SKNFLUENCR is back from the holiday hiatus and today’s very special guest is Nelita Villezon. She is an actress, martial artist extraordinaire, and storyteller. To be honest it was kinda difficult to give her that description because she cannot be contained into a single box and you’ll find out why later.
Nelita is Black and Filipino just like me, but it’s her father that’s Filipino and her mother that is Black. We had some really interesting conversations in this episode regarding auditioning for “Black” roles in Hollywood as a lighter skinned mixed person, we talked about her secret agent grandmother…I’m not joking. You’re just gonna have to listen to hear more about that. And she talked a little bit about maintaining her femininity as a martial artist.
This is the first podcast episode that was filmed in it’s entirety. If you prefer to watch this episode, you can check it out at the new SKNFLUENCR YouTube channel at youtube.com/sknfluencr or watch the video down below.
Asia Jackson 00:00:12 Welcome to SKNFLUENCR Podcast, a place where we can discuss along with some very special guests, how beauty and fashion intersect with race, identity, and culture.
Asia Jackson 00:00:31 Happy Black History Month folks. I hope everyone is enjoying their February so far. Skin influencer is back from our holiday hiatus, and today’s very special guest is Nelita Villezon. She’s an actress, martial artist extraordinaire and storyteller. And to be honest, it was kind of difficult to give her those labels because she really can’t be contained into a single box and you’ll find out why later. Nelita is black and Filipino just like me, but it’s her father that’s Filipino and her mother that is black. We had some really interesting conversations in this episode regarding auditioning for black roles in Hollywood as a lighter-skinned mixed person. We talked about her secret agent grandmother, I’m not joking. You’re just gonna have to listen to hear more about that. And she talked a little bit about maintaining her femininity as a martial artist. This is the first podcast episode that was filmed in its entirety. So if you prefer to watch this episode, you can check it out at the new SKNFLUENCR YouTube channel at youtube.com/sknfluencr. And if you are already watching this on YouTube, Hey, what’s up <laugh>? Now let’s get into the episode. So hello Miss Neliita. How are you?
Nelita Villezon 00:01:56 I’m amazing. My heart is so full because I feel like it’s a long time coming for us.
Asia Jackson 00:01:59 I know. Yes, I know. We met online like on Instagram. Yes. A pretty long time ago.
Nelita Villezon 00:02:05 Yeah. And even before that I’ve seen your account. Yeah, I’ve seen your for many years. So
Asia Jackson 00:02:09 Just my dad always sends me your stuff because Really? Yeah, cuz he did martial arts, so he was like, oh, have you seen this? And he did Cali. So he was like always sending me stuff. And I was like, who is this girl? Like
Nelita Villezon 00:02:19 <laugh>. It was like your long law sister. That’s right.
Asia Jackson 00:02:22 So if you could introduce yourself, you know, what is your name, what do you do, where are you from?
Nelita Villezon 00:02:27 All right, let’s do it. Hello world. So my name is Nelita son. I am from Los Angeles, California. And I’m an actress and an advocate for everything that I love.
Asia Jackson 00:02:37 And what does that entail? A
Nelita Villezon 00:02:38 Lot. A lot. Yeah. I was
Asia Jackson 00:02:39 Like, well, I guess we’ll, we’ll get into that when we
Nelita Villezon 00:02:41 Yeah, we will. I think that the biggest thing, and I’ll, I’ll, I’ll make it simple cause everyone always asks me what I do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, I usually say that I just share, I share different medium. So just like an artist can draw on pencil, oils, paints, whatever. Those are different mediums. And for what I do, I do a lot of different mediums, but I just choose to share.
Asia Jackson 00:02:58 Nice. Yeah. Well I, as a follower of yours, as a longtime follower, I can attest to that. <laugh>. Thank you. So you are from Los Angeles? Yes. You grew up in Inglewood,
Nelita Villezon 00:03:08 Right? I grew up in Inglewood and then over in Baldwin Hills. I don’t know if you’re familiar that area. Inglewood, Baldwin Hills. And then, you know, if you’re in LA you’re just all over the place. Yeah. Yeah. But that’s my, my, my homegrown little background.
Asia Jackson 00:03:18 Nice, nice. Yes. So you are mixed.
Nelita Villezon 00:03:22 I am,
Asia Jackson 00:03:22 We’re basically the same mix. Go
Nelita Villezon 00:03:24 Figure. That’s what I’m like, long lost sister.
Asia Jackson 00:03:26 Go figure. <laugh>. So your dad is Filipino? Yes. And is he, um, is he first generation?
Nelita Villezon 00:03:32 Uh, well, yes.
Asia Jackson 00:03:33 First. So he was born in the Philippines.
Nelita Villezon 00:03:35 He was born in the Philippines. Came over here when he was around 10 years old.
Asia Jackson 00:03:38 Oh, okay. And then your mom is black African American? Yes. Okay. African American
Nelita Villezon 00:03:42 From North Carolina. How did, how
Asia Jackson 00:03:43 Did they meet?
Nelita Villezon 00:03:44 So what happened was <laugh> Uh, no. So my, uh, my dad or my Lola, she, she came to the US first. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then she brought my dad, his elder sister over, and they started school in North Carolina. And come to find out, my parents didn’t even know this, like since they were kids, they were in elementary school together, they had no idea what Yes. And then the funny story, this is where it gets good. So basically my mother was dating someone and she was like, oh, one of my sisters doesn’t have a boyfriend. We should set her up with someone. So she asked her boyfriend, does he have a friend? And it turned out to be my dad. So then they brought my dad into the mixture. But that didn’t work out. They just talked and it never worked out. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then about I think a year or so later, my mom had broken up with her boyfriend and they reconnected and they started talking and started dating when they were 17. And they’ve been together ever since then. It’s a cute
Asia Jackson 00:04:28 Story. High school. Oh my God, that is so cute. Know. I know. It’s a high school sweetheart. High school sweethearts. They, well, kind of like elementary school sweetheart.
Nelita Villezon 00:04:35 And that’s the thing, they’re like, well, you went to this elementary school, they had no idea they went to elementary school
Asia Jackson 00:04:39 Together. That is crazy. Yeah. And this happened in North Carolina. In
Nelita Villezon 00:04:42 North Carolina, yes. So
Asia Jackson 00:04:43 What made your parents move to California?
Nelita Villezon 00:04:45 They wanted diversity
Asia Jackson 00:04:46 For us. <laugh>. Okay.
Nelita Villezon 00:04:47 Yep. As you can imagine, um, them growing up, they were born in 1960 in North Carolina. So it’s like very civil rights style. Right. Very black or white. So let alone, my dad comes into town and he’s Filipino mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And at that time, no one knew what Filipino was.
Asia Jackson 00:05:00 Right. So it was like they had to run. I mean, they still don’t
Nelita Villezon 00:05:02 Exactly. No, exactly. I get, I just got asked the other day, what is a
Asia Jackson 00:05:05 Filipino? Oh no.
Nelita Villezon 00:05:07 Um, and so they were like the only other Asian family in town, which was a really traditional Japanese family that was there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so, um, yeah, so that’s how he who’s in North Carolina got married into the family. I forgot the question right now. Now drew a blank over. And I was like, wait, lemme tell my story. Um, and so yeah. So they were, he was there in North Carolina and it was just very hard for him. Yeah. Because when he first came, they basically was like, oh, you don’t learn the same in the Philippines as you do in the US mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So one wanted to set you back two grades, and you don’t speak English as your first language sore to set you back even further. Right. So he had a really hard time because not only was he not allowed to speak his native tongue, um, in school and in public places at unfortunate at the time because they wanted them to acclimate. His stepdad at the time was like, we’ll only speak English at home as well. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, yeah, it just took away a lot of the culture and, and what it was. So that was his experience growing up. And then when him and my mom got together and my sister was first born, they said it was a huge fiasco at the hospital. They were like, everyone wanted to see what a black Chinese baby looked like. <laugh>, mind you again, my dad is Filipino, not
Asia Jackson 00:06:07 Chinese.
Nelita Villezon 00:06:07 Thanks Filipino. He’s not Chinese. But everyone came around and was like, oh my gosh, we’ve never seen this mixed baby. We’ve never seen a black Chinese baby, so let’s, let’s say around a watch. And so they were like, we’re gonna have a hard time with this, so we should probably get them out to somewhere else that maybe is a little bit more diverse. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> a little bit more open. And my dad growing up, he always wanted to be an actor. He wanted to be like Bruce Lee mm-hmm. And all of this mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So he was like, wanted to try his hand at acting in California. What’s the place to be? And hence why we were here.
Asia Jackson 00:06:31 Nice. Yeah. What a story. Yeah.
Nelita Villezon 00:06:33 I was like, I can get deep. So let me know how much you want me to talk cause we
Asia Jackson 00:06:36 Have to me No, please tell me like everything that you, you need to, that you need to tell me because, um, so your dad moved, when did you guys move to California? Oh,
Nelita Villezon 00:06:48 Okay. So we moved to California before I was one years old, so, okay. I’m about to date myself as well. <laugh>, we moved probably like around like 1985. Okay. To California.
Asia Jackson 00:06:57 Yeah. Oh, okay. Yeah. So you, you were here in the eighties and nineties? Yes, yes.
Nelita Villezon 00:07:01 Oh my gosh. I’m a wonderful product of the eighties and nineties plus in California circus.
Asia Jackson 00:07:05 Yes. Yeah. Oh my gosh, that’s so exciting. Yeah. Uh, how did your dad get into martial arts?
Nelita Villezon 00:07:10 So here’s another cool story. Oh, here we go.
Asia Jackson 00:07:12 Oh my God. Tell us, tell
Nelita Villezon 00:07:14 Us. So basically my grandmother, my Lola, who I’m named after ANelita, she was actually a secret agent in the Philippines. Yes, I know. <laugh> crazy. I know. So my dad grew up because she was a secret agent working for the government. She would get Intel on people and they had her posing as a news reporter. So she, we have her press pass and everything. My grandmother was never a news reporter, <laugh>, but we have her press pass where she would go and she would just infiltrate and get this information. And so my dad said growing up he would watch her in the backyard training and learning hand to hand combat in the Philippines. And so that’s what first sparked his interest within martial arts. And then growing up, obviously Bruce Lee was a huge thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So he watched Bruce Lee on tv and the way he first learned was just through watching he learned, through watching and trying to do the moose. And then when he moved to the us uh, and then found out about Dan, uh, guru. And as Santo, once he got older, he started training with him in the eighties. And that’s how he got into martial arts. I made it shorter, but that’s the cool
Asia Jackson 00:08:06 Story. Okay. The beginning part of the story was already insane. <laugh>.
Nelita Villezon 00:08:09 Right. I know. I come, that’s why I say, look, I’m my family’s badass. Yeah. So I come from a really cool lineage and it was just really cool to be like, oh, my grandmother was a secret agent. What?
Asia Jackson 00:08:19 Yeah. Oh my gosh. Yes. That’s a lot to live up to. Yeah,
Nelita Villezon 00:08:22 It is. It’s a lot to, a lot of pride within it and that’s what like, makes it so like, you know, we’ll talk about later about sharing in my culture. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s like my name says it all. Yeah. This woman, how incredible she was,
Asia Jackson 00:08:33 You know? Yeah. So what made you wanna get into martial arts?
Nelita Villezon 00:08:36 I was made to do it. <laugh>. I’m kidding. No, I love it. So, uh, my dad is huge within martial arts. Um, he’s now physically disabled, but prior to that, you know, I, like I said, he trained with Gru Dan back in the eighties and then did a lot of other styles and arts as well. And Gru, Dan always said like, my dad was the closest thing to Bruce Lee that he had never seen. Like if you, if people here out in la they used to call me Bruce’s daughter <laugh> because they would see my dad. They’d be like, Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee. And I’m like, he’s not Bruce Lee. You’re right. They would call me Bruce’s daughter because he looked so much like him and could imitate all the moves. And he was really, really good. If you ask his students around town, he kind of sounds like a myth or legend.
Nelita Villezon 00:09:10 They’d always be like, oh, seafood did this and seafood then mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And he could, he could fly up and kick this thing and he could throw this. He, he sounds like a myth or legend because of all the things that he could do. So growing up, you know, he never traditionally, everyone thinks of like, oh, your sons, you’re gonna teach your son’s martial arts school. He never had any boys. It’s just my sister and I. But he never steered away from teaching us. So he grew up, before I could walk, I could kick, he would be kicking my legs. But there’s like VHS and beta tapes. This is like, again, dating myself, beta. I’m dead beta tapes. So didn’t you like, it was like something, was it an eight track or something?
