Sunday, May 15, 2005

Dog Day Afternoon

Earlier on Saturday:

When I entered the audition room, direk JM greeted me. “Glad you’re already well,” he said. “Here’s the script. I want you to read for Orfeo.”

My blood froze. Arf, arf.

“Ooo-kay,” I said, and started flipping the pages of the script. When I reached the end, I looked up and exclaimed, “These are two whole pages of monologue!”

* * * * *

(“Flashback, warm nights, almost left behind a suitcase of memories....)

1989. I was on my second year working in the Coordinating Center for Dramatic Arts of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, a.k.a. CCDA of CCP. My boss, the esteemed theater director and visual artist Nonon Padilla, approached me and asked, “Would you like to be in my play?” I’ve seen almost all of the plays he directed for Tanghalang Pilipino and I love the way he directs—a little too intellectual and heavy on visual symbolisms, but well-paced and still entertaining. But this time he had written a play, and Paul Dumol, another Philippine theater stalwart, was set to direct it. It was a loving spoof on the classic Nick Joaquin story, now entitled “Ang Pilipino Bilang Artist(a).” Who was I to refuse? Besides, when I asked Nonon what my part was, he just flippantly answered, “You play Bititoy, the son of Bitoy Camacho.” Ah, a supporting role, I thought. This should be fairly easy; I can always blend in the background.

Turns out I had two whole pages of monologue at the end. But that was the easy part. You see, when I started delivering my monologue, the set behind me—which was production designed by the (now) late National Artist Lindy Locsin—would transform slowly, from a living room to an open-air garden. Slowly plants and trees would creep in, and the roof would give way to a magnificent night sky full of stars.

So there I was, performing on the legitimate stage—in f**king CCP, of all places!—for the first time. I would gaze into the eyes of the audience, trying to connect with them. But every performance, at a certain point, I’d see their eyes slowly wander away from mine, towards something behind me. Lindy’s set, changing. And I’d hear them go, “ooh!” and “ahhh!” The audience abandoned all pretense of listening to me; instead they were raptured by the set change.

Upstaged by the set of a National Artist!

* * * * *

With trepidation I started reading the monologue. Direk JM, sensing my hesitation, immediately added, “And I also want you to read for Augusto, the lead.”

And so that’s how I ended up being offered both parts. I know my limits, I can only do one. I told direk JM I prefer a dialogue versus a monologue. The final decision, of course, will still be the director’s.

Meanwhile I made sure of one thing. “What will the set look like?” I asked. “I want it minimalist,” direct JM said. Whew. Thank god Salvador “Badong” Bernal, National Artist for Production Design, isn’t involved in this play.

The performances are scheduled on July. Stay tuned whether yours truly will actually be performing or not.

15 Comments:

Blogger Punks said...

Nice seeing you kanina dude. Astig ka talaga sumayaw. :)

6:24 AM  
Blogger ivygurlalush said...

Hoping to see your posts about the play sson :) take care!

3:14 PM  
Blogger Kervin said...

Its been like a lifetime since I saw anything on stage so here's looking forward to you on it *cheers~meow*

3:23 PM  
Blogger olive said...

it will be a treat to see you again. in a play no less. :)

10:38 PM  
Blogger sky said...

The McVie Show goes live! Aabangan ko ito.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Nelson said...

The McVie Show goes Theatre kamo! Peeeektures kung fuwede! ;-))

8:49 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

Oo nga ano. The last time "The McVie Show" went live, it was during my dad's wake. The irony, going live during death. Ngyuk-ngyuk-ngyuk.

Imogen: Sana kasing-astig din ng dancing ko ang acting ko.

Oh my, this early nape-pressure na akesh! Ka-TENSE! Ahahahahahaha!

8:59 AM  
Blogger Nelson said...

Kunyari ka pa! he he he

more rating pa kamo! ;-)

11:01 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

Hoy Nelz, gising ka pa? Hindi ba gabe na evuuur diyan sa Maple Leaf Country? :-)

11:15 AM  
Blogger Nelson said...

Gising na gising! pasado alas-ocho pa lang ditelds, pero me jaraw fah! sinech ba naman ang makakaborlog ditelds sa kaliwanagan, aber? hahahahha! di ko keri, mas magaling si badinggerzie!

i'm also waiting for norm, and i'm blogging too, op cors. ;-)

11:18 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

My gosh, surreal! May-I-dialogue ba raw tayo sa comments ng Blogger?! Hahahaha!

Nakakahawa talaga si kumareng Badinggerzie, noh? Ang saya-saya ng swardspeak! Wala ganyan sa Isteyts... este, Canada pala. :-)

11:24 AM  
Blogger Nelson said...

naman! trulili ka jan! ingles na lang ng ingles ever, mula nung binasa ko si mareng badinggerzie hinahanap-hanap na ng dila ko ang magfagalog! di ko naman pwedeng echusin mga puti ditelds noh hahahahaha!

12:06 PM  
Blogger McVie said...

Speaksung ka lang evvuur ng vhaklurspeak, sistraks! Bayaan mong malukring-lucrecia kasilag ang mga afam. Hahahaha! :-)

12:11 PM  
Blogger McVie said...

Sha, lunch na muna akesh, Nelz. Gawin bang YM ang Blogger daw, o! Hahaha! :-)

12:18 PM  
Blogger evil queen said...

just hoppin by :)

8:21 PM  

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