Longtime Prince Friend Leisl AuVante Speaks

 

Leisl AuVante

 

 

Leisl AuVante played a server in Morris Day’s club in Graffiti Bridge, Prince’s love interest in “Gangster Glam,” and a woman reliving the birth of her baby with her family in “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.”

While those roles provided glimpses of AuVante and her relationship with Prince, off camera, her role in the pop superstar’s life was more enduring.

“I sing off-key, make up my own words, and don’t care who hears,” laughs AuVante, in an apt summary of her outlook on life. It’s an outlook that Prince found appealing, she says.

“I had an adventurous, rebellious spirit in me. I think Prince and I had a lot of that in common,” she remembers. “If we wanted to do something, we were going to figure out how to get it done.”

AuVante, now 50, lives in the Chanhassen area. She is still “most beautiful girl” material, with long dark hair, sparkling eyes, and a picture-perfect smile. But growing up in her hometown of Apple Valley, Minnesota, AuVante says she wasn’t considered beautiful. Her mother was of German heritage; her father, a neurologist who worked at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Hospital, came to the U.S. from India in his mid-20s.

A self-described “book nerd,” the teenaged AuVante was on the cheerleading and dance squads. Those activities helped her to be accepted by some groups — but not by all. Boys, in particular, harassed her, she says, recalling one boy who called her “Zambian,” in a misguided attempt at racism. Despite the fact that AuVante had been modeling since age 14, when an agent discovered her walking out of the elevator with her mother in Dayton’s department store, no one wanted to date her, she says. Even in her career as a model, the color of her skin prevented her from getting jobs in 1980s Minneapolis.

“I can look Black or Puerto Rican or Indian,” she says. But what was in demand during that era was the “All-American girl,” an unspoken code for blonde hair and blue eyes. AuVante was told again and again, “You’re too exotic for this market.”

Leisl in high school, around the age when Prince met her.

 

 

When AuVante was 16 years old, she attended a Purple Rain concert at the St. Paul Civic Center (a series of five shows took place on Dec. 23, 24, 26, 27 and 28, 1984). During the show, a man wearing a laminate approached her, saying “someone wants to meet you.” AuVante says she was “naive and unfamiliar with the dating world.” Being unsure of strangers, she refused. The man persisted in inviting her backstage until she agreed on the condition that she could bring a friend. As it turned out, one of Prince’s associates had spotted her in the crowd and wanted to meet her. AuVante was invited to join a private Christmas party following the show, which Prince hosted at the Shady Oak warehouse in Eden Prairie.

At the party, the associate was quickly edged out of the picture when “Prince saw me and swooped in,” she says. The 26-year-old Prince asked her to dance. As she accepted, a phalanx of bodyguards formed a circle around them and stood, arms crossed, facing Prince and Leisl. Apparently, Prince didn’t like anyone to hone in on his dance partners. Awkwardness ensued.

“Number one, I’m not the best dancer,” Leisl laughs. “Number two, I’m dancing with a really great dancer. And number three, there’s all these people watching me, and I’m 16.”

Despite the awkwardness, being at a party with the Prince crowd was a watershed moment for reasons that went far beyond the fact that she had been asked to dance by the world’s biggest pop star. AuVante had glimpsed what might be considered Prince’s “Uptown” come to life, a place where all races were mixing and enjoying life to the fullest.

“I felt like I had come home,” she recalls. “I was where I was supposed to be, around people who were like me, who appreciated my presence, who wanted to date me,” she says. “I went from being a very ostracized person to finding this group of people that was very open-minded and ethnically well rounded and didn’t put a lot of emphasis on what your color your skin is.”