Asia Jackson 00:09:39 Oh yeah, yeah. I saw eight track for the first time exactly
Nelita Villezon 00:09:42 At store. So beta tapes, I don’t know if you know what beta tape, <laugh> beta tapes of me, like kicking at him, holding my legs up and doing this. So that’s what my learning of martial arts was. I grew up in my household. It was there 24 7. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, even as a kid, I just told someone else the other day that my dad, he before social media would be in the backyard with his, you know, video camera, recording himself training and hitting the bag. So I had these videos to look at as I grew up mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so, um, again, in elementary school we had our own schools, uh, across the US. I would train with my dad’s school and he was like, well, I like this art too, so I’m gonna put you in this school. And he were like, I like this art. I’m gonna put you in this school. So I literally was like a little monk ninja going from school to school. I was homeschooled as well, so I had a lot of free time. Oh yeah. So I was homeschooled and he was like, all right, you come train here and then you’re gonna go over there. You’re gonna go train and you’re gonna go here. And that’s how I got into how
Asia Jackson 00:10:27 Many arts or I don’t know what the right term is. Like how many disciplines do you know? Quite
Nelita Villezon 00:10:33 A few. So obviously being Filipino <laugh>, we do a Filipino martial arts, which encompasses, uh, 90% of weapons. We also do Filipino boxing in closed quarter hand-to-hand combat. Uh, and that has a mixture of sea lot as well, which is also known in Indonesia. Uh, dot art I do <unk> which is Bruce Lee martial arts. Mm-hmm. Or style. And then mu thai TaeKwonDo, Northern charlin. Woohoo. Um, I do a mixture of styles of grappling. I’m not belted in, but a mixture of styles of grappling. And then I’m a connoisseur practicing a lot. So I love kata. I love a lot of different styles. But that’s the name of you
Asia Jackson 00:11:07 That I do. Oh my God, I’m so jealous.
Nelita Villezon 00:11:09 Aw,
Asia Jackson 00:11:09 That is so cool.
Nelita Villezon 00:11:10 Thank you. I’m glad. Like I’m really glad I got brought up in it because like I said, I, I love that there’s a, I feel like even more so now a wave of people really get into martial arts, specifically women into martial arts. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, but it’s just something I’ve known for a lifetime. It’s it’s second nature to me. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:11:25 Yeah. So what we, we were talking about this right before, uh, the podcast, but she saw a picture of my dad up here on the wall. For those of you watching on YouTube, you see a picture up here. My dad’s doing a, what kind of kick is that
Nelita Villezon 00:11:37 Called? A
Asia Jackson 00:11:37 Sidekick. A sidekick.
Nelita Villezon 00:11:38 It’s a really good sidekick too. <laugh>. That’s why I knew. I was like, where did he train?
Asia Jackson 00:11:41 Right, right, right. And she found out that my dad also trained with Guru Dan. So my dad actually trained with, um, Dan in as Santo and Richard Bustillo. Yes. When they were in Torrance. That’s crazy. Yeah. They had a, um, I think it was called Philippi. Yeah, Filipino Cali Academy. Yes. That’s what it was called. Yes. And they taught gdo, Cali and Chinese kickboxing over there. Oh my God. Yeah. So he trained there and then, um, I forgot what they’re called, but he reached like the black belt equivalent Yes. In that. And yeah, he did that all throughout his like teenage years. And every time he like tells me stories about his time, like doing martial arts, he would use it for like street fighting <laugh>.
Nelita Villezon 00:12:22 I
Asia Jackson 00:12:22 Love that. Because like, I guess back in the seventies, cuz he grew up in Carson. Okay. So I guess like back in the seventies Yeah. Back in the seventies there was like a lot of gang activity. Oh
Nelita Villezon 00:12:31 Yeah. No, it was rampant. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:12:33 Yeah. So like he, um, his Filipino friends’ parents actually encouraged them to go learn how to fight. Yes. Because
Nelita Villezon 00:12:40 Of that you had to back
Asia Jackson 00:12:41 Then. Yeah. So they like trained with weapons and mm-hmm. <affirmative> learned hand to hand combat and I don’t know, it was just like really cool. When did your dad um, train with Dan? So he
Nelita Villezon 00:12:50 Started in the eighties, but it was all the way up until, until you became disabled, basically.
Asia Jackson 00:12:54 Oh
Nelita Villezon 00:12:55 Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So all the way up until like what it was it early two thousands mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm.
Asia Jackson 00:12:59 <affirmative>. Wow. That is so cool. Yeah. Has he ever done like commercial? I feel like that’s a really good skill to have like for commercials and
Nelita Villezon 00:13:05 Commercials. Yeah. So he, he, like I said, he wants to be an actor and so that was his thing. He was like, he came to, um, California was like, I’m gonna be a big actor and wanting to like be in the Bruce Lee films and all of that. Um, so he did mainly a lot of stunt work. He did, uh, jet Lee’s first US film here. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he is a lot of the stunts within Ninja Turtles. So people nerd out on that. He has a lot of stunts and Ninja Turtles, even the shredder and then also Beetle Borgs and Power Rangers. So it was really cool because growing up when this is like the height of everything early I would be on set watching the Power Rangers be filmed and watching Beatle boards be filmed. So people were like, what? You got
Asia Jackson 00:13:39 To see that I get to geek out. It was great <laugh>. It was great. That was so cool. Yes. Um, why was Filipino martial arts particularly important for you to learn?
Nelita Villezon 00:13:50 Okay, I’m gonna take a breath on that. <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:13:52 It’s,
Nelita Villezon 00:13:53 You know, it’s interesting. So now when a lot of people see Filipino martial arts online or what I share, they like it because it’s very cool. It’s very flashy. Oh, you have weapons mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, tools, whatever it is. But I, even now, like when I’m talking about it, it’s so visceral for me because it’s our lineage. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s our culture. It’s what we use to survive, to defend ourselves, to defend our lands. You know, not only did I say my grandmother was a secret agent, and these are things that she learned, but it’s like our ancestors before us, this is what we did as our practice to, you know, again, defend the lands that we live on. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So for me it’s just, it’s bigger than it looking cool. This is my ancestors flowing through me. This is the art that we have. Like when they say martial art, it truly is an art mm-hmm. <affirmative> that we learn. So that’s why I gravitated when people ask me. I was like, I’m biased, but yes, I do
Asia Jackson 00:14:43 Love Filipino martial
Nelita Villezon 00:14:43 Arts. It was like, that’s the reason why, because it is so close to home for me.
Asia Jackson 00:14:47 Yeah. Have you ever, um, do you get, what’s the word I’m looking for? Do you ever get approached specifically for Filipino colleague for like TV and film or commercials or anything like
Nelita Villezon 00:14:59 That? I do now. So, um, backtrack on the story. Like, I, I had spoken, I lived in Dubai, um, for a number of years. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I unexpectedly came back to the States in 2020, um, prior Covid. So we, I had no idea what Covid was. We didn’t know anything was going on you. And so I, I land because my, my lo law was passing and I came to try to see her before she passed. And when I got here, this whole thing called covid hit and then all of a sudden we’re in this lockdown. And I remember just like, it was kind of like starting over for me. Cause I got stuck here. I got kind of stuck in the states and I was like, crap, what do I do? I need to start over again. I’m like, I guess I’ll share online more <laugh> and I’ll do what I love doing.
Nelita Villezon 00:15:34 And so the more that I did that people online would just start to ask me. They’re like, well why isn’t Filipino martial arts and films and television mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I’m like, it’s everywhere. Like every show, every Marvel film you see, Filipino martial arts is there, they just don’t call it Filipino. Right. Martial arts, not a lot of times there’s, I mean there’s a group now coming up, but a lot of times they’re like, yeah, we’re doing this. I’m like, that’s Filipino martial arts <laugh>. But my boyfriend finds me annoying <laugh>, I’m like, Filipino martial. Okay. Uh, but basically, so that happened and I was like, you know, I really hope that there is a day and time that, you know, I get called for this and talk about manifestation and speaking on it. Like no sooner than I spoke on that. I wanna say the very same week I got a call randomly from another one of my dad’s, uh, colleagues who’s also in a screamer theor.
Nelita Villezon 00:16:15 And he hit me up and he was just like, Hey, would you happen to be in the States? Oddly enough, I hadn’t been in the states in a long time. He’s like, would you happen to be in the States? Because there’s a show that’s filming and it’s based on Filipino martial arts. And I’m like, oh, this is the calling. Like this is is gonna happen. So I found that as soon as that hit, it was just like everything now. And people becoming more aware of it are asking for weapons training, aka also like Filipino martial arts and things. So I do get called quite a bit for
Asia Jackson 00:16:39 It. Nice.
Nelita Villezon 00:16:40 I love it. Yeah. I love it so much because I think the difference is that, you know, a lot of times people be like, oh, you do stunts? And I’m like, no, I don’t do stunts. I was like, I do my own stunts, but I actually don’t do credit to the stunt performers because I was like, I am not gonna taco, I am not gonna follow my head or my neck. That is not my thing. I will do it for myself, but there’s a limit to it. Right. Um, so yeah, I was like, the cool thing about what I do is that I bring the authenticity, authenticity behind it and really understanding the art and then can translate that into the stunt form for television and film. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:17:09 I feel like training for the art versus training for TV and film is different. Can you like tell us a little bit
Nelita Villezon 00:17:17 About that? Absolutely. So again, kudos to all sides of it. Um, because I never wanna take credit away from stunt performers because what they do is so amazing and invaluable. You step in in places that we don’t want to have <laugh> have to go do. But it definitely does bring a different type of look understanding to it when you actually understand the purpose behind the movement Mm. Of why you’re doing it. So there’s one thing to tell someone, okay, strike right here. You’re just gonna swing right here. But if you don’t fully understand why and understand the momentum, the, the body movement behind it, it, there’s a huge difference in what it looks like. Like mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then again, things can look good online, but when it comes to let’s do this in per like really defend yourself, it’s a whole nother story. Right, right. You know what I mean? Yeah. So that’s what I would say is the hugest differences and I think it’s invaluable for people who are stunt performers to go out and actually learn the actual art mm-hmm. <affirmative> and understanding behind that, you know, if you have the time to definitely go do it.
Asia Jackson 00:18:08 Yeah. It’s funny that you say that because I was, what was I watching? I think it was No Time to Die. It was the, the last James, uh, Daniel Craig’s Less. Yes. James Spawn film and um, what is her name? The actress who played
Nelita Villezon 00:18:21 Anna
Asia Jackson 00:18:22 Anna Deramus. Yes. Like you could tell she wasn’t a fighter Yeah. When she was doing those scenes. And I thought that was really interesting that you brought that up because like, it’s one thing to learn the movements for TV and film, but it’s another thing entirely to
Nelita Villezon 00:18:37 Learn
Asia Jackson 00:18:37 What you’re doing. <laugh>. I
Nelita Villezon 00:18:38 Tell you, I’m probably not the best person to watch action films with <laugh>. And I think this is for anyone who actually like, does arson again, it’s, I give kudos cuz I know how hard it’s, I’ve trained with actors, I’ve actually trained actors too. Mm-hmm. Be able to perform and things like this. And so I know that you put a lot of effort into what you do. Uh, but there is a huge difference. So I honestly, I sit back and I watch films and I’m like, I’m kind of cringing a lot of someone like, oh, this isn’t correct or you can just sell. Just like I’m crying at myself. So people are like, let’s not watch an actor Milita. She’s not the one to watch it with. I’m sorry,
Asia Jackson 00:19:09 How many, um, so you’re an actress as well? Yes. Do you want to be an action star?
Nelita Villezon 00:19:17 Yeah. So this is, I’m gonna say it and I’m gonna claim it cause I tell everybody this. Oh. Per I am the biggest female action star in the world. Okay. I’m just gonna claim that right now.
Asia Jackson 00:19:28 I claim that for you.
Nelita Villezon 00:19:29 Thank you. I appreciate that. But you know what the thing is, and I think you can attest to this, like, I’ve been in the industry for a long time since I was a kid. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and it can beat you up <laugh>. Yeah. Like you think fighting is hard. The industry won’t beat the crap out of you. <laugh>. I think that’s a real, like even now, what you see with um, like the, the actors from everything everywhere all at once. Yes. You know, and the, the guy who was in Goonies as a kid, I watched The Goonies when I was a kid mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And to see him and hear his story about hey like, you know, he wasn’t getting book jobs after that and he almost like gave up hope. Like should I be doing this anymore? And then boom, this happens for him. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So to, with all transparency, I felt like I’ve been going through that transition.
