E2 | Neilas Katinas, Expat In Chile: Ballroom Dance Champion & TV Celebrity

E2 | Neilas Katinas, Expat In Chile: Ballroom Dance Champion & TV Celebrity

Neilas Katinas is a World Champion ballroom dancer and a judge on the popular dance show ROJO in Chile … and WOW does he have an amazing story to tell about life as an expat and how speaking Spanish changed his life. Come along as Neilas shares his path from a choreographer in Lithuania to Germany, Spain and now Chile, finding success, love, and a new career along the way.

Our connection:
I’ve been friends with Neilas since 2005 when we were living around the corner from each other in the picturesque seaside village Sitges in Spain. We’ll share tales of our nights spent dancing ’til dawn and sometimes well into the next day. 

Episode Transcript

SPEAKERS

Neilas Katinas, Angela Carson

Angela Carson  00:09

Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, and welcome back to Always Get Lost, the podcast about travel and life abroad. My name is Angela Carson and I am your host. Welcome to the first in a series that we’ll be doing on expat life stories. There are a million ways to become an expat or an immigrant. And we’re going to explore the amazing paths that people have taken to reinvent their life and to live completely differently to how they would if they were back home. This is Episode Two, we are going to be tracking the amazing life of my friend Neilas Katinas. He was born in Lithuania, and is now a TV celebrity in Chile. We’ve known each other for about 15 years, I can’t wait to dig in and learn more. So grab a glass of wine or a cup of chai and let’s get started with Neilas.  Help me to welcome my dear friend Neilas Katinas, who is going to walk us through the amazing journey he’s taken from the time he was a little boy with a dream in Lithuania to where he is today as a TV celebrity and judge on one of Chile’s most popular TV shows. 

Neilas Katinas  01:55

Hello, Angela. Thank you for inviting me. So many So many years since we’ve seen each other!

Angela Carson  02:04

I was looking at Facebook photos. And I think that the last time we actually saw each other was September 2011 in Spain. I had been deported from India and was fixing my visa a month back in Spain. And there was that crazy rooftop party at Ivan’s. We were all together. Do you remember that?

Neilas Katinas  02:27

Yeah. Yeah, I remember that, it was really fun. I think it was Sitges Gay Pride and our group was all back together.

Angela Carson  02:54

I’m going to put that photo on Instagram. So if you guys are listening, and you want to see it I’ll put a photo from 2007 from a party that Neilas and I were at in Spain, and then also the photo in 2011.

Neilas Katinas  03:08

Yeah, I remember this photo. Well because it was like group of probably 15-20 people and we were we were just relaxing, having drinks. Because after we went to all the parties from Gay Pride.

Angela Carson  03:30

So I want to walk through Neila’s expat journey, but I also have want to seed a message with everyone about the importance of learning a second language or third language because Neilas’ passion to learn Spanish is what opened the doors for him in Chile to actually start a new career path and become a Spanish speaking TV presenter. Not something that most Lithuanians would ever dream of being. So can you take us back to what it was like for you growing up in Lithuania? Did you live in a small town In a big town?

Neilas Katinas  05:04

Yeah, it was the third city of Lithuania. But this of course not that big because Lithuania is very small country. We have 3.5 million habitants. And it’s a port city. It was really really nice because in summer, we can go on the beach. And I had a really nice childhood. I started dancing when I was six years old. Almost every day on the weekend competition but I really love that I really love that. And for me, my parents were really helpful. I needed some money for traveling and my outfits. So they have helped me and went with me to the competitions. And in the beginning that competition were always in Lithuania, but after we did travel internationally.

Angela Carson  07:06

When you were a boy, you were competing?

Neilas Katinas  07:08

Yeah,  the competition started I think when I was about 10 or 11.

Angela Carson  07:22

That’s amazing. I didn’t realize that. 

