Nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills … DJ skills
VAIL – Efren Ramirez, more commonly known as Pedro – the quiet Mexican exchange student who runs for class president in “Napoleon Dynamite” – is making his own wildest dreams come true.Riding the unexpected success of the Sundance superhit, Ramirez has been touring around the country for the last year, manning turntables at various night clubs. Fans sporting “Vote For Pedro” T-shirts are showing up in droves to catch a glimpse at one of their favorite cinematic underdogs. Ramirez is just excited to finally reveal his true persona to the public.”I’m different than Pedro in a lot of ways,” said Ramirez. “I’m much more assertive, my hair’s longer, the way I stand is completely different, and I have 10 times more energy than Pedro.”Ramirez equates his DJ tour to a celebrity guest appearance, he said, but instead of standing around waving at people, he’s entertaining.
“I want to have a good time, too,” Ramirez said. “These are wonderful moments I get to enjoy in my life, and here I am because of ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’ I’m going to make the most of it.”Ramirez learned to mix and work the turntables from his brothers in Los Angeles. He opened up a promotions company, Nocturnal Rampage, in L.A. and throws raves all around the city. The music he spins for the “Vote For Pedro” tour changes depending on the crowd and the venue.”For a rave crowd, I play dance music, mostly hard house,” Ramirez said. “But hip-hop has conquered the nation, so I play a lot of that. I also have some ’80s.”Ramirez said you never know what to expect from his shows because he likes to surprise people. Like his acting career, Ramirez looks for those true spontaneous moments.”I played my harmonica over a Kanye West album and everyone went bananas,” Ramirez said. “In San Francisco, I stopped the music and recited ‘Romeo and Juliet.'”
Fans are surprising Ramirex, too. The crowd in Vegas busted him out of the DJ booth and juggled him around like a bouncy ball, and some women were waiting in his hotel room after a Seattle show. Another woman said to him, “Pedro, I just want to sing to you,” and she did.Ramirez said he’s having fun with the DJ tour, but acting is his first and foremost passion. He’s currently working on the film “Don Juan.” Ramirez has been studing theater since he was 13. Growing up in a rougher neighborhood in Los Angeles, his mother wanted to keep him busy and out of trouble with after-school activities – and theater was the class he related to the most.”I used to ride the bus for two hours just to get to class,” Ramirez said. “I was quite shy, but once I got up on stage, I was like the Warner Brother’s frog.”When he got to high school, he began working in film, signing up for extras roles in movies. He met with an agency and learned how the business worked.
“The beauty of acting is with just yourself and your imagination you can color the world,” Ramirez said.The “Vote for Pedro” show starts at 10 p.m. at 8150 in Vail Village. Ramirez will also be signing autographs at Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain from 2:30-3:30 p.m. “Vote for Pedro” T-shirts will be available for purchase.
Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14640, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Colorado