Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Snippets, episode 022613.

Quotable quotes and random snippets of conversation.

"He's a flake. And I'm a flake. Two flakes are the beginning of a snowstorm."
(A modified quote from They're Playing Our Song.)

"Bakit? Masungit din naman ako sa inyo diba? Haha."
"Kaya pala nagka-crush si..."
(And the guy trailed off when he softly mentioned someone's name.)

"How old are you na, Tin, if you don't mind my asking?"
"Any plans of settling down soon?"
"Hmm... Wala pa eh."
"May boyfriend ka ba?"
"Friends lang kayo?"
[Questioning look.]
"Ni ano..." Gestures with a nod towards the direction of the floor.

May ganon?


Wala lang.

I'm still smitten.

But I'm still torpe. So I still won't say anything.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Busy, and other randomness.

I'm so glad to have a rare free afternoon like today. Since last Tuesday, I don't have much free time because I started staying in the studio longer than usual to practice with Myrone for the syllabus competition. Plus I had ushering duties for They're Playing Our Song during the weekend, so I've been on my feet almost all the time.

I know I'm still a beginner, as I had started taking up the standard discipline just last December. In terms of technique, I still have so much to learn. So everyone (yes, not just Teacher B and Myrone, but also Sir Brando, Mommy Val and even the other scholars as they watch us practice) has been coaching me on my lousy posture and footwork and all that jazz that we haven't even discussed thoroughly in class. I guess this is an advantage for me, because due to that, I'm somewhat more ahead than the other students in our classes.

I still can't believe that I'm actually joining my first (syllabus) competition. And to think that only 3 months ago, I was merely watching these guys compete and grab award after award. And now I got paired up with the guy who has to defend his title in the standard category? What the heck am I doing here? No wonder he's so hard on me while I practice drills and routines, plus nagging me on my bad posture and messy footwork. I'm just glad he's somewhat being patient with me, though sometimes I have this feeling that he's sort of regretting the decision of being paired up with a beginner, and the only thing he can do about it is to tease me to keep things light. (Light? He keeps teasing me with the term "Super Ferry" because I weigh him down.)

Still, it's overwhelmingly flattering that Teacher B chose me to pair up with him to compete. Do I actually have the potential? I'm still doubting myself. Plus all the pressure keeps coming back. But to quote what Remus had just said during a short chat earlier, "Nilagay ka diyan kasi alam nila na kaya mo!" Now if only I also believed that, hahaha.

Now that that's off my chest, it's time to fill this blog with randomness.

I'm the type who sometimes gets paranoid with comments, especially when I feel that I know it's something about me. Sometimes I try to dismiss it by ignoring it, or just laugh it off, regardless whether it's true or not.

"She's flirting."
- So just because I hung out with someone doesn't mean I'm flirting. I haven't flirted once because of certain given circumstances.

"You're so malandi." (Another side comment.)
- I was merely talking during a break. A simple short conversation. What was malandi about that?

I don't know if they're misinterpreting my friendliness as flirtation when I'm already too shy to do so. So maybe I do like this person. I don't believe I'm acting on it too much due to obvious circumstances.

Then there's this one person who annoyed the heck out of me one afternoon. He was just sitting there, watching, and kept giving comments. So maybe he means well and he was just trying to help, but the way he kept dishing them out and how he said them rubbed me the wrong way. Totally annoying. I know I'm not a good dancer yet, and I know my posture's bad, but he doesn't have to keep commenting about my own posture when he can't even hold his own in class. I was the one who had to lead him once or twice in class later that afternoon.

OK, I'm done ranting.

So I've mentioned that I've been ushering for 9 Works Theatrical's production of They're Playing Our Song during the weekends. I once got to watch a thesis production of this musical a few years back, and said that it was the right musical at the right time.

I have to say, for this production, it still is the right production at the right time. I always feel giddy when I hear the songs, any of which can be so appropriate in so many situations.

There are even so many quotable quotes that I love and can relate to.

"Talking to you is like sending out your laundry. You'll never know what the hell's coming back."

"I have the symptoms of a prepubescent adolescent... That's what you get for not looking where you step."

So anyway, how are you, dear reader of this blog? Please feel free to comment.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A competition? Seriously?

