Q&A: CHUCHO! y Amigos! with Melissa Ulloa
Cult favorite indie-team CHUCHO returns to Magnet in September & October to host a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month! We interview team member Melissa Ulloa for the inside scoop on what it's really like on the team--scandal everywhere! (or really just a lot of love)--and what we can expect to see over the next four weeks. Don't miss the show--Thursdays September 20 & 27 and Thursdays October 4 & 11 at 8:30.
How long has CHUCHO! been a team?
Chucho has been a team for almost a year and a half now. We mark our anniversary from the first group email we sent which was April 10th 2017.
How did you guys come together?
Chucho formed after Billy and I met through Circuit in early 2017. Billy Soco was on a musical circuit team and we got to see each other's teams perform a few times. We had been acquainted but became better friends through that and then one day he pitched the idea of doing an all Latinx team. I thought this sounded super fun so I recruited Patricio and Kevin. Billy recruited Xavier and Alex. We had one rehearsal early on to sort of have everyone meet each other and we all clicked really well like immediately. It was just a really good balance of people. We just booked a lot of shows early on and have done so pretty consistently ever since.
You recently did a parranda, a series of shows as you walked around and performed throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Tell us all about that!
This show/event was so stupid fun. Xavier and I both have Puerto Rican heritage and grew up with families that would do Parrandas which is basically like a bunch of people crashing other people's houses totally uninvited and then moving that whole party to somebody else's house in the neighborhood also completely uninvited. It's a really hilarious tradition. So, we wanted to do something like this that was unique to our culture but also incorporate improv and make a show of it and just enjoy each other's company. So, we all met up at the Brooklyn Museum and walked all the way to Manhattan and we FacebookLived most of our time, did some guerilla-style improv along the way and randomly bumped into some Magnet folks which was amazing. Then we had two shows later that night at the Pit and at the Magnet. It was such a great, rowdy day. We hope to do something similar again in the future.
Is CHUCHO! excited to host Hispanic Heritage Month at Magnet? Who are some of the amigos we can look forward to seeing?
Yes! We're very excited for this run. We are still waiting to hear back from teams to confirm show dates but some of our indie team amigos/past collaborators include teams like Jane Don't, Good At Sports, FAM, 2 Puerto Ricans, The Mannequin Room, My Momma's Biscuits, Mercy Santos, Rufus Khan, Kelly Cash, New Greta, Old English, Cosmic Unity, Hair Club and many more. And we've performed alongside a bunch of great Latinx stand ups as well. So, hopefully you'll see some of these amigos on the Magnet stage! TBD.
CHUCHO! is about to take their show on the road, right? Tell us about your upcoming tour!
Uhhh I wish we were going on tour! That would be dope! We like to go to festivals together that are out of state. Last year we performed in Toronto and Philly (I'm not going to count New Jersey as out of state). Then later this month we're going to D.C. to perform in the District Improv Festival and then the Denver Improv Festival later this year and hopefully Toronto again.
Is it true that the members of CHUCHO! are really good friends in real life? If you were a family, who’s who?
Nah. We hate each other's guts. We're all ONLY doing this for the Facebook likes.... Not really of course. We really love each other so much. It's cheesy but we really do feel like a little family sometimes. When we're all together we can't stop cracking each other up. And like a family, some times we really irritate each other but we have a genuine love and respect for one another and have each other's backs no matter what. For a lot of us Chucho is probably our healthiest, most stable relationship. If we were an actual family... hmm... Xavier is kind of the dad. He is like the protector and also loves corny jokes. Billy is the extremely thoughtful mom who does so much work just to see everyone happy and succeed. Kevin is the uncle who loves to heckle everybody. Patricio is our brooding teenage son. Alex is our brilliant ray of sunshine daughter who knows all the best restaurants. I'm probably the eccentric aunt or something.
Be sure to scurry over to Magnet, Thursdays September 20 & 27 and Thursdays October 4 & 11 at 8:30, to catch CHUCHO! y Amigos!