Theatre artist Marcus Rivera and writer Michelle Baltazar have teamed up to launch a web-based talk show for the Filipino-Australian community in Sydney called ‘The Marcus & Michelle Show’.
The 20-minute talk show will feature comedy sketches, celebrity guests and a live band with the aim of showcasing the distinctly 'Filipino-Australian' culture and lifestyle.
The pilot episode will be taped in front of an audience on November 14 and November 15 at the Greater Western Sydney Performing Arts Centre in Plumpton, then later released on social media platforms Facebook and YouTube.
SEE FIESTA SKETCH VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNomAmd7FFA
The idea was borne out of Marcus and Michelle’s previous collaboration as co-hosts of major community events and joint charity work.
“We attend a lot of community events and we thought it would be great to showcase our rich Philippine heritage and culture through a community talk show,” said Baltazar.
“As migrants, it’s easy for us to be disconnected from our roots because we don’t live in the Philippines anymore. This is one way we want to bridge that gap and hopefully, young Filipino-Australians will tune in,” said Rivera.
The show relies on grassroots funding and has secured support from various community associations, including NARRA, Plaza Filipino and Adhika, Inc. They are in discussions with other associations who have also expressed their interest to be part of the project.
The initial team behind the show includes Oliver Gadista as musical director, Bob Reyes in video and photography, as well as Jimmy Lopez, Violi Calvert and Josefina ‘Pines’ Musa in marketing and sponsorships.
“We hope to talk to more community associations in the coming months to support the show and, who knows, we might find the next ‘big talent’ from them as well,” said Baltazar.
“We will be starting small, maybe three to six episode. We want to gauge the community reception first and make sure we deliver a talk show that is relevant to everybody – and fun to watch!”, said Rivera.
Each episode will have a theme that’s centred on a specific Filipino cultural quirk. For example, the first episode is called ‘The Tabo Series’. The ‘water dipper’ or ‘tabo’ is an essential item unique to the Filipino household.
“But what happens when you migrate to another country. Do Filipino-Australians use ‘tabo’ in the same way they used to. What about the next generation of Filo-Aussies? What do they think about it?” said Baltazar.
Baltazar is the lead scriptwriter of the program while Rivera is the lead performer, ending each episode with a performance using his impressive counter-tenor voice (male equivalent to the female ‘soprano’ voice).
Tickets to the live taping: https://www.tiket.com.au/85-concerts/744-marcus-rivera-in-concert
YouTube: Marcus Michelle (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCkqcZiAj_H8UVqg2RkCLbw)