Gringo: First of all, please introduce yourself.
Chuy: My name is Jesus Fajardo Aceves, My nickname is "Chuy," but not because people think I look like Chubbacca from Star Wars, but because Chuy is a nickname for "Jesus." I was born in Loreto, Zacatecas, Mexico. I am 30 years old. And I have a condition called Hypertrichosis or The Werewolf Syndrome.
Well, a long time ago people like me only came out at night so as not to be persecuted. And many believe that is where the legend of the werewolf came from.
I am best known as "The Wolf Boy" or "The Monkey Boy." But I like "The Wolf Boy better."
Gringo: What exactly is hypertrichosis?
Chuy: Hypertrichosis means "extra hair" and no one knows why we are born this way. Is not a sickness, and you can't catch it from me. I am told that is a genetic condition, and some believe that it is a gene from long ago when humans were born with a lot of hair like apes.
Gringo: Is anyone else in your family a wolf person? If not, how did your parents react when it was found you had hypertrichosis?
Chuy: Yes, my late great-uncle, Manuel The Wolf Man, was the first person in my family born with Hypertrichosis. I am the second person, followed by my sister Lili, and then my cousins Danny and Larry. Now we have more members being born with hypertrichosis, my daughter Carla, who is now ten, is one of them. Today there are 24 members in our family with hypertrichosis. Some mild other very heavy, most are males.
My mother knew that most likely one of her children was going to be born with hypertrichosis. Out of five children only two of us have it. Lili and me. My other sisters have a little extra hair, mostly on their foreheads, and torso.
My mother has always been supportive of us. She loves us. Other family members and friends tried to tell her to stop having kids, but my mom sees our hypertrichosis as a blessing.
Gringo: How did you get involved in the performing lifestyle?
Chuy: My uncle Manuel first suggested that we should join a circus. At the time I was 12 years old and my sister was 6 and my cousins were 5 and 7. Roberto Kampa from the Mexican National Circus was interested in us. Unfortunately, due to family arguments, my cousins, Danny and Larry went to join the circus. My sister and I traveled for a while as medical wonders.
Gringo: What were the first few shows you performed in? Was it fun?
Chuy: My first shows were with several sideshows. It was the happiest I have been. There I made many good friends. In 1999 I traveled the United States with my sister, my uncle, and Veekay in the Sterling & Reid Brothers Circus. It is a lot of fun traveling and making friends.
Gringo: What are the best and worst things about being a wolf person?
Chuy: Well, The best is the attention I receive, and how women like me. Women like hairy men, and I get a lot of proposals.
I enjoy meeting people who are impressed by my appearance. I can see it in their eyes when they are really delighted to meet someone like me. The worst part are the people who are afraid of me. They see me as something evil, but then they see anyone different as evil. It is difficult to get a regular job. Going out in public is difficult, I don't mind being stared, but I don't like when people make rude comments about me, especially when I am with my children or younger cousins. It hurts their feelings.
Gringo: Where have you travelled in the world as part of the act?
Chuy: I traveled to New Zealand, Australia, Nauru, Japan, Taiwan, South America and The United States. "Ripley's Believe or Not" took me to Taiwan. I was there for six months. Taiwan continues to be my favorite place.
Gringo: You've appeared on several television shows. What has been your favourite so far, and why?
Chuy: My favorites are "Animal Planet - The Most Extreme" and an interview for "Tiger Aspect" for the British audience. What I like is that they show me as a regular person who just happens to have hair on his face. The interviews were dignified and a lot of fun to do, especially when they took me bowling.
I also like being in a music video. It was fun and interesting. You can see me in a Turbonegro video with Johnny Knoxville and his friends from Jackass.
Gringo: Do you have any favourite stories you like to tell about your travels on the road as a performer?
Chuy: Well, yes, I have a couple of stories. But I'll share one today. It happened in Southern California, the first time we toured in the United States. The circus manager came to ask us, my late uncle, Manuel, my sister, Lili, Veekay, and me, if we wanted to make someone's day. We were not sure what he meant, but we agreed. He told us that they were bringing a boy to meet us, and was to a surprise to him. This was to take place a few hours before show time. A family arrived, with them they had a young man, but his eyes were covered. Everyone was laughing and giggling. One of the women with them seemed afraid of us and stayed behind. My uncle told Veekay, since he's the only one that speaks English, that if the plan was to scared the boy, he did not want any part of it. The mother assured us that it was not like that.
