Jai Rodriguez is best known for his role as the “Culture Vulture” on Bravo’s hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Now in its fifth and final season, we bid a heartfelt goodbye to the Fab Five and learn here what’s in store for Jai. Read on as Jai gets upclose and personal with Queercents about affordable culture and making a living while doing his craft. Enjoy!
1. How can someone improve their appreciation of the arts without breaking the bank?
The arts are all around us. Change the type of TV you watch. There are a lot of great documentaries on the Sundance Channel. Pick up your local paper and see what is happening in your community for free.
2. What is your most significant memory about money?
My first memory of money is constantly hearing that we didn’t have any when I was growing up and that it didn’t grow on trees.
3. What is your worst habit around finances?
I think I don’t do comparison shopping as often as I should about big items. I tend to buy the first thing I see.
4. A gay guy has 75 bucks to spend on his date. What can they go do in New York for this amount?
Oh boy. Well as a former New Yorker, I’d say go have a meal in Chelsea, and then ask a local about something cool. In the summer, I think the park can be a great date spot (in Sheeps Meadow). But for current new things you’d have to ask a local.
5. I understand you have a debut album coming out soon. Do you prefer to make your living as an actor or singer?
I started as a singer on Broadway at the age of 18. I feel more connected to the audience when I am on stage. TV can sometimes separate you from the crowd. You never know how you did until someone tells you on the street. On stage you know right away. For me, singing will always be my passion. I feel the most “me” when I’m onstage with a mic in my hand. However, for now, TV pays the bills. You can get my first single at AirgoMusic.com or you can myspace me here.
6. What do you like to spend money on?
I love spending money on a great dinner and drinks with friends.
7. Lesbian couples are notorious for not going out. Can women get cultured on the cheap without leaving their home?
Aren’t lesbians big on documentaries?
8. What did your parents teach you about money?
I really wish my parents had taught me the importance of saving! But they did teach me that when you have money, it’s good to share it with friends or family that may be having a hard time.
9. How does money play a role in your relationships, romantic or otherwise?
I usually make much more money than the men I date which seems to always be a strain on my relationships. So now I try to not discuss money or let my taste favor the extravagant when first getting to know a guy.
10. Money can buy a lot of experiences, but can it buy happiness?
Money can never buy happiness. Although knowing you have a paycheck coming in to pay the bills does relieve stress.
More about Jai Rodriguez
Jai Rodriguez was born on Long Island, New York on June 22, 1979. His musical talents were evident from a young age; and have proved to be Jai’s springboard for major successes in the areas of stage performance and acting.
Jai’s most notable achievement, thus far, has been his Emmy award-winning role as the “Culture Vulture” on Bravo’s hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. In this role, Jai used his skills and social charisma to coach men on everything from working the room in a social setting to feeling comfortable on the dance floor. Jai is also being featured as a guest star on this upcoming season of FX’s hit show NIP/TUCK as Chaz, an LA fashionista with a dirty little secret.
Jai is currently in the studio finishing up his debut album. The first single, set to be released under Airgo Music, became available October 2007 at airgomusic.com, the iTunes Music Store, as well as through many other digital music retail outlets. For more information please visit http://www.airgomusic.com
Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.