Neilas Katinas  07:24

Ballroom dancing in Lithuania is very, very popular. We call it sport dancing. And the teachers in my school, they really loved ballroom dancing because it’s very popular. And so of course, it’s it was helpful for me, the teachers loved me and I did some shows at school so it was very helpful for me, because actually, I was not bad in this school but but I wasn’t like really the best.

Angela Carson  08:50

You applied to the University of Lithuania for the choreography program when you were in high school?

Neilas Katinas  08:57

Yes, because my dance teacher was a professor at the Lithuanian University. And she always wanted that. I have to go to study there, because I was her best student in the academy. But actually, I wanted to study medicine. But after I went to university to see how it works, it was very difficult to get there. Back then, you don’t need to pay to study, but you have to have really good grades to get in university. And it was almost impossible, well really impossible. And I thought, actually, I really like dancing. I really like teaching so why I’m thinking to go to Medical University. So I decided to study choreography. 

Angela Carson  10:21

Yeah, it’s interesting because most of us think, “What do I do at university so that I’ll make money in the future?” They don’t think like, Okay, I’m going to continue my passion at university. It’s normally a bit more like it’s your brain, not your heart. What do you do with a choreography degree?

Neilas Katinas  10:50

In my last year we had contact with an Academy in Germany and they have formation team and first we invited them to Lithuania to visit us, we were competing, and It was really really nice. After they invited us to Germany and when we went to Germany, the owner of this academy he asked our teacher if he could we have two couples to make stronger this formation team and our teacher said okay, it’s no problem I can give you two couples and for a year. And so I went to Germany. It was for me as a practice, practice. You know after you know like you learn you finish university?

Angela Carson  12:00

Like an internship?

Neilas Katinas  12:01

Yeah, yeah. Because after my study, probably I would open my own Academy. So for me, it was really, really great to go to Germany to see how the Academy works and have the system from Germany, one of the best countries for ballroom dancing. I went there without dance partner, so I started to dance with a German girl. And when we start to dance together, we start to get really good results. And I decided to stay in Germany and make my career.

Angela Carson  12:49

You never went back again to Lithuania?

Neilas Katinas  12:53

No, no.

Angela Carson  12:54

Okay. Oh, that’s interesting. I didn’t know that. When did you leave the academy?

Neilas Katinas  13:02

The Academy in Germany? Oh, yeah. After that, yeah, I was studying with the dancing in this academy. But it was very difficult for me because the teacher, the owner of this academy, he wanted me only for formation dancing. And I was interested in my own dancing like couples dancing. And after less than a year, I decided to leave this academy. He promised me in the beginning that they can do the competition, like private competition at least one or twice a month. That’s more than enough. But every weekend we have to work in the academy and I couldn’t go to any of competitions. I wanted to compete in not only formation dancing because that is once in a half a year one competition, you know. And so I left this academy and I started teaching myself. Of course, nobody knew me so nobody took classes from me. I was choreographer so I started teaching other kinds of dance.

Angela Carson  14:34

In all this time, did you learn German?

Neilas Katinas  14:37

Yeah, because I moved to Germany. I didn’t speak any word I knew only a few words like, thank you. You’re welcome. And I started to learn by myself. And when we when we moved to Germany, the owner of this dance school here, told we can’t speak English here because everyone speaks here. English and if we’re going to speak English we’re never going to learn German. So we had we had to speak German. That was the reason why we learned I think in like five, six months. Okay, not really perfect but quite okay.

Angela Carson  15:24

Where were you living?

Neilas Katinas  15:26

The city’s in the south of Germany, near Stuttgart. When I moved from this academy, I moved in with my dance partner. Her parents, they had really big house. So I got room there. But we didn’t dance for a long time because she was really lazy. She wouldn’t practice. I wanted to do that really serious. Not like Practicing twice a week, or have to practice every week. So we split and I found another dance partner.

Angela Carson  16:36

Okay, this is now like 1994, 1995?

