I love to entertain people

Author: Martin Mistr
(taped by Marketa Vaculova)
Location: Ostrava
Even though I’m a Rom, I’ve never encountered either hatred or racial discrimination. Teachers neither laughed at me nor denounced me. My schoolmates never beat me up. Just the opposite. When I had some learning difficulties in the first grade, my teachers helped me out. My schoolmates liked me because I was fun to be with: I could sing real well, and was good at imitating both teachers and schoolmates.
And all during my school years I behaved myself. Nobody could ever say that I behaved like a Gypsy.
Actually, I don’t know the Roma that well. My white parents had adopted me many years ago. That is also why I do not know any Romany customs. Sometimes people look first at me and then at my parents and think, "Why’s the kid so dark?” But I think that skin color is of no importance. What’s most important is whether one can behave herself or himself and whether she or he is a good person. And even though my complexion is darker than usual I never got attacked by anybody.
Though I was the only Romany student at the Business Academy, teachers and students appreciated my talent and supported me. At breaks in the hallways I always sang and imitated celebrities, schoolmates, or teachers. I had a good audience of guys and girls who applauded. Teachers sometimes complainedabout the noise but often came to have a look too.
So sometimes when there was to be a test, my schoolmates urged me to start imitating somebody so that it would get postponed.
It wasn’t until just after finishing at the business academy that I had to began to worry about my career. After graduation, I had to have a surgery on my legs which was to improve the positioning of my joints. I spent three months in the hospital. As a result of the operation one of my legs was shorter, and I was not able to take a regular job. So I decided to make my living as a comedian, singer and imitator.
I put together my own recordings and demo tapes and began to send these to radio stations. After a while, they got back to me and invited me over.
So I began to perform. At first, in various radios, then at regional live events and festivals and finally on TV.
I have a competitive advantage: I’m the only Romany imitator. There are many whites doing this kind of work but I’m the only Rom.
After a while, the private TV station NOVA engaged me and is now my primary media partner.
I love to entertain people, this is my lifelong goal: to be a good entertainer.
My dream is to be on the same show as Karel Gott. He already knows me from one concert. Now I already have made arrangements with the program director in our public TV: I will perform with Karel Gott in one of the most popular TV shows.
Then one day I went with my white friends to a discotheque called Venuse. We sat down and were looking to pick up some girls when a bunch of Roms arrived. I paid no attention to them. They kept looking at me for a while, not in a hostile way, but as if at a stranger or alien.
When they saw I was behaving OK and I was not after their girls but white girls, they relaxed.
But after a while they approached me and began to nag at me asking why a Gypsy guy like me should pick up white girls: weren’t Romany girls good enough for me? I could see they were curious to know who I was. They kept asking me where I was from and all kinds of stuff.I didn’t like them. They were too loud, and their ways of having fun did not attract me. They were just not my kind of people.
A week later, I bumped into them again in Venuse, During that week I had given them some thought, and I think they could have been even more curious about me, too, because they had learned that I was an imitator. Someone in my family must have told them. So we started talking about ourselves and about how I started imitating. Later, they invited me over to a Romany feast in their house. That’s how we became friends and how we started getting to know one another.
This happened not a very long time ago, so I still don’t have a full understanding of the Romany mind and lifestyle. Until recently, I didn’t even know what GADZO (“white person”) means. But thanks to this meeting I now have a chance to learn who I am and who my ancestors are.

2 Responses to “I love to entertain people”

  1. i am a romany gypsy in the usa god made us to be gypsys unick to the world has traveing pople i world like to a ext: outer romany gypsys to come to usa my name is mr jones i world bring the romany to the new world i am rich gypsy E mail me back sinsirly yours mr jones :

  2. all romany gypsys contack me at http://WWW.ADAM2J3@AOL.COM

Leave a Reply