All four of us stood there; Veekay was out of make-up since it was still early. The brought the young man forward and uncovered his eyes. He looked at us. At first there was confusion, then it appeared as he was about to faint. His parents and friends held him up. I saw his eyes begin to tear up. I wasn't sure if was getting scared, so I begun to cover my face, when suddenly he jumped forward and hugged my uncle, then he hugged my sister, I was next, and he even hugged Veekay. All the while he was crying and saying, "Oh my God! Oh my God!," over and over. Then he hugged everyone with him, saying thank you to his mom. Turned around and hugged us again. He was very fascinated by my sister and my uncle. Then we learned that growing up he has been fascinated by books he read about the sideshow and always wanted to meet people like us. But everyone kept telling him that he had a macabre wish and that people like us did exist anymore.
We took several pictures together. Then we sat down and talked for a long time. He kept apologizing for staring at us. I told him it was Ok. He then asked to forgive his aunt who was afraid of us. Veekay made the joke that we were afraid of her too. When it came time to get ready for our show, the manager offered them complimentary tickets, but they already had some. And my uncle came up with a great idea, but first needed to clear it with the production manager and show director. When the word was given, we invited him to come out with us as part of the "meet and greet." Now he begun jumping up and down like a little kid. He was very excited, and said it was a dream of his to be in a freak show.
Veekay's wife put a spec outfit together for him, and during the show he was introduced as one of the Wolf People. Usually, Veekay escorted my sister into the ring, but this time Elliott walked in with her. He said that this was the happiest day of his life. His family thanked us over and over again. When my uncle passed away, we received a beautiful letter from Elliott.
Gringo: What do you do in your free time?
Chuy: I like to read, watch TV, play Futbol (Soccer), and building things. Whenever possible, in my free time, I like to visit schools, especially school with children who are different and teach them that it is Okay to be different.
Gringo: What are your likes and dislikes?
Chuy: Well, I like my family. I enjoy performing and traveling. I like meeting new people. You know, well, I don't like people who don't like to learn new things. I don't like people who pre-judge everyone because of their looks.
Gringo: Have you seen the movie Teen Wolf? If so, did you like it?
Chuy: Yes, you know, I saw the movie and I liked the cheerleaders. Michael J. Fox is a good actor, but I didn't believe he was distress on being a werewolf. I know that for the movie he was made to be liked by everyone. I grew up being beat up for my looks, and for defending my sister and younger cousins. In the movie he is a werewolf not a wolf person. Well, the make-up was okay. They show that the head hair pattern is different then the facial one.
He played a legend, I am the real thing. As a movie it was fun to watch. Well, I wish I could make my hair appear and disappear at will. I know that Michael is now ill, and I wish him well. Oh, but do you know that Jodie Foster is making a movie about a Monkey Man? The movie is called "Flora Plum," and I think Ewon McGregor interprets the part of the monkey man. I would mind being in a movie myself.
Gringo: You're currently part of the Brothers Grim Side Show, in Dallas, Texas. What is your act there?
Chuy: My friends here at the Brothers Grim Sideshow are the best. They treat me like royalty because they understand freaks. Freaks always been the royalties of the sideshows. And I am treated that way. I perform several times a day. I do some juggling, a little comedy, but for the most part I stand there and get photographed. People enjoy looking at me. And I like looking at them. I like it when the children look at me in wonderment. Makes me feel like a movie star.
Gringo: What sort of response do you get from your website?
Chuy: Well, mostly positive. My friend Veekay made the pages to help our family and we thank him because I get a lot of visitors and a lot of questions. I hope to have more pictures when I am done in Texas.
Here are my links:
Gringo: In our last interview, we asked VeeKay to come up with a question. He asks: Can you do anything funny?
Chuy: Well, yes, I can do impressions: I can imitate a werewolf, a simian, and an ewok. And I can pull your hair. (Spanish for "pull your leg.")
Gringo: Thank you for your time!
|This website is © 2001-2008 Listen To Me. All pictures, sounds and other stuff which doesn't belong to us is © its respective owner(s). Everything else is a free-for-all. Steal anything we created (as if you'd ever want to) and we'll...well, we probably won't be motivated to do anything. But you never know. And yes, that is Colonel Sanders throwing a punch at this copyright notice.|