As it turned out, Prince’s crowd would embrace Leisl for nearly a decade from the mid-80s to mid-90s, including a period when Prince was hosting regular private parties at Paisley Park and frequenting Minneapolis nightclubs. The experience of being in Prince’s circle of friends sent Leisl on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

Next: “The Minneapolis Sound enjoying our brief but beautiful summertime”: The Real Story Behind the Making of “Gangster Glam”

 

Fate or Coincidence

 

 

From outward appearances, you might assume that these photos are simply grainy nightclub photos like a million others. And you would be correct, in one way. These photos were taken Saturday night at the Chase and Ovation show at Bunker’s Music Bar and Grill in Minneapolis. But dig deeper, and there is much more to the photo than meets the eye. Each of these women is connected in an unexpected way.

Karen Turman is the selfie taker in the bottom left wearing purple lipstick. I elect her “Best Dancer.” Karen is the one who can get the whole dance floor doing the electric slide. She’s such an expressive dancer that I’ve learned more about her by watching her dance than I could ever learn in hours of conversation. Karen is an academic who was teaching French at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, until this spring, when she packed up her apartment and prepared to move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, because she will be teaching at (drumroll, please) Harvard University. But I didn’t meet her through the Prince fan community. Karen came to me through a friend of her mother’s who met me at an Open Art Studio class at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Kristen Zschomler is next. If Prince’s homes and workplaces get recognized as historic properties by the City of Minneapolis, the state or even the federal government, we will have Kristen to thank. Kristen is a Historian and RPA-Registered Archaeologist with the Office of Environmental Stewardship at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDot). Until I met Kristen, I would never have imagined that MNDot would employ a historian, and fortunately, Kristen did not hold that against me. I met Kristen at the Prince in Minneapolis Symposium and then realized she was at every event I attended. Do you remember the David Byrne song with the lyrics about mistakenly getting someone else’s groceries and then discovering that by eating the groceries, you begin bumping into that person everywhere you go, at the park or the movie theater or a baseball game? That’s what it feels like with Kristen. If I hadn’t met her one way, I would most certainly have met her in another way.

Stacy Semler is next, and then Stacy Morgan. One of their best collective qualities is that they are incredibly good-natured and don’t mind being called “The Stacies.” It’s hard to even recall meeting Stacy and Stacy, because I feel like I’ve known them forever, even though it’s likely been no more than a year. Stacy Semler is a Chanhassen resident like me, and Stacy Morgan is our cosmopolitan New York City friend. We bonded instantly and see each other all the time. Stacy Morgan, who works as a Workforce Planning & Analysis Senior Manager at a Fortune 500 company, pops into Minnesota so regularly that I see her as much as my friends who actually live here. Stacy Semler and I hang out at exciting Chanhassen venues like City Hall, where we listen in on Planning Commission meetings (if they’re talking about Prince’s property, well then, someone from the Purple Fam has to be there). For nearly eight years, Stacy Semler worked at recording schools in the Minneapolis area. As a result, she got to know many local musicians and engineers in a town where most roads led to Prince. At Saturday night’s Bunker’s show, Stacy Morgan knew the lead singer of Chase and Ovation (of course she did), and Stacy Semler knew the saxophone player. (By the way, Chase and Ovation put on a great show. They manage to channel Prince without imitating him. It’s a fine line and they walk it gracefully).

Then there’s Michelle Streitz. We happened upon each other at Steve Parke’s book signing at the Edina Barnes & Noble last fall. She sat in the row in front of me and as we chatted I immediately knew: This is a friend. I think a lot of people feel that way because everyone wants to be her friend. As it turns out, Michelle is an artist who made Prince’s mirror jewelry for the Lovesexy tour and the world-famous glitter canes. She is as sparkly in person as you’d expect. Next time you’re in Minneapolis, message Michelle to set up a tour of her exhibit, “Prince Love: Minneapolis Collections,” in her studio in the Solar Arts Building. You’ll come away with a new understanding of how local artists contributed to Prince’s aesthetic.

Last is me. I changed my hair color and am no longer blonde because I like to keep people on their toes. They ask me what my real hair color is, and I answer that I no longer know. But if I had to venture a guess, I’d guess that my natural color must be purple.