Neilas Katinas  16:44

Yeah, 1993. Yeah,

Angela Carson  16:45

You were the two-time winner of the European Cup and you tried year on year for four years, and finally became the world champion ballroom dancer in 1999. World champion, that is massive!! How do you go from practicing a couple times a week because your partner doesn’t want to practice very much to being the world champion ballroom dancer. How does that look in your schedule?

Neilas Katinas  17:23

Look, after I split with this girl, I got a call from a girl I knew already because you remember I told you that the German team they came to visit us to Lithuania. And there was a girl she was Hungarian but she moved to Germany and because she had like German grandfather or something like that, so he could go move to Germany without no problem. And when they went when I broke up with with this girl, I got a call from her and she She told me I’m not really happy with my dance partner because he doesn’t want to practice. And if I would like to try to dance we’ll hear I say, yeah, of course because I’m, I have no passion I would love to. And I went, we went to practice to try out. And it was like immediately fantastic, you know, like chemistry. We did already like choreography for two or three dances, you know, like, it was really good chemistry. And then you that she’s workaholic, the same as me. And we start dancing like, next cycle, okay, one month and we go on competition. And it was a really, really, really good you know, like it was a good feeling and work together really good and we live together really good. So it was 100 percent sure that we’re going to dance together.

Angela Carson  19:02

What’s her name? Let’s, let’s give her a shout out.

Neilas Katinas  19:05

Anita Pocz. Yeah, she’s still living in the same town when she when we were the dancing together she is as well as she’s teaching. And she has now like big family. Two kids and it was really, really nice time we had.

Angela Carson  19:28

So when you won the world championship in 99 did you basically say okay, that’s that’s enough. I am done with the hard competitions or did you continue to compete after that?

Neilas Katinas  19:43

No, not really, not really. I really wanted to go to to win the next always to be like, twice Football Championship because sometimes you say okay, that just, you had to like go Whatever and for us, it was 100% sure that we’re gonna win the next year as well. But my dance partner had accident and she got pregnant. It was an accident. Yeah, no, no, she had a boyfriend already for for a really long time. And actually, she she was 44 years younger, older than me. So when when she got pregnant, she was already 33 years old. You know, I think time to have like family because the bodies of the sport, man is or sport woman is always different. It’s kind of more difficult to get pregnant because you are more stressed out and, and she told me she wasn’t planning that but I think when you’re 33 years old, and you get pregnant, you have to take this, you know, like, and that was actually the last competition while we were dancing together. And she was already pregnant and but she didn’t know that, like, but she had such an energy I like happening with you know, like it was because always I was there there was more energy and until end of competition, you know, like the last competition we had. It was like amazing. I say My God, what did you eat because it’s like, on fire. 

Angela Carson  21:37

It’s a good thing to go out on a high and you finally won. 

Neilas Katinas  21:43

I wanted to repeat that because actually were the last competition with we had, it was in February 2000 and I wanted to dance the next German chapter. Pin ship which was in May, and the world championship is was thinking November. And so I wanted to dance But yeah, I say okay, we have like title, it’s very important. So that’s no problem. Do your thing you know, like you have to be mom you wanted always to be mom. No problem with that. But I decided not to compete anymore because you know if when you compete your money or what you earned it goes to your private lesson to your outfits to everything so you always like, if you don’t have read numbers in your bank account, you are very lucky, you know? And I was already saying Okay, now it’s time to get money. You know, like to get to the back where do you invest all this? Yes. And so I decided to dance on the shows. The first two years nothing called the teaching, teaching, teaching teaching, I was teaching like seven weeks, seven days a week. It was like work Work, work, work, work work.

Angela Carson  23:12

So for the next five years, more or less you were teaching and starting to work internationally, traveling back and forth between Spain. Was it just between Spain and Germany or were there other countries as well?

