"The stage is where I am most comfortable...because I am in control."
Kevin: What is La Femme Nakita's vision, mission, and purpose? When and why was it founded?
Dizzy: La Femme Nakita was founded in 1996 when I realized I had a knack for special event coordination. Everything from proms, concerts, open mics, parties…you name it, I could plan it….but I was doing it for free. I was usually surrounded by a bunch of entertainers who wanted to throw these massive events, but had no planning skills whatsoever. So I decided to put my money where my mouth was and start a business. It eventually expanded past event coordination when the same artists were looking for managers/booking agents and several of my clients were looking for talent!
My purpose/mission is simply to bring quality entertainment to the masses while staying within the financial means of the organizer.
My vision is to make you a fan before you leave my presence.
Kevin: What inspires your contribution to positive action in our communities?
Dizzy: Kids inspire me. I believe that life comes full circle at some point. For example, I am currently the Chief of Youth Programs at Langley AFB, the SAME youth center that I attended as a teenager. Who would have known that I would be giving back to a program that gave me so much as a child? So I feel it’s my duty to give back as well. Whether it be monetary, material, time, patience or love. Everyone needs something! People who have passion inspire me. It take a few minutes of a conversation to realize whether someone is passionate about their craft, regardless of what it is. So when I see that passion in a person, I try to help develop that into something more substantial.
Kevin: When you are offered a project or show, what are some key components that determine your decision?
Dizzy: I talk everything over with my husband. He is my voice of reason in everything I do. And I have to make sure that I am balancing entertainment and home life. He has always been my number one fan, and I wouldn't be able to do ANY of this without him. I have to have a passion about it. It can't go against my morals or values. I'll walk away from a stack of money quickly if its for all the wrong reasons. I also have to feel that the people involved have a vested interest in the mission. I refuse to be the only one working, while everyone else is reaping majority of all the benefits. I always ask who the crowd is...age, demographic, numbers...it helps me transform into the person that the crowd needs to view.
Kevin: Watching you perform, there is a unmistakable boldness to your presentation. Where does your bold style of artistic expression come from?
Dizzy: Am I Bold? Lol! Actually my boldness is a coping mechanism that was developed in middle school/high school. "Shanda" is sensitive, emotional, loving, and at times naive...wanting to see the best in people. I was on the receiving end of bullying in school, apparently I was a nerd, and too fat to fit in. I went through a summer in 10th grade when I developed a sense of confidence in myself and created this "Dizzy" character, around the same time in my life that Hip Hop entered, so it became my stage name. "Dizzy" says anything on her mind. What everyone else wants to say...she'll say it. In the beginning it came across very harsh and brash, and I saw myself becoming the bully. So I had to check myself and refine her a little bit. The stage is where I am most comfortable...because I am in control. My motto while up there. "M.C. means move the crowd" Rakim
Kevin: Who is the most inspirational person in your life? How does their example affect you?
Dizzy: Beyonce. In have grown up watching and listening to her. She has an amazing work ethic, an awesome stage show, and has a clear separation of private life and business, all while being a Diva! The thing on thing I admire that separates her from the rest of these women out in the industry..she is confident inner sexiness but will ONLY grind up on her husband. I respect her and her high regard for marriage.
Kevin: Your schedule can be extremely demanding; including traveling, different time zones and sleep schedules. What are some of your techniques to maintaining balance and ensuring that you have the energy you need to continue to move forward?
Dizzy: It's a science! I pack the night before. I don't sleep more than 3-4 hours the night before I fly. I use my travel time to catch up on the sleep I lost. When I land, I have to hit the ground running....don't sleep until the late night. Rockstars are my energy drinks of choice. Same thing when I come back to the states, when I land, I go right to work if I can! Helps me reset.
Kevin: In your opinion, what is the most pressing challenge that we face in our communities? Where do we begin to address this issue?
Dizzy: I could give you a cliche answer, but I can't. Our society in the U.S. has fell into the trap of celebrating mediocrity. The "everyone gets a trophy" syndrome that our country faces is detrimental to the development of our children's social skills. Our children and young adults don't know how to lose, and deal with loss and they develop a sense of entitlement that is atrocious. So when they hit their young adult ages, they are devastated and don't know how to cope with life. My belief is that this is a direct cause of school shootings, children killing children, and the increase of murder in our young people. They don't know how to cope, TV Movies and music are raising them, and they have no guidance. So they do what feels right at the time...and the bad decisions they are making aren't reversible. How do we fix this? First off....realize it's a problem. Second, educate parents so they have better understanding of whats happening to our children. Reverse the "no child left behind" decisions in schools. That is the FIRST way that kids are taught that even if they fail...they can pass.
Kevin: What advice do you have to offer for people who are looking to peruse a career in entertainment?
Dizzy: Know the business aspect as well as you know your craft. Your work ethic speaks volumes. Integrity is key. Don't lose your passion. If you no longer get butterflies before you hit the stage, it's time to move on.
Kevin: What can the audience expect when they come to see you perform?
They can expect to get All Of Me. I never half step, and I think that's why they return.