The Master of Yearning

Holographic fabness on Prince’s “Planet Earth” CD cover.

Planet Earth was released this week in 2007. The album is notable for containing the greatest expression of digital-age yearning ever set to music.

Prince strikes me as unusually open and vulnerable on “Somewhere Here on Earth.” The song feels retro and jazzy and crackles with desire. It’s Prince’s antidote to the digital age. In 2007, Prince was 49 years old, and you can feel a confident maturity as he grapples with the fact that despite every type of modern technology available to him, what he truly longs for is real, human, face-to-face, skin-to-skin interaction.

And then there is the visually stunning video.

Prince is depicted as living in an ivory tower — or perhaps, behind the snow-white walls of Paisley Park. He’s all alone. I imagine him on the computer, as many of us are right now. He’s addressing a woman who materializes from the ether of the Internet, but who remains, tantalizing, at a distance.

The woman’s dress is made from the same fabric as Prince’s suit. She and Prince are cut from the same cloth.

Now I imagine Prince on a fan website, reading the woman’s declarations of love as she chats with other fans. He can see her photo. He knows she is beautiful. As she types, he can feel her hands on him, “and I like it,” he says, in coy Prince fashion. He longs for her touch. But, too shy to speak, Prince remains a silent watcher behind the veil of the Internet.

She knows he’s not involved with anyone romantically, so why doesn’t she reach out, he wonders? You can feel the devastating separation that fame creates for those we idolize. He has been placed in an ivory tower, up high, on a pedestal. Still, he sees her. He feels a kinship with her. He wants to touch her, too. He wants to love and be loved.

His divorce is behind him and he hasn’t been with anyone in forever. What is she waiting for?

And then Prince hits her with the devastating line, “Do you want to do this at yours, or my place?”

Lord have mercy.

The meeting never materializes. Where is the Prince of old, who would have had the woman in his bed by the end of the video? Instead, we see him accepting the reality that he has to be satisfied with the knowledge that she is out there, somewhere on Earth.

Prince shifts the tone in the final verse, in a way that gently suggests that he knows the hurt and bullying that the woman has suffered during her life. He witnessed it online. He read her words as she confessed about her life and received nothing but harsh words in return. “That’s okay. That’s okay,” he says.

You get the sense that he’s been there, too. He declares that there will be no more hurt. Now is the time for healing. It feels as if he could be speaking to himself, as the male reflection of her.

In the final, brilliant lyrical turn, Prince offers her the same comfort she has brought him. There will be no more hurt, he declares — at least, not as long as he resides on Planet Earth.

Over to you. How do you feel about “Somewhere Here on Earth”?

A Little Wiser: “Only Prince Fans Are Advised to Attend”

 

As a writer, I love quotes and keep a running list of them. Prince, of course, was a font of wise sayings. The Purple Yoda not only spouted wisdom himself but also inspired quotes that range from wise to hilarious to quirky. Sometimes, in my research on anything from Prince’s whereabouts in fall of 1990, to what color he favored at that time (yellow), I stumble across a quote that I can’t use in my work but seems too good to slip by unnoted. In the interest of leaving no good quote unused, I’ll feature one here each Wednesday under the heading, “A Little Wiser.”

In the first week of November 1990, the Baltimore Sun saw fit to publish two pieces on Grafitti Bridge. First up was film critic Stephen Hunter, on Nov. 5, 1990. To his enormous credit, Hunter latched on to Prince’s foray into spirituality, while expressing doubts about the execution of that concept.

Hunter leads off his review with, “As Olivia Newton-John didn’t use to say, let’s get metaphysical.” This line not only evoked recent discussions of our President’s use of negatives (ahem) but also caused me:

  1. To Google “Let’s Get Physical,” only to discover that distressingly, it was one of the top songs of 1982, with a 10-week run at the top of the Billboard charts. I hope this puts “1999” into context for us all.
  2. To remember compassionately the good people of the year 1990, who were questioning why Prince, as “one of the sexiest, hard-driving sex objects” was suddenly wearing oversized clothes that fell off his shoulders, in an apparent desire to turn himself into a version “either Michael or LaToya Jackson.”