Nelita Villezon 00:20:06 I originally, I walked away from the industry back in 2016, the, when I moved to Dubai. Cause I was like, I’m done with it. I’m tired of going to castings where they’re asking something for so specific that I do. But when I show up, they choose a person who doesn’t know anything mm-hmm. <affirmative> or you know, can’t do the, you know, all these sort of things or like the little nitpicky things like you could be great at what you do. And they’re like, Hmm, I don’t like the way your eyebrow leans this way. No next person. I mean Yeah. That’s the honest truth, you know? Yeah. And so like they tell you, you have to have really thick skin for this industry and resilience. And so when I left, I learned to live and I learned to really enjoy and actually grew myself as a person and as a woman.
Nelita Villezon 00:20:41 So when I came back and unexpectedly acting fell back into my lap, I wasn’t trying to get back in acting. I was like, I’ll just share martial arts online. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when I shared that, it was like, Hey, we wanna sing you for this commercial, we wanna do this. And I was like, this is cool. And I was like, the only way I’m gonna do this is that I could still have joy in what I do. If at any moment I find myself not having joy and going to these castings, filming whatever, I don’t wanna do it. Yeah. As much as I feel like I am and I know I’m the biggest people, I actually star in the world. If I’m not happy in what I’m doing and completing myself, it doesn’t mean anything to me.
Asia Jackson 00:21:12 I love that cuz I’m kind of like finding myself in that place too. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’ve been doing this since maybe like 2015. Okay. So it’s been almost like 10 years. Yes. And it’s funny cuz at the beginning of my career I was booking things left and right. And then now I haven’t worked in like almost four years mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Like, it’s crazy. I think, I don’t think a lot of people realize that, um, even if you go out for something, it doesn’t mean that you have this big huge shot at becoming a star. Oh
Nelita Villezon 00:21:41 Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:21:42 I think a lot of people think that just because you audition for something, it’s like, oh yeah, you’re probably gonna get it. But oh yeah. There’s so many things out of your control.
Nelita Villezon 00:21:51 This is so true. And I can’t say this especially too, like, let’s say you are booking, like for me, like I’ve booked this past year, I’ve booked a lot mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when you book a lot, people are like, oh, that’s so cool. Like, you’re the next big thing. Marvel put it in the movie. Like you just sang Marvel put her in the movie. That’s not gonna get me in the movie. Right. But like, thank you, but it’s not gonna gimme in the movie. Yeah. There’s like, you know, casting that goes along with it. There’s a lot of different de decisions that go behind the scenes. And then even then I have this, this kind of pet peeve with it and kind of like Don Don Cheeto said, he was like, just because you don’t see actors or performers on TV or in film doesn’t mean they’re not working.
Nelita Villezon 00:22:25 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. You know what I mean? So you gotta really keep your mental health in check to be like, when people are asking you, so what are you working on now? And you don’t have a thing on tv. It’s like, it’s not that I’m, what do you think I’m doing all day? <laugh>. Like, I’m working every day. I’m doing Monologs in my house, I’m doing self tapes, I’m sending this mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, you’re literally working every single day. Do you get to see it on tv? Not necessarily all the time, but actors and performers work all the time. So it’s really finding that balance within yourself to Okay. Be okay. Even me, like, you know, I, I became really protective of telling people even when I went for castings and stuff, because I didn’t want ’em to be like, did you hear back? Did you hear back? Right. Yeah. Did you get it? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know what I mean? I’m like, you just never know what this, so it’s just, you know, being able to have a balance for yourself. Like, are you good with yourself? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, can you stay joyous and happiness in this? And if you aren’t, maybe take a step back for a
Asia Jackson 00:23:11 Second.
Nelita Villezon 00:23:11 Yeah. Recheck in with yourself or check in with yourself again. And then if you wanna go back at it, do it again. So that’s kind of where I was at. Like, I wanna say end of 2022, I was like, I think I’m done again. I think I don’t wanna do this anymore. Now that’s, that’s just full transparency. And then I have friends who are like, no, of course not. You can’t, you know, I was like, it’s like you’re tripping away and you’re right there at the very, very
Asia Jackson 00:23:29 Edge <laugh>.
Nelita Villezon 00:23:30 You know, it’s like, oh, what if you just push a little bit more? And I’m like, crap. You know? So I’m open, I’m open to still, you know, being able to have the opportunity to do so. Um, if it feels
Asia Jackson 00:23:41 Right. Yeah. Oh my gosh, I love that. All the fellow actors out there, y’all listening and even people who like aren’t actors if you’re listening to this. Yeah. Um, I really want you to understand that this shit is hard. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like it’s not easy. Uh, you always hear stories of like, oh yeah, this actress didn’t do anything before she got this big role that is like, not the norm. That’s so, like, that doesn’t happen to 99% of people Absolutely. Who are in this industry. It is so difficult to do anything. You can, oh my gosh. You can book a role and, um, for a pilot for example mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you’re so excited, you’re like, oh my God, I have my own TV show. I’m the lead. And then the uh, network doesn’t pick it up. Right,
Nelita Villezon 00:24:22 Exactly.
Asia Jackson 00:24:23 You can film a whole pile episode and they’re like, actually we don’t want this to be on tv.
Nelita Villezon 00:24:28 Wasn’t there something recently with DC where they filmed Bat Girl and they’re not releasing it?
Asia Jackson 00:24:31 Oh my
Nelita Villezon 00:24:32 God. They’re like, it doesn’t work out. We filmed a whole film, didn’t work out.
Asia Jackson 00:24:35 They filmed the whole thing, didn’t
Nelita Villezon 00:24:37 Work out
Asia Jackson 00:24:38 <laugh>. They were like, you imagine that’s, I know. Devastating. I would be so upset if I was that actress.
Nelita Villezon 00:24:41 You know what I mean? And so it’s like you said, it’s like, again, it’s not only for actors, this is anyone, you know, putting themselves out there for whatever career you have. It’s just, it’s tough. Yeah. And I just try to speak to people. It’s like we always, like, nowadays I think we’re more transparent on like the whole thing about being in the limelight. Whether it’s through, you know, performing, whether it’s social media, things like this. Just being real with people. Like really check in with yourself. Cause I think now more than ever, we need to take care of ourselves.
Asia Jackson 00:25:06 Yeah.
Nelita Villezon 00:25:07 There’s a lot of pressure and we’ll, we’ll probably dive into more, but there’s a lot of pressure for a lot of things. Even me with social media, I was like, I just don’t wanna do it anymore. I like, I don’t wanna be Okay.
Asia Jackson 00:25:16 You’re speaking my language right now. Yeah. I was
Nelita Villezon 00:25:18 Like, I just don’t do this machine. I don’t wanna be part of this machine anymore. Yeah,
Asia Jackson 00:25:22 Yeah.
Nelita Villezon 00:25:23 Sort of thing. Yeah. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:25:24 Speaking of like entertainment and everything, when you go out for auditions, what race do they send you out for and what do they allow you to audition for?
Nelita Villezon 00:25:35 I’m like, hi, I’m nait, I’m racially ambiguous. Yeah. <laugh>. But also too, they’d be like, no, you’re, you’re not Asian <laugh>. Like, you know what I mean? Or like, I’ll get there for the, the girl, the audition for black girls and they’re like, yeah,
Asia Jackson 00:25:45 I don’t think that’s right. But are you really? Yeah.
Nelita Villezon 00:25:47 <laugh>, you know, I’m like, damn, gosh dang it can’t fit in anywhere. Right. Um, so no, I, I get sent out a lot. I get sent on almost everything except for white. Yeah. Right. Except for whites, <laugh>, I don’t get sent for that. Oddly enough though, I did have a driver’s license once it said I was white. So <laugh>, um, that’s another story. I have a lot of stories. Um, but no, I get sent on everything. So weather is African-American or black. I go by black. Black, um, Asian. I get, even for Indian auditions, Indian auditions, I can see that Latin American auditions. So it just really depends on, I think how my hair is done up, how my makeup is done up. And also do like, you know, if you know mannerisms and how to do it, you can kind of, you know, like you said, be racially ambiguous. You’re right. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:26:26 Yes. Yeah. One of the problems that I have been experiencing is, um, when I go out for like roles that are, the characters are black mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don’t usually have a problem doing that, but when the parents have already been cast and the parents are both black, I’m like,
Nelita Villezon 00:26:42 And then you look at us and
Asia Jackson 00:26:44 You’re like, yeah. I’m like, I feel like you can find someone else.
Nelita Villezon 00:26:47 Right. Wanting to be fair to other actors
Asia Jackson 00:26:49 As well.
Nelita Villezon 00:26:50 Yeah. Right.
Asia Jackson 00:26:50 You know what I mean? Yeah. Especially if like, the two parents that they cast are like dark-skinned black people. Yeah. And they’re like, you want me to audition for this? Like, I don’t, I don’t think that’s, I don’t know.
Nelita Villezon 00:27:00 I don it’s a, it’s a tough one because I would say it like this cuz even in my family, on my black side of the family, because of different roots and stuff like this, we are all different complexions. So we have, you know, being mixed as well, being black, you can come in different complexion. You can have two dark-skinned parents and have a lighter child. True.
Asia Jackson 00:27:15 That’s what happened to my aunt. Yeah. It could
Nelita Villezon 00:27:17 Happen. But I think for the, the box that they like to put people in, when people watch tv they’re like, mm. Really? Yeah. All sort of thing. So I get it. Um, I do try to be fair to other actors as well. I remember going out for castings and stuff, and this is back in like the early two thousands or even like late nineties before things became so woken. People understand like, oh we gotta, we gotta cast more. You know, you go to a casting and this is when I modeled, it’d be 200 girls mm-hmm. <affirmative> 200 girls in the room and a handful of black girls. Oh. It’s all white girls. And then a handful of black girls and we’ll all look at each other and be like, we know it can only be one of
Asia Jackson 00:27:48 Us <laugh>. Right. Yeah.
Nelita Villezon 00:27:49 You know, it can only be one. Yeah. And then you just feel so horrible too cuz it’s like, okay, if they’re asking for strictly a black girl, then they end up choosing the mixed girl. Then it’s like, you know, then you, which we shouldn’t feel inside cuz Yeah. We are black too, you know, we’ll talk about that. I’m black, I’m Asian and I’m mixed. I’m all, I’m all those things. Right. But, um, also just wanting to be fair to them as well.
Asia Jackson 00:28:07 Yeah. Yeah. I totally understand that because it, I feel like it’s a interesting conundrum being like a mixed person working in Hollywood cuz you do want to embrace who you are. Mm-hmm. I am black and I am Asian and I’m both of those at the same time. At the same time. But also like when I audition for a role, like I would never audition for Black Panther, I don’t think mm-hmm. <affirmative> like if I audition for sure. Yeah. Like, I don’t think I would feel right doing that. You know what I mean? And it’s also interesting because when you think of like biracial representation and interracial relationships mm-hmm. <affirmative> in Hollywood, they’re almost all like involve a white person. Yeah. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve auditioned for a character that was written as mixed and the mix was like black and white. Oh yeah. It’s
Nelita Villezon 00:28:53 Always exclusively
Asia Jackson 00:28:54 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I think I’ve only auditioned for one character that was black and Asian and that was like five years
Nelita Villezon 00:28:58 Ago. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that <laugh>. Really? Oh my God. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a black and Asian mix. It’s always like, uh, a black and Latina or a black and Latina. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> or a black and white. Um, but going back to what you said too is weird cuz even when Woman King came out, everyone was like, you should have been in Woman King. And I was like, I don’t think I would’ve fit
Asia Jackson 00:29:13 That <laugh>. Thank you. You would’ve been perfect though,
Nelita Villezon 00:29:16 Right? I was like, thank you for that. But, um, I I would feel wrong. Yeah. Being a woman king, you know, like you said, you would feel wrong for that.
Asia Jackson 00:29:22 Yeah. I think, yeah, it’s an interesting place to navigate because you, you do want to <laugh> have a career and you do wanna work and you do wanna do things, but at the same time, like you just, I don’t know, you wanna be fair. It’s
Nelita Villezon 00:29:37 Just so hard because it’s like, at the end of the day, it’s kinda like you said, it’s like my mom is black. Right. Okay. I was like, I don’t know how explicit I can get on this.
Asia Jackson 00:29:43 Oh, go
Nelita Villezon 00:29:44 For it. Go for it. I’m not gonna get that explicit. But I came out of a black vagina. Right. So I’m just saying like, my mom is black, so I shouldn’t be afraid of playing roles for black women. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, but society makes you feel like, hey, but you’re not fully black.
Asia Jackson 00:29:56 Yeah. So,
Nelita Villezon 00:29:57 So you know, that sort of thing. And plus too, I’m a world traveler. I’m like, you go to Africa, people look all different, they look mixed. Yeah. In Africa, different parts of Africa you go to. So you never know, you know how many times I get Erie in, they’re like, are you eri?