Neilas Katinas  23:27

Spain Germany, and I was always invited to Lithuania because I was as a code co teacher, co trainer of national team of Lithuania have of formation dancing, and they were a time low champion. So I was teaching the team of all champions like doing choreographers and and they always invited me like every two, three months for a week to work there and doing some choreography, some some stuff. technique because it was my team. It was my team where I was used to dance before. Oh, that’s nice. And yeah, that was really really, really cool. And I could do that when I was in Spain. But after when I moved my teacher, my ex teachers, she got old and it was 2014 that it was a big you believe him 50 years of of this academy and 25 years of this team and she retired. And so there is no team anymore. And I remember that all the people from this academy they now live in, you know, there are people living in Canada, United States me from Chile. So we almost everyone came there to celebrate 50 years and try 25 years of of this team so but now it’s it doesn’t exist anymore it’s sad but you know and she will always wanted that I continue with that but I said I’m not moving to Lithuania I’m sorry.

Angela Carson  25:19

When was it that you started learning Spanish? Was it when you first started traveling before you moved there? Or was it once you landed and moved to Spain?

Neilas Katinas  25:31

When I moved. When I was traveling you know like I was always speaking English but I was kidding goal is because all the almost all dancers who I have lessons, I knew that they had like lessons of English, but they English was awful. And I told them I was kidding. Of course I told him, okay, give me this man. You might you invested your private lessons, and they’re going to learn Spanish so it’s gonna be faster and easier and Didn’t know after when I moved to Spain or not actually when I was doing like week weekend in Germany week in Spain that I was a writer started learning, like listening to TV. And I think that was a time when I was starting to learn Spanish. Yeah.

Angela Carson  26:23

And was Sitges the first town that you moved to?

Neilas Katinas  26:27

Yes, yes, yes. 

Angela Carson  26:31

Okay, so Neilas and I actually  met on the beach in this sleepy town called Sitges. Well, okay. In the winter it’s a sleepy seaside village, about 25 minutes south of Barcelona, but in the summer, it is a crazy tourist destination with a wild nightlife. Every day our group of friends would go in the afternoon to the beach, everyone would bring a bottle of wine or something, we’d sit all of our towels out. Neilas and I literally met on the beach south of Barcelona ended up living around the corner from each other for years.

Neilas Katinas  27:13

yeah, that’s true. Actually. Like it was like three streets away, I think.

Angela Carson  27:18

Exactly. And When did you leave Spain?

Neilas Katinas  27:23

I left 2012 I moved to Santiago de Chile.

Angela Carson  27:28

Yeah. Okay, so we both lived there from around 2003 or 2004.

Neilas Katinas  27:38

I think it’s was like kind of a bit later than you, when I moved you already live there. 

Angela Carson  27:46

We had the same group of friends. And in the summer it was amazing. It was the beach and then everyone would kind of chillout a little bit in the evening and then we’d meet up around midnight or 1am at our favorite bar called Prinz, and we’d start our night. The night would literally be dancing. Sometimes in an open air disco we’d dance until the sun came up at this place called L’Atlantida and then it was the after after parties! We’d take the train to Barcelona, just outside of Barcelona. It was an industrial area with warehouses. And one of the warehouses was the most epic, awesome club ever.

Neilas Katinas  28:34

Yeah. But that people say that is the best nightclub in the world, because it was actually the people in United States they knew about. It was very, very famous, well famous, and we had so much fun.

Angela Carson  28:50

I can’t count how many times Nayla and I have been dancing until dawn or later.

Neilas Katinas  29:00

Because Souvenir was until 1pm

Angela Carson  29:04

Yes! We couldn’t even get in to souvenir until 630 or seven.

Neilas Katinas  29:08

Yeah, it started at six. Yeah. Six 630. And went until noon or 130 I think.

Angela Carson  29:14

It was so much fun. So much fun. So that whole time you lived in Spain, you were a dance teacher?

Neilas Katinas  29:22

Yes, yes. But I was like, I was teaching in Germany and Lithuania and in Spain, like in few cities of Spain.

Angela Carson  29:32

Okay, quick question about your visa. Were you on an employment visa?