As salient as Hunter’s points were, my favorite quote came from the second Baltimore Sun review, published on Nov. 7, 1990. Reporter Lou Cedrone, noting that the film seemed to be written in a secret language, summed up his verdict on the movie in two brief lines.

“`’Graffiti Bridge” is showing at local theaters,” he stated flatly. “Only Prince fans are advised to attend.”

 

 

 

 

Fan Profile: Krystal (Part 2)

Krystal, on her wedding day in 2012. “My wedding was a major turning point in my life and felt like a major transition. I finally got on the road to healing and leaving my painful past behind me. I thank Prince and his life story and music in helping me grow,” she says.

 

Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series of profiles of Prince fans. If you’d like to tell your story, please contact me at lauratiebertwriter@gmail.com.

At first, Krystal would get on stage at Rick’s Cabaret in downtown Minneapolis and dance while stone cold sober, she says, smiling at the sheer naivete of it all. But she quickly learned that she could stomach the act more easily after some drinks.

“I would drink with the clients first, and then get up on stage,” she says. “I rationalized it by telling myself that socializing with clients was part of the job.”

The years rolled by in a blur of cocktails and clients. Krystal was a quick study. She watched the top girls and realized that the way they made money was not simply by dancing. The way to make serious money was by providing the experience of having a girlfriend.

“You know the way Prince would have sex with your mind?” she muses. “That’s what I did.”

Krystal, walking into work at Rick’ s Cabaret in the mid 2000’s. “I was always in an anxious state of mind before my shift started,” she says.

Through it all, Krystal kept track of Prince. As we speak, she litters her story with interjections such as, “I remember wearing headphones and listening to Come on the bus on the way to school, and it disturbed me. I thought he might die, or go crazy.” And, “When he married Mayte, I was happy because I thought it might help stabilize him, but when the baby died, I was scared he was going to lose it.”

By the early 2000s, she was a top girl at the club. One day, browsing in a bookstore, she stumbled upon Alex Hahn’s book, Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince. Reading it “revived my crush on Prince,” she remembers. She became active on Prince.org, posted regularly and became a highly visible member. Although she knew, intellectually, that Prince had a history as a womanizer, she felt that “he was the template of the guy I wanted to know. He was the ideal man.” And she wasn’t afraid to talk about it on the Org.

Krystal sometimes wondered if Prince knew of her from the Org. She mentions receiving a cryptic Org note in 2005, asking “So you dig my music?” She dismissed it as someone mimicking Prince, but later questioned herself when the same person sent an Mp3 of a song she had never heard before, to which she replied, “Thank you. Whoever you are.”

By 2007, Krystal was at the height of her dancing success. At the same time, she had erected an impenetrable façade to protect her heart.

“I just couldn’t show any vulnerability back then,” she says. “It wasn’t safe to show it.”

Then one day, Prince released “Somewhere Here On Earth.” Krystal’s stomach flip-flopped when she first read the lyrics, which were posted on Housequake and Prince.org, even before the release of the song. The lyrics about somebody putting you down, the need to heal whatever you feel, and that there would be no more hurt, “as long as I’m here on Earth” cracked something open inside her.

Still, she continued to dance for a living. At a Paisley Park concert in 2009, as she danced with her sister near the stage, Prince pointed his guitar at her and called out, “I see you, baby.” It was the closest she came to speaking with him.

As she became more successful at Rick’s, “I became a brand,” she acknowledges, “And I had started drinking more to handle my anxiety.” At the same time, she’d come to the realization that her boyfriend, who she had supported for years, wasn’t strong enough for her.

