Walking out with a suitcase labeled “Tyler Iguana” in bold black letters, dressed in red suspenders with a bow-tie to match, junior Tyler Laguana has entertained Moanalua students in talent shows, and most recently the PEP Assembly. Within his suitcase, he carries a variety of acts and talents to entertain the crowd. “Aloha you party animals!” Laguana calls out to the crowd – the show has started and he is ready to share his gifts.
Laguana started his stage career with performing in talent shows during his years at Moanalua Middle School, but his stage character had been long in the making since his elementary years.
“That ‘Tyler Iguana’ persona, I [have] been thinking about that since sixth grade, while my intro ‘Aloha you party animals’ I thought about in fourth grade,” Laguana said.
Following his father’s footsteps in voice impressions, Laguana eventually picked up the talent and started to coin many others – playing the trombone, magic tricks, singing, acting, dancing and ventriloquism among them. Laguana prepares his act by getting inspiration from watching shows and practicing his variety of acts at home.
“I watch youtube videos, TV shows and movies [ranging] from adult content to very young content, from Sesame Street [to] South Park,” Laguana explains. “From thinking about the different people and their sense of humor, I try to think about how to act out this character and how I should tell my joke,” he adds.
Laguana had struggles that took a toll on his performance and brought him down, affecting his first audition with the talent show.
“Before I came out as being gay, I was very depressed and I was not myself and that made my anxiety even worse,” Laguana said. “Then I found myself, accepted myself, [and now] I feel confident,” he exclaimed.
Besides stage performing, Laguana also maintains an Instagram account @tyleriguana_808 with more than 100 followers, as well as a youtube channel Tyler Iguana where he features his entertainment with his online viewers as well. One of his viral videos include a “Trombone Tutorial w/ Tyler Iguana: ‘When Mom Isn’t Home’,” that has more than 13,000 views.
Laguana’s message to his audience is to show that, “there is nothing wrong with expressing yourself but to tell people that there’s nothing wrong with expressing yourself and if you feel alone and sad, just know that there are people who are going through it too,” he explains.
As to his stage name, “Tyler Iguana”, Laguana explains, “People started calling me that because they did [not] know how to pronounce my name and I was like, just call me ‘Iguana’, but later on I actually searched it up, and Iguanas became my favorite reptiles. Iguanas come in different forms, sizes and colors – I think that matches my personality and everything that I do.”
Laguana plans to one day audition for Americas Got Talent but is in the works of upgrading his stage props. For the many talents, ‘Tyler Iguana’ will only continue to add to his craft, with hopes of making this a passion of his living.