Neilas Katinas  29:38

No, no, no, no, because I have German passport. So when I moved to Germany, I have the Lithuanian passport. But Lithuania. It wasn’t in the European Union yet. So bad. In Germany sport men can apply German passport. And it was 1998 that they become German passport because I was already a vice champion. And they offer me if I would like to have it. I say, of course, because for me was so much easier to travel because we were traveling a lot. And as Lithuanian I had to have a visa for almost every country. So I was hours and hours in in some Embassy of Canada or wherever. And I remember I was like, I was traveling to Israel. It was a nightmare. It was nightmare to go to Embassy of Israel, and they treated us you. I don’t know you are terrorists, you know, an awful awful you know, And the German passport. It was very, very comfortable for me. So that way I could move to Germany and work without, from Germany to Spain and work without no problem because it’s everything. In your opinion. Yeah.

Angela Carson  31:18

Chile is just a very big jump from Spain. How did that come come about? Because I had already moved to India. You left a year after I had moved away because the economy was just so terrible. I couldn’t find work anymore.

Neilas Katinas  31:37

Yeah, that was the same for me, especially, you know, like ballroom dancing. That is a whole bit from for most people, you know, like they’re not doing that professionally. And it’s a very expensive hobby, you know, and with this economic situation in Spain, it got really, really difficult. I did. I got invited as well as guest entertainer to some cruise company it was Princess Cruises. I did a year and it was really good money. But I lost off my my social life because all the friends you know, like you You are gone for five months, you know like, and then they say it’s very good money but my friends I need my friends. Yeah. And after that my ex boyfriend was very, very famous, one of the most famous interior designer in Spain and he had a big problem because his richest client was from real estate. So in real estate in this time they got collapse came with the idea. Why don’t you go to Chile because economy there is fantastic and your style. It’s really good for children. He said, oh, maybe he needed somebody who knows his business. And when we were together two and a half years, I was helping him out in his, in his studio. So I was like a studio manager, like showroom manager how they call that and I can, I can really good with rich people, you know, like, I have this good feeling with them and I don’t know why but like the rich woman like

Angela Carson  33:36

Darling, it’s because you are charming and so sweet.

Neilas Katinas  33:51

So and he knew that I have as well, the same problems he had and he asked me Do you want to go for a year? to chill? Am I gonna help me out with a new firm and new studio? And if you don’t like after a year, you can come back to Spain is gonna pay your two way ticket. And if you’d like that you can stay there and work with me. So I say, you know what, I always wanted to go to Latin America to South America without thinking which country you know, like I already knew a bit of Brazil and Argentina. But Chile for me was something new. I said, You know what, let’s go. Let’s do it. And so we went together, we got like work visa because he has his own company and Chile. So he opened company, I got directly visa for two years. So that was no problem with that. I help him, but after a year, I was really missing  dancing and we decided not to work together. And I started doing classes here. That was my story how I moved to Chile.

Angela Carson  35:19

I still I find your trajectory from like the Neilas I knew to a TV celebrity wild. Your Instagram is insane. You have the sexiest damn photos now. We always had summer beach photos. But it was Facebook back then more than Instagram. How do you go from being the dance instructor to starting to become a judge because you’ve been a judge now on several television shows and they love you so much.

Neilas Katinas  36:07

Yeah, I am like the Simon Cowell.

Angela Carson  36:11

No, I have I watched a few clips. And you are so genuine with how you deliver your critique or your praise. And I’ve seen the one where it was the guy who was dancing Bollywood and you were talking about how it reminded you have when you were with your family and you guys would wait for hours to queue up to watch a Bollywood film. It just feels from the hearts.

Neilas Katinas  36:49

Yeah. Because I really love what I’m doing you know, like, but your question how I got on the TV. That is actually kind of very interesting story. Because you know that I’m I’ve got married years ago.

Angela Carson  37:09

Patricio!

