Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nemesis returns.

I thought that, after a year in the making, I had closed the book on Peter Wilson's Nemesis last May along with Mimay, Betty, Opa and Alvin. A bittersweet end to a play that made a huge dent in our lives.

Then Betty gave Opa and me the news. An invitation to perform at the Avellana Art Gallery (to open the exhibit of Joey Cobcobo) in early May. The theme that was given was "7 heads and 10 horns." Holy kamote, chapter 13 of Revelations. So we decided to look for a post-apocalyptic piece. For 3 people. And fast. And we needed a director, or at least an extra set of eyes.

We had our hearts set on this particular material, and then asked Sir Dennis' opinion. During that very evening, Betty figured we could do Nemesis again, this time with 3 women. Then later that night, Opa messaged us on what Sir Dennis had said. His recommendation was Jean Paul Sartre's No Exit. Oh my golly, I don't think we could pull it off in the span of a few days of preparation. Then in an instant, we all realized... Nemesis was based on No Exit! We really could do the play again!

Of course, doing the same characters again would still be refreshing because we realized more options and choices we could make on each of them. But instead, we're switching things around to make it interesting. It would be fun to delve into the mind of the more complex character. I hope this works.

Read Sartre's No Exit this afternoon. This is where Sartre had said that "Hell is other people," and he was quoted in Nemesis. The words "huis clos" was also mentioned in Nemesis, and was translated to "in camera," which I didn't get at all at first. Apparently, Mr. Wilson had translated it from French to Italian, not French to English, so "in camera" really meant "in room" in English. "Huis clos" literally meant "door close," or a closed door. Looking at all those, it really did mean "no exit," hence Sartre's title.

It's almost May again. And Nemesis has returned. I sure wish Mimay was here in Manila for this event.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Virgin Labfest 5 is looking for STAGE MANAGERS

Reposting from Ed's Multiply...

Just like the directors, writers, and actors, Stage Managers are an integral part of the Virgin Labfest.

This year at least two dozen new works will be staged. That means WE NEED A LOT OF STAGE MANAGERS, and we want to gather the best we can find.

Experience one of the most stimulating, intense, and fulfilling work you can have, and get a chance to work with some of the established names in Philippine Theater.

Past directors, writers, and actors include: Tomy Abuel, May Bayot, Nonie Buencamino, Shamaine Buencamino, Ricci Chan, Vince De Jesus, George De Jesus III, Niel De Mesa, Jaime Del Mundo, Dido Dela Paz, Herbie Go, Jose Estrella, Bart Guingona, Malou Jacob, Nanding Josef, Mailes Kanapi, Ana Valdez Lim, Liza Magtoto, Dennis Marasigan, Irma Adlawan Marasigan, Glen Mas, Chris Millado, Madeline Nicolas, Peewee O’Hara, Mae Paner, Joey Paras, Nich Pichay, Ama Quiambao, Floy Quintos, Leo Rialp, Denisa Reyes, Bembol Roco, Tuxqs Rutaquio, Roobak Valle, Rody Vera, and Rene Villanueva.

Rehearsals usually start on the 3rd week of May. The festival will be from June 23 – July 5, 2009.


If you are interested, e-mail your resume and letter of intent to

Weekend unwinding moments.

Met up with Opa in Taft yesterday afternoon after my final class because I knew she was passing through the area before she heads to CCP for Rehearsal and Performance Techniques workshop. As it turned out, she was heading to CCP an hour early to meet with a couple of her classmates to rehearse an assigned scene. Aw, I felt a slight twinge of envy, as we used to do that last year. I didn't mind the having that kind of homework everyday.

Anyway, when we arrived at the MKP, her groupmates were already waiting for her outside the venue (there was a master class going on inside). Her one other groupmate was RJ, one of my classmates from Acting in Musical Theater. Hahaha, I missed my "syotang bakla." Rayna was also part of the class as well! My golly, their class was pretty small. There were 6 of them that day, plus Anna and Russell, and Martha's coming in to catch up next week.

When the master class had ended, I joined the handful of RPT workshoppers inside the MKP, as Anna had announced that Sir Dennis had said to make use of the first half hour to rehearse their scenes. Throw lines here and there, blocking here and there, and nakikichika naman ako with those who weren't rehearsing or are already done rehearsing. Chikahan plus kilig moments with RJ, Rayna and Anna, hahaha. Lao and Riki also dropped in.

Sir Dennis finally arrived, and he immediately began the class by making the groups perform their scenes one by one. I sat with Riki and Lao ala American Idol panel at an adjacent table facing the acting area (at may platforms na sila ngayon, haha). Kat joined us after the first group had performed. Sir Dennis encouraged us to comment after all the groups have performed, but I didn't know that all of us really were supposed to comment. Comment nga lang naman eh, so sige na nga. I didn't even know if what I said was worth listening to, hahaha.

Thanks for letting me sit in, Sir! Hope I can drop by again soon.

I miss workshopping.

Oh well.

