Meet Stefhany - Brazil’s Susan Boyle

April 27, 2009

You know, Britain can have its Susan Boyle and the U.S. can have its Adam Lambert. Because here in Brazil, we have Stefhany - The New Success.

Stefhany is a young singer with a nice voice and a lot of ambition. Coming from the extremely hot and poor state of Piauí, she has worked extraordinarily hard to find an audience, and her YouTube videos are all the rage in much of Brazil.

Her videos show off her voice, the fact that she and her family and friends are working with no budget, and that she really wants to be a star. And she’s already parlayed her Internet success into television appearances on some popular Brazilian variety shows.

Many upper-class Brazilians mock the tackiness of her videos and style. And while it’s true there are grandmoments of unintentional humor in most of them, the girl is working with what she has. And she has the entire state of Piauí behind her. So my hat is off to Stefhany, and here’s hoping she has many more “novo sucessos.”

Visit her Web site here.


Coming soon: “Samba Bill’s” exciting conclusion

February 27, 2009

Oh, the stories I have to tell about the culmination of our Road to Carnival. For now, however, this teaser will have to do:

[Read more]

Oba! “William K. Wolfrum Chronicles in Bad Portuguese” the new Brazilian sensation

February 17, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I invite you to a new blog project of mine. Sure, you likely won’t understand it, but I’m a realist - you probably don’t often understand what I’m babbling about here.

Nonetheless, I invite you all to view, promote, praise, deify, etc., my new Brazilian blog - “William K. Wolfrum Chronicles in Bad Portuguese.”

My reason for starting this new project is multi-fold. First off, I actually do live in Brazil, and have for about four years. And I’m starting to yearn to become more involved with the Brazilian culture. Secondly, my Portuguese is, as the sign says, “bad.” After four years, I still struggle. So this is a very positive outlet for me to improve on my language skills.

Mainly, I find it to be an interesting and fun challenge. Many of my posts there will be crossposted in English here at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles. But there will also be many “exclusives,” as it were, that I will write only in Portuguese (as best as I can.)

Have no fears, though (because I’m sensing some fear). I will continue to write several posts per day in English. I am an American, first and foremost, and the happenings of my country are my No. 1 motivation. Nonetheless, I do live here. So, being a man of two cultures, I am now working to become a blogger of two cultures.

So drop by “William K. Wolfrum Chronicles in Bad Portuguese” if you know Portuguese, if you are interested in Brazil, or if you just think I’m so cool that you’ll follow me anywhere. You know who I’m talking to.

Here’s to a fun and bilingual 2009.


Why, Atleticanos? Why?

February 16, 2009

Let us be clear - I am Cruzeirense. I have been Cruzeirense for more than seven years, and I have no plans to stop. But after watching Cruzeiro beat Athletic-MG for about the hundredth time in a row, I am no longer against Galo. In fact, my feelings are much more complex.

I am very aware that Atletico has great fans. I hear it every time I speak with an Atleticano. Even ESPN did a story on the “Galo Doido” phenomenon. And because I have many friends that are Atleticano, I hesitate to insult them all. But I still must ask this question:

Why in the Hell do you support this horrible team??

Being a fan of Atletico must be one of the saddest things a human can live through. Since I have started being a fan of Brazilian soccer, I have seen Galo win one title - the Minas Gerais state championship. Aside from that, I’ve seen them demoted from Serie A, and seen them be trounced repeatedly by their great rivals, Cruzeiro. And in that same time, I have seen Cruzeiro win about six titles, including the Brazilian Championship and Copa Libertadores.

I am amazed that they still call Cruzeiro-Atletico MG games “classics.” Sure, I understand that they are city rivals, but there is no competition, whatsoever. Cruzeiro has not lost to Atletico in the last 10 games, and really don’t seem to take their rivals very seriously anymore. Why should they?

Let me very clear: Atletico-MG is a terrible, terrible football organization. They have seen players like Afonso Alves, Mancini, Juliano Belleti and Gilberto Silva come and go, normally without much compensation. Yet over the past several years, they have been on the bottom of Campeonato Brasileiro. Basically, they are not so much a football club as they are a giant Ponzi scheme. Atletico steals its fans enthusiasm, and rewards them with nothing but heartbreak.

My only idea is that most Atleticanos are very good Catholics. They enjoy the suffering.

Because aside from that, I have no idea why so many good people would cheer for such a terrible team.


(Note: I wrote this blog post before I was aware of the violence after the Cruzeiro-Atletico game. I am very sorry to learn about the death of Lucas Batista Marcelino and I did not intend any offense to him or his family.)

Portuguese version at William K. Wolfrum in Bad Portuguese

Samba Bill and the Road to Carnival, Part I

January 27, 2009

To say I’m at a crossroad in my life is a vast understatement. In fact, it would be more correct to say that I’m off the road entirely. The loss of my Mom has left me with a void that just can’t be filled, and will have to be worked around to the best of my abilities. My career, while occasionally full of bells and whistles, maintains its pace of consistent stagnation. Not that I much care at the moment. I keep working because that’s what I think I should do. But there’s truly a numbness in me that has taken over.

But life continues on, and I try and focus on the positive. Such as my loving wife, Emilia, who stood by me throughout an oft-turbulent 2008, as she’s stood by me for more than a decade. She is truly a miracle. But she has decided that she will no longer stand by me. The time for standing is over. It’s time to dance.

Call me Samba Bill.