“It sounds sexist, but my biological clock was ticking and I wanted to blow up everything in my life,” she says. She broke her own rule and started dating a client who was a wealthy businessman. She continued to be active on Prince.org, where she could often be found gushing over Prince (“I’m embarrassed now by some of the stuff I used to post there,” she laughs). After getting her heart broken by the businessman client and breaking up with her boyfriend, she made one final change. She left Rick’s, and dancing, forever.

“I couldn’t be a person in that environment,” she says, “and I had to heal my soul.”

Krystal moved in with her sister and her brother-in-law and went on to marry a man she met at her gym. She stopped posting on the Org. On April 21, 2016, her husband had the day off. She was cuddled in bed with her baby son and husband when the news of Prince’s death arrived via text from her sister. She knew that a part of her heart had died that day.

It’s clear to her now that there are distinct parallels between the experience Prince provided and “The Girlfriend Experience ” as she calls it — the strategy that garnered her success in that industry.

“I was providing an emotional experience to the men, as Prince provided an emotional experience to the fans. I definitely felt like I could relate to him that way,” she says. “Also, I really hated the vulnerable feeling of my livelihood being based on the whim/moods of others … the hustle wore me out, having to depend on others’ perceptions of me or what they wanted. I felt so much pressure trying to meet everyone’s needs and mold myself to what everyone wanted. I kinda wonder if Prince felt that pressure with his fans.”

“Dancing shows you the worst in men. It was disillusioning. How can you love a man when you see what they’re capable of?” she says. It was in those dark days when she needed to look to Prince and his music as the ideal of what could be. “When I was in that world, I needed that,” she says. “I needed hope to survive, and he was hope.”

Fan Profile: Krystal

 

 

Krystal, in front of the Schmidt Music mural.

Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series of profiles of Prince fans. If you’d like to tell your story, please contact me at lauratiebertwriter@gmail.com.

Krystal was 29 years old and had been dancing professionally for a decade when she realized she was lost.

“As I got in deeper, I felt like a product,” she says, flipping back her long, dark hair as she gazes at me from across the cafe table. “I lost who I was.”

It wasn’t the first time she’d found herself in a dark place.

Krystal has a sweet demeanor and an open face, with beautiful dark round eyes. It’s equal parts easy to imagine her as an exotic dancer and impossible to imagine because there is no hint of the world-weariness that such a job would create in a kind-hearted soul.

The sensitive, artistic and introverted daughter of a Brazilian father and a German mother, Krystal was raised in St. Paul. Her father worked for the Minneapolis post office in the 1980s and sometimes sorted fan mail addressed to Prince Rogers Nelson. At home, there was always trouble between Krystal’s parents, who struggled with alcoholism and mental illness. As she lay in bed at night, she’d turn on the radio to drown out the arguing voices of her drunken mother and father.

The year was 1991, Krystal was nine years old, and Prince was always playing on the radio.

“I didn’t know who Prince was, but I quickly learned to recognize his sound,” she said. She knew that he was from Minneapolis, and had a similar skin color to hers. Most importantly, she sensed from his music that he “got it.”

“There was a dark undercurrent to his music that I recognized,” she confesses. “I knew from an early age that there was pain in the world.”

Krystal, back in the day when hearing Prince’s music on the radio took her to a happier place.

Krystal attended a school whose student population was 80% African American, an intentional move by her mother, who wanted to make sure that Krystal would “know that part of myself and not reject it,” she says, explaining that part of her father’s Brazilian heritage includes West African ancestry. But compared with most of the girls at school, Krystal had lighter skin and straighter hair, which made her stand out. To make matters worse, she hit puberty early and developed quickly. One day, she was sitting alone in the cafeteria writing a story in a notebook, when a girl grabbed it and proceeded to read it aloud to a group of girls who roared with laughter and mocked Krystal.

At night, alone in her room, Prince’s music was a beacon in the storm. “I felt that he was like me, and I knew he was successful, and he did it with his art,” she explains.

