O&AN Exclusive: 1-on-1 with Adam Lambert

Photo by Craig DeCristo

You can’t help but notice him as he chats up the different press outlets at the Memphis FedEx Forum. Adam Lambert and the other top American Idol contestants have just wrapped their Memphis performance of the American Idols Live tour. Even here, Lambert stands out from the rest of the pack. The runner-up on Season 9 of American Idol is kind, gracious, honest, attractive, gay - someone you'd want to befriend.

O&AN: Hi Adam, I’m with Nashville's Out & About Newspaper, a GLBT paper.

: Cool! Perfect. We love that.

: And I love you. (Giggles from both sides.) But I’ll get past that. What advice do you have for dreamers—whether it’s acting, writing, singing—just dreamers?

Lambert: Hmmm, I like that question. I think it’s hard because being a dreamer isn’t always the easiest thing in the world because we have to exist in a space that is not reality.

We have to exist in that ‘what if’ or ‘imagination’ world, and I think that with all the pressures of everyday life, you can constantly be thrown out of that, and it’s almost a fight to stay in that ‘dreamer’ space. My advice would be to try to find a new angle, a new perspective on something, and that’s in my opinion, the best way to take your dreams and make them come true.

Find a way to be new and fresh with your ideas, and just to keep dreaming. Find your safe space that is conducive to that. Find a way to tap into that part of yourself and not be thrown out of that dreamer space. Stay on the cloud!

O&AN: How did you stay? How did you do it?

Lambert: You know... I kind of tuned a lot of it out, as much as I could. I knew every night I would go out there for the show, that there would be judges, and there was an audience watching on the other side of the camera, and I kind of just said, ‘You know what? When you get out on stage, just do your thing; You’ve been performing for a long time, Adam. Get out there and perform for the people in the studio,’ and the audience wasn’t that large in the studio, so I wasn’t too intimidated by that.

Adam's fans show their love in Memphis.
Photos by Kristin Keiper

If I started thinking too much and getting in my head about ‘oh there’s judges, judging me, oh my gosh, there’s 30 million people on the other side of that camera,’ that’s when I would start to get a little nervous.  So, it was like mind over matter.

O&AN: What about before Idol when you were on stage?

Lambert: Well, I’ve been on stage since I was like 10 years old, so that’s helped me a lot. It’s a pretty comfortable place for me.  Sometimes - it sounds a little cliché - but sometimes being on stage is almost more comfortable than certain aspects of real life.

Although that’s gotten better for me, but I think in my twenties, I’ve gotten more comfortable in my own skin, and in who I am as a real person. I think that’s part of the reason why I transitioned out of theatre—which is pretending to be somebody else—and into this art form, which is being myself, maybe in a heightened form.  Maybe it’s more of a persona, but it’s based on who I really am. So, I think that reflects my personal growth.

O&AN: Any chance you’ll be in Nashville in the next year?

Lambert: You know, there’s always a chance. I think Nashville has now become a huge music scene, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up there for some project or another.

The support that I’ve seen out here has meant a lot to me, and it’s been surprising, because I didn’t realize that was the case. I kind of figured, ‘Oh, I’m maybe more supported in the metropolitan, liberal areas.’O&AN: Not the South?

Lambert: I didn’t think the South, and there was also so much support in Utah. There had been areas in my head that I thought were more conservative areas, and the support has been unbelievable.  So far in the South, I’ve found the fans have been wilder than they were in California.

I mean... people are really enthusiastic and passionate down here. It’s kind of all hitting me all at once, that it’s universal, and that means a lot to me. That means I did something right, and I’m really happy about that.


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