Anyway, yesterday, Rosa asked me to go with her to Fully Booked at High Street. She was looking for Spanish language books, but most bookstores just have dictionaries, so that branch of Fully Booked was the way to go with its 5 stories of "happy literary goodness and stuff."

We first went to Market Market for lunch, and because we were talking about Gryn Wasabi sushi and how I recommended it to Tad and Paolo, we both ended up craving for sushi, so we settled for this Japanese resto, hahaha (forgot the name, though). The maki that Rosa got was pretty yummy and crunchy, and was great with the wasabi and soy sauce. Too bad the salmon sashimi I got wasn't all that, and the place's iced tea was too sweet.

On to Fully Booked. When Rosa got to the travel and language section on the second floor, I was free to explore the other floors. Ended up spending a long time sitting on the floor in the little plays and drama corner, until Teena found me there. Haha, she was hunting for I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright. I did find a play by Michael Frayn, but no Noises Off, darn darn darn. I settled for Chekov and Stanislavky then, hahaha. It took me quite a long time going around the place that I thought Rosa might already be fluent in Spanish by the time I met back with her, hahaha.

I just love Fully Booked there in High Street. I could live there, hahaha.

Walked around after that, then we took a break in Krispy Kreme to talk over doughnuts and strawberry chillers until it wasn't that hot out anymore.

We have new project in the works. We're now searching for material that's suitable for the theme (post-apocalyptic). Any suggestions? Not a full-length play really. Just a good fifteen minutes is enough.

Curtains: Summer's Nights, Summer's Dreams.

First of all, congratulations to Jan, Audz and Charles for surviving their production design thesis!

Thursday was the day of stage adjustment and DTR for Summer's Nights, Summer's Dreams at RCBC. I got there pretty early, after hitching a ride with Paolo and Tad to Makati, because they were on their way to Assumption anyway. Set-up was still going on, so we had to wait until the air conditioners were switched on in the dressing rooms.

Hair and make-up for the DTR, especially for us girls, took quite a long time, so the make-up team had to set up their stuff inside the roomy guys' dressing room while the cast threw lines. Because Diwata was the only one that day doing the make-up, we had to start early. Then we finally got our costumes, and I chuckled as I reached for this shiny orange dress with a huge white ruffled collar that Audz handed me. No shoes yet, as they were still on the way to the theater daw, so I ended up wearing my own sandals the entire time.

After throwing lines during hair and make-up, George announced that we had to do slight major stage adjustments, because as it turned out, the platform set piece was bigger than we had expected, and to think that it will be moved by the actors themselves.

Everyone got into their costumes, and we finally did stage adjustment and an Italian run in the evening.


Red: I have a question... What's an Italian run?
Isab: Run-through na mabilis.
Red: Ah... in Rep kasi we just call it a speed run.
Isab: TP kasi, mabigat ang mga terms, tapos Tagalog pa.
Red: Why is it called Italian? Kasi mabilis magsalita ang mga Italians?

Come to think of it, I've always used the term Italian run as well, but I never knew why it's called that way. Can anyone share? And yeah, TP really does use more technical jargon than the others.

By the way, after some time and some observation, for some reason gusto kong mag-speak up, pero part of me insisted I shut up, kasi baka isipin ng tao na nakikialam ako. Konsepto lang naman ako dun eh. Hahaha, though I really want to help. Oh well. Weird segue lang ito.

Bwahahaha, my Imeldific updo fell to pieces during my first scene due to the heavy velour curtain slightly falling against my hair. I was suddenly laughing on the floor for real, especially when I heard the "Queen Amidala" remark (from Papa E, I think) from the audience area, hahaha.

Early call time the next day, as we estimated the hair and make-up prep for us girls. I had arrived 10 minutes after call time, but then realized there were hardly any people backstage yet. I got a head start (literally? Hahaha) with Diwata for hair and make-up, but holy kamote, he tucked a ton of hairpins and I felt as if they were aimed directly at my scalp. Parang feeling ko tuloy na dumudugo yung scalp ko buong araw, ahahaha. (And weirdly enough, my scalp still felt raw the morning after the show) But at least my hair was kept in place the whole time. We stopped prepping up an hour before the 1pm show so we could rehearse the curtain call, as well as the fashion show part during the rewind scene, plus a small dance number for Titania, Oberon, Puck and us two fairies. Hahaha, Isab and I also rehearsed the "Sumayaw, Sumunod" filler as well, because of what had happened the night before when we only had one follow-spot. Objective ko tuloy was to get into Isab's light, hahahaha! Anyway, at last, our shoes came a few minutes after that. No time to break them in, so I jammed a bit of foam inside the shoes as they were a size bigger.

Not much people in the audience during the afternoon show, so they sort of held back on their reactions, if there were any, hahaha. The panel watched that particular show, though, as the thesis defense was held in one of the dressing rooms in between the two shows.

