Our People: Q&A with Charlton Alicea

Getting to know Mr. National Entertainer of the Year 2017

A native Charlottean and self-identified “Renaissance man,” Charlton Alicea shone in the spotlight as he was named 2017 Mr. Entertainer of the Year at the national level. Also recognized locally, Metrolina Theatre Association nominated Alicea for Best Supporting Actor as Angel in “RENT” (Angel is a supporting character? Seriously? He makes the entire show, in my humble opinion). A performance artist with a diverse background, Alicea moved to California in his youth to train with top Latin dancers before returning home as an instructor and professional performer of ballroom, Pro-Am, rhythm and Latin styles.

Apart from Alicea’s performance résumé, his truest mission is as founding owner of Jeffre Scott Apothecary on Providence Rd. in Charlotte, N.C. The apothecary is as acclaimed as its owner, receiving Charlotte Magazine’s 2017 award for “Best Beauty Shop.” Alicea’s passion for hair, skincare and cosmetics — on top of extensive experience and being quite photogenic — has landed him regular spots on local news as a beauty guru. Alicea’s appearances include WCCB “News Rising,” WCNC “Charlotte Today” and WBTV “Morning Break.”

Despite a list of professional experiences and accolades as long as 525,600 minutes, Alicea’s personal life is equally fruitful, and equally dedicated. We don’t all get as lucky as to be born gay in a welcoming home, but the multitalented performer was raised to show the same unconditional care as he received. Constantly smiling, friendly and helpful, this performer is as energetic and enthusiastic in everyday life as he is on-stage.

As a Charlotte native, do you have a favorite part of town?

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I love living in Southend. The restaurants are great and there is always something to do. It is so close to Uptown and I love city life. Watching all the growth is amazing. My favorite part is the light rail trail; being a runner, it’s perfect.

Which is more important to you and why: Financial success, or personal pride in your work?

Personal pride in my work, because when you take pride in what you do and do it well, everything else will fall into place.

What’s the best part about being on stage, in any type of role?

The reactions from the audience; whether they laugh, cry or applaud, I love the interaction where I can feel their energy. 

Working your way to your current success, what was the biggest roadblock you came up against?

My internal fear of what others think. Sometimes worrying about what others think can hold you back. When it comes to male pageantry, it can be subjective, deciding whether or not something might look too feminine. But you have to stay true to yourself and follow your vision. Even in life, we can let that fear overwhelm us. I decided to do EOY for the creative outlet, and I wasn’t going to let what other people think sway me not to do it. The EOY System provided me that outlet for self-expression. And now with the National title, I can be a little more fearless.

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Who has been an essential support system for you, personally and professionally?

Personally, my parents. They have been my role models and my rock. They totally accept me for who I am, both personally and professionally. When it comes to my parents, they love all LGBTQ people, they have no problem with it. The fact I’m gay, they think it makes me that much more special. They celebrate it, and they love hanging out with all my friends (and sometimes I think my friends like hanging out with them more than me). I wouldn’t be who I am without my parents.

How would you describe your ideal three-course meal in an ideal restaurant environment?

Actually I’m not a big fan of three-course meals. I like more of a tapas situation, like Soul Gastro lounge. [Places] where everyone orders a bunch of things and shares. Cocktails are just flowing, and I get to taste a lot of things. I’m the guy who usually wants to try a bite of everyone else’s meal.

If you were to meditate, what would you picture as your “happy place”?

I always meditate about being in a field of green grass, laying down, looking up at the blue sky.


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