Some days, he’s una tía chismosa. Others, he’s both leads in a novela. And there are times when he’s an unsmiling quinceañera, whom you can almost see counting the steps of her baile sorpresa in her head. In many of his short videos, he wears a T-shirt on his head, a makeshift wig, as he plays women characters. Regardless of what role Jonathan Chavez takes on that day, he’ll likely make you laugh and he’ll certainly receive hundreds of thousands of views.
Chavez – better known as paqjonathan on social media – is creating nostalgia-driven videos that resonate with Latinos – Mexicans and Mexican Americans, in particular. If you’re part of the Latinernet, it’s likely these improvised clips have come across your feed. And though Jonathan churns them out regularly, the aspiring actor ended up becoming a viral star by doing what many siblings do: imitating their moms.
“I started to make videos because me and my sister would imitate my mom whenever she’d get mad at us,” Jonathan tells Remezcla in a message. “And my sister thought I did a good impression of her, so I thought it’d be funny to make more.”
His mom, he says, is one of his biggest inspirations. But so is looking into his past. Just on August 22, he published a video of himself singing all the parts of RBD’s “Solo quédate en silencio.” He wears a white button-down, a red tie (obvi) and alternates between a mustard shirt wig (Anahi), a red shirt wig (Dulce Maria) and no wig (for the male members). The accompanying text – as all his other text – is short and to the point, “8-year-old me trying to be all the rebelde members.”
“I look back at my childhood a lot because I feel like kids [nowadays] don’t have as much fun as we did when we were young,” he says. “Sharing these memories with people brings joy to me.”
It’s probably why the video, he captioned, “This is how people in novelas fall in love ??” is his favorite. In the 54-second clip, a man bumps into a woman, causing her to drop all her books. As soon as they lock eyes, their theme song (you know, the one that plays over and over whenever they have those butterflies-in-the-stomach inducing moments) starts up. Though his scene takes place in an ordinary room in his home, Chavez, who grew up watching novelas, captures all the beats of the novela meet-cute, reminding us of how sappy and fun to watch they can be.
As someone who has a love for acting, it’s not surprising that he pays such close attention to detail. “My favorite part about making my videos is the acting,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to be an actor, so I pretend like I’m actually on set when I’m making them.”
Next, Jonathan hopes to collaborate with other creators and start going on auditions, which honestly can’t be as nerve-wracking as putting on a performance for hundreds of thousands of internet users.
Below, check out some of his greatest hits.