Neilas Katinas  37:10

 Yeah, thank you. But it was like before I had but I have my boyfriend Patricio. It was really popular one of the most popular TV shows it’s called vertigo. And they inviting like six famous people and they doing talk show and asking questions. And then then one is gonna win. Yeah, but there’s like, public decided who is the most popular from the 60s and they always have a question from the public. And they needed one in one problem they needed a guy a gay couple, gay couple, but you know, like not very feminine. They look really, like normal heterosexual but they’re gay. And and Patricio had really good friend, girlfriend and she was doing praxis. And I’m on this TV show and she tried to get the gay couple and she couldn’t. And she asked for Theresa he she told all please can you come? I needed to make? Make my big do me a big favor, please please, please, please. And Patricia asked me I say yeah, of course no problem. Let’s go. So we went there and they were really nice to us.  And when we were in the makeup and but Teresa telling me he told Oh, if you’re gonna do some dance program, he’s a world ballroom champion, you know like and one of the producer took my phone number say okay, let’s make it some note. And it was I think in June, June, July, and in November, I get a call and they told me or they they really would love to meet me because they have a project with a dance show. TV show and they would like to speak to me. Okay, yeah cool. So I went there and that was like very similar like dancing with the stars. Not not exactly but it was also was famous and everything. And they were but it was like probably 16 candidates to three judges, you know, like they go, I had tryout, like camera tryout with different people. You know, like, once it was like two other people like one was woman very good ballet dancer from you. Ukraine after it was like other celebrities you know like judging and so we had like try out camera trial and after I think already December they called me and they say they want to talk to me so I say okay, I went there and they came like the biggest producer from this channel and if you say yeah we decided we want to work with you so let’s talk about money. And I was super happy you don’t like and and and they asked who are my my my colleagues and they told us we don’t know yet so you are the first we decided because you’re exactly what we need so I was really happy. So it but it was only one season because program was very expensive. Very, very expensive for them. So after one season, they stopped it.  But of course, I did a lot of connections and this channel and I think it was like 10 months later, I get another call from a girl I met on this channel, but she changed the channel. She went to that one it was that was channel 14. And she went other it goes chilla Vizio and she told me that they trying to have a project to do another dance show, but not with a famous it’s like so you think you can then something similar? And they would like to speak to me or say Yeah, of course. I went there. She told this is very, very nice project, but like they’re gonna invite all kinds of dancers not only like ballroom dancing or hip hop dancing or ballet dancing but like big mix and they need Five coaches, who gonna be as well as a judge? And I say, yeah, of course, I would love to do that. And you get three teams on your own. So it can be three solid dancers or three group dancers or three couples. So I got three couples, it was one ballroom dance couple and two, salsa bachata couples. So it was really funny. It was very stressful because we were working, it wasn’t live. They recorded that. And we had to record it in two months, we recorded program of four months so you can imagine it was really, really, really hard work.  And the best thing, because actually, this program was from from a couple that wins, and the most famous dancers in Chile. They are hip hop dancers. They were dancing on TV with Jennifer Lopez. So Jennifer Lopez came here to Chile to cast them. They’re like very, very famous, and they do a dancing in the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil. So they’re really, really famous. And they did this competition TV competition or TV show, to promote their dance school because they have several dance schools. And they were like, 100% sure that they’re somebody from their dance, school and dancing. Hip Hop gonna win it. They already told everyone they say, oh, we’re gonna win that 100% show. We’re gonna win that. And in the end, my ballroom couple won.  That was amazing because I know that my couple is not gonna win because it’s it’s more hip hop competition than ballet or ballroom dancing competition or modern dance competition. So in the end, it was like very, very interesting, but for me, it was very nice because it was like, wow. And in end of July, and in January, I got to her from one of my students that return most famous reality like dance and sing reality show called ROJO. It’s like red. And in the beginning, it was ROJO: fame, contra fame.

Angela Carson  44:45

I went on to the Wikipedia page for that as well. It’s RED: the color of talent.

