OUR musical director told us just recently, “Not all talented people are fit for theater.” If he had announced that during callbacks, I would have been more discerning. But in this case, I am glad for my temporary excess of idealism at that time because I learned that not everyone lacking in talent aren’t unfit for theater, too.
I read about Facebooked! The Musical on Facebook (duh) last October, and found that artists I’ve long admired were involved. I immediately jumped at the chance to try out. This was going to be the role that would have my real name linking verb-ed with my fictional destiny: Therese Villarante is Ann Bagumbayan. She throws up the butterflies and rainbows swelling in her stomach. Based on hushed comments and telling faces, Ann can be annoying. But not to me. The root of Ann isn’t the Disney movies but the happy ending. Not everyone may be blatant with falling in love, but happy endings are any sensible person’s agenda.
Quite luckily, the Facebooked! crew added me. So our plot began with the romantic relationship of Ann Bagumbayan and Matt De los Santos. Mitch Barathea, Matt’s bestfriend, was understandably jealous but then resorted to irrational means that blew confetti over private-public identities. A bigger fraction of their lives are spent on this social networking site, which is really no big leap of imagination, but no technology that ever runs on the fingertips of a human being stays electronic.
There will always be more words than there are pixels. However, there was one big underplayed problem, I didn’t know half of what I was getting into.
It was an outright regular display of my flaws. It wasn’t my intention to show-off but when they showed me dancing, I showed them joints that have never been moved since.
When they showed me grace, the closest I could give was to stand straight. And every day of the week, I went on to accept that the scenes were not going to include flowers or some form of shrubbery to save me, some smiley or “like” button I can hide behind, until I went to accept that they were not going to replace me.
Until one day, I was fairly good enough to sink in the group’s motions and when our dance instructor would say, “sharper movements,” I would no longer be poking someone’s eye out. It’s not just dancing. It’s singing, acting, and everything else that makes a
I did not know myself this way yet. The dancing-singing-acting-bravekind. It was uncomfortable, difficult, tiring, frustrating, and essentially frightening. Like a collapse of an image that turned out to be myself. I am simply brushing off the dust to laugh because there could be no more beautiful place to break. There could be no more beautiful place to be rebuilt.
I think that people are constantly seeking for opportunities to transform, whether they are aware of it or not. Perhaps theater is the wildest thing I’ve done in my life so far. In the end, the great discovery was that I had only needed to clean the mirror. It may have required getting a little dirty, but I see with new eyes and nothing is fictional anymore. My stories no longer close their eyes. I have acquired profound gratitude towards my family for believing that I am a rockstar. Also, I have acquired another family.
We call ourselves The Offbeats. If you relate it with music, it’s the one that falls off the rhythm. It’s the one that occupies the wrong spaces. It’s the one that wasn’t part of the plan. It’s what caught me right before falling on the ordinary. Now there is so much more than what I first set out to do with love.
I really don’t know if theater is a dream of mine yet I do know that it is where I dream. I am not sure what theater will be to me, but I am certain of being a few pages longer. Something in connection to the world being a stage makes me believe that, really, every day is a performance. This is my offering to the light. I am stepping out of some shadow to be my own audience.