Asia Jackson 00:30:08 I can,
Nelita Villezon 00:30:08 Are you? You know? Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:30:09 I can see East African for sure. You
Nelita Villezon 00:30:11 Know? Yeah. So it’s, it’s hard to navigate. Well, I, I would say this, no, it’s not hard to navigate. I think with growth and maturity, I’ve gotten to a place of being unapologetic about that. Yeah. Not really caring. I think we live in a very sensitive society right now. Extremely sensitive and believe me, I’m all for advocating and for us speaking up for ourselves and what we feel. But I think we’ve gotten to a place where it’s like, you can’t say anything or what you feel, but for me, being a grown woman, <laugh>, I’m like, I don’t care what you say, I’m black, I’m Asian, but I’m also mixed. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s just what it is. Say what you
Asia Jackson 00:30:46 Want. Yeah. I think when you’re younger, you allow yourself to be molded by the people around you and allow yourself to like listen to what people are saying to you. Yes. I didn’t fully embrace my racial identity until I was like 20.
Nelita Villezon 00:31:04 Me too. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:31:05 It took like really long time for me to be comfortable with saying, yeah, I’m black mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I’m Asian. Oh, yeah. And even still, even when I talk about it online that, you know, especially when a video goes viral and then, you know, yes. People who aren’t following you don’t know your story, they start saying stuff and I’m like, exactly. What do you mean I’m not black? I am literally black. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’m also Asian. Right. When I say that I’m Asian is not, it doesn’t mean that I’m saying I’m not black. And when I say that I’m black it, I’m not saying that I’m not Asian. <laugh>
Nelita Villezon 00:31:33 Girl, you touched on this. It’s like, it’s like you said, it’s not taking away from either mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Beyonce’s mom said this on, on, on Beyonce’s album, just saying, you know, it’s not being anti-white or anti, whatever it is by being proud of who you are. Yeah. So me saying that I’m proud to be Asian, proud to be black doesn’t be like, oh, she only speaks about being Asian or Filipino mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So she must not advocate for black people. I’m like, no, that’s not the case is equally both. So, you know, again, we live in this society where they’re just so sensitive and I just care less. Like I do care about people, but I know me, I know my story, you know what I mean? I know my roots and I’m gonna speak on my truth and you can never take that away from me.
Asia Jackson 00:32:08 Okay. So I actually wanna ask you this question because I feel like most black Asians, or most black Filipinos, the mom is Filipino and the dad is black.
Nelita Villezon 00:32:19 Everyone’s like, what? Your dad’s Filipino? Oh yeah,
Asia Jackson 00:32:21 Yeah. Everyone does that. Yeah. It’s, it’s a a bit different. And I feel like with my mom in particular, and I can really only speak for myself and people that I know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but usually when the mom is Filipino, um, you grew up more culturally Filipino because moms are usually the ones that Yes. Give you you culture. Like they’re the ones that are raising you. Yes. Because there’s an, you know, unequal share of labor <laugh> in households. Um, so yeah, it’s like usually like whoever your mom is, like you get the culture from her. Yes. But for you, like how, how is your household?
Nelita Villezon 00:32:54 Like I know, I, I love that you’re asking cause you’re asking questions. People have never asked me <laugh>. Um, this is really cool. So like you said, it’s a very odd thing usually for the dad to be Filipino. Uh, and so funny enough, people who know me now, or even like the person that I’m dating, he’s just like, you, you’re so Filipino. Like, everyone’s like, you’re so Filipino or something. I’m like, I’m black too. Like yeah, don’t, don’t forget I’m black too. Um, but for me it was kind of equally both my mom when I was a kid, she always told me, she was like, she prepared me for this world. And I think most black people can attest to this Black Americans. She was like, the world is gonna see you as black. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, no matter what, no matter where your dad is from what you look like, your hair, anything, they’re gonna see you as black.
Nelita Villezon 00:33:32 So you need to prepare for this. She prepared me for knowing that and understanding that. And then she also made sure that I understood my culture and my dad. So my mom, like, I think with Filipinos we always say food comes outta food. My mom cooks Filipino food. They actually lived in the Philippines. So my mom has a Filipino driver’s license, you know, like, you know, it speaks part of the language. So it’s just like she made sure I was rooted in that my dad as well, even like, through, through learning the arts, that’s part of who my, who I am, my identity. So that was a huge part. And again, being named after my Lola and her being around so much, my Lola made sure she was like, she was on it. You know what I mean? So I honestly would say I, again, I know that I’m equally both, but for me personally, I really did seek to understand my Filipino culture growing up.
Nelita Villezon 00:34:15 Yeah. I was that nerdy kid who like read all the history on the Philippines. I taught myself Tagalog. Like I actually wasn’t, it wasn’t taught to me growing up. Oh. So I remember like growing up and I was like, oh, I wanna know our language. So I started reading books and learning Tagalog. This is before Rosetta Stones. And I, avi I just knew from a young age that that’s something I really connected to. Um, and I’ll speak on this too, I think knowing your history makes a bigger connection for you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s not just the fact of doing these practices and culture that we know, because I understood where we came from because I knew our family name, my great-grandfather, my great-great-grandfather, the islands that they came from. It gave me a deeper sense of rooting within the Philippines and within the Filipino culture.
Nelita Villezon 00:34:55 So for me, I was like heavily Filipino in my household. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, I understood that completely. And so this is even now why I still gravitate to that and also advocate for it as far as the black side of my family, very close to them. But I think again, a lot of black Americans, we don’t actually know where we come from. Right. Yeah. Like I knew my family was from North Carolina, but beyond that, that’s it. I had one great-great-grandmother who lived to 102 mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but before that I was like, I don’t know where she came from before this. Even my great-grandfather, we knew that he was part white, he was mixed, but it was like we didn’t know where his dad was from. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So there was a lot of missing history. It wasn’t, um, until, like you said, until my twenties. So I grew up with this whole, well Doc Mor said identity thing of like, what are you, who are you? Yeah. When I was in elementary school here in LA I remember this is a a time we had to, I don’t even know why they had kids filling it out, but it was a card and on there you had to choose your race and there was no other to choose. It was just black, white, Asian, Hispanic, whatever. And the, the teachers who were there, it said, you can only choose one <laugh>. And I was like, but I can’t choose one. They’re like, well, which one do you feel more like?
Asia Jackson 00:36:00 I was like, oh, I hate that
Nelita Villezon 00:36:02 Both. I feel like both I would’ve been denying one of my parents for that. So it’s this, this huge thing growing up. And it wasn’t until my twenties where I actually learned to be like, I understand who I am mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I don’t need anybody else to understand that. And I love who I am and having that identity. Um, and then fast forward, it wasn’t until my thirties that I actually learned the history of where my black side of the family came from and actually being on the plantation that they were brought to like, and that I would even say more so en rooted me in like my black culture be like, oh, I finally have a piece that I understand now. Yeah. You know? Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:36:32 I kind of can understand that because like you said, you know, your mom used to live in the Philippines mm-hmm. <affirmative> and like she speaks some of the language. My dad also used to live in the Philippines. Yeah. He also speaks some Tagalog. He grew up with Filipinos. Yes. And Carson. So he, all of his friends when he was a teenager were black and Filipino. Yes. Um, so by the time he went to the Philippines and my met my mom, he like already understood the culture and like, you know, he was like, I’m practically Filipino. I was like, I’m more Filipino than Hebrew <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:36:57 Um, but then also, like when I hang out with my black family, my family, I have a lot of historians in my family, so they’re actually, I know a lot about like where my black family came from. Yes. Um, I have a great-great-great grandfather mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, who was a survivor of like a, a massacre Oh wow. Yeah. In the, in uh, Louisiana. And I like just learning that story was so crazy to me mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it made me feel even more proud of being black because like if he died in that massacre, I wouldn’t be alive. Right. Now
Nelita Villezon 00:37:32 You are speaking volume. Sweet. Because that’s what I learned when I came back to the 2020 Uhhuh <affirmative>, I went to the plantation, we randomly stumbled plantation, found out that my family lived there and that there was a massacre massacre there. And I literally said the same thing. I was like, oh my gosh. I was like, if my family only knew that we literally like worked and bled on this land that we don’t even own mm-hmm. <affirmative> like, and we’re here, what
Asia Jackson 00:37:54 Do
Nelita Villezon 00:37:55 I have to complain about?
Asia Jackson 00:37:55 What am I right? Yeah. What
Nelita Villezon 00:37:56 Am I really doing with my life? Yeah. You know what I mean? So it really enriched even more so like, yo, I like a lot of, you know, black Americans, we gotta learn where we come from. Yeah. Because I think that, not to say that other people aren’t making sure what they do, but we would have a different sense of who we are.
Asia Jackson 00:38:10 I totally agree with that. I’ve, I’ve always had this saying, I like how you said, um, I feel like when you know your history, you know yourself better. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I’ve always said this like, when you know your history, you know yourself, but if you have no history, there’s no self.
Nelita Villezon 00:38:23 Mm.
Asia Jackson 00:38:23 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know what I’m saying? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was like, okay, okay. Pick it up. I like it. Yeah. But I really, really, um, advocate and like encourage everyone to like really learn where you came from. Oh yeah. I know, I know so many, uh, black people, um, who have like no idea where their family is from. Yeah. You know, I was one of them. Yeah. And like, you’re in California obviously, like we weren’t really brought here mm-hmm. <affirmative> from Africa. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. We came from the south and then migrated to other parts of the country. So I think just like learning about where your family came from, could do a lot of it could do a lot for your self-esteem even. Oh my gosh. Like learning about yourself and I
Nelita Villezon 00:39:04 Don’t know, I’m gonna take it a step further. Yeah. The first time I ever went to Africa, oh my gosh, man, I tell every black American, you must go to Africa. You must go to Africa. And I, I know I’ve heard other bigger people say like, oh, we’re, you know, we’re Americans. We’re not African Americans. We don’t know anything about Africa. But you should find out because when I went to Africa I understood one why they call it Mama Africa <laugh>. And then two, I was like, I understand why they call us, call us kings and queens. My goodness. And it was like I would meet Africans and same thing. It would feel so horrible when they came up. They’re like, sister, where’s your family from? And I’d be like, I don’t know, we’re from North Carolina. And they’re like, no, where’s your family from <laugh>? And I was like, I don’t know, they don’t teach us, us in schools in the States. They were like, you need to find out. They would look at me and they’re like, you’re West African
Asia Jackson 00:39:51 <laugh>. And I was like,
Nelita Villezon 00:39:52 Are you sure? They’re like, sister, trust us, you’re West African. And then sure enough I did my DNA test, you know, say what you want about it. But I did my DNA test and they’re like West African. Sure enough. Yeah. And then turned North Carolina. But once I had that I was like, oh man, now I can finally say like, I know where my roots come from and I now I can read the history and understand this mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it’s like the same way I’m so proud of Filipino martial arts and it’s finally far land for it. And now I can understand that from the other side. Yeah. You know what I mean? So yes, knowing your history helps to complete you a little bit more mm-hmm. <affirmative> and uh, definitely go to Africa.
Asia Jackson 00:40:23 I need to go asap. I have, um, I also did a DNA test. Yes. And it’s also West African.
Nelita Villezon 00:40:30 Okay. I was like, now we’re like
Asia Jackson 00:40:32 Really sisters. Okay. Yes. Um, so most of it is Nigeria and there’s also go like some Ghanaian in there. Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, my brother’s sisters, so my aunts both married IBO Nigerians. Oh wow. So I love hanging out with them because they bring like that mm-hmm. <affirmative> that culture. And I like, I, I’m trying new foods like, Ooh. They, they had me try fufu, which is an interesting texture. Yeah. It, it’s a totally different like flavor and texture Yes. Profile. Yes. So I’m still getting used to it, but it’s still really, really good. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I just love hanging out with them cuz like, I just learn so much every time. Exactly. I, I go hang out with them. So would highly recommend all the black Americans watching this? Like if you can, obviously like traveling is so like, you know, hard to do, but like, if you can like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, go to Africa, you know, ask your parents, ask your grandparents about any like, stories that Yeah. They may have because I find like a lot of parents or a lot of like older black people don’t like talking about their past because I think it could be a little traumatic sometimes, but I don’t think they’re gonna tell you unless you ask. Absolutely. You know what I mean?
Nelita Villezon 00:41:43 There’s a couple points you said on this. It’s like a couple things. Like one, when it comes to traveling, I know a lot of people, like you said, well, look at this bike. Well that sounds nice. You guys are able to travel. No, Logan, when I was broke, even like, there’s times I was like, mm, the tickets are pretty high right now. Yeah. Um, but I’ve, I’ve traveled to like about 50 countries. Oh wow. And blessings for a lot of the opportunities that came to me on it. But I would tell people this, if you’re gonna spend your money on anything, obviously save and best whatever, spend it on traveling. It’s the best teacher in the world. I cannot tell you how much I learned about myself, the other people in this world. How to navigate everything through traveling. So, you know, if it starts with you going outta your city, get outta your city.