Neilas Katinas  44:59

Yeah. And it was very funny because they told me and he said I wanted to get on the show I want to get on the show that was national and national TV station of Chile TVN and I tried tried to get the contact from from the producer, you know, the net and then names and everything. And they had a really really good friend, his makeup artist and he say I gonna get you everything no problem. He called some friends and he got the names and phone numbers, you know? And I say, but I told him no, but actually they have to call me they say no, no, no. In Chile, you have to call me because the biggest producer they love that the like people they call them like the stars called them because they want to see interest that you have hungry rojek Yeah, and they say, Okay, I gotta try. Next day the morning I call the producer, say, Hello Gonzalo I am Neilas Katinas I, I’m champion of ballroom and he said, “Yes I know you, I am waiting tomorrow at 4pm for you.” And then they knew already know of course, who I was. And they say yeah, we’re gonna do that for me it was very, very interesting because was, yeah, I had to that’s not only dance, I had to dance as well as singing.

Angela Carson  46:50

Well, you also are now an actor, essentially. If you’re if you’re in front of the camera, I mean it’s it can’t all be candid moments like behind the scenes like you’re actually having to engage the camera and speak and act at time So did you take acting classes?

Neilas Katinas  47:12

No no no and I hate actually I hate acting because my memory for the text is very very bad I have really good choreography memory you know like, I like you show me like choreography one time and I can repeat that immediately. But like the words especially you know like for me it’s difficult because Spanish not my first language you know like and you have to when you learn some text you have to do everything correct and you think about this article and that is awful. I you know, they have I have to learn text. I needed to probably 10 times more time as normal actor. So that’s why I actually I hate but they have Next we have a project where I have to act.

Angela Carson  48:03

How many lines? 

Neilas Katinas  48:04

I don’t know, they didn’t they didn’t send me because I have really good friend. And he is a movie director and photographer. And he has a project with Spain actually is going to be like short films or short movie and with some people from Spain, some actors from Spain. Very beautiful. And he asked me because it’s gonna be now everything through internet because they’re gonna he’s gonna do all this camera stuff for then Spain. He’s in Chile, but he need me for some. I think I told him please was not a lot of lives because for me it’s difficult. But he told no, no, no problem. The war is a is going to be next week. I still don’t know. He told me he’s gonna send me some The lines what they’re gonna have to say are gonna be some some kind of andronik like, you don’t know it’s a person of his computer or something like that okay for that time, okay. But I got I gonna send I tell tell you when it’s out, he’s very talented, he’s very talented. He has such amazing ideas and he his project or in the future he wants to do something like Black Mirror, you know the thing I love as well and he has like already ideas for six for six short movies. And I think now we’re gonna start with the first one. And he said that the people in Spain, they are crazy about this, this movie. So we will see let’s let’s see if I want to go with that. But I’m not. I’m not interacting because really, I am not. It’s really different. For me to learn the lines is very difficult because I won’t say correctly, you know, if I have to, to speak, you know, like, on my own, I have no problem with that. But if I have, like, exactly text because I did a lot of commercials here, and every time when the commercials have lines, oh my god. I am not shy of that. But I really, really want to do that like perfect and you know, like the words and everything and when you have to think about words, you don’t think about your feelings have you have to act you know, and that is the difficult stuff you know, like because you’re thinking to to have the text correct. You know, you’re not speaking because you’re speaking you know, like, now I’m not thinking what I’m going to say I’m just speaking But if you have like 100% correct text you know like and you have to do everything perfect so you think in this words you know like and you don’t think how you feel how you have to act that and that is difficult so that I think I’m not that good actor because I have to think about what I say.

Angela Carson  51:23

I was listening to a couple of interviews of yours today in Spanish and you still sound exactly the same as I remember from when we lived in Spain together with your cute Lithuanian slash Spanish accent.

Neilas Katinas  51:37

Thank you.

Angela Carson  51:39

How are you and Patricio doing with lockdown? Are you still happy, healthy, and working out? Seeing friends?

