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The GoPride.com Interview

Erica Mena

"This is my first time in Chicago so this is going to be good."

by Jerry Nunn
Performer Erica Mena began as a model at a young age and has appeared in over 10 music videos featuring artists from Chris Brown to Akon. She worked for the Kardashians at Dash in Miami then starred in another reality show, VH1's hit Love & Hip Hop.

Erica is making a local appearance at Urbano at Circuit Nightclub, 3641 N Halsted, on March 16.

ChicagoPride.com's Jerry Nunn caught up with Erica to dish on Kourtney and Khloe, her reality show and upcoming appearance in Boystown Chicago.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hey, Erica. Circuit is very excited about your upcoming visit here.

EM: (Erica Mena) I'm very excited too. This is my first time in Chicago so this is going to be good.

JN: How did you hook up with Circuit Nightclub?

EM: That was through my publicist. He has been out there on the grind. I wanted to be in touch with cities that I haven't been to and Chi-town was definitely one of them. We made it happen. I am going to come through and do it up real big.

JN: So this is a club appearance?

EM: Yes, I like to get on the mic a little bit. I will dance with some people, have a few drinks, and live it up.

JN: I look forward to seeing what you are going to wear.

EM: That's going to be a good one. I was just talking to my stylist today so we have to come up with something really dope.

JN: You have to bring it if you are in Chicago.

EM: We are on it. It is going to be good.

JN: How did wind up on a VH1 reality show?

EM: I have been in the game for a long time since the age of sixteen. I have had a relationship with someone who was in the hip-hop industry. I have been doing videos and making it happen. I grew up in the game I guess you could say. They came to me with the interest of me telling my story and what I was going through in my life. That is how everything happened with me starting the show.

JN: You have probably met so many people doing all the music videos.

EM: I have worked with a lot of artists in the industry and have known people for a long time. I have been able to touch other genres of the industry as well. I have been quite lucky in maneuvering, making my own establishment and game for myself.

JN: Love & Hip Hop has done very well and gotten good ratings.

EM: No complaints on the ratings that is for sure.

JN: I believe it is going for a third season correct?

EM: Yes, definitely coming back for a third season. Right now they are in the process of doing Atlanta. It is nice for the audience to see different sides of the industry, stories, and the female perspective. It should be quite interesting,

JN: Have you enjoyed doing reality television? I know you did Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian's show.

EM: Yes, I did. That was just from Kourtney asking me to help her with the store. At the time I was living in Miami. It was a great opportunity. For me I took it as more of a learning experience. Eventually I am going to open up my own little boutique as well. I really wanted to learn how to build a successful establishment. I hope to produce the same thing.

JN: You must really be into fashion.

EM: Definitely. I have been modeling since 14. So fashion and everything that comes with it is a passion of mine. Modeling and acting are my favorite things.

JN: Your background is Puerto Rican and Dominican correct?

EM: Yes, the best of both worlds.

JN: So you speak Spanish?

EM: Si.

JN: Are you a good cook?

EM: Oh, absolutely. I learned from my mom so I definitely know how to cook, anything from rice and beans to arroz con pollo, all that good stuff.

JN: I heard you are a Rita Moreno fan.

EM: I am. I have loved her from the first time I saw West Side Story. I am a big fan. She is one of my idols.

JN: I had a chance to interview her and she was so down to earth.

EM: Oh, I would love to meet her! You are lucky.

JN: You should try to see her one woman show in New York.

EM: I will cross my fingers on that.

JN: What is your connection with the gay community?

EM: Oh my god, I love them! A lot of my friends are gay. I love love. No matter who you fall in love with it should be respected, honored, and cherished. It is sad we are in different communities because we should all be together, that is the only thing that makes it different but love is love. The bigger the better!

JN: What other projects do you have coming up?

EM: I am in the process of identifying my single right now. You all should hear something by summertime so definitely look out for that. We also have a book that I am writing. I also have a t-shirt line. I have a lot of things going on but the main focus is the music. I want you guys to have it by summer so that is taking up a lot of my time.

JN: Sounds like you have a lot going on.

EM: I do. Well, you better come out to the club. I want to meet you and all of Chicago!

Meet Erica Mena at Circuit Nightclub, 3641 N Halsted Street, March 16. Check out www.circuitclub.com or www.urbanochicago.com for details.
 
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