Nelita Villezon 00:42:22 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> doesn’t have to be outta the country right now. Go outta your city. You know what I mean? And then from there outta your state and just keep going on up. Because again, it’s just a teacher for so many things and it doesn’t nec necessarily have to be your country, your city. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that you go to. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and then touching back on what you said about the traumas for people, I learned that too cuz even with my Lola asking her about questions and stuff, there were times where she didn’t divulge all the information I didn’t learn till later. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, because it was so hurtful to her. A lot of the older generation just kind of taught, like, we don’t talk about it, we suppressed it down. Right. You know, it’s like, well, I’m here now, sort of thing. Like when I asked her about the war and things like this, there was a lot that she didn’t necessarily say.
Nelita Villezon 00:42:58 But even then I went to, um, my Lolo’s sister, my Maita, and I asked her questions one day. I remember just asking her all the family history, like, whose name is this? Whose parent is this? Who’s that? And she’s like, you really wanna know this? She was so excited. She was like, you really wanna know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like Yeah. She was like, my own grandkids don’t ask me. I was like, well, I wanna know, so tell me. Cause I want the family history. And it was so pleasing to her. So you’ll find somebody, but it’s just, it’s so enriching Yeah. To get that and can be healing for them if they’re willing to open up about it.
Asia Jackson 00:43:22 Yeah. I have like, my mom has told me so many stories about her childhood and um, I could tell it was really healing for her. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, she felt like, um, she didn’t have really anyone to talk to mm-hmm. About this. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Cause she’s also a middle child. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, there’s no one she could talk to about it. She didn’t want to go to therapy, even though I think she should. Mom, if you’re listening, please go to Therapy <laugh>. Um, but yeah, I, I, I consider myself a really good listener. Yeah. So when she was just like telling me all these stories, I was like, oh wow, I understand you way better Yeah. Than before you told me all of this. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, you know, you have empathy for your parents. Yeah. But until they start telling you their deepest, darkest secrets, you just see them in a totally different light. And, you know, I did a lot of on the spot forgiving Oh yeah. When she was like telling me all this.
Nelita Villezon 00:44:09 Yeah. I talked to a lot of people, uh, a lot of my friends and people were younger. And I say this, you know, there was a point in time cuz I remember growing up, I had this image in my head of what my parents looked like, all these sort of things. And that image was like when they were in their thirties and I’m like, God forbid they’re only in their thirties. Like that little picture I had and when I had left, every time I came back I could see them physically. It is different when, when you’re not around people mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when you’re gone for a long period of time, you come to people, you actually see physical age and change happen. And what I’ve learned just in my growth of life is that they are our parents. But we have to understand at the end of the day, they’re just a human being. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> who is trying to navigate just like we are trying to navigate right now. Yeah. You know what I mean? So it’s like whatever things that happened when you were growing up, like when I think of my parents had me at 25, they were 25 years old when they had me. Like, what were they doing? Raising a kid, let alone two kids and trying to figure it out, trying to pay for this and have a job and da da. Like, I, I’m losing it. I don’t have any kids right now. I’m like,
Asia Jackson 00:45:04 Oh my God, what am I doing with by life
Nelita Villezon 00:45:07 Bug, let alone if I had a kid? So, you know, I just think about them like they were human being. And even now them and being in their sixties, I’m like, they’re still human beings at the end of the day making human decisions. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, they’re making human adult decisions that I don’t necessarily have say on. Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah. All you could do is like you said, try to like work out understanding towards that and kind of see it from their point of view of what they went through.
Asia Jackson 00:45:28 Yeah. My mom had her first child, my brother, at 26 I think. And I was like, I cannot imagine like I’m 28 right now mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I have no children. I can’t imagine having a two year
Nelita Villezon 00:45:40 Old right now. That’s what I’m saying. <laugh>. Can you imagine this little guy running around here? Decision you have to make quickly.
Asia Jackson 00:45:45 Yeah. I can’t imagine it. And even when I was like, when I got my first apartment when I was like 22 or however old I was, I was like furnishing my apartment. Yes. And furniture was so expensive. <laugh>. And I was like, how did our parents afford furniture?
Nelita Villezon 00:46:00 I’m look
Asia Jackson 00:46:01 With kids
Nelita Villezon 00:46:02 <laugh> when I think about it now, like I’m checking my expenses. Like, what are you spending your money on? Elita. But like, I remember it was one day I was driving, my parents used to take me to a conservatory of fine arts growing up and I’m driving one day and I happened to pass this place. I’m like, this place
Asia Jackson 00:46:15 Is so
Nelita Villezon 00:46:16 Far out. And I literally called my parents and was like, thank you so much, because I never realized how far you were driving me every weekend to go take these classes that I’m not even doing these things anymore. But you drove me every weekend adamantly. You know what I mean? Yeah. So this was so many sacrifices they made. So give them grace. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> because one day I hope my kid will gimme grace is all I’m saying. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:46:35 Okay. I’ve been wanting to ask you this question for a really long time. Like ever since I first saw you and ever since like I started following you,
Nelita Villezon 00:46:42 I’m nervous now, <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:46:45 How, if it has, how has like martial arts affected your sense of femininity? Oh, I love it.
Nelita Villezon 00:46:54 <laugh>. Thank you for this question. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, again, you’re asking so many questions. No one’s ever asked me. That’s what we do here, <laugh>. Um, it’s interesting. I now, I think there’s an evolution to it. So being younger, there were not a lot of female martial artists at the time mm-hmm. <affirmative> when I was in, I think the only person I really looked up to was Cynthia Rothrock, who was a famous female action, uh, star actually. But also at the same time she didn’t look like me. So I didn’t have a lot of people to pull upon for that. And so being in the gym growing up, it was kind of seen as like, oh, you’re the teacher’s daughter. You’re so rough. You’re doing all this and that. So I was like, oh, I loved it. Never wanted to stop martial arts. However, it was a sense of like, it’s a blessing.
Nelita Villezon 00:47:33 Mm-hmm. Boys do that. Like, why are you such a tomboy? Why are you doing this sort of thing? And now as I’ve gotten older, finding the strength behind it. Oh, there’s so much strength within femininity. Mm-hmm. And martial arts just brings that out. You know, like, again, like I told you the arts, cuz I think we’re so used to being like, oh, rough, we’re beating each other. We’re having to do this. No. Like with what I do, there’s a flow to it and there’s strength within my femininity. And my femininity comes through my martial arts as well. I bring something in different to it. So it has affected me in a beautiful, wonderful way. And it’s just something to be able to walk around and honestly like, know within yourself. Can I curse on this? Yeah. Go for it. Don’t fuck with me. <laugh>. I’m not the one, but I am the one <laugh>.
Nelita Villezon 00:48:16 Um, so yeah. It’s like, you know, I’m still who I am. I’m still a feminine, I can still be nice, but I walk around with a sense of confidence that a lot of other women don’t have. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I remember traveling with my friends we’re in Thailand and we’re walking one day and they’re like, it’s sunny outside. What are you doing with that umbrella? I’m like, I’m not trying to block the sun <laugh>. I was like, I’m actually holding it just in case we have to protect ourselves. They’re like, what? I never thought about that. I’m like, there’s a guy who’s been following us for like two blocks now. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they’re like, what? They’re like, how do you know these things? And I’m like, this is what the sense of awareness has has brought me the confidence that has brought me when I go somewhere. Like I can tell you right away, I’ve been places and I’ve had a dude walk up to me and he was like, I really was gonna come say hi to you, but you’re looking around way too confident. <laugh>. And I was like, I was like, I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, but thank you. Right. <laugh>. I like it. Yeah. I walk in in a certain way. So I love Mar. I’m sorry it’s a long answer, but yeah, martial arts just brought me the sense of even more confidence that I already had self-assuredness, knowing that I could take care of myself if need be. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and yeah. The fire of like this goddess warrior behind it.
Asia Jackson 00:49:13 Yeah. It’s so funny that you brought that up because my next question is kind of related to that. Um, so like, I think like you said, there’s a lot of like power that can be had when you know how to fight <laugh>. Yes. Yes. When you know that you can protect yourself. Yes. Particularly as a woman. So do you think that your knowledge of and skill and martial arts like allows you to feel safer walking alone at night? Like, do you walk alone at night and you’re like,
Nelita Villezon 00:49:41 <laugh> you ever find, come and try it? You, I think we’ve all seen that guy. I was like, fuck around. Find out. Right? Yeah. Fuck around up. You’re gonna find out. Um, no. So it, it definitely does. I would say this because obviously I, I never wanna put a false message out there to be like, once you learn martial arts, you’ll be so confident you can walk around at night, nothing will ever happen to you. Right. No. Yeah. Do not be stupid <laugh>. Like be self-aware. Obviously be self-aware. Do I here as much training as I know and I like to tell people this is a true, I’m like a human weapon. Like I’m really nice and I like my nails done and I like to look cute. I will fuck some shit up Yeah. If need be. So I believe it. Yeah. I’m like, like I, I’m, I’m the safest person to be with, but I’m also the most dangerous person to be with mm-hmm. <affirmative>,
Nelita Villezon 00:50:20 If you want to be on that side, <laugh>. Um, but as much as I know, I don’t want to have to fight. Yeah. I don’t wanna have to defend myself if I don’t have to. So I’m gonna avoid that situation as much as possible. I’m the defuse person. If things are getting rowdy, just calm down. Let’s just walk away. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s not, I don’t want this problem. They don’t wanna, but I don’t want this problem. You know, I don’t wanna have to do that. So always being aware of that and not putting yourself in situations. But if I ever am in that situation and if I’ve ever had to walk to my car alone, absolutely. I feel so much better. Like, I, and also too, I’m just not a wear person when I walk out my apartment to my enclosed garage that I know is safe, enclosed, we have security guards. I’m on it every single time. I’m looking at my peripherals here, here, here. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, get into my car. No, I’m gonna lock the door right away, put my seatbelt on. Like, I have a whole protocol. What I do, I carry weapons on me. I don’t wanna say weapons, but I carry knives on me and, and different protection tools for me to have. So, yes.
Asia Jackson 00:51:13 Side note, when she walked into, when she walked into my apartment before she sat down, she’s like, oh, let me take my knife out real
Nelita Villezon 00:51:20 Quick. Right. I, I I don’t think I need this for this podcast. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:51:22 I was like, oh, all right
Nelita Villezon 00:51:23 <laugh>. Yeah. Don’t mind me. Sorry if I scared you. Um, but no. Yes, definitely a different sense of of, and I think this is for male or female, but especially for women nowadays, um, I feel very confident in what I do cuz there’s a difference. Like, I would say add this on. Doing martial arts doesn’t make you just badass. You better not, how do martial arts very well. Mm-hmm You better not how defend yourself very well. Cause you could be practicing and not practicing properly as we talked about earlier. And then you think what you did on that back, hi ya, it’s gonna stop that person and it’s not <laugh>. You know what I mean? So knowing how to swiftly get to the point and get away. My point is to do what I gotta do. Get away, call for help anyway. Yeah. That’s it. I divulge <laugh>, I digress.
Asia Jackson 00:52:00 Do you think that every woman should take some sort of self-defense or martial art class or something?
Nelita Villezon 00:52:08 Yes and yes. Absolutely. I think you need to know, uh, there’s so many arts out there, so you need to learn what speaks to you. I definitely think learning defense from weapons, um, is definitely something to do. I will, I would take a step further. There’s another group that I I work with as well, um, trying into forever and Marshall Blake concepts where they talk about the legalities of things. Cuz a lot of times, and I’ll speak on this with my social media, people see knives six and stuff and they’re like, oh yeah, I’ll just go out with a knife. I, I can’t tell you how many people’s, like Yeah, I have a knife. So if something happens, I’m just gonna stab the person. I’m like, you’re gonna go to jail, <laugh>. Yeah. You’re gonna go to jail if you stab someone. So learning the legalities of this mm-hmm. <affirmative>
Nelita Villezon 00:52:46 And properly training your mindset for it. Because martial arts is not just a physical portion of it. Because 90, I would say like 60, I wouldn’t say 60% of the time I’ve talked to and worked with somebody from the fbi and he was saying that he, when he used to train guys as much as they knew, when you put ’em out into the field, they freeze. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, most people freeze and they don’t know what to, this is why you also see a lot of within officers and things, things happening because they’re frozen and all of a sudden something just takes over them. So you have to be able to train your mindset that like, once you’re in that position, what do I need to do and what are the places I need to hit to get away and go. But also just not recklessly kill someone. Right? Yeah. If I don’t need to recklessly kill someone, that guy could have been asking for directions. You know what I mean? Yeah. Like, you know what I mean? So understanding those sort of things. So yes, every woman definitely, definitely needs to take some sort of defense. I would say weapons offense, learn how to strike, and then jujitsu, ground fighting. You know, we don’t need to state theist. You need to learn how to defend yourself when you’re laying down. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> just say, yeah. Yeah. You know?
