Willie Nep still in Seattle? Struth! Wonder how he can travel the world with so many id’s;-)
I can imagine airport staff rifling thru his passport while Willie argues with them, insisting that he's the guy in the photo. Hahaha!
You bet guys, Willie Nepomuceno, the guy of a thousand faces (and voices), comedian extraordinaire,
top pinoy mimic; legend in his own time…his brutal yet spot-on mimicry of Marcos earned him the late dictator's ire and respect. Willie bursted into the scene initially during the days of student upheaval in the streets of Manila. Seen him a lot of times on TV mimicking Erap, Ramos, Lacson and I guess all the presidential candidates.
Has he tried doing the dimunitive majesty? Well I guess he won’t be a transvestite for Gloria. Hahaha! Willie “Nep” is also an actor and has made tv episodes with Dolphy.
In every country on this planet, there’s always a popular mimic or mime artist like in
France and for the world—it would be Marcel Marceu. The only difference (at least for me:-) between Marcel and Willie is for us to make a choice: a silent mime or a singing mime?
Please let me take you back right smack in the middle of Plaza Miranda early 70’s whereupon finishing my “fiery”, nationalist speech (he-he, yes I was a provocateur too :-) and delivering a “salvage”-inviting poem on top of Quiapo Underpass’ canopy, Willie was next in line! Now this changed the mood of the crowd. Many became excited like hardcore rock concert fans. Red banners with white acronyms swayed crazily. All one could hear was"Willie — yee-haa--Willie! Si Makoy-- gayahin mooh! (Willie, do Marcos!)
I was amazed; I thought then..here was another provocateur who by his mere facial expressions and body language provoked laughter. People kept screaming for more. It was an awesome comedy feat. Radical (pun intended)! Boy everyone had fun but later on Willie got tired because of mimicking so many corrupt politicians. Hey Willie they want more! No More! He's tired! Now this made a lot of people upset so Willie came out with a song. People cried, tears welled up profusely, ouch..aargh, run! It's teargas! It was like the army of Darth Vader decided to have fun and check out their virgin truncheons on pubescent skulls. In minutes Plaza Miranda was a desolate place. I lost Willie but finally found him in Sydney.
Hello old friend repapips..long time. Sorry I had to bother you while in Seattle.. thanks to Rey Santos I caught you. Anyway I know you're so busy preparing for your Sydney gig so I'll just toss in a few questions. I had more problems doing your caricature because I didn't know which face to draw! LOL!
EA: You are rare bro. I think if you were a painter you'll be a Monet, an impressionist! Haha..err, let me rephrase that. Would you be the Philippine's Marcel Marceu?
WN: He-he, g'day my old friend! Good to see you again..wow! More than 30 years! Okay, to answer your question.. I have a great admiration for Marcel Marceau but I will surely pale and fail in comparison with him. I'd like to see the day though when I can also give free lessons and performances to those who are interested in the arts like he does as a form of social contribution .If he's able to share his art of 'pantomime' to the public, I’d like to share the art of 'impressions' in telling a story.
EA: Oh brother, i admire your humility. Do your comedy skits (with all the lampoon & comic mockery of players in Philippine politics) help politicize Filipinos? If yes… how?
WN: I guess they do. A snicker, a smile, laughter or even a nod of approval and applause is more than an indicator that my audience has an understanding of the issues at hand and the accompanying reaction is therefore a validation that we are one in sharing the same opinion on certain issues. I go beyond the props, costumes, make up and clowning around. You see, laughter may be the best medicine, but my 'impressions' are not merely only a laughing matter.
EA: 70's… you up on stage so many times, one at Plaza Miranda's Quiapo underpass during major nationalist rallies up to the present global gigs with the Filipino community... what have you learned in a single sentence?
WN: That we have always been right after all, despite being portrayed with an ugly label as coming from the left. We must stop calling each other names because the next struggle will determine not what is right... but what is left.
EA: Har-har..man, that’s a beauty. You sure shall upset Samuel Johnson whom I quote “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” The scoundrels are right! Hahaha! Sorry.
Er..I understand this is your second time in Australia? What do you think of our Oz-Pinoy community?
WN: Yes, this is my second time but I didn't really have the chance to immerse myself with the Filipino-Australian community, so I can’t share an opinion about them. I’m sure though that knowing the Filipino’s very pliant characteristic, they should be able to blend well living 'down under' as we likewise blend living in an underground economy down there back home.
EA: Salamat (Thanks) Wills baby. Good luck and I’ll catch your show for sure this September.. maybe somewhere in Melbourne, Adelaide or Sydney! Wow gagala ka pala talaga ah.
Pag nagkita tayo sana hindi kita mamukhaan (So you're gonna tour around Oz, I hope not to recognize your face when I see you again) ..LOL!
WN: LOL ka rin (You, too).. Hahaha..See you alligater,lator