Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Talking theater, etc. with Talking Parts' Jenny Jamora

(Updated with an erratum below)

Jenny Jamora sat me down to an interview last Saturday afternoon for an episode of her Talking Parts series of podcasts (“Conversations with the creative forces in Philippine arts”).

I think I barely survived the hot seat. I was rambling on and on for about two hours. Good thing Jenny is an expert editor, because the finished podcast sounds surprisingly tight and coherent. Also, she had me squirming when she sprang a surprise on me--the first time a “Listener Questions” portion was being incorporated into the podcast. Whew.

But it was great fun. I'm hardly asked these questions--not in ordinary chit-chats, anyway, so it was a chance to explain my work as a journalist covering theater and the arts, my thoughts about the art form and the industry, my blog, my writing regimen, my, ahem, “qualifications” to pass judgment on what I see on stage. Did I say I was squirming all throughout? Payback time for the cranky professional kibitzer, haha.

You may listen to the podcast below. Or, you may download it here, so you can listen to our chat on your iPod while you're negotiating the treadmill. On second thought, scratch that. You might keel over instead.

Thanks to Jenny, to listeners who sent in their questions (anonymous or otherwise), to people I namedropped shamelessly during the conversation, and to all those who'll listen in.

Ready? Comment away!

(ERRATUM: I messed up my