In less than a month, Emilia and I will travel to Rio de Janeiro, where we’ll take part in the 2009 Carnival celebration. We will be part of the parade for the Imperatriz Leopoldinense Samba School in Rio’s grand Sambódromo. Just to give you a quick idea what this means, here is where we’ll be performing:


And here’s what I’ll be wearing:

Samba outfit

Oh yeah, and I’ll need to samba my ass off for the entire, hour-plus-long presentation. And no, as a matter of fact, I can’t samba a lick. And neither can Emilia, thus disproving the theory that all Brazilians samba out of the birth canal.

So, we have begun taking samba lessons. Thus far we’ve taken one. My entire samba arsenal consists of the fact that I can walk forward and backward to the count of Um, dois, treis. Um, dois, treis … . More or less. But let me tell you, as someone who has never had a dance lesson before, the fact that I can do that is like winning Dancing with the Stars.

We’re taking this seriously, though. Carnival demands our best effort. Because in Brazil, there are 360 days where life is mass chaos. But during Carnival, the nation becomes a well-oiled machine. Brazil becomes a South American Sweden. And we’re taking it seriously for ourselves, as well. We are less than a month away from being part of one of the biggest shows on the planet and we want to do well and enjoy ourselves. And while there’s trepidation, there is also excitement at being part of this amazing spectacle.

So now, I have to think of the samba for a couple hours every day. And that gives my mind a little time off from missing my Mom. And it gives me more time to appreciate my wife. Because while I don’t know where my life will take me, I know that with Emilia at my side, there will be dancing. Oh yes, there will be dancing.


15 minutos da fama em Brasil?

November 21, 2008

(Click here for English Version)

Há alguns dias atrás, eu fui mencionado na hiper conhecida revista semanal brasileira VEJA, que possui 700 milhões de leitores (falando sério, são muitos leitores), e talvez mais esteja por vir. Parece que a Grande Eisenstadt Farsa de 2008 chegou ao Brasil, tendo o meu envolvimento na estória despertado algum interesse.

Estaria muito mais excitado sobre tudo isso, senão fosse o fato de ter vivido no Brasil durante os últimos quarto anos e assistido ao que acontece com os obscuramente famosos por aqui. Ora, é muito pouco provável que qualquer coisa ocorra em decorrência desses eventos, mas a fama é um animal volúvel neste país. Eu poderia adquirir uma fama momentânea.

Agora, o que eu gostaria mesmo é ser convidado para uma mesa redonda, em que todos participantes, vestindo gravatas e fumando cachimbos, discutissem questões sociais e políticas. Entretanto, não há a menor chance disso acontecer. Caso eu alcance algum nível de celebridade, ocorrerá da seguinte maneira:

A produção do amalucado show matutino do Marcelo e Marcelinho (ou seja lá o nome) me convidará para participar do programa. Os apresentadores ficarão maravilhados com o meu péssimo português e, será o esporte deles, tirar onda com a minha cara.

Após, serei convidado para o programa de variedades de Domingo Caldeirão do Hulk. Lá o apresentador, Luciano Hulk, conversará comigo, insistirá e, finalmente, me persuadirá a dizer algo estúpido. Então, ele começará um jogo que envolve um bambolê e bolas de tênis, no qual estarei competindo contra a mãe de um dos participantes do Big Brother Brasil 2005. Ninguém terá a menor idéia de quem sou, mas não estarão nem aí, exceto pelo lado esquerdo da platéia, que teria ganhado um desconto em uma churrascaria, se eu fosse o vencedor da competição, mas eu a perdi. Em seguida, um baixinho entrará no palco cantando, as dançarinas cairão no embalo com entusiasmo exagerado e eu seguirei meu caminho.

Após, aparecerei como convidado do Super Pop, com a apresentadora Luciana Gimenez. Ela falará sobre Mick Jagger, como se ambos fossem melhores amigos e carinhosos pais. Aí, conversaremos por meia hora sobre travestis, por que todos episódios do Super Pop é, simplesmente, uma longa discussão sobre travestis.

A próxima parada será o programa Pânico na TV. O cara que imita o Silvio Santos falará comigo em disparada durante uns cinco minutos, mas não entenderei nem uma palavra do que ele fala. Em seguida, eles vão querer que eu arremesse mortadelas na bunda da Sabrina Sato. Aí, começarão arremessar mortadelas em mim. Ninguém tem a menor idéia quem sou ou porque eu estou lá. Até o lado esquerdo do palco estará contra mim, parcialmente, em virtude de minha medíocre performance no arremesso de mortadela.

Brevemente, depois disso, aparecerei em fotos na revista de fofocas Caras, recebendo atenção como o antipático estrangeiro que sempre está presente em todas as festas, mas ninguém sabe na realidade quem ele é. Eu serei o arroz de festa.

Minha fama finalmente atingirá seu ápice e, ao final, posarei nu para “G” Magazine, juntamente, com Marcelo Silva e Alexandre Frota. Então, recusarei a proposta para participar de um filme pornô e estarei de volta a estaca zero, mas com a vantagem ser objeto de ridículo, devido minhas inabilidades de atirar mortadelas e atuar em um longa metragem pornográfico.

Basicamente, eu poderia estar na estrada a caminho de ser uma celebridade brasileira. Mas vou te falar uma coisa, é uma estrada extremamente humilhante, com uma destinação igualmente humilhante. Seriam os quatro dias mais longos de minha vida.


(Translation to Portuguese by Emilia Wolfrum)

Also posted at William K. Wolfrum in Bad Portuguese

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