By Kerry Miller Share Del.icio.us
Island comedian Andy Bumatai is making an effort to bring local folks back into Waikiki. These days, he’s also working to put out more DVDs, spend more time with his family and lend a helping hand in the community.
The former MidWeek cover subject (June 1992 and twice in 2002: June and September) recently began performing his stand-up act weekly at the Sheraton Waikiki’s Esprit Lounge. Fans can catch him at 7:30 every Friday night.
“I like working in Waikiki, working with the Starwood folks at Sheraton (and) putting an effort in to bringing local folks to Waikiki,” he says.
“It bugs me when they build big, beautiful hotels, totally ignore local people. You want to grow a little. That’s what they’re doing in that room. We talk about what’s real to us,” Bumatai says of his stand-up routine.
Elsewhere in life, the 53-year-old says he’s “constantly trying to do TV things” and is working making DVDs of his Esprit shows. He has another DVD already on store shelves, his TV show High School Days, which he originally did about 25 years ago (the DVD is on sale on his website, www.andybumatai.com). The comedian also has recently finished making the independent film All for Melissa with filmmaker Gerard Elmore, in which Bumatai plays the lead character’s father. Speaking of father-hood, Bumatai’s son, Ace Bumatai, is also aspiring to get into the film world, as a filmmaker. The 17-year-old was homeschooled and is now studying film at Leeward Community College.
“My son has been doing voice-overs,” says the proud dad. “He voiced over a Taco Bell spot (locally).”
The Mililani resident says he works out of his house because after going on the road for his comedy act he decided it was time to spend more time with his family. He laughs that now perhaps he spends too much time at home, and says of his family) “they’re probably trying to get rid of me.”
Other than comedy, Bumatai is on the board of directors for the local chapter of Meals on Wheels, and is on an advisory board for drug policy reform in Hawaii. While serving with both groups is equally satisfying for him, Bumatai says working with Meals on Wheels is especially rewarding because of how it much brightens someone’s day when they receive their meal and see a caring smile.
“The only people they ever see are the people that bring these meals to them,” he says.
- Kerry Miller
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