Neilas Katinas  51:48

Yeah, we’re doing really good. The first months it was difficult because you know that we couldn’t go out and because the last TV program what I was on ROJO I was already signed, I was signing contract for the fifth season. And they start pandemia. Yeah, a pandemic. And so they cancel it. And this TV station, they’re really, really bad with money and they cancel a lot of shows. And in this time, they started other dance shows, like dancing with the stars, but it’s called bailando. It’s almost the same like Dancing with the Stars very similar, but it’s Mexican one but the most famous is in Argentina. They’re like, ready for I don’t know how 10 years 15 years like it’s almost like dancing with the stars in the United States. And They called me for the judge. But, but like technical judge, it’s called bar. You know, it’s, you have two technical judges and for like, more people they don’t know about the other judges, the people they don’t know about dancing, but they’re like big personalities on TV. And they, they like, yeah, it’s way more important than that. 

Angela Carson  53:28

You are. 

Neilas Katinas  53:31

And we started for a month, we worked month, and they’d have to cancel that because it’s quarantine and it was difficult that people couldn’t dance together. We try to do like more dancing side by side, but still a lot of people working there. And we got a lot of critique from the people. You know how you can do that by Baba and so they cancel that For now, we don’t know when there’s gonna be back. So we’re waiting with that it’s gonna be soon, but we’re still serious situation here we have every day about 1500 new cases, positive cases. Yeah. And so it’s still a lot and we are in winter so in winter, it’s more difficult than in summer. So I think probably maybe in October or November I hope it’s gonna be back on TV at this show.

Angela Carson  54:33

I hope so. Yeah. Do you have any advice for anyone listening right now? Who’s thinking of moving abroad becoming an expat or an immigrant or a digital nomad or any of those scenarios?

Neilas Katinas  54:47

I think  every country is very different but it’s always good if you go to the country and you know already the language because I know for me it was difficult in Germany in the beginning. In Spain wasn’t that difficult because in Spain our group group was very international you know like you can speak English, I could speak German Rando and Ank. For example to Latin America people here they don’t speak English almost no one you know like it’s very difficult. My English now it’s so bad because I’m not using that. I need probably like practice to three days and it’s gonna be more fluid. But even my German is as well you know, like I have like the first conversation in German like oh my god, they have headache because I have I have to practice that.  But it’s always good to go to country and to know the language because it’s open much easier the doors. If you go to Latin American country, they they like people from from abroad. So actually they see the people from abroad in like higher level you know, like and it’s it’s not that difficult you know you have a lot of privilege. They like the people who speak English, who speak German but of course they love people who speak their language because it shows respect and you’re interested to be there and like to learn their language and to know their culture. It’s always it’s better. It’s better to do that because you’re gonna have a lot of difficulty if you’re not speaking Spanish.

Angela Carson  56:58

It has definitely opened up doors. When I first started seeing what you were up to in Chile, I was like, What the heck? What is that? What is he doing? It is so, so amazing. It’s just I’m so proud of you and so happy for you that you get to have this different career that obviously brings a lot of joy to you. And it brings a lot of joy to the households in Chile. Because I have seen those videos and how how genuine you are.

Neilas Katinas  57:28

Thank you, thank you.

Angela Carson  57:34

Thank you so much for being my first guest on Always Get Lost. It has been so much fun reconnecting.

Neilas Katinas  57:44

Thank you very much for inviting me because it’s really, really nice to see you again because it has been so many years. We didn’t have like a lot of contact, just on Instagram, just say hi, how are you? But it’s really, really nice to see you and like, almost in person. I hope this is gonna be something positive for you for your career. So I’m happy to help you wherever it is, and I hope all the best for you. I wish all the best for you.

Angela Carson  58:28

Thank you my darling. I appreciate that. Te mando un beso enorme (I send you the biggest kiss)

Neilas Katinas  58:36

Y yo otra a ti (I’m sending another one to you)

Angela Carson  1:40:39

Next week we have another amazing interview, but this time it’s all about traveling to nature and adventure travel.

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