Warky: Half Man, Half Chocobo, Wholly Passionate
Wark! On Wednesday, we brought you a sit-down with the King of Monsters, Jamie McGonnigal, a guest at Animeland’s 6th annual Wasabi Con, hosted last weekend at the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton in Denver.
Warky the Chocobo, a pianist and voice actor who has performed at conventions across the U.S., was also invited to do several panels, including 18+ event “Warky Unplugged,” panels on My Little Pony, voice acting for audiobooks, Para Para dancing and a concert at Animeland Wasabi last weekend.
Warky’s “real” name is Steven Nunez, but the pianist prefers his stage name.
“Steven sounds so plain,” Warky said, who describes himself as “very easygoing.”
The name originated when Warky’s screenname of choice was taken in the online game, Final Fantasy XI.
“I messed with a couple combinations until I got WarkyTheChocobo. I wrote up a short bio, ‘half-human, half-chocobo,’ and the name has stuck since then,” said Warky, who wears a yellow feather behind his ear in homage to his namesake, the fictional flightless bird from the Final Fantasy series.
Warky has been performing anime and video game themes at conventions since 1999, and has been a regular guest for Animeland Wasabi since 2010.
“The first song I learned how to play was actually the Legend of Zelda because it seemed easy. Boy was I wrong – definitely not easy,” Warky said.
Because he taught himself how to play piano, Warky has the unique ability to play piano without his thumbs and left ring finger.
“I was kinda poor, and we didn’t really have that kind of money, but I decided, ‘I’m going to learn it anyway.’ I didn’t realize that the thumbs are supposed to be used… I finally filmed myself playing – my hand looks like a spider. I watched and was like, ‘ew!’” Warky said.
Because Warky taught himself to play, he confessed that he can’t read sheet music. Warky learns everything by ear.
Some of Warky’s favorite tunes to play include the World 1-2 theme from Super Mario Bros. 3, music from Tsubasa Chronicles, Megaman, and Dragonquest. He also enjoys playing “Bratja,” a melancholy theme from Fullmetal Alchemist.
“And of course, the fans start crying,” Warky joked.
Warky recognized that there are several differences between playing anime and video game themes.
“Anime themes are WAY more complex – they’re insane! They’re way more complex, way more complicated, just way more difficult. But video game music sometimes is a lot more catchy, especially in role-playing games because you have to play that level over and over again. Meanwhile, in Netflix, you can just skip over the title sequence,” Warky said.
One of the greatest challenges of performing at conventions, Warky says, is making sure that he knows the song con-goers request him to play.
“It’s never meant to be a request show but it turns out to be one every time. They’re always like, ‘Can you play this? Please play this!’ and I have to break people’s hearts and say, ‘I can’t, I don’t know this song, I’m sorry!’ …I feel badly that I can’t play everything. But I always tell people, ‘send me a request on my fanpage and I’ll learn the song for you,’” Warky said.
With his 13 years of performing at cons, Warky has had a lot of good experiences with con-goers. One of his favorite moments at a convention was with a fan who injured her spine and lost the use of her thumbs.
“She used to play piano, she was a classical pianist, and she said, ‘When you told me you don’t use your thumbs to play piano, I watched your videos. I practiced and practiced and I can play some piano songs now that I used to play with my thumbs – thanks to you. You inspired me to keep going.’ …It was really sweet, she gave me a hug and made me cry. Things like that are so rewarding to me,” Warky said.
According to Warky, Anime Banzai in Salt Lake City is his favorite convention because the fans are sweet, kind, loving and giving of themselves. He recalled when a girl fell to the ground during the convention and immediately, the crowd formed a circle around her and helped her up, complimenting her braids instead of trampling her.
“I see a lot of behind the scenes at cons, and things like that you look at that and see so much love. Everyone feels like they are part of something, a big family,” Warky said.
Warky is a man with his fingers (and probably his thumbs too) in many pies. He voice acts for charity audiobooks and sings for Mormon parody pop band “They Might Be Elders.”