Asia Jackson 00:53:43 Yeah. I’ve always wanted to take jiu-jitsu, but I feel like, I don’t know. How do you, how do you find a class?
Nelita Villezon 00:53:49 Oh, there’s time. So there, here’s the thing, there’s a lot of places around, and I think this is with every industry, you just need to find quality. And that’s gonna be hard for someone who doesn’t know anything about martial arts. Right. You know what I mean? So asking people that you know are reputable, who you know are in it, have done it for a long time. If they recommend someone, because you can go, I, I’ve seen people like, yeah, I started taking this class and I’d be like, Ooh, yeah, you should maybe go somewhere else. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> not the same, you know, I was just like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you may wanna learn things a little bit different. You know what I mean? So I I definitely say asking around, um, to people who, you know, are within that industry and have done it for a long time about that. Because again, um, like they say, practice doesn’t make perfect. It doesn’t make perfect. So you could be doing something all day long if you’re not perfectly practicing or as close to perfectly practicing as you can, it’s not gonna make a difference. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:54:37 Do you do private training? Like do, can you like teach someone how to do
Nelita Villezon 00:54:42 Stuff? This is a question that has plagued me for a very long time. <laugh>, I’m gonna say this publicly, this is, uh, interesting. So I grew up training and teaching. I loved teaching people and doing that. I did it for a very long time. I retired from that. I retired from coaching and I get asked all the time and it kind of sucks cuz it’s like I want to be able to share. So I did create an app. I have an app that people can learn on, but I still within myself feel this need to be able to do maybe seminars. So do I do one-on-one trainings where I’m a PT and I teach martial arts. I don’t do that necessarily anymore. But to be able to hold special events and seminars, yes, I am definitely open to that. I was like, why, why are you inquiring?
Asia Jackson 00:55:25 Why did you make that decision?
Nelita Villezon 00:55:27 <laugh>? Oh, I see. I made that decision because I felt like I should be retired <laugh>. Like I, like, I mean period. <laugh>. No, here’s, so here’s the thing. It’s like you have to understand, I grew up in a martial arts school. So by the time I was a kid I was already assisting. I was in classes helping my dad teach the other kids and knew this. So imagine teaching literally your entire life. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> when I was, again, I’m gonna say this child labor laws don’t get my parents, but <laugh>, I was homeschooled. So what did I do? I worked for my parents when, like, when I didn’t have studies and stuff like this, I was in the back of the office working, then I had to go out and I would teach the kids class or assist as I was a teenager. So I’ve taught my entire life and I loved it.
Nelita Villezon 00:56:06 Um, but I feel like one, I just wanted a break to be able to do something else. Cuz as, as we say before, it’s like martial arts is me, it’s my ancestry, all these things. But I’m also so much more than that. There’s so many other things that I love doing. I love, like, I taught dance for a real, I don’t want people to know. Like, I taught dance for a really long time. I taught yoga for a really, really long time. I’m an artist, like actually draw and paint. I do a lot of different stuff. I work in inhaling ceremonies with people. So the the latest thing that I’ve been doing is working on, um, uh, psychedelic therapy with people. Mm-hmm. And things like, there’s a lot. So, uh, people always wanna like, keep you in the box and like, oh, Marshall, you only can do martial arts. And I’m like, I wanna be able to do the other things that I love as well. I still, martial arts is forever in my life and I’m never gonna take that away. But I still wanna be able to share other mediums. As I said earlier, <laugh> back to the beginning, <laugh>, other mediums are what I do.
Asia Jackson 00:56:51 Yeah. Do you have a, um, a plan for like, what you would want to do with like your social media? Like I, I know I wanna talk about what you said at the beginning when you were like, I, I share Yes. I love sharing. Yes. Like what does that entail? What does that mean?
Nelita Villezon 00:57:06 Yeah. It’s been kind of like they say organic in what I do. Uh, because when I first started, so social media, it wasn’t for the purpose. Cuz when, when I started ig, this is before it was the idea what it is today. Yeah. You know what I mean? Or YouTube of today, it was just like this platform where used to pictures. So I literally was just like sharing what I love doing and working out and training and you know, the following started to come, but it was never a thing. I was like, yeah, let me build this big following so I have this plan of what I want to do. Yeah. It never was that it just organically happened. Um, moving forward, I still wanna share, and when I say share, it’s deeper than just martial arts. It’s sharing all the experiences of life and the things that I’ve learned along the way with people.
Nelita Villezon 00:57:49 Because I think at the root, no matter whether it’s work, relationships, hobbies, whatever it is, if you don’t take care of yourself mentally and these things that you’ve learned and growth, it feeds into all those sort of things. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that’s what I mean. What I mean sheer, I’m still right now cultivating like the exact logistics, you know, of like, okay, is this a program? Is this is, you know, is it this, this and this? Um, but that’s what I mean by sharing. It’s just like I’m just myself. If you notice, I don’t know if people have noticed lately, I haven’t really been posting like that. And I’ve been very transparent about it because I was like, look, I just wanna do what makes me feel happy and not because I have to do it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because you guys wanna see me kick something in a video <laugh> that’s cool and all and I wanna be able to provide you some cool content to look at.
Nelita Villezon 00:58:31 But that’s, I don’t want my every day to wake up and be like, I gotta go kick in this video to go do this. You know? Yeah. Yeah. You know what I mean? Some days I just wanna get on there and be like, it’s a crappy day, but I’m gonna get through this and I hope you get through it too. Yeah. You know what I mean? So, um, just being transparent in those ways and teaching people like really find your joy, live in your joy no matter what that is. So if that means me not being on social media, that means not me not kicking in a video and y’all not liking that. I don’t post kicking videos anymore or weapons. I’m happy. Thank you.
Asia Jackson 00:58:57 Yeah. I think that with being a content creator on social media, um, it’s kind of like, it’s kind of like Hollywood. They wanna put you in a box. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, what’s your niche? Yeah. You know what I mean? You should only make these types of videos. Yeah. That’s how you’ll grow. Yeah. But it’s like, okay, yeah, I’m growing, but am I happy <laugh>
Nelita Villezon 00:59:18 At what experience? And this is why you see, we can dive deep into this. Yeah. This is why you see a lot of successful people killing themselves because they’re unhappy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they’re literally unhappy with what, you know, there’s other things in life that may be causing that unhappiness, but that’s definitely a part of it. I can attest to that because I’ve been through that. I know that even there was like end of last year, I was in a dark place. I was in a really dark place and I’m very open and transparent in talking about depression. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and things like this. I, I grew up in a, in a household that didn’t necessarily believe in depression. They didn’t believe in therapy, they didn’t know these things. And again, that’s cuz they, I they didn’t know this. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know what I mean? Um, but I didn’t realize I was depressed until I was in my twenties and I wanted to drive my car off of a bridge.
Nelita Villezon 00:59:59 That’s when I was like, what is this? This is a really odd feeling and why do I want to kill myself? Yeah. This may be what depression is. And so I had to learn to navigate that. So now as I’ve gotten older, when I find myself, I always preach to people like, you know, be as positive as you can. People know me. I’m so joyous. I am so like, I love life. I like, I love being alive. I don’t have any other vice but being alive, I love being alive. But when I find that starting to mean taken away, that’s when I have to kind of check in with myself and be like, oh no, this is not okay. So when it came to social media and stuff like this, it’s like this is the reason people are unhappy because we find this need. Right now, I personally feel like it has become a machine and you gotta feed the beast.
Nelita Villezon 01:00:39 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you gotta keep feeding the beast. Stay on top. Cuz as soon as you don’t, cause I, I’ll test it that like right now I haven’t been posting everybody be like, bye do this no longer following you cuz I don’t see this martial arts video anymore. Yep. And I had to be like, okay, that’s okay. That’s okay. Cuz I’m, I’m so happy in here. You don’t wanna support this positive cause that I have right here. That’s okay. But if I’m in a sports Ross fitting a stick around you love it <laugh>. You know what I mean?
Asia Jackson 01:01:01 That’s not what we followed you for.
Nelita Villezon 01:01:02 Right. I was like, I didn’t follow you for that. Go back and spin that stick around in your nunchucks in your sportswear. That’s not martial arts obscure. Um, it, it’s that and you know, call me older and prude now, but it’s just like, I feel like everything has to be sexualized in order to do it. And I was like, that’s just not who I am. I don’t wanna have to overly sexualize myself in order to be successful. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s not what I’m here for. This is not the sharing. Yeah. Right. Yeah. That I want it. Yeah. Cool. Nothing against other people, but that’s not the sharing that I want it for myself. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So Yeah.
Asia Jackson 01:01:32 Yeah. You recently did a campaign Oh, for Savage
Nelita Villezon 01:01:38 Xi. I know. Speaking of, I was like, I’ll have naked <laugh>. I was like, as we go back, I was happening than that. No.
Asia Jackson 01:01:43 But I think, I think there’s like some power when it’s like for yourself. Oh, nice. I think, I think I think it’s different when you’re
Nelita Villezon 01:01:49 Honey, let me tell you. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. It was great. Yeah. I loved it. So yeah. I must savage Fenty girl just saying loved it. Um, it was cool for me because again, I grew up martial arts, doing martial arts. It’s been my love and I, I felt like I fought so hard within this industry. Like, we go back to, you know, being in the industry and stuff of trying to make a name for myself, trying to put my art out there, trying to do something for my family and do this thing with martial arts. And it felt like it’s always been a struggle even though I’ve booked a really great camp. Like I, I have a commercial now that just keeps getting played and played and I’m like, even though it’s there, there’s been a lot of nos mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there’s been a lot of like, why aren’t you in a Marvel movie?
Nelita Villezon 01:02:27 There’s been a lot of those sort of things. So for me it was so cool to one day, like I got called for the casting for Savage Fenty and I was like, I’m gonna book this job. That’s what I told. I was like, I’m gonna book this. Nobody’s gonna do, if you knew what I had to do, go through to get this savage printed campaign, I destroyed my apartment basically. <laugh>, I, I’ll tell the backstory guy. I can tell. Yeah. Yeah. Basically they were like, okay, we need a girl who can do nunchucks and we need you. They were like, can you do the candle trick? And I was like, what candle trick? They were like, where you put out a bunch of candles with nunchucks. And I was like, yeah, for sure I can do that. And I was like, I was like, I had never done it before.
Nelita Villezon 01:02:57 I was like, yeah, for sure I can do that. Of course, of course I can. Told my management let ’em know. So he was like, cool. So you let ’em know. They’re like, cool, great. Send a video now <laugh>. And I was like, okay, I can do that. Mind you, it’s nighttime is coming down. I have no candles at hell. No. Those tall candles. So I was like, okay, Austin tea light candles. Cool. So I put the tea light candles up and I, I don’t know about anybody else, but if you know about nunchucks, I make my own weapons. So I have my own, like, they’re metal nunchucks. They are metal. They’re not like light. They’re, they’re like legit. And so I’m going at it and I’m like, I cannot hit this candle and I also can’t break my glass table <laugh>. You know, so it’s a lot.
Nelita Villezon 01:03:32 So I’m going take, after taking my what these, I’m like, this has to be it, like a illusion of how these people are doing it. And I was like, it’s cause they have this and this and this. And it got down to like one of the last takes, the light is going down, I’m sweating profusely. And I was like, this is it. I have to do it. It’s like a movie. I was like, yes. I’m sitting in the <inaudible> and mind you, like two takes before that. I take this back, two takes. Before that I hit a candle. The problem was the wax was black. So the next thing I know I hit this candle and it’s like black wax all over my apartment. Like just everywhere. Everywhere on my apartment. I’m like, crap, I better get this job <laugh>, because I gotta paint my entire apartment.
Nelita Villezon 01:04:06 Now I gotta get it out my sofa. I gotta get it outta here. I put black wax everywhere in my apartment. Oh my gosh. And on the last take, the candles went out and I was like, I’m gonna book this job Savage fin. And then what do you know? I got the job. And it was amazing. Wow. Congratulations. Thank you. I’m so happy that, uh, after going through all that he finally <laugh>. No, it was so good. Because, you know, the other thing too, I was like, oh, it meant a lot to me. And I, I shared this story a lot when I was a little kid and this what the middle of the time people were gonna hear it <laugh>, my dad, when he like taught me martial arts and stuff, he said, Nelita, he said, I’m teaching you martial arts, not only so you know how to defend yourself.