I had tweeted this a couple of days ago: "Plans change. Things don't turn out as expected. But it's nice to see that despite the changes, things could turn out just as well."

I remember Ian wanting to train me to compete in an open Latin ballroom competition. I told him I liked Latin ballroom better than standard, probably because that's what was mostly taught to me. But things fell through, so I ended up going to another studio to keep myself from getting rusty.

When I was encouraged to take the standard class while still taking the Latin, I never thought I'd end up enjoying standard ballroom just as much. Probably even more, though I'm not sure yet.

Last Friday evening, we were supposed to have our usual back-to-back Latin and standard class, but because Sir Brando, Mommy Val, Joemari and Kimmy had a show, Teacher Belinda took the vacant hour for Latin to add to her 1-hour standard class.

Having arrived early at the studio from Glorietta with Myrone, we ended up reviewing the waltz before class had started, and got to pick up a few pointers both from him and Teacher B. Thank goodness for being there and dressing up early, as we had to review all the dances that we had taken up.

I have to say, it was a somewhat tiring but pretty fulfilling 2-hour class, as we were taught the Viennese waltz during the first hour, then we got to review the slow waltz and quickstep during the 2nd hour.

I distinctly remember asking Teacher B before the beginning of class about the syllabus competitions. When the next one would be (which would be in less than a month), and all that, and then I even told her that I somewhat wanted to compete, but I don't think I'm ready yet so part of me still doesn't want to do so.

I think she took it seriously. I could feel her watching me all throughout the class as my elbows and my posture kept dropping while my feet kept getting stepped on (due to small steps that couldn't catch up to my partner's big steps).

Teacher B told me after class that I could probably join the standard category of the syllabus competition with Myrone as my partner (who I'm guessing is having difficulty getting a partner due to his height), if I'm willing to attend extra sessions under her. She said she'd waive her professional fee, plus I might have to pay for the fee for the use of the floor if IDance won't shoulder it (because even if Myrone is a scholar, I'm not).

Even with the nerves I suddenly felt all over, I think I had said yes.

I just checked the PDTA Facebook page. The competition is on March 9th. The deadline for submission of entries is on February 22nd.

I don't know yet if Teacher B is dead serious about having me compete. If she asks me to stay after class this Tuesday, that's when I'll actually know.

I know I wanted to do this. But what I was dreaming about a few months ago was to compete in an open competition for Latin (despite my lack of technique). And now I'm being encouraged to join a syllabus competition. And I never expected it to be in the standard category.

It's approximately 3 weeks away. Can I do this?

In the words of Yoda, "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The weekend. Watching a play, ending a stint, and stuff.

I'm not really into dwelling over what day tomorrow will be like, be it Valentine's Day or Single Awareness Day, as some people would call it. So let's just talk about something else, shall we?

I took another momentary trip to my previous world this past weekend. Theater, and that brief acting stint with Panahon.

On Saturday, I had so much time to kill before I had to meet with Myrone and Alvin at CCP during the evening for TP's Ibalong, so I ended up meeting JB first at Cash and Carry for lunch. It's been quite a while since we hung out, so we caught up on each other's news while we pigged out at Pancake House, and even at her apartment afterwards as she prepped up to go to Greenbelt to watch Boeing, Boeing with a bunch of her workshop friends. I even got to meet her adorable Persian cat, Hero.

We then headed to Greenbelt and hung out at A Gantea for a while as JB still had lots of time to kill. Got to meet Jurmane, one of her workshop classmates from this past summer who's also currently one of our fellow ushers for They're Playing Our Song, as he joined us as well before they headed to Onstage when it was time for the show.

I then headed to CCP after bidding them goodbye. Stopped by the lobby and said hello to Ate Lei, then I got a text from Alvin saying that they were already there, waiting in KFC. Joined them and hung around a bit to kill some time, then we moved to Chicken Rice Shop for dinner (apparently, what Myrone was eating at KFC was just an appetizer, hahaha). We still had quite a bit of time left, so we ended up just hanging out in the LT lobby until open house. Once we secured seats inside the theater (including a couple more for Iam and Ge), I then headed back out to the lobby to use the ladies room and conveniently ran into Iam on my way out. Waited until Ge arrived, and we went back inside the theater together.

