I have known Olivia
Competente since she was a young girl. Her Parents- Dina and
Freddie had been working at The Mabuhay Gardens and then later
they owned The On Broadway. They have helped many well known bands
hone their talents and build a following. Olivia is one of the
most talented young Women I know she is a Chef, Teacher, Jewelry
Maker, Does Tax's and a Lighting Special Effects Woman. Her entire
Family are some of the kindest most wonderful people I have ever
met. I hope you enjoy my interview with Olivia.
Can you give the readers some background about
yourself and your jewelry?
Competente: I started making jewelry because my mom Dina
refused to buy a really gaudy pair of earrings I lusted for from
Macy's. She told me "You get to make some for your self!" and
took me to the oldest bead shop in the city- Yoni beads. $ 40.00
dollars later she started an obsession that has been a truly great
part of my life.
How exciting both your Mother and Father worked at The Legendary
Mabuhay Gardens? Were you ever able to see any of the shows at The
Competente: It was really fun that both of them worked
for my great Uncle Ness. Dina would bartend on the weekends and
my dad Freddie would help with the door, they both chewed out a
few people and saved a few also. I remember seeing Blondie, The
Ramones, The Alley Boys, Naomi Eisenberg, and Chris Issac. My
biggest memory was when my dad took me out for a day of fun with
my cousins and left my mom at the Mabuhay to do books. I was
about three, we went to the park, ate dim sum, walked around
Chinatown, had a milk shake and hot dog, went back to the
playground, ate popcorn and cotton candy. Then when we got to
the Mab I felt queasy, told my dad. So he started to clean the
bathroom and it happened- I puked all over the person coming
through the door way- Deborah Harry! I was so upset. She forgave
Did you have any favorite bands from The Mabuhay
Competente: Well I always loved Blondie and of course the
White Trash Debutantes!
After the Mabuhay Gardens closed your Parents went
upstairs to The On Broadway. How long were they there for?
Competente:My parents owned the On Broadway from the late
80's till the mid 90's, so I figure about 7 years or so. It was a
What sort of shows did you have at The On Broadway?
Competente: My mom tried to book a variety of shows and
try everything. Some days we would have Opera in the afternoon,a
one man avant garde play in the early evening, Bet comedy in the
late night. it was very exciting. We even had the White Trash
Debutantes preform one night.
You had some live music because I remember The White Trash
Debutantes playing there for Dina. Grace (ex Mabuhay Gardens
Waitress) was the cocktail Waitress I believe.
Competente: One year we had Tammy from Paradigm(not sure
how to spell it) studios book some there bands PIG, Cherry bay,
High Wire. Then we had a bunch of Hip Hop come through and a few
great DJ's like Q-bert.
Was it at The On Broadway that you began doing light
work? From there you went on and joined the Union right?
Competente: When I turned 13 the producer from a play
asked me if I wanted to run the lighting board and I said,"yeah,
why not." I found I had an aptitude for it and groups started to
use be as there lighting person, then John Epstien showed me how
to run and sound mixer and how to service everything. He was a
big help and a wealth of knowledge. Then when the On Broadway
closed I went to city college where I became a cook. I was a cook
till I was in my early twenties then I found a job as an audio
visual tech. Then I started working for the Stage hands union.
Tell us some of the places you have worked?
Competente: I have worked in a ton of places as a cook
and a tech. I worked at the old Cable car theater, The Exit
theater, The Noh space, Mason theater, Fairmont hotel, interned
as a cook at the St Francis hotel and the Fillmore, Moscone
center. And now I have been working as a jewelry instructor at the
Sharon Arts Studio in Golden Gate Park.
Can you give the readers the address to your new Website for your
Your Mother has been involved with Ceramics and
Jewelry. Was it Dina that made you interested in designing
Competente: Right before 9-11 My mom retired from
working for Bank of America and decided to go back to China
painting class. She looked and me and said," If you want to be a
true jeweler you should at least take some formal classes." So I
did and now I am the teacher's assistant. My Mom and Dad have
always been my biggest fans and support.
You design some beautiful Earrings, Necklaces, Tiara's and
Pins.. I strongly urge the any readers to check out your site and
make an order as they are truly great work... Give us a run down
of all the items you have available up at your site?
Competente: I have a wide range of beautiful affordable
jewelry. I have beaded crowns and tiaras that start at $20
dollars and go to $120, beaded earrings that price from $15
dollars to $60, My personal favorite necklace that are $20 to
$120 and fused glass pins and pendants that range from $5 to
$95. All pieces are one of a kind!
You travel to different Conventions, Craft Shows and Fairs to
show your work. Tell us about some the conventions that stand
Competente:I just had a great time at the annual Rakkasah
belly dance convention in Richmond, ca. I love showing my work
off at Costume College in Van Nuys, CA and dressing up in costume
at the annual Bay Area costume convention of Baycon.
What is the farthest you have traveled to a
Convention, Fairs or Craft Show?
Competente:I have not gone far. I usually try and get to
L. A. at least once a year. I am trying for the Philadelphia art
and craft show for next year.
Olivia, you have also are now an Instructor. How great! How long
have you been teaching and where are your classes being held?
Competente: I have been teaching at a great institution
called the Sharon Arts studio in golden gate park. I had taken
classes at the studio since I was very young and my mom had been
taking pottery and china painting classes since I was a year old.
I have been teaching for about a year now.
We at Punk Globe would like to wish you continued
success with your Jewelry Line, Teaching and doing Lights.. We
again urge anyone looking for a special gift for a friend or loved
one to check out your Website. Do you have any added information
that you may like to share with the readers.
Competente: Nope I think you covered it all. Thanks for
the time and being so great.
Thanks for the wonderful interview Olivia. Will we see you at The
Mabuhay Gardens Reunion Show at The Fillmore?
Competente: I'll try. I need to score a ticket.