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COLD HEAT NEWS » Entertainment, Featured Article, People » FLIPZOIDS Review from a Net-Gen Perspective

FLIPZOIDS Review from a Net-Gen Perspective

Flipzoids Cast – Ellen Williams, Becca Godinez, and Maxwell Corpuz

Being a millennial kid with the typical ADHD, I never imagined I would spend a Sunday afternoon watching a serious play, entitled Flipzoids, in a dramatically lit confined space with padded chairs arranged tightly side by side that it’s claustrophobic. But my artsy friend-mentor Monet Lu (award-winning celebrity stylist) and intellectual mother encouraged me to watch the play. So I gave it a try… as if I had a choice, right? Colon, open parenthesis inserted here!

At first I was impatient and uncomfortable. I was unaccustomed to theatrical play settings where neither fast forward nor rewind buttons can be implored and worst of all, no popcorn to consume! Theatre etiquette is very strict – no texting or even going to the restroom once you are seated. Then there’s the dialogue which is mostly laden and needs to be dissected. But somehow when I told myself to be open to the experience, I caught myself intellectually intrigued and emotionally involved.

Flipzoids is a moving and poetic play that deals with the stories of three main characters who are all Filipino American (Fil-Am) immigrants but who possess varied perspectives on the “real” immigrant story. Aying is an elderly provincial woman who desires to go back to the Philippines and longs for good old traditional, familial ways. Vangie is her daughter who is a nurse and is determined to assimilate in America and improve her lot. Redford is a confused Fil-Am who has little or no recollection of his experience in his former homeland yet he desires to reconnect and learn more about his culture.

Redford watches Aying touch the basin of water representative of the ocean that links the latter with her home, the Philippines.

The actors are all amazing in their character portrayal considering that there is no luxury of yelling, “Cut!” when you miss your line or accidentally drift and infringe the 4th wall. Aying, ably played by the accomplished and astonishingly character transformed Becca Godinez, reminds me so much of my grandma in her intonations, prayer invocations, and traditional ways. But unlike Aying, my lola would have never committed to being transplanted here in America. Vangie is typical of many Filipinos who dream of coming to America to escape poverty back home. Ellen Williams realistically and satirically portrayed the assimilation obsessed Vangie through her methodical A-Z dictionary memorization of the English language as well as her mesmerized idealization of glamorous people in the mall wearing branded clothing. Then you have the peroxide induced blonde scatter brained Redford (lol he blamed Monet for his hairdo but all for a good cause for the show!) portrayed by Maxwell Corpuz who delivered dramatic moments with his own story of personal alienation and eagerness vis-à-vis his non-committal attempts to learn his heritage. Redford in a way reminds me of my generation’s limbo relative to what it means to be Fil-Am.

So the character echoes and similarities with my experience were the initial enticement for me to focus and analyze the storyline. Suddenly I remembered my 5th grade speech project, “Why Is learning History Important?” Then I memorized reasons from the textbook. But with this play, I was connected viscerally and my 5th grade project makes more sense now. Learning your history or roots is crucial to you having a sense of identity about your past so you can understand your present and forge a better future for yourself. It also allows you to have a shared experience which is essential for establishing meaningful relationships. Each one has a “his-story” to tell therefore, we must respect cultural diversity. And as mother would say, “You don’t have to agree with me always but you have to respect my views.”

There are other noteworthy features of this play such as the lyrical and metaphoric dialogues. I especially like the line “I am like a big stone inside her shoes,” by Aying referring to her being a burden to her daughter. The sparse set design mimics the isolation and shallow feelings of the characters. The lighting complements the mood of the story. The sounds, though not surround sound and base thumping as I’m used to, lulls me to listen the “stories” – in particular, the tolling of the church bell and the concomitant “Oracion.”

Redford and Aying scene

Now will I be spending my precious weekends watching serious plays soon? Prolly, not! I still can’t understand why stories grow on trees, what the blue jars are, and how they can eat their sandwiches amidst the drifting particles of the “shifting sands of identity, alienation, and ‘umbilical connections.’” LOL!

NOTE: Special thanks to Ted Benito (one of the executive producers) for inviting us to view the last show of Flipzoids. Cheers to Fil-am theater productions and best of luck to future shows. Photos courtesy of Hydee Ursolino Abrahan.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Walker aka RE-D.MER is a multi-talented artist who sings, composes, acts, models and hosts private and public events Follow him! and like his FB fan page:

Michael RE-D.MER Walker

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BIO: MICHAEL WALKER “An amazing new talent that captivates from start to finish.” FROM A RARE COMBINATION OF HUMILITY AND UNDERSTANDING, OUR CLASSIC, TIMELESS ARTIST hails to us from sunny Southern California. Michael Walker is a multi-talented performer who sings, composes, acts, models and hosts private and public events. Michaels shares, “I am artistically inclined, love being creative, and have an outgoing personality. I have been quite a globe trotter since I was young and such experience has provided me with a rich perspective about life and appreciation for diverse cultures. I enjoy sports and practice a healthy, active lifestyle. I revel in intellectual conversations that are provocative and incisive because they reveal people's core and I'm a proponent of authenticity.” Stunningly photogenic with an ethnically ambiguous twist (but of course he is Fil-Am!), he projects well in both print and broadcast gigs. He is Hollywood trained in tv hosting by none other than veteran Marki Costello (who has trained Kelly Osbourne, Cee Lo Green, Kim Kardashian and the like). Michael is also quite proud of his Filipino roots. "I’ve learned to love the Philippines when I lived there for a year. The culture, the people and the places are amazing. I would really like to show that through my work, I can bridge gaps among races and promote peace and unity whatever race, class, sex, religion or belief you are. We are all the same in the eyes of God," this young man believes. Aside from hosting, his passion is his music. He has a beat for the business – literally speaking as well, by making beats from scratch - and has an arresting stage presence. More than that, he has a message. He composes songs that not many hip-pop artists his age write about. He’s constantly promoting peace, unity, self-esteem and environmental preservation in his songs. Michael’s goal is not only to be successful but also to make a make difference through his music. His mixture of musicality, good looks and heart makes for a grand-slam tween and teen-ager’s delight. Although his passion for hosting and music occupies most of his time, he still finds time to volunteer and mentor the youth because he believes in making a difference in the lives of others, especially the disadvantaged. Just to name a few of his community work, he performed and volunteered during the 2010 LA Marathon for American Vets and the 2010 Junior High Academic Decathlon at the LA Convention Center where he rocked the house of over 6,000 screaming pre-teens and teens. In 2011 he was a motivational speaker for the same decathletes at the LA Convention Center, creating anti-poverty awareness along with 90210’s star, Gillian Zinser.

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16 Responses to "FLIPZOIDS Review from a Net-Gen Perspective"

  1. pinoy power says:

    nice article. easy to read and relate with. too bad i missed this show but i know there are many talented fil-ams out there. let’s continue to support them.

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    Good information thank you closely monitor your success.

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    WOW!!! Nice Post! Kind Regards

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    Easy to understand and relatable writing. I like it!

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  6. north face says:

    i like the intergenerational perspectives. immigration and alienation are common themes but this treatment provides a different view. thanks!

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    I wanted to translate some articles from a foreign magazine and I was wondering if its legal to post them online..

  8. AConsulting says:

    I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I appreciate the various perspectives. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  9. tvoncomp says:

    This is a great post. Thanks so much for sharing, like always.

  10. ben g says:

    how do u think this version of flipzoids compare to the original one in the east coast i think?

  11. isabel k. says:

    becca godinez is such a wide ranged accomplished artist. glad she tried play acting again. kudos.

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