely outside the realm of what seemed possible that I was in a kind of daze, not knowing what to expect. I arrived about an hour before her first show at the Vazquez Circus where she was booked. There, as arranged, I met Adam Mehl, who manages Tatiana in the United States and Canada. Adam, who it quickly became apparent is quite the sharp businessman, was entirely personable, to the point, and without pretension, and we were soon talking like old friends as he escorted me towards her dressing area. Then I looked up and saw Diana Perla Chapa, Tatiana's mother, and a lady of mythical stature in her own right! Now things were becoming nerve racking, but she could not have been kinder. Apparently well accustomed to even the silliest fans (as I was becoming at that moment), she eased my considerable anxiety with her expressions of sincere interest, and by her openness in discussing Tatiana and her current tour. [Picture: Tatiana & Diana] We spoke for several minutes, and I was repeatedly assured that Tatiana would arrive shortly after she finished dressing; I began to feel like an eighth grade boy waiting endlessly and anxiously for his first date to come downstairs to go out while her family looks on! After several very long minutes, and just as I began to feel normally suddenly she was there . . .! It was Tatiana!

[Picture: Tatiana arrives] Tatiana has always been a voice on a CD, a moving image on television or videotape, or a picture on a magazine or CD cover, and now I found myself in the presence of the real person. The first thing that struck me was that she is even more beautiful in person than in her photographs. She is very petite and delicate, and she radiates more charm and presence than anyone else I have ever met (and I have met senators and governors and the lead guitarist of REO Speedwagon, not to mention Elvis's Uncle Vester ). Far from being the jaded star, she is completely natural, real, and utterly feminine, with a young girl quality that in no way undermines an impression of inner strength. [Picture: Tatiana] She seemed genuinely pleased to see me, and my initial tongue-tied shock quickly melted under her warmth. I had always read and heard that she was very kind, and indeed she was. We spoke for nearly an hour of her career, music, her current tour, life, and me in general. Her English was perfect, and she repeatedly revealed an impish sense of humor. At one point, she saw I was attempting to take candid photographs of her, and she teased me by instantly putting on classic Tatiana poses. To my worried inquiry about whether I was imposing with my camera, she smiled and replied that she liked and was very accustomed to having her photograph taken - such is the everyday routine for a star! She also confessed that as this was her first show in days, she was nervous, and that indeed she always was nervous before performing. Now this was a surprise! I have seen many pictures of her entertaining huge crowds with only her dancers and a microphone, and I know since she began her career at the age of fifteen, she has been the veteran of thousands of shows. But as I should have known, Tatiana takes her responsibilities to her public as an entertainer and an artist very seriously!

[Picture: Tatiana] It was now just before she was to go on, and Adam escorted me to good seats. As this was but a partial show, she sang only five songs taken from across her "children's music" career: "El Patio De Mi Casa" (From Brinca), "No Te Quedes Con Las Ganas," "El Payaso Triste" (Both from Sigue La Magica), "Hi-Ho," "Bibidi Babidi Bu" (Both from Los Mejores Temas De Las Peliculas De Walt Disney), "En La Bosque De La China" (From Superfantastico), and "Vamos A Jugar" (From Vamos A Jugar). She brought along only four of her dancers and one of her clowns. In some ways, however, this made for a purer exhibition, one that revealed Tatiana even more clearly. Certainly there was no loss of entertainment value. When she performs her songs the effect, of course, is similar to that seen and heard on her television show, El Espacio de Tatiana, but being "live" they express to a greater degree her consummate professionalism.

[Picture: Tatiana]

Her ability to execute complicated and athletic dance moves without missing a beat or going off key is amazing, as is the absolute ease with which she engages, controls and cajoles the crowd between numbers. Yet one always senses that she is "completely there" and not going through the well-rehearsed motions. It was not just the joyful children who were fell under her spell, nor just the cadre of young girls dressed in Tatiana outfits who were executing their own accompanying choreographies, nor just their mothers who were often the ones leading the cheers, but there were even some very machismo-looking hombres, including some tough local security guards, who wore shy smiles and joined in the clapping and singing with the rest of the audience. I, of course, maintained my dignity throughout -- not! It was family entertainment in the most positive sense; Nothing silly or banal, just fun to which anyone could relate - emotions uncluttered by any greater meaning than a celebration of being alive led by an instantly sympathetic symbol of epitomized femininity. It was wonderful! It was Tatiana!

[Picture: Show]

Following her last number, I met briefly with her again. The arena had been very warm, and she was temporarily spent. I offered my congratulations, which she kindly accepted. However being a perfectionist, she also felt compelled to point out some minor flaws that I had not even noticed. Despite her fatigue, she prepared herself to meet with her fans, to sign autographs, and to be photographed. There were hundreds lined up for the privilege - and there was no doubt that to this crowd, (as to all of her many fans) this was a very special person. It was a sentiment with which I could only vigorously concur! Before she left, I was treated to a hug and a few special words and I was left to savor what had proved to be one the most special experiences of my life! It was then that I discovered the only bad thing about meeting Tatiana - afterwards you really miss her!!

[Picture: Tatiana]

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© 2003 by Richard A. Morton


This page was first created 27 Jul 2003, and last modified 28 Jul 2003.
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