Ibalong is an original Filipino musical based on a Bicolano epic, telling the story of the hero Handyong and his battles against creatures and monsters roaming the land, including Oryol, a creature who is half-woman, half-snake.

Right from the very beginning, I was already in awe because of the breathtaking set, the hypnotic music that was being played live, plus the jaw-dropping costumes of the cast. I was hooked. It was actually interesting to watch Jenine Desiderio (who played Oryol) singing in a different style, but it was also pretty refreshing. It's been a while since I last watched Myke, who played Handyong, in a musical, and I'm glad I finally did again. The ensemble was such a thrill to watch, and they moved around with such ease despite how complicated their costumes seemed to be.

After the show, there was the customary meet-and-greet, so the boys got to meet some of my friends from the cast. It was also great to see other friends among the audience as well. Alvin then took advantage of the fact that I had my camera, so I took photos of him and Myrone with some of the cast before they had to go home. I, in turn, joined Iam and Ge at Dencio's for a while, then hitched a ride home with them as well.

Sunday was my return to the Panahon shoot. I had a later call time than some of the cast, so I coordinated with Jam about meeting up somewhere in Magallanes. Ended up running into her in the same train in the Ayala MRT station, so we didn't have to stop over at the Magallanes station.

The first location was at Migs' house in Magallanes. Just hung around the room that was being used as the holding area, reading my script, reading the newspapers, texting, momentarily checking my Facebook (due to the intermittent wifi signal in the room), and watching TV with Tita Chinggay, as I had no scenes in that location.

When all scenes were done, we then piled up in 2 vehicles. All of us actors were in Tito Ces' van so we could run over our lines for the sequences in the next location. The pressure was all on me for so many reasons. One, it was one of 2 sequences where my character was at the peak of her emotions. Two, I seemed to be the resident novice actor, based on experience. Everyone was giving me notes on how to deliver my lines and such, and I just sat there, quietly nodding and taking it all in, while deep down, I kept questioning myself if I could really do this. I didn't really want to always be in the center of attention, and certainly not in this way where I was the lousiest actor in the group, and I do know that I was.

The sequence was to be shot in a condo unit owned by Maco's family, so after a quick lunch, we threw lines again, prepped up while the crew set up in the room. I mostly sat there, mostly quiet, except while throwing lines as Tito Ces kept giving me endless notes which made me more inferior by the minute. Sam did offer to let us watch a clip of the first time they shot it, with Martha as my character (and yes, due to a commitment to a project, they had to replace her with someone like me at the last minute). I didn't want to watch it because they were already comparing her with me, and by watching it, I would also do so.

When it was finally time to shoot, I decided to just wing it. My character had to be so enraged with her daughter for attempting to live in with her boyfriend, and lying to her parents about it, that my character had no control over her emotions and ended up physically hurting her daughter. It took a couple of takes, and I was surprised that I was actually into the scene that a couple of lines somehow hit home. Tears flowed, I got a scratch on my arm from Sam's ring, plus a couple of bruises from leaning on the bed frame too much. I was pretty touched when a couple of people told me I did a good job, even though it kind of felt perfunctory.

On to the next location, back at Bella and Kevin's house in Filinvest. We shot a sequence similar to that previous one, but a different break. Nothing much different, really. Same lines, just a different location, plus a different solution to the same sort of ending. Since I got the character down pat (due to a certain personal experience that I once shared with Lara via text), I was kind of confident enough to go through these last couple of sequences. I ended up with another scratch on the arm, plus Sam once managed to nail me on the lip using a pair of pants that she flailed around, but it was alright.

After one last sequence, we finally wrapped it up. A bunch of us hung around the front porch while the rest of the crew started packing up inside. I had decided to just head straight to the office and spend the night in the lounge instead of going home, because I won't be able to get some sleep due to the travel time going back south. Thank goodness I still had some extra clothes and stuff on me to tide me over for the early Monday morning shift before heading home.

That acting stint is finally over. I may say I'm relieved, but I'm glad this happened. I can still do it, but I don't have the drive for it anymore. For some reason, I've lost the drive to pursue that road. I've already said this in a previous blog post. I guess it's better this way. Had I not taken that risk to pursue a different passion that I'm falling in love with even more, I would probably still be stuck there, doing things half-heartedly and ending up with mediocre results.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Saturday night out.