Nelita Villezon 01:04:44 He said, but if ever you need a job or you don’t have money, he was like, you can always teach, you can always do martial arts and use martial arts as a way to make money. And it makes me so emotional. Every time I get to do something for a job or a commercial or a show, then I’m like, uh, it rang no truer. I was like, not only do I get to, you know, pay my bills and survive in life. I get to do cool things and thrive in life off of martial arts that my dad gave me. So to be booked for bad girl Rereads line, Savage Fenty. And they’re like, oh yeah, we want to do martial arts. What? This is like a dream. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> as a little kid to be like, whoever would’ve thought that you’d be on this national campaign doing this.
Nelita Villezon 01:05:19 So when that moment came, I remember I got, cause we shot it in New York and I got to New York and first of all I was like, they were like, okay, this is what you’re gonna wear. And I’m like, I’m grown. I’ve worked on my body. Yes, of course I’m gonna wear this. I was like, gimme that thong bodysuit. Yes. <laugh>. And so, um, I got there and I remember I just having this moment, every time before I perform, I just take a moment to myself and I think about my Lola, I think about my dad, I think about Ancestry and I was like, I got this. I had no worries in the world. I was like, I’m gonna nail this everything I wanna do. And they loved it and it was amazing. Aww.
Asia Jackson 01:05:46 So
Nelita Villezon 01:05:46 Aw. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 01:05:47 It was good. Yeah. It’s on her Instagram. If you guys wanna the is it
Nelita Villezon 01:05:51 This pin on the first one? You see my, my beautiful glistened up booty on the
Asia Jackson 01:05:54 Yeah. I was like, okay girl War <laugh>. You looked so
Nelita Villezon 01:05:58 Good. Thank you. I like, that’s the thing cause too, it’s like, you know, I’m, I’m 36, I’m very transparent. I’m about to be 37. Hey. Um, but I’ve worked hard on taking care of myself. A lot of times people are like, it must come natural to you. I’m like, do you know how much I have to work in this gym and like work off what I eat? Cuz I like to eat. I don’t really diet like that. I like to eat. Yeah. You know? And so I was like, I worked really hard and it’s like if ever I said I want to have this one thing. So when I’m older and I have my grandkids, I’m like, that’s your grandma. Your grandma was cool. That was me. You know what I mean?
Asia Jackson 01:06:28 So Yeah. Show, show them the, the campaign for Bad Gal Riri. This was yo grandma.
Nelita Villezon 01:06:33 Exactly. It was like, that was me. Okay. Not only was I looking cute, but I had weapons and I was badass. It was great.
Asia Jackson 01:06:38 Did they ever explain like why they wanted to get a girl that knew how to use nunchucks?
Nelita Villezon 01:06:45 They did not, but I loved it. Yeah. Because I’m like, you know, my thing is what we do is an art, but it’s also a lot of athleticism and a sport to it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so when they came out with the sport line, I love that they were so inclusive of different things. Like they had a roller skater who was there, they had a ballerina who was there, they had myself and they got in like weightlifters and stuff. And it’s like a lot of times when we think of fitness and health, they’re like, oh, running and, um, you know, track, track and field weightlifting, basketball, this and that. But they never think about these other things. I’m like, I get to represent martial arts. Yeah. For something so huge, like this like cute sportswear slash like lingerie type of line. Whoever would’ve thought, like if you had told me a year or two ago, like, yeah, you’re gonna be doing a, like a lingerie sports, uh, ad doing martial arts. I’ve never, I’ve like they’re never gonna do that. Yeah. They’re never gonna pep nunchucks. What does that have to do with it?
Asia Jackson 01:07:31 Especially like for a woman? Yeah.
Nelita Villezon 01:07:32 Yeah. For a woman to do so. And I’m like, it was such an honor for me to be, to be there to do that. To also show up and represents, you know, Filipino and black girls. And then there was like another girl on set who was Filipino, one of the, the, uh, stylists who was Filipino as well. So we had our own little like, oh look us here, you know, up and here representing Who would’ve thought
Asia Jackson 01:07:51 <laugh>. I love that.
Nelita Villezon 01:07:52 This is great. You’re, you’re, I wanna give you kudos. Thank you. First of all, I, I don’t even know how many years I’ve been following you, but I remember looking at you and I was like, oh, she can be like my little sister. She’s so cute. And I just love that you’re so authentic to yourself that you’re real, even through the navigation of growth of what you’ve had, but also advocating and sharing and being unapologetic, uh, unapologetic about that being brave and being courageous because doing this, even now, us talking right now is such a courageous thing because as we said, the world will come for you. Yeah. The world is gonna come for us.
Asia Jackson 01:08:25 Oh I’m sure. Because we were talking about some real shit. Right. In this podcast. I’m sure someone’s gonna listen and I’m sure they’re gonna tell us what they think about it.
Nelita Villezon 01:08:33 Right. Is that, but then there’s also so many people that we’re speaking to who needed to hear this mm-hmm. <affirmative> and wanted to hear this. So I always like to say that everything that I do is surrounded by joy and love. So I rarely get people saying crazy stuff. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, every now and then there’s somebody who says some off wall stuff, but they’re just, they’re just trying to get attention. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 01:08:49 Right. Don’t
Nelita Villezon 01:08:50 Give it to ’em. I don’t give attention. <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 01:08:52 So let’s talk about, let’s talk about like your beauty routines and stuff like that.
Nelita Villezon 01:08:56 Ooh. Yes.
Asia Jackson 01:08:58 So one of the downsides for me of working out, even though I love working out it like feeling strong, like it’s just given me so much confidence that I’ve never had before. I love like weightlifting, but one of the downsides is that I have to wash my hair more often than if I wasn’t working out.
Nelita Villezon 01:09:15 So
Asia Jackson 01:09:15 Like, I wanted to ask you, what is your hair routine? Like what, like how do you keep it looking fresh throughout the week? How do you make it look good when you’re working out?
Nelita Villezon 01:09:24 Girl, I’m gonna be honest with you on this. So like even right now, this is not gonna last <laugh>. This is not gonna last when I work out. It is slicked back at a ponytail instead of bun. I make sure for me hydration cause I have really dry hair. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> fine thin hair. Um, and I’m working on regrowing it after some bad decisions <laugh> years ago. Um, but yeah, just making sure that I either like, you know, keep it moisturized with oils. Um, even like conditioners cuz I usually do steam room or sauna afterwards and I love putting a mask or a conditioner. Yeah. So when I go workout, I will wet my hair, I will put like conditioner things as I’m working out. Then I’ll go into the steam room and let that sit in there marinate and then come on and do my regular hair routine.
Nelita Villezon 01:10:06 So I’m just with my body in general, I don’t use much on myself. I find the less I use the better. Yeah. And then I try to beat as natural as possible. So like, I use like a flaxseed type of gel. Um, I forgot the name of the company. I need to find this, um, Avera on my hair. Um, now I’m doing like a mixture of like rosemary, uh, infused waters and things like this that I spray on my hair. But it’s pretty simple right now. I’m trying not to touch my hair. Yeah. Like I had to, I had to blow dry it, inuring it and I did not like that I had to do it. But yeah, I try not to do anything to my hair right now. Yeah. What’s
Asia Jackson 01:10:39 Your, what’s your like natural hair
Nelita Villezon 01:10:40 Texture? I have wavy hair. Okay. I have wavy hair, so it’s not too far off. If anything it’s like big loopy curls. Okay. Uh, not like, I wouldn’t say curl. Yeah. It’s, it doesn’t coil. Okay. Yeah. Like I’ve, I have really tried. I always wanted to have curly hair, oddly enough. And it doesn’t work. My sister has extremely curly hair and it’s so beautiful and thick and gorgeous in the main and I have kind of like black kind of wavy hair, but I’m not Mac cause my Lola had the same hair. So I love it. Um, but yeah, it’s just loose waves. So I like wearing it naturally like that as well. If anything right now it’s just trying to regrow it. Cause I have a lot of breakage. Ah, gotcha. I had a bad die job years, years ago. I tried to go brown and this girl bleached my hair.
Nelita Villezon 01:11:17 She put bleach in it and my hair started falling out. And clumps. Yes. Oh, clumps. So then I tried to rehab from that. I went to Dubai and out there because of the, the weather and the water, my hair started falling out again there. So it was falling out. And then I got a keratin treatment. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> keratin straightening. So that was great because I, I loved it. It was like, never had to really straighten your hair, but it did do a lot of damage cuz Oh really? I have thin hair. It did. I would, I would say this, once my hair gets back healthy, I wouldn’t be opposed to doing a keratin treatment again. But I would make sure that I’m not straightening it in between. Gotcha. Because that was my problem. So I’m not gonna blame it completely on keratin. I got a keratin treatment, straighten my hair, I loved it. But because I was working out so much to keep it straight, I was straightening it in between and that was the mistake. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that I think I made. So when I work out now, it’s gonna be wavy for the weeks that I’m working out. And if I have a nice thing to do on the weekend, maybe I’ll kind of straighten it.
Asia Jackson 01:12:05 Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanna do with my hair. Cuz when I was in Asia, um, curly hair can kind of be like high, like pretty high, high
Nelita Villezon 01:12:16 Maintenance. Oh yes. I know. Like you have to humidity hits
Asia Jackson 01:12:19 Different. Yeah. Like you have to bring like all these hair care products and like, I don’t know, it’s just like a lot of work sometimes. Yeah. Depending on where you are. And so when I went to Asia I was like, I’m just gonna straighten my hair cause I don’t wanna deal with it. I want to just be able to like wake up and then like Right. Not have to do my hair. So I was straightening it and I was
Nelita Villezon 01:12:35 Like, you kinda, you like, ooh,
Asia Jackson 01:12:38 I kind of like it.
Nelita Villezon 01:12:39 I grow. I know. You know. I know. I was like, I’m not gonna put heat in my hair. Look at me now. Yeah. <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 01:12:43 Yes. No. Yeah. That’s, so that’s where I was kind kind of coming from because like when I was in high school, I was straightening my hair every single day. I was flat ironing every single day and it got really
Nelita Villezon 01:12:53 Damaged <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 01:12:54 And um, when I lived in the Philippines, I was like bullied for having my hair texture. So I really just wanted to have, I I was bullied into having straight hair basically. Yeah, I know. Um, and I, when I like got to an adult, like when I started, you know, embracing my racial identity and I started embracing who I was, I was like, no, I’m just gonna go natural now. Right. It’s like I don’t need to straighten my hair. Like it’s not something that I have to do. Like I’m all natural. Yes. But now I’m in a place where like I’ve been natural for so long and I have a really great sense of who I am. Yep. I feel like when I start straighten my hair again, it, I just am not gonna feel the same as I did when I was a teenager. I agree
Nelita Villezon 01:13:33 With you on that. Yeah, I agree. Because those, I like one, I commend you cuz I tried to go natural for a while and I was like, every, every time it would get me, I’m like, oh, but I have to Okay. Straightened, you know, all the treating hair. Yeah. And so I don’t do it as for like a beauty stand or anything. I just personally like my hair being straightened mm-hmm. <affirmative> like, like it is. Um, and so are there days that I, like you said, well we’re natural and curly the way to wavy the way that it is. Absolutely. But I don’t think I’m doing out of pressure anymore. So I’m like whatever. Cause I wanna do it and I know how to take care
Asia Jackson 01:14:02 Of it better. Yeah.
Nelita Villezon 01:14:02 Yeah. You know what I
Asia Jackson 01:14:03 Mean? Yeah. Like I, I understand what products I should be using. When I was in high school, I didn’t properly, properly blow dry my hair uhhuh <affirmative> at all. What do you mean? Like, it wouldn’t be dry when I
Nelita Villezon 01:14:16 Flattered <laugh>. I get you.
Asia Jackson 01:14:18 Yeah. Because I was like so lazy. I was like no I ha like it’s already 8:00 PM I have to go to sleep cause I have school tomorrow. So I would just like, it would still be pretty damp. Like it would still kind of be wet. I trading it. Yeah. And it would, you know, sizzle.
Nelita Villezon 01:14:31 I’ve done that a few times. Yeah. In my twenties <laugh>
Asia Jackson 01:14:34 It would sizzle and like that did irreparable damage to, to my hair. I picture. But now I’m like, yes. So when I wanna do this silk press, cuz I know the name for it now. Right. <laugh>, when I was back, back then I was like, I don’t know what this called. Right, right. When I do my silk press, you know I use my blow dryer brush. Yes. And I try to um, relax it as much as possible. Yes. And then I go in on like a low heat with my flat iron. Okay. And then like that’s how it is. So give it
Nelita Villezon 01:14:59 To tutorials not here.
