Each of us is assigned the task of creating the world that we choose to live in- either by design or default. Too often, we let life define our world; stuff happens and we react. However, if we’re strong- or lucky- enough, we actively create the life we choose to live. And along the way, whether we know it or not, our lives serve as positive examples to others. One such example is baritone Pascal DeFontis.
Pascal is originally from France, and most of his extended family is still there. “I have an older sister who is married with two teenagers, and my dad is there as well. Unfortunately, my mom passed away over two years ago.” Pascal went to beauty school in Paris and worked in a high-end salon until he moved to the United States in 1993. He’s had experience working both in TV and “runway shows,” and he’s owned his own salon for over five years.
Although he could have continued living a relatively safe, comfortable life in France, Pascal chose instead to build a home in California. He considers this move, and his eventual coming-out, as two of the most important events in his life. Another important event was opening his own business, something that he says would have “been much more difficult if I had stayed in Paris.” His expertise in designing coiffeurs can be seen in many MenAlive shows, from the pony-tailed wig of Cindy Brady in “Comedy Tonight” to the sinister, mussed look of the witches in “Wicked.”
Pascal has definitely designed a world that has had a positive effect on others. He’s not only sung, but danced and acted in many roles since joining for the 2008 “Secret Santa” concert, a decision that was precipitated by a little friendly teasing and a desire to overcome some of his shyness. “To be totally honest, at first I wanted to audition because Robert [Hazelton] was going to audition. I went with him and didn't have the guts to do it. I didn't think that I was a singer. So then after he kind of made fun of me. I decided to do it.” Pascal is quick to add that he’s glad he did. “It’s an amazing experience- to be part of a talented group with a good purpose.”
Yoko Ono once said that “We are all dreamers creating the next world, the next beautiful world for ourselves and for our children.” We in MenAlive are fortunate to be witnessing Pascal’s part in creating that next beautiful world- both through his work in the chorus and through his willingness to be an active participant in designing his life.