Sir Brando invited me to his birthday celebration this Saturday. It was all the way in Binangonan, Rizal, so I decided to hitch a ride with everyone else after their Saturday class.

As Myrone had said that they usually finish up at around 2pm, I went to Makati Cinema Square a few minutes before then, browsed around Book Sale (and got a good deal on a couple of books as well), then knocked on the door of one of the small function rooms in the studio where their lecture class was. But oops, their class was still going on. They were in the middle of a discussion on the 4 temperaments, so Mommy Val asked the class to identify me. They unanimously labeled me as sanguine (pleasure-seeking and sociable), and I just had to laugh because they had no idea that I used to be so phlegmatic (relaxed and quiet). Then I took a seat and listened as Mommy Val continued the lecture for about another hour.

When the class was over, everyone (except the UMAK OJTs, who opted to go home) started getting ready to leave for the party. We then waited for quite a while at the parking area for the van.

This was the first time I got to be around these people outside of the studio (well, except for Myrone and sometimes Alvin), so I was still trying to get to know them as they joked around. As I was sitting next to Teacher Belinda, she was the one who started picking on me. Somewhere in the middle of joking around with the others, I heard a bit of teasing but didn't quite catch on, but I did hear Mommy Val say, "Alam ko ang sikreto mo, Christine." I raised my brow and thought, "What was that? What does she know?"

We pulled up at the venue about 2 hours later. It was an outdoorsy place owned by Julius, and as the tables and chairs weren't completely set up yet, the boys had to help out before we started eating.

There was yummy chicken inasal and barbecue, and I didn't even try to hide my noticeably huge appetite. Ended up hanging around mostly with Myrone and Jason. When this infamous mixed drink they called the camachile was served to us in a tower, Mark joined us at our table. I've heard that a couple of them got kind of wasted when they first had this drink a couple of weekends ago, so I got pretty curious about it. Myrone, who fell victim to the drink that last time, opted to drink beer instead, so it was just me, Jason, Mark, plus Mark's mom sharing the tower of camachile. It was pretty fine, somewhat sweet due to the strawberry juice in the mix, but by the time we were halfway on the 2nd tower, I knew that I already had my limit. Plus Julius told me it had an energy drink in the mix. Caffeine was a no-no for my condition, so I shouldn't consume so much. So I ended up drinking water while the rest finished the tower. So grateful that the boys were kind enough to get me water because I knew I would lose it if I stand up and get it on my own.

While we were just sitting around, drinking and talking, Sir Brando was alternately at the videoke machine singing away, or getting people to dance. I was content with sitting around with the boys, because I knew I'd most likely fall over if I'd dance under the influence of alcohol. I did somehow regret not taking a turn at the videoke machine, though.

I don't know if I was being dense or trying to be oblivious (partly because of paranoia due to a previous honest blog post), but I noticed a few quips and teasing here and there throughout the night. Mauw asking me if I currently have a boyfriend after asking Myrone something I didn't hear. Sir Brando saying that he was glad I stuck around, always sitting nearby, or something. Pairing up for the standard events. Someone saying that Ate Nho approves. Either I'm becoming too obvious, or... am I missing something here? Please clue me in, hahaha.

I was mighty flattered about what Sir Brando said to me that night. He noted that I was the only student that he had invited to the party. It felt really nice to be part of this crazy group. Mommy Val had even said earlier in the van that I have to get used to all the teasing first. Crazy Le Bran family. I love them already.

Later, when it was the wee hours of morning already, most of the people had left (and Alvin had managed to catch up), and we were all just sitting at one big table, after all the profound and mundane conversations, there seemed to be some conflict between a couple of friends, so I kind of inched away from the older people so as not to be rude. But I guess those kind of conflicts do happen when longtime close friends still have issues between them.

A bunch of us were the last to leave (save for Sir Brando, Alvin and Jason, I think), and by the time I got home, the sun was already rising. I was kind of out of it that I had no choice but to skip the Pasinaya Festival in CCP and sleep the whole day off until I had to go to a rare 1am shift in the office because of the Superbowl.

But anyway, it was still a blast.

So how was your weekend?