What’s next for the half-man, half-chocobo? Besides appearing on a CW talk show in the next few weeks, Warky is currently working on a new Xbox game, “Return of the Guitar Lord,” which will star famous anime voice actors such as Lisle Wilkerson, David Vincent, Laura Post, Danielle McRae, Uncle Yo and more.
“I actually have a wiki[pedia] page now! [Laughs] Maybe I’ll eventually get a warkapedia wiki,” Warky said.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
Discuss This Article
More Uloop Entertainment Articles
Recent DU News Articles
RECENT DU CLASSIFIEDS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
TOP DU NEWS
- Chance the Rapper's New "Independent" Hustle
- A Small Go-To-Guide for Curly/Wavy Haired People
- Off the Beaten Path Tallahassee
- This "Small Size Only" Clothing Brand is an Extra Large Problem
- Terraforming Mars To Build A New Earth
- CrossFit for a Cause: The Murph Challenge
- 5 Books To Read Before Going To College
MOST POPULAR DU NEWS
BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES
- By CollegeUniversity of Colorado at BoulderColorado State UniversityMetropolitan State University of DenverUniversity of DenverUniversity of Northern ColoradoRegis UniversityColorado CollegeUniversity of Colorado at DenverFort Lewis CollegeColorado School of MinesWestwood CollegeUniversity of Colorado at Colorado SpringsAdams State CollegeColorado Christian UniversityColorado State University-PuebloColorado Technical UniversityColorado Technical University OnlineJones International UniversityColorado Mesa UniversityNaropa UniversityThe Art Institute of ColoradoUnited States Air Force AcademyUniversity of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences CenterWestern State College of ColoradoAims Community CollegeColorado Mountain CollegeCommunity College of Aurora Community College of Denver Northeastern Junior College Pueblo Community College Academy of Natural Therapy IncAmerican Sentinel UniversityArgosy University-DenverAspen UniversityAuguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts-BoulderAveda Institute-DenverBel-Rea Institute of Animal TechnologyCheeks International Academy of Beauty Culture-Fort CollinsCheeks International Academy of Beauty Culture-GreeleyCollege of International Esthetics IncCollegeAmerica-Colorado SpringsCollegeAmerica-Fort CollinsColorado Academy of Veterinary TechnologyColorado Heights UniversityColorado School of Traditional Chinese MedicineColorado Technical University-Greenwood VillageConcorde Career College-AuroraDelta Montrose Technical CollegeDeVry University-ColoradoEcotech InstituteEmily Griffith Technical CollegeEmpire Beauty School-AuroraEmpire Beauty School-LittletonEverest College-AuroraEverest College-Colorado SpringsHealing Arts InstituteHeritage College-DenverIliff School of TheologyInstitute of Taoist Education and AcupunctureIntellitec College-Colorado SpringsIntellitec College-Grand JunctionIntellitec Medical InstituteInternational Salon and Spa AcademyITT Technical Institute-WestminsterJohnson & Wales University-DenverLincoln College of Technology-DenverMontage AcademyMontessori Casa InternationalMontessori Education Center of the RockiesNational American University-Colorado SpringsNational American University-Colorado Springs SouthNational American University-DenverNational Beauty CollegeNational Personal Training Institute of ColoradoNazarene Bible CollegeNew Dimensions Beauty Academy IncOtero Junior CollegePickens Technical CollegePikes Peak Community CollegePima Medical Institute-AuroraPlatt College-AuroraPrince Institute-Rocky MountainsRedstone CollegeRegency Beauty Institute-Fort CollinsRocky Vista UniversityRolf Institute of Structural IntegrationThe Salon Professional Academy-Grand JunctionTrinidad State Junior CollegeUnited Beauty CollegeUniversity of the RockiesUtah College of Massage Therapy-AuroraUtah College of Massage Therapy-WestminsterYeshiva Toras Chaim Talmudical Seminary
- By State
- By City