Interview with Jarrod Henderson

Jarrod Henderson has for many years and in many ways been a personality that has brought energy to Detroit’s entertainment and nightlife scene. Nowadays, he has gone in several diverse directions with lofty aspirations. He’s known by many names for different reasons: as male-by-male performer, Geo Vaughn Cole; female impersonator, S’myra Sky Bankz; beauty and fashion guru, Geo Glam; and most recently he has been promoting his show Hood R.A.T.T. Makeovers, of which he is a star and host. One way or another, we’re sure that you’ve seen him out and about, on stage, or in front of a camera somewhere.

Jarrod Henderson, host of Hood R.A.T.T.Q: So I guess the first question should be how’d you get into all of these different things?
A: [Laughter] Well, I grew up with a passion for wanting to be an actor and play different characters like the kids on television. I didn’t have stage parents like other kids I knew, so I joined extracurricular activities in hopes of being noticed. By the time I got to college, I had been well groomed on the entertainment process and knew the harsh reality of rejection. However, the odd opportunity to try female impersonation presented itself and I thought, “Why not!” I was a quick study and progressed rather rapidly. Titles were won (for myself and others) and with that I wanted to continue forward with my creativity, so then I tried male entertainment. In my head, it was my chance to be like real actors and create different characters that were talented in different aspects—similar to watching an actor play different characters in the same movie and those opposing characters being equally as good as the other. Yet like most actors I wanted to have my own thing, too! I wanted something that wasn’t a character and allowed me to show my talents in other avenues. By day I’m a stylist and beauty is my thing, so when I was contacted about the opportunity to do a television show with a beauty focus—as reluctant as I was initially—I’m glad I took the leap of faith.

Q: With so many things going on, how do you do it all?
A: Personally, I’ve recently gone through some life changes and realized that the only way for me to get a lot done is by practicing sobriety! It’s been twenty months sober, and I have to say my focus is so much better! Focus is key! Keeping your eyes on the ultimate prize or prizes! It’s definitely not easy, but when you have a goal that you want in life, other non-factoring distractions tend to filter out and take a back seat, leaving nothing but motivation to want to get shit done! [Laughter]

Q: In many ways, these are all opportunities to shine as an individual, is it the love of the spotlight?A: To some degree, yes, but I think it’s more of having a platform to be heard! I think our society is so cluttered with “basic” individuals who have no relevance to the world we live in other then they are paid ridiculously to coin a catch phrase or be sixteen and pregnant, et cetera… “Why glorify stupidity?” Within Detroit’s LGBT Community, why not be a small beacon who stands for something of substance, professionalism and talent! I believe all individuals (LGBT included) should be given the spotlight based on that merit!

Q: What kind of sacrifices have you had to make for all of these opportunities?
A: Of course simple things like time and sleep. I order a lot of cherry cokes! I’d have to say the hardest sacrifice I’ve made are some of my friendships… Things happen so fast and it seems that conversations get shorter and shorter. Arguments happen way too often with a great emphasis on miscommunication. Things you wish you’d said, things you wish you hadn’t. Even getting upset because they didn’t read your mind… Mistakes are what make us human! As long as we learn from them over time, our sacrifices are less and less!

Q: Tell us about the show!
A: For starters “R.A.T.T.” is an acronym for Running Around Town Tacky! Hood R.A.T.T. Makeovers is a television show that I host. My co-host Rachonne and I are a tag-team beauty duo that answers the prayers of fashion victims in the city of Detroit. The cool thing about our show that sets us apart from other fashion shows is that our show is done on a super budget! We try to style the guests on our show in fashion trendy stores without sacrificing quality. On average, completed looks are done between $150-$200! That includes accessories, separates, and shoes. Tips are also given to the guest to help with hair and makeup that bring out natural beauty. Did I mention it’s in our own backyard! And I host it (eat your heart out Nickky Stevens)! It’s a really cool show and funny as shit!

Q: Any new projects coming up that we should know about?
Actually yes! Future Episodes of Hood R.A.T.T. Makeovers! [Laughter] I’ve recently teamed up with The Detroit Actors Theatre Company (DATC) lead by Eric Swanson in the month of July for their podcast “Just Sayin.” Along with me will be Bentley James and Nyomi Rose. Keep a look out on www.thedatc.org

Q: Is there anything you would like our readers to know?
A: Well, due to the success of the show, changes are being made! New taping has begun! The next time you see the show things will be different. To keep up with the show, follow Hood R.A.T.T. Makeovers on Facebook or my Instgram, Twitter, and Facebook fan page at GEO GLAM, or feel free to follow me at www.geoglamjunkie.com (YouTube channel coming soon … ).

 

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