Recently, indie-film director Rafa Santos got under fire by certain sectors for his remarks regarding theater actors. When he was interviewed on ANC by TV presenter Lexi Schulze to promote his debut Cinemalaya feature “Samarito”, he apparently made an aside that theater actors were easy to work with because of the passion for their craft in spite of long, often grueling work hours and apparent lack of compensation.
O ayun. Sapul.
However, it is the content of Rafa’s statement that may have got under my skin. He explicitly quoted that theater actors are easier to work with because “…they don’t complain. You can feed them Skyflakes three meals a day or pay them in cat food. They’re never late and they cry when you want them to cry.”
Ani Jim Carrey, “Awwwww….dat hurt!!!”
Echoing the statements made by many of my friends in the theater industry, Rafa’s irresponsible statements were a literal sucker punch to their gut which won’t be easily forgiven by just a well-spun public apology.
I most definitely admire theater people for their passion to their craft and the believable performances that they can deliver, but thoughtlessly saying that they can be paid in “cat food” is just symbolic of the absolute shallowness of the star-making machinery in Philippine cinema.
To extrapolate on one of my responses to my friend’s article, how would Rafa Santos’ work have fared if he loaned talent from GMA Artists’ Ceter or the Kapamilya stable? Given Rafa’s relatively well-to-do upbringing, he can have tapped some of his contacts to get him some ready (if not easy on the eye) talent. Each time any of these Big Two studio launch their well-publicized “star” searches, I couldn’t help but have this gut feeling that in the end, half-breeds and balikbayans would have the undue advantage over “Pinoys” overflowing with talent and moreno/a features. In the field of theater, being in a “live” environment – as compared to TV/movies, where someone can always say “cut!!” and reshoot – demands much more from its talent. Theater actors have to be on the ball whenever they are on stage – that is why many Hollywood talents look forward to treading the boards, the more to boost their credibility.
Konting payo sa iyo, Rafa…dahan dahan po lang sa salita mo. He would have chosen his words more carefully – apparently not everyone has had his depth of education or upbringing. Ang dadaming mga taga-entablado na kasing-ingay ng mga taga-showbiz sa okrayan’t asaran, kundi mas maiingay pa.
Ayun, daig mo pa ang Kristeta sa pagiging taklesa mo.
With regards to one of the reposts made by my friend, it has to do with the feeling of certain privileged sectors (we talkin’ ’bout you, Rafa!!!) being “uprooted” from one’s one cultural identity that is to blame. We can always get snarky enough to wear Jose Rizal tees with him wearing cool shades or headphones or thumb our noses to some of our colleagues who gush over Tagalog-dubbed Korean dramas.
I myself do admit that I can easily oscillate between Tito, Vic & Joey-endorsed kababawan (while owning up to still not “getting” Ramon Bautista) and shooting the breeze talking about Tarantino’s cinematic legacy and Odd Future with some other friends. Pero dapat me tamang lugar para feeling mo sina Sheldon ka sa Big Bang Theory o si Barney sa How I Met Your Mother.
Yes, btw, I love Skyflakes – especially the “Fit” ones.