Asia Jackson 01:15:00 You know what I’m saying? So like I, for the past two months I’ve been straightening my hair. This is my first time actually. Yeah. Wearing it curly and like it’s not Right. It’s not really damaged because I knew what to do. I knew how to take, take
Nelita Villezon 01:15:13 Care of it. I was gonna say that cuz honestly, I’m gonna be honest, you guys don’t get me. I didn’t start using heat protected until I forgot one years ago. Oh my God. I did. I should be going into going half sizzle oil up sizzle. Yeah. It was bad. So this is why I have a
Asia Jackson 01:15:26 Lot of damage right
Nelita Villezon 01:15:27 Now. Um, but now I’ve learned like, you know, like you said, the proper steps to do stuff mm-hmm. <affirmative> and also not to straighten my hair as often and all this sort of thing. So we’ve learned, we’ve learned along the ladies.
Asia Jackson 01:15:36 Yeah. What’s your skincare routine like?
Nelita Villezon 01:15:39 Okay, so this is gonna be a little bit of a dive now. It’s easy. I’ll start from the, the finished product. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Basically it’s Mercer Water is Mercer, my
Asia Jackson 01:15:49 Cellar, myel.
Nelita Villezon 01:15:50 See, I don’t even know. Does sh tell you? Basically I use water so that that’s the only thing I use to clean my face. That and you’re gonna hate me and some other people may, but I also use alcohol to clean my face. But it works for
Asia Jackson 01:16:02 Me. I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that,
Nelita Villezon 01:16:03 But it works for me. Let
Asia Jackson 01:16:05 Me see if you like it then. I love
Nelita Villezon 01:16:06 It. Let me tell you why though. Let me tell you why. So, uh, I had problems skin growing up. Like I had horrible, like when I say cystic acne, it was like all over hurt my face. I tried everything growing up. It was like the proactive, the Murad every, I even did Obba. I don’t, Obba is expensive.
Asia Jackson 01:16:24 Yeah. And it’s really intense.
Nelita Villezon 01:16:26 <laugh>, it’s, I I became pale. I was like ghost on obba. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So I did ob I did everything that you can think of and it’s like I had adult acne. So even when I moved to Dubai, it got worse. Where not only was it on my face, I even have a photo. It was like acne all on my chest. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> on my back. I could not figure it out what it was. So I had asked to be on Accutane when I was like 17. My mom said no. She was like, you can’t get on that. Too many problems. But then I was an adult and I was like, I make adult decisions for myself. Gimme that Accutane. So I did Accutane for about three months when I was in Dubai. And um, I love the results of what it did, but prec, but like, uh, precautionary for people. Yeah. It’s, have you ever had anyone accu
Asia Jackson 01:17:07 Or have you done I know someone and he, he said that his skin was extremely dry.
Nelita Villezon 01:17:11 Yeah. See it, it can be depending on how long you’re on it. So basically I got on it and all my friends wore me. They were like, your skin’s gonna dry out their, your vision can get be bad, blah, blah blah. And I was like, gamble, throw the dice, let’s go. I was like, I want clear skin. So I did it for three months. And I remember like in the beginning, my face did dry out, but it wasn’t like uncomfortably dry. It dried out. And then about like month two, I remember like they, they do blood tests every week. They increase your dosage. And I remember just one day I was like, oh God. I was like, it’s getting so hard to see. I was like, you know, I’m getting older. This is what thirties are. Thirties is, you know, you gotta get glasses now.
Nelita Villezon 01:17:44 And then I was like working out a lot and I was like, dang. I was like, my hip is really hurting, blah blah, blah. And I’m on the phone one day with a friend and he was like, milita, you’re not getting older. That’s Accutane. I’m doing it to you. He was like, you’re losing your vision and your hips are hurting. Your joints are hurting because Accutane. And I was like, no way. This can’t be it. Sure enough, I start weaning myself off the Accutane, my vision got better. My hips stop hurting. So know what you’re getting yourself into. Talk to your doctors. Be Yeah. It like, that’s how deep Accutane to me. And I was only on it for like three, four months. I weaned myself off and once I got off, my doctor was like, we can’t put you back on it because you no longer have cystic acne. Yeah. So you can’t get back on it. But now my skin is practically clear. Sorry. Yeah. So now my skin is practically clear and since then I found that the less that I do, the better my skin. So just the Mylar water. Sometimes just regular water. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And if I do use a cleanser, it’s the cevi.
Asia Jackson 01:18:38 Cevi. Yeah. I love that one. Yeah.
Nelita Villezon 01:18:40 Simple. Yeah. Just do that. I put hyaluronic acid on. I spot treat. So when I have hyperpigmentation, because I tend to get hyperpigmentation without even doing anything to my skin. I scar very easily. Um,
Asia Jackson 01:18:51 Brown girl
Nelita Villezon 01:18:51 Problems. Brown. You know, melon and magic can also scar you, right? Um, no, my mom always had me like on HydroOne since I was a kid, like since I was 13, I’ve used hydroquinone. So I will spot treat with hydroquinone and that’s basically it. I do like at home pills every now and then, but I’m simple. Like I have the simplest skin routine. Your
Asia Jackson 01:19:08 Skin looks great.
Nelita Villezon 01:19:09 Thank you. Yeah. It’s a lot better. Some people, like right now this is like, I have a little bit of hyperpigmentation on this side, but other than that it’s like I love it. Do
Asia Jackson 01:19:16 You have freckles? I have freckles, yeah. It was just like noticing that. Oh my gosh,
Nelita Villezon 01:19:21 I love it. You know why? Cuz I got picked on so bad Really for my freckles when I was a kid. People make me feel bad for my freckles, my lips, everything. And now’s it thing. Everyone wants to draw a freckles. Everyone wants to get lip injected. It’s natural baby. It’s natural
Asia Jackson 01:19:34 Work. So yeah. Yeah. No, I also, um, struggled with like body acne. Yes. Like the, the damage it does to your self-esteem is crazy because I would like see all my friends wearing like these cute tops and I can’t wear those. Cause like, I don’t wanna show Micah. Yeah, it was, yeah, it was a
Nelita Villezon 01:19:52 Lot. It’s a lot like, you know, people say like, oh, get over. It’s just acting. It’s fine. No, like when I say I was extremely down on myself and self-esteem issues when I was a teenager, even up until adulthood, because I had such backne, I couldn’t understand why people had better skin than me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I <affirmative>, I just like, because they were like, maybe it’s your diet. Maybe you drink more water. I’m like, all I drink is water. Literally all I drink is water. And I’m like, it’s not the water. I’m gonna tell you that now. I don’t know what it is. Um, but thankfully after my particular, you know about with that Accutane, I haven’t had crazy breakouts. I get pimples like every now and then around my cycle. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but that’s it. Yeah. Other than that, I’m, I’ve learned now to like actually love my skin without makeup. I
Asia Jackson 01:20:30 Love it now. Yeah, me too. I’m, I’m taking, uh, tretinoin right now. Okay. So it’s like really, um, keeping the breakouts at big. Yes. But it’s also fixing like the hyperpigmentation. So I’m finally at a place where I feel like comfortable not wearing makeup. You know what I Exactly. It’s a different type of freedom and liberation for sure.
Nelita Villezon 01:20:48 <laugh>. No, for sure. I never would’ve thought that I could and I’m, I’m gonna be transparent on this because even for me, I, I like makeup. There’s nothing wrong with it. I still wear makeup when I wanna get dolled up when I have events to go to red carpets for sure. When also makeup, we are not doing beer face on red carpet. <laugh>. Um, but the, thankfully the person I’m with, like having someone be like, oh no, I love your skin the way it is, you know, or I love your freckles. At first I was like, okay. And then I noticed like the more I, I stopped wearing, I was like, oh my God, did I have an issue like wearing makeup? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like I had to think about that. I was like, I actually do, like, he, he helped me to grow, to be like, oh, I do love my skin without makeup on. Do I still wanna put it on sometimes? Yes, absolutely. But I do it if I want to.
Asia Jackson 01:21:28 Yeah. I think the pandemic for me, um, made me realize that I was relying way too much on makeup. Yeah. And I didn’t feel good about it. Yeah. So like being at home and not needing to put it not mm-hmm. <affirmative> quote unquote needing to put it on made me realize like, oh, I should have a different relationship with waste.
Nelita Villezon 01:21:47 Right, right. Exactly. Definitely different. And then just like, you know, now being able to be placed and people are like, oh, your skin looks so great and I have nothing on it. I’m like, oh wow. I don’t necessarily always need to put it on, you know what I mean? Yeah,
Asia Jackson 01:21:58 Yeah,
Nelita Villezon 01:21:58 Yeah. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 01:21:58 So it’s good. Yeah. Looking at your Instagram, you always have like, and even your TikTok, you always have like the best like, workout outfits. What are your like favorite brands? Where can we look like Nut?
Nelita Villezon 01:22:11 It’s so funny because I was like, I like to hear other people’s perspective of my social media because I just don’t see it. The same people are like, your social media’s so great. And I’m like, really? Cause I’m barely doing, I’m barely making it. No, no. Dunno how I’m doing it. Um, there’s a few different brands that I love, so I will say this. So cuz I was signed to a few brands before, so a lot of the stuff you see is like, even now I’m wearing, uh, squat Wolf, which is a company based in Dubai. Mm. Um, so I was assigned athlete with them for a while, but I am not a free agent. <laugh> <laugh>. I was like, I’m a free agent so I can talk about any brand. I love all different brands. I think the ones you probably have been seeing lately is Thick Athletics, which is from my friendly to Lewis, um, who’s also like an amazing businesswoman mother and um, create a creative online. And then Gym Shark has given me some stuff. What else? But at heart, I’m a Nike girl. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like Nike for listening to this one day.
Asia Jackson 01:22:59 Oh my gosh.
Nelita Villezon 01:23:00 If you can’t martial artist on your roster,
Asia Jackson 01:23:02 I can’t believe they haven’t hit you up yet.
Nelita Villezon 01:23:04 <laugh>. I know know, I mean like, we’ll talk about this off the podcast, but the, yeah, so basically I I we’re a lot of different brands. I’m open to it. For me, I, I love Jet Black, so Jet Black is my thing. I’ve been trying to experiment with colors a little bit more. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and people love that. People are like, oh I love this app. I’m like really? Cuz only I said, I’m Wing Adams like, I’m like giving back the, the black I like only all black. Um, but I like little cutouts and stuff like that. Um, you know, I like Cuba so thank you.
Asia Jackson 01:23:27 Appreciate that. Yeah. Yes ma’am. Well we are
Speaker 4 01:23:33 <laugh>
Nelita Villezon 01:23:35 As she Reese’s work.
Asia Jackson 01:23:37 We’re coming up on one hour and 30 minutes.
Nelita Villezon 01:23:39 Oh my God, this has been so good. I didn’t even feel like we had talked that
Asia Jackson 01:23:42 Long. I know, right? Yeah, it’s always fun like talking like you’re a great conversationalist uhhuh, so it’s really great to have people like you on the podcast. Thank you. You always have like great stories. Like I knew that I wanted you on this podcast in particular because you had such a interesting like point of view. Yeah. And the stuff that you talk about on social media. I was like, I need to get her on here. She has so much cool stuff to share. So thank you for coming and I appreciate being here.
Nelita Villezon 01:24:10 Thank you so much. This has been a wonderful experience. I’ve been waiting to like come and talk to you, so this is great. I, like I said, I think what you do is amazing. Please keep it up. And I wanna say that actually on tape, so people, now I’m gonna talk to you outside of this <laugh>, but keep it up and thank you for being, uh, allowing me to share my story. Of
Asia Jackson 01:24:25 Course. Yeah. So if you guys want to follow Nelita V on social media, you can find her
Nelita Villezon 01:24:31 App Nelita underscore V and then I have my website as well, Nelita v.app. And I have a lot of other products. So you’ll be seeing on my social media coming up <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 01:24:40 There you go. And then you can also, if you’re interested in buying like weapons and stuff, you can get it at your web website, on your
Nelita Villezon 01:24:46 Website. Yeah. So then I also have, see I’m looking to combine everything cause I have a website called shop Nelita v.com mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So everything is gonna be combined, but if you go to my Instagram, everything is on there. Okay. Yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha. So if you find me on Instagram, it’s there. I need to put back some stuff on YouTube cause I’ve been Mia for a while. Don’t my follower’s gonna be like, why haven’t you posted a video <laugh> and you’re somebody else’s YouTube. Yeah. Sorry.
Asia Jackson 01:25:06 Well thank you so much for coming and uh, thank you so much for tuning in to episode number four, I believe. Ooh. Yeah, you’re the first episode of 2023. I’m so excited. And his Black history month, so you knows,
Nelita Villezon 01:25:18 Like, represent, what do we say? Represent for
Asia Jackson 01:25:20 Both sides. Okay. To say <laugh>. All right. And we’ll catch you guys next time. Hi. Thanks.