There were much more people for the 7pm show, and they were really receptive, unlike the matipid reactions from the 1pm show, hahaha. It was quite a hoot. Catch nga lang was that during Titania's speech in the 2nd act, they gave us a permanent marker to use on the whiteboard (we were assured that the marker had ink because the whiteboard marker didn't have any ink during the 1pm show) so Kristine couldn't erase it (hence losing the essence of what she had said), then there was too much masking tape on the eyeliner that was attached to the board along with the marker, so she couldn't uncap it to draw on her face. Oh well.

Wonder of wonders, after not catching the tossed fan during most of our rehearsals, I successfully caught it during both shows while on the platform, hahahaha! Ano ba yan, ang babaw ng kaligayahan ko.

Slight mishaps aside (like my left shoe almost flying off when I did that rockstar jump for the curtain call), the evening show turned out really great. Again, congratulations to the thesis group (Magdabby Productions), direk George and the entire cast and crew!

Betty found me immediately while I was crossing the stage to change my footwear. Hahaha, she insisted on taking a photo of me and my hairdo so we went outside the theater for more light. Nicco was there din pala to watch the show! Thanks for watching, baby bro! Victor and the Teacher Susan (the AC's dance teacher) also came to watch the show. Ahaha, nahiya naman ako, as they have never seen me perform. Patago nga ako, sabi ko kay Victor, hahaha.

After a bit of chikahan with the two, I returned to the dressing room to get rid of the million hairpins in my hair and to wash off the hairspray gunk (I came armed with shampoo that day, yay). Finally dressed like a modern person again with dripping wet hair, I finally found Hilary sitting around in the house! I missed that girl soooo much that a hug from her felt so great! Hahaha, as it turned out, the acoustic guitar that I was using as a prop was her own guitar that her sister borrowed for the show.

So this book is finally closed. Time to explore the next avenue.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Of summer loves (thanks to Betty), outlets and new avenues.

Betty had written a note in Facebook aptly titled "Summer lovin'." Like her, the past 3 summers meant going to CCP after work to attend workshop in the evenings. She once again dubbed me as the National Artist for Workshops, hahaha.

I have to admit, I'll miss attending a workshop this year, as I have opted not to enroll for any of the workshops. I remember rushing straight from the office just to get to CCP in time that first year because heck, the "old school" punishment of singing in front of the entire class when you're tardy was implemented. The only time I arrived late, people had forgotten about the punishment because we were all literally beginning to be wrapped up in the world of our upcoming recital. Literally because that was the first day of script reading.

(By the way, I was so glad I found that Whose Line Is It Anyway is airing again on Star World. Hahaha, a couple of days ago, I saw this "game" called "Sit, Stand, Lie." It reminded me of the improv exercise we did during BA workshop that was similar to it, only instead of lie, the third person just has to be on the floor. That was pretty fun. It was the first improv exercise I wanted to do over and over again, hahaha.)

That second year wasn't as ngarag as the year before because there wasn't as much work to be done in the office that time (though I still had to rush from Makati to CCP). Last year was the complete opposite of both because I had resigned from work to return to school. I had so much time on my hands that I arrived in CCP early (with a side trip to McDonald's and the vending machine) to meet with Trency and Rayna so we could study our scripts together.

This year, I got a text from Gino saying that he's enrolling again for a workshop. Stage management, this time. I chose not to enroll, not just because of time and budget, but because I do manage to learn a lot in stage management (and get paid for it, ahahaha) through projects like the annual Virgin Labfest.

Opa had once hinted that she might enroll in one of the workshops this summer, and Betty started thinking about it as well. If they both do enroll, I may end up envying both or either of them, but I guess there are still so many avenues for me to explore.

At the beginning of the term, I found this ad in school about auditions for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (in Filipino, Isang Pangarap sa Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-Araw). Another thesis production. I mulled over the idea for a while, then shrugged it off as I walked to class. During class, I changed my mind and messaged the contact person, and told Lara about it as well. I auditioned in front of the thesis group and a camera, a spur-of-the-moment decision. Unlike Lara, I stopped thinking whether this was going to be a Tartuffe fiasco or worse, something like that whole Kapeng Malamig issue. So maybe I learned that I should do more research about the production before getting into anything, but of course, we should also learn to give people the benefit of the doubt (but not too much). So I tried out, read some lines, and got to talk to one of the people behind the thesis. They seemed professional enough.

Didn't hear anything from them for a month, until after the Crossroads stint ended. Dumb luck, hahaha. And on that first day, I never expected who would turn out as the other actors, so I guess I underestimated this thesis group. I was humbled and flattered at the same time that I almost didn't want to enter the room during the script reading, hahaha.

Well, Summer's Nights, Summer's Dreams will only last until the 17th (please watch, by the way, hahaha). Then Betty, Opa and I are gearing up for something in May, plus there's also Songs For A New World, but that latter one isn't even my project.

Of course, there's also the dance lab under Kyla. Hope I can still catch up after next week. Red and I are involved in the same production anyway, so maybe I'll join his one dance and check out the rest. This is one new outlet I'm dying to try, being the frustrated dancer that I am. I have yet to find out other details soon after Holy Week.

Well, here's to both old and new outlets and avenues to explore for y'all as well.