A Moment and an Event with Tristan MacManus…
If you are a fan of Dancing with the Stars you undoubtedly know of Tristan MacManus. According to Tristan, he’s “The Hot One” on the show. Ok, so the line was scripted, but I doubt you will find many who disagree. The Irish born and bred Tristan debuted on Dancing with the Stars in Season Twelve as a performer in the Dance Troupe. The following season he returned to participate in the competition, being assigned partner Nancy Grace and went on in subsequent seasons to compete with partners Gladys Knight and Pamela Anderson. Tristan’s approach and teaching method with his partners, his skill and wit are all qualities which have endeared him as a fan favorite Pro dancer. But there is more to Tristan than just dancing.
How would you like to have the opportunity to get to know Tristan better and find out firsthand? Well, now’s your chance! Tristan will be making his first Public Appearance Event next month as a way to say thank you to his fans and to have opportunity to meet so many who have supported him through his career. The Event will be held in Princeton, New Jersey on January 26, 2013, and will benefit Tristan’s charity of choice, Grassroot Soccer.
Tristan was kind enough to discuss with me the Event, as well as some thoughts concerning his charity and how his association with them began. First though, I’d like to share a little info detailing just what Grassroot Soccer is all about…
Grassroot Soccer (grassrootsoccer.org) is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization set up to use “…the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV.” The organization goes on to explain, “By working within this existing structure and by training role models – pro players, coaches and youth players themselves – to get the message out about healthy behavior and the risks of HIV, we have shown that we can break stigmas, dramatically increase awareness, change behaviors, and turn the tide against HIV.”
Tristan shares that he became acquainted with the charity after being approached by a representative from the organization. This was his first foray into involvement with a charitable group. He explains “…the fact that it was grassroots and not some fancy self-indulgent cause, I was very interested. Plus it gave me a chance to play some football as well (*or soccer as us Yanks refer to it!) which I missed doing – it was a win-win situation for a great cause.”
The Event is being sponsored by DublinDown330 a project which was created specifically for Tristan. It supports Grassroot Soccer through awareness and fundraising efforts by sponsoring promotions and events, while providing a connection between Tristan and his fans and supporters. For this special Event, they are also operating in-conjunction with MacManiacs.org, one of Tristan’s most popular fan sites.
The funds raised during this Event will be in addition to what DublinDown330 has already acquired, currently listed on their Crowdrise site at $18, 755.00. I asked Tristan if he was surprised by the amount of funding he has already achieved, and if he had thought at the beginning of his association that it would have developed into what it has attained. He was quite humble and candid with his reply stating that “due to the lack of involvement I’ve had in a project like this before, I came in with no expectations on what we could achieve, so to see that sum really is something special – and it says a lot about people in general who support the cause, whether it’s because of my involvement or not, it’s great to see people open their hearts (and their wallets) for a great cause. That’s why I appreciate everyone who supports me so much. I think the objective though is to raise money as much as possible and not relate the fund to the events…the events are the steps we need to take to raise money, not to worry what event brought in the most money and base its success on that.”
Tristan goes on to share that learning the ins and outs of fundraising events has been an eye opener for him…”I was unaware of the costs of running an event, never mind raise money for one, but it gives me an opportunity to meet a lot of my supporters on the east coast…although again most importantly to try and raise more awareness and funds. It gives me a chance to interact face to face with people which is something that I don’t get a chance to while the show (*Dancing with the Stars) runs.”
As for Grassroot Soccer and it’s focus, I was curious as to how Tristan’s thoughts concerning HIV/AIDS may have been impacted and if his involvement had changed him in any way. He replied, “…it’s nice to know that you are trying to help in some sort of way…I don’t have anyone in my life that is directly affected by HIV/AIDS, although I have met people before who have been. I think if you have an interest in people in general it’s easier to relate to them. It’s not a sympathy thing whatsoever, that’s not why I help…it’s simply to try and help!! An indiscriminate act of kindness as they say! If whatever ‘profile’ I have can help raise awareness or funds for something that it wasn’t able to before, then why not.”
Tristan has been actively promoting Grassroot Soccer, gaining donations and raising awareness, but so far has not been able to participate in any soccer matches. He says “of course I have a huge interest in playing so when they do ask I’ll try my best to fit it in, I just need to be careful…I get enough injuries with DWTS (*Dancing with the Stars) haha.” And of course, we would expect him to be a bit careful when it comes to his livelihood!
By now, I would think you should have figured out that Tristan has garnered quite a fan following. We chatted a little about whether he was ready to face a room full of fans for the first time at the Event. “I don’t get fazed by meeting people, I’ve been doing it all my life – granted it’s a little un-nerving when eyes are staring at you all the time but it’s a conversation we are having – that’s the best way to think of it. If people ask me questions, I’ll answer them just like everyday life…if it’s something you don’t want to answer or think it’s too personal then you don’t answer it. It’s hardly Beatlemania so I think I’ll be alright, hahaha! For me it will be fun to meet the people who have been pushing me so much since I’ve come to the show. I’m a genuine guy so I have a genuine interest in the people who support me and this is a way to say thanks.”
Aside from the Event happening in January, I asked Tristan if there were any other upcoming things we should keep an eye out for…“ I’ve got a few things in the works, yeah but it’s best not to jinx anything…you never know what’s gonna happen. Right now I’m doing a lot of teaching and getting ready for the holidays. After that, who knows, but like everything else so far, someone will find out about it and let me know hahaha!” As for the someone finding out part, I had mentioned to him his participation in a Holland America Cruise Line Dancing with the Stars Theme Sailing where he is listed as one of the dance pros. Ah the wonders of fandom and the internet! And in case you were wondering, yes, that is Tristan in the banner photo on the cruise page. Course, things are always subject to change…and we wouldn’t want to jinx it, now would we?!
Currently there are still a few tickets remaining for the Event. So–possible opportunity to meet Tristan, bid on some silent auction items, try and prove Tristan wrong about Beatlemania, support an amazing charity…who can resist? Head over to www.macmaniacs.org/dublindown330.html for more information and details on how you can attend. And whether you are able to attend or not, doublindown330 is always accepting donations so please feel free to donate directly through their Crowdrise site! Space IS limited at the Event so check it out!!
Now, here’s a little Tristan video from DublinDown330…and keep reading further down for a few more interesting tidbits from Tristan!
Fast Five – Questions for Fun!
Tell us something about you we might be surprised to know? “I’m not really Irish, it’s just an act”
Last song you listened to on your MP3 player? “Thinkin about you – Frank Ocean”
Favorite food indulgence? “Eggs Benedict and Steak”
Favorite guilty pleasure? “Whiskey – period”
Which Superhero would you choose to be? “Chuck Norris”
You can follow Tristan on Twitter @tristanmacmanus and also check out Tristan MacManus Fan Page on Facebook
Tristan performing with Chelsie Hightower to Beyonce’s “End of Time” on Dancing with the Stars Design a Dance, Season 14