They say those Pisces-born are artistic and creative. Although I never felt artistic enough, I knew that I had crazy if not creative ideas. In the back my mind, I’ve always wanted to be a performer. I wanted to be admired and inspire many people. To me, the best way I could express myself is through singing and dancing. No, I don’t sing nor dance well compared to some people I know. I was content knowing that I enjoy performing regardless of how good or bad I was.
When I resigned from my job in March 2014, I thought of trying out a new field. I wanted to take a break from office life. Theater was something I never thought of. Even if I was part of the school’s Theater Arts Club in gradeschool through high school, I think the most we did was some pantomime. There weren’t even scripts then. That experience shut down what could be a potential interest in acting.
In college, I had the general idea what theater is about. Though I’m not one to attend plays and be in the know. It was a rather expensive activity for me. Our college didn’t have a theater group either. The only times I watched a play or even went to the Cultural Center of the Philippines was to watch Cinemalaya and some shows required in class.
There were two factors that prompted me to do theater: 1–my male idols and 2-my colleague.
A new dream sparked when I was very impressed by Joo-won’s acting in the TV series 각시탈 (Bridal Mask). Since then, I kept watch for twisted characters who could make me empathize with their stories. I was totally amazed by their talent and I was hoping that maybe someday I could bring about emotions from my audience.
My colleague Linh (yes, the Sunday Girl) told me that I could still take theater arts workshops at 23. I thought I was too old or that I needed to take a 4-year undergraduate course in Theater. Finding out that my idols Joo-won and Tom Hiddleston started out in theater gave me the push. I want to be closer to them (not in a fangirl kind of way). Find out how they do it. I want to be in their world. I want to be admired by the people watching me.
When I enrolled in a theater workshop by Tanghalang Pilipino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last April, a new world opened up for me. I learned so many things from people who were younger and from those older than I am. Some, who were my age yet very experienced in theater. I couldn’t help but feel a little behind on experience and knowledge. And I hated that feeling.
During the early days of the workshop, I kept to myself – watching people, listening, and trying hard not to be noticed. I thought, that if I went on this way, I wouldn’t graduate properly. Contrary to people’s first impression of me, I am actually very shy and anti-social.
I find it hard to make friends. It is easy to introduce myself and begin small talk but hard to transition from mere acquaintances to friends. It always just ends at small talk. How can I expect people to admire my ‘talent’ if I don’t let myself be out there?
Every time I was called on to do improvisations, I start nervous, my mind in such a state of confusion from thinking too much about how I should execute my act. I feel as if a thousand eyes were on me, waiting to see how I would fail and make a fool of myself. But the moment I begin, it is as if the surrounding lights went out and the only person in the room was me.
Usually, I would be too conscious of what other people would think of me. I was afraid to make mistakes. But I realized mistakes were just one of the many different ways an actor can execute a character.
At the end of the workshop, my drive has changed. I no longer want to be an actor in league with Joo-won and Tom Hiddleston. I just want to lose myself in my character. That feeling. Oh that feeling. That chance to be on stage. Bonus if it is a stage with Joo-won and Hiddleston, yes please!
So what happened? I met wonderful people who shared their knowledge on acting – tips and chismis included. I made new friends I still talk to on Facebook. I was ate to some and gave work advice and I had an ate who also gave me heads up on auditions. I had a new barkada called the Vito Cruz Club because we’d always walk the street together. We sleepovers and drunken nights. I had my first kiss-on-the-lips scene with a co-actor and my boyfriend was totally cool with it (even came to watch me do it live, haha thanksmaniloveyou). Now, I feel like I could kiss any guy and not care at all. Kidding!
A million thanks to our mentor Ms Sherry Lara and Ms Regina de Vera, brilliant actors, wonderful mentors.
This is me saying that I love acting now. If how acting loves me back, I don’t know. But hey, there are always workshops to improve oneself. Right now, I am enrolled in one which will be every Friday from October to March. I am hoping I could still enroll for another which will be every Saturday and Sunday. I gotta stretch my budget.
My family and some friends are concerned that at my age, it would be hard for me to have a gig. Worry not, I’m doing the workshop while applying for my masters in a non-arts field. I understand the risks of investing time and money in this. If this doesn’t work, I have my study and future possible career.