Eight years later, at age 17, Krystal was desperate to get out of her parents’ home. Still in high school, she moved in with a boyfriend, following the same path her younger sister had taken two years earlier. She supported herself and her boyfriend by waitressing, until one day, spurred by her interest in music and dance and the desire to make more money, she decided to try exotic dancing at a local club.

She was hooked instantly.

“I thrived off the attention,” she says. “I felt powerful, sexy and glamorous. And I was making real money.” A bad night meant $300; a good night was $1,500 to $2,000.

Tomorrow: A Struggle to “Save My Soul”

Chanhassen Residents Voice Concerns Over Prince Property Plans

Last night, the Chanhassen City Planning Commission met to review Lennar’s preliminary concepts for the 188-acre parcel which is being sold by Prince’s estate. It was a standing-room-only event at Chanhassen’s City Hall.

When asked if Lennar currently owns the land, Joe Jablonski, Lennar’s director of land, said Lennar has a contract to purchase the property.

Prince’s land is the former site of his Galpin Boulevard house (as well as the former site of Larry Graham’s home). The property includes wetlands, pristine forest and extensive shoreline along both Lake Ann and Lake Lucy, two of Chanhassen’s nine lakes. Lake Lucy is populated by private residences, but Lake Ann is home to a popular public park, beach, tennis courts and baseball and soccer fields and is treasured by Chanhassen residents.

The above map shows the proposed expansion of Lake Ann Park (in green, with the red laser pointer indicating the completion of the walking trail). The proposed preserved woodlands and wetlands are shaded in light blue, to the left of the walking trails. The remainder of Prince’s land is in white, to the left of the preservation area.

Lennar presented two concepts for public comment. The first concept showed homes built on all of the available property, including the Lake Ann shoreline across from the public park. The second plan set aside land along Lake Ann for public use. It provided for the completion of the walking path around Lake Ann (there is an existing path that ends partway around the lake), the creation of additional trails, and preservation of some of the property’s wetlands and wooded areas. Both plans seemed to show 200 homes in the development.

The tradeoff for the preservation of the land in the second plan is a more densely populated neighborhood on the south end of the property, with lots of 6,000 square feet, which is significantly smaller than the average Chanhassen lot size of 15,000 square feet. (On the north end of Prince’s property, where the homes would be larger and close to Lake Lucy’s shoreline, the lot sizes would be 15,000 square feet).

For more than an hour, residents took the podium to share their concerns. Residents along the East and North sides of Lake Lucy voiced concerns over runoff caused by previous developers who used clear-cutting on forests, and which has harmed the quality of the lake. There was also concern over proposed traffic patterns. Residents along the South side of the proposed development voiced concerns about water issues that might be caused by the elimination of some of the existing wetlands. In all, there was a great deal of discussion about preserving Chanhassen’s natural resources which was entered into the public record.

Chanhassen, like many Western suburbs of Minneapolis, is experiencing continued development. When Prince purchased property here in the mid-80s, Chanhassen was a small town with a rural feel. Last night, city officials said that Chanhassen will be fully developed by 2040.

The meeting was only the beginning of a long process of discussing the development. The discussion will continue on Aug. 13 at the next meeting of the City Council.

 

 

 

 

 

Let the Prince Property Games Begin

 

News from Lake Wobegon: Chanhassen’s planning commission meets on July 17 to review an initial concept from Lennar for Prince’s former property on Galpin Road.

Some 200 houses are going to be built on the 185 acres that Prince owned. An influx of that many people is going to change Chanhassen, that much is certain. According to the news story in the Chanhassen Villager, the development may enable the city to expand Lake Ann Park and complete the loop so that you can walk the entire circumference of the lake.

How do you feel about seeing Prince’s property developed? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

 

 

 

Why a Shared Interest Will Make You a Better Person

 

It has come to my attention that not everyone loves Prince as much as I do.

This realization first surfaced about a year ago, when, at a cocktail party, I was chatting happily about my latest writing project, which of course involved the Purple One. As “Purple Me” babbled on, “normal civilian me” watched that person’s expression go from expressing polite interest to somewhat dismayed. I could practically see the thought bubble over his head, and inside, it said: “This person I am speaking with who appears normal on the surface is actually a Prince-obsessed lunatic.”

