"I've been alter-egoing for the last ten years," says Tami Lucero, organizer of Alter Ego Night. "Your alter ego is just finding another side of yourself and expanding on that, making it the main thing. With some people, they go as far as putting on elaborate outfits and wigs, and with others it's just one little accessory that changes them."
Talking with Tami about alter egos is like listening to a Freemason spill his guts about what really goes on behind lodge doors. "Some people have multiple alter egos that come out, and some work on just one, but you never know when the day will come when a brand-new one will pop out of nowhere," she says.
Lucero has gone through several different alter egos. For the moment, she's concentrating on her predominant alter ego, Kristi Jo. "She has wild hair -- kind of a mullet," she says. "She's a little more rowdy, a little more confident. You wouldn't see me dancing as much as you'd see her dancing."
Lucero knows that plenty of people think such an endeavor just sounds goofy. "But once they've immersed themselves in it, they take to it and love it," she says. "When you hit it, it just feels right. When I go out as Kristi Jo, it feels like me. People look at you and eventually see you as that person."
Once you have an alter ego, you need a place to show it off. Lucero says public displays such as Alter Ego Night are growing popular on the coasts. "It's everywhere. And, honestly, it's a great way to get people together."
To aid souls who might be slightly confused, people who have found their alter egos and grown comfortable with them will be on hand to provide the equivalent of guidance counseling. Because the process may come with unwelcome psychological revelations, the counselors will be armed with questionnaires designed to figure out just who else you're meant to be. In addition, an on-site dressing station will be stocked with wigs, costumes and other odds and ends. "People might find something they'd never normally wear, but it feels right to them for the moment or the environment," Lucero says.
In celebration of the great number of anticipated rebirths, Alter Ego Night also offers personality-transforming events like bingo, dancing and karaoke, which encourages people to break free of the shackles of their old, stifling selves, letting their new selves croon, holler and cut a rug.
Don't bother looking for Tami Lucero, though. She won't be around, Lucero says. "I'm going to have to go as Kristi Jo. This is her kind of thing."