EntertainmentCelebritiesMaría Auxilio Vélez, the real face of an impersonator

María Auxilio Vélez, the real face of an impersonator

The comedian, recognized for her imitations of Amparo Grisales, Margarita Rosa de Francisco and María Lucía Fernández, talks about her experience in “Happy Saturdays”, a program that celebrates 49 years.

What is your thought when you remember that you are on “Sábados Felices”, the oldest program on Colombian television?

It is a joy to be able to reach 49 years, a program that obtained the Guinness Record as the oldest in the world. It is a gratitude to all the people who see us every Saturday and who has touched the hearts of many, because at some point a Colombian has had to see it.

What has “Happy Saturdays” meant to María Auxilio Vélez?

I have an immense gratitude to God, because he put me in the times that were. All my life I longed to be on television and he put me in the best comedy program at the national level and the one that has also remained in the world. For me, this program is life, because when I do it I laugh and I enjoy it.

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How have you seen the transformation of the program throughout the 18 years you have been participating in it?

I’ve seen it advance. New talents are coming in and that is what we need. If one sees Happy Saturdays, from its inception until now, we have notably seen the change of going according to technology.

You have been on “Sábados Felices” since 2003. Have you ever been overwhelmed by routines or days of recording?

It has never, never crossed my mind. When we are doing Voz Populi TV, for example they would call me at five in the morning to characterize Amparo Grisales and that takes about two hours, then they would take hers off me and put on María Fernanda Cabal’s or the scored by María Lucía Fernández when we have the information. Another characterization was that of Dinora Rosales. We spent about two hours per character and I arrived at my house that day at two in the morning. I did not feel the fatigue. At no time has it crossed my mind to leave Happy Saturdays or.

What did it mean to get away from television for a month when you were incapacitated by a snake bite?

I can already say that I am a stung woman. Although there were some programs already recorded, however, on Blu Radio I was a month away, and it seemed eternal; because that’s life to me. I love to work; When you do what you are passionate about, you don’t feel like it’s work because you’re enjoying it all the time.

How is the process to choose which character to imitate?

Characters are proposed that one sees that they can be there to imitate. For example, there is a spokeswoman from Medellín, who is a journalist and I imitated her because of her very particular accent. I love Amparo Grisales because he gestures with his hands, with his hair, so those are the characters that you find very grateful, since they are easy to imitate. On the other hand, there are characters that are too white and you have nowhere to hold on.

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Do you remember a character that you had a hard time doing?

Right now that I did the Nonsense, I tried to imitate a participant, who became a bit more complicated for me, because she did not have a strong voice to catch the key; but if I hit the cried ones.

How long does it take to develop a character?

There are characters that are very easy to imitate, because they have those characteristics in the voice. I can get off an elevator and when I leave I end up doing like a person who was there. There are others that are a bit more complicated, that need more time. In general, we imitators have very good ears.

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Before the pandemic, they could all meet together for the program. Do you remember any anecdote?

The pandemic definitely changed our lives. We thought the program was going to end. So we decided to buy lights and tripods to work from home. On the set it is a single enjoyment, because one speaks, the other imitates, the companions enter to see what María Auxilio is going to come out with, as the chubby Fabiola says. As we saw each other every fortnight, we tried to make the most of them. When Lucerito brought empanadas to sell, we started to annoy him by saying: “Hey, Lucerito, we bought you empanadas to help you because you are starving, but this has no meat anywhere …” and we all laughed. If we put out a show with everything that happens behind the set, people would really enjoy it too.

Do you still remember when you came to the show?

I entered as an impersonator. I remember it was a parody of Yo, José Gabriel. César Mora was the conductor of the orchestra and my first character was Claudia from Colombia. Pacheco was still there and he said who was that woman who had imitated Claudia from Colombia and invited me to his program.

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How is María Auxilio Vélez in her day-to-day life outside the cameras?

I have a phrase that says: “With the egg on top” and I try to be always happy, because I don’t know if it’s my last day and I’m not going to worry or get bitter before my time. From time to time I make my notes, my jokes, but he is not for all humorists. There are people who believe that because you are a humorist you have to be making jokes all the time and most of all I am a copycat. Although I always try to be positive. It’s easier to be seeing the negative, but I say: “No, no, no”, that’s why I avoid watching the news and when I get the programs, what I do is read El Espectador or check the trends to be informed.