Fortunately, a waiter passed by with a tray of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. I took the opportunity to interrupt my purple monologue by suddenly declaring myself to be starving, and abruptly shifting the conversation to hors d’oeuvres — much to the visible relief of my conversation partner.

One of the best things about life is how people take interest in the most esoteric things. There are clubs and hobbies for every interest under the sun, whether that’s collecting ceramic Hummel figurines or studying French Revolution’s role in advancing the Age of Enlightenment.

I’ve never been a fan of anything, with the possible exception of the Green Bay Packers. What I didn’t realize until 2016 came along and turned my life upside down, was how having a shared interest would make me a better person. I’m more invested in life, I’m more interested, I’m more engaged and best of all, I’ve found instant kinship with new friends.

Over to you: Have you ever had a moment like I did at the cocktail party? If so, how did you gracefully navigate the situation?

 

How to See Prince in a New Light

Prince’s infatuation with the third eye could provide clues to his personality type. Artist: Erika Peterson; @erikastrada

 

Allow me to introduce myself … my name is Laura, and I am addicted to personality tests. I love them all, from The Enneagram to Strengthsfinder and the Newcastle Personality Assessor (because maybe I would have a more appealing personality in England?).

But the one that I love most of all is the Myers Briggs personality test. Years ago, I even tested my own kids and wrote an article about how to use the results to become a better parent to each individual child. The practical take away? I learned that our oldest son enjoys being spontaneous while the rest of us are plodding planners. Imagine his ongoing suffering! Ha! I came up with a plan for improving his life by building “planned spontaneity” into our day. When I knew we were going out for ice cream, I wouldn’t share it until the last minute, and then sprang the news on him. He was overjoyed! There was nothing he loved better than dropping everything and running out at a moment’s notice! And of course, I was thrilled to have secretly planned it.

But on this blog, all roads lead to Prince, and so does this post (eventually).

Myers Briggs types are indicated by four letters. Here’s a quick overview of their meanings:

E or I = extrovert or introvert (how you gain your energy)

S or N = sensing or intuitive (how you take in information)

T or F = thinking or feeling (how you make decisions)

J or P = judging or perceiving (your lifestyle preference — judgers like their world structured and planned; perceivers prefer their world to be open-ended).

Like many writers, I’m an INFJ. You’ll find us alone in a room, struggling with the complexities of life.

Over to Prince’s personality type. As with many aspects of Prince, this is a mystery. But that will not stop me from attempting to understand him better by assigning a type to him!

For the first letter, simply based on the fact that Paisley Park exists and is an introvert’s dream, I’m going with “I.”

I’m also feeling strongly about the last letter, given his propensity for epic levels of spontaneity. I’m giving him a “P,” although it’s slightly less solid than the “I.” I do wonder if his spontaneity was less something in his nature than a tactic he used to get the best out of musicians and others working for him. Hmmm. Still – “P.”

After “I–P,” things get murky. As an “NF,” I can imagine Prince falling into that category … driven by his heart, making decisions based on his emotions, holding firm to his beliefs … but then there’s the empathy part, which is normally strong in “NF’s” and seems to be (how shall I put this gently?) lacking in Prince. Still, I’m willing to chalk up that anomaly to his difficult childhood. Prince’s complexity, his oddball-ness, his intense spirituality and religiosity and the way he very intentionally uses primal desire as a lure to draw us into what he truly wants — a shared experience of God — all this seems distinctly “NF” to me.

You might be able to convince me that the “N” should be an “S,” but I’m going with INFP, with ISFP and INFJ as runners-up. Here’s a good description of INFPs. And here’s a link to a free, fast Myers Briggs test.

Over to you: Do you know your Myers-Briggs type? What do you think of my assessment of Prince’s personality type?