Humor with a touch of K
- Matthew Estabillo () - September 11, 2005 - 12:00am
Comedian K Brosas prances around the stage at a comedy club in Quezon City after belting out a love song to the audience. She spots an obese man in one of the tables, and calmly approaches him, microphone in hand. She stares at the guy from head to foot, gives him a nasty grin on the side. She then makes a crack about the poor guy’s mid-section that, while certainly funny, is so below-the-belt that Brosas would be picking her teeth up off the floor if she wasn’t a stand-up comic.

But she is, and arguably better than most local comedians in the now dime-a-dozen sing-along bars in Metro Manila. And so the crowd roars with laughter, including the obese fellow.

"My character is what differentiates me from the other jokers. Natural kasi akong mapagbiro at makulit. What you see is what you get, kaya when I needle someone–anyone–I still sound likable," she says. "It’s also probably true, because in all my years of doing stand-up, I haven’t had a knuckle sandwich yet."

And that sure as hell isn’t likely to happen soon. Brosas, a self-proclaimed pioneer of local sing-along bars, has definitely plenty to laugh about these days. Apart from her live acts, she sings and works with K & The Boxers–the band responsible for the trashy novelty hit Sasakyan Kita. Aside from her regular performances in such comedy and music nightspots like Soundstage, Klownz and Ratsky, Brosas was also a regular cast member on GMA 7’s Idol Ko Si Kap, which, while has recently concluded its farewell season, didn’t mean Brosas would be saying bye-bye to TV as well. Interestingly, GMA signed her and several of her Idol Ko buddies to star in a brand new sitcom, Hocus Pocus.

She is still lightyears behind from reaching the status of Dolphy or TVJ, and may even be a couple of shades down from Allan K in terms of popularity, but Brosas, for all her quick wit and vulgar charm, can arguably be just as amusing as anyone out there.

Although she hasn’t accomplished anything really big enough to transform the preferences of comedy lovers into a more mature scene, her melodious singing voice, coupled with a knack for hilarious, over-the-top observations–from the obvious to the inane–offers something different in local mainstream humor.

"I’m very happy where I am right now. But there’s room for improvement naman palagi, eh, so even if I pay homage to traditional comedy like slapstick or even if I can be as loud and crazy like the others, I always try to inject some verbal puns like, say, a few, sarcastic comments on current events," she explains. "Pwede naman pagsamahin yun eh, as long as you’re always up to date and as long as nagtutugma siya sa routine mo." hocus pocus

She adds: "Medyo iba naman pag sa TV, syempre, but I still try to link the aura of live shows in acting. That’s why I don’t always follow the script in sitcoms. I ad lib a lot because more often than not, it looks a lot more natural."

Brosas rues the prevalence of destructive envy among people in showbusiness, something she has always been very careful not to be sucked into. Critics have hailed her in Idol Ko Si Kap as a great team-player who can also stand alone in the spotlight if the occassion demanded. Viewers, too, can never seem to get enough of her silly–albeit effective–euphemisms with co-star Ruffa Mae Quinto.

"Ang pangit kasi, madalas nagkakaroon ng sapawan. It’s ego versus ego, kaya hindi uncommon to see an actor complaining to a show’s producer about why his colleague has a better punchline in the script than him. I think yun ang pagkakaiba namin ni Ruffa Mae," she says. "We don’t hog the scenes. Instead we try to complement each other to make each take better. I guess that’s why we have good chemistry... And I guess that’s why GMA 7 wanted us, the same nucleus from Idol Ko Si Kap to be intact for its replacement."

Brosas, indeed, has been a versatile chameleon for a long time now, a great mimic blessed with the uncanny ability to maintain her own distinctiveness even while in a character role. She was born with the gift of humor; she just didn’t know it right away.

"There are people who say that they already knew what they wanted to be in life since they were a kid. And I applaud those guys." She does clap–in jest–probably because she isn’t one of them.

Comedy never really entered her mind as a youngster. "My childhood dream was to become a beauty queen. Pasensya na, ha," she laughs, although it wasn’t really as silly as one might think. She saw her fantasy come true (or at least a part of it) when she won the Ms. Freshman title at St. Paul’s College. "In fairness naman, kahit papano, nanalo rin ako ng beauty contest, di ba? Hindi nga lang Ms. Universe, pero pwede na rin."

In any case, her most visible talent as a youngster was singing. She was the performer in her family, and her mother would often drag her out of her room everytime a visitor would drop by the house. Then "...I’d use my hairbrush as a microphone and sing my heart out with whatever tunes that popped into my head."

She had a few voice lessons, as well, although nothing really formal because "all they made me sing were classical pieces! And that‘s not my style, di ba?" She also took up theater arts for four years, and that‘s where she learned the ropes–the do’s and dont’s, the hi’s and low’s, the pros and cons of acting. So while being a comedian was something she never thought about as a kid, K Brosas was, at the very least, a performer even before she knew what it was all about.

When asked if her folks ever discouraged her from pursuing such a risky and unstable job, "Nope. Kasi yun nalang ang tanging hindi nila kinakahiya sa akin, eh," Brosas quips as her road manager and concert promoter suddenly burst out in laughter. That crack may not seem so funny unless you actually see her deliver the line, for Brosas says it with such a straight face and wraps it in a tone so serious that you’d have to wait until the end to realize she’s kidding.

She finally got started on comedy 13 years ago when "...I started as a performer in a sing-along bar. Nung una medyo nahihiya-hiya pa nga ako, eh, pero eventually lumbas din yung tunay kong kulay."

And how.

K Brosas is as busy as ever these days, performing live four to five times a week and taping Idol Ko Si Kap twice a week. Add to that other guestings, tours and corporate shows and you might wonder how she can cope up with all of it.

"Napapagod din ako, no. Kaya when the week’s over, para talaga akong naupos na kandila," she says. "But the thing is, hindi ko pinapahalata sa mga tao na pagod ako. Nagbayad sila, eh, so I give them their money’s worth kahit feeling ko naglulupasay na ako sa entablado."

A much-deserved vacation still appears far away for Brosas, however, because despite Filipinos’ reputations for tiring easily of all things, toilet humor continues to be a dominating genre in mainstream entertainment. "Ang gusto kasi nating mga Pinoy slapstick talaga, eh. And I seriously doubt na we’ll be laughing our socks off on so-called intellectual humor. That’s just not who we are, eh."

No question that for our mass audiences, all you’ll hear is a pin drop if someone attempted a ten-minute routine about politics or culture–no matter how great, how deliciously sarcastic or how well-crafted the material is. "People don’t go there to hear clever or creative puns. Nagpunta talaga sila dun para marinig yung ‘P_tang ina!’"–the staple punchline of local stand-ups. K Brosas says it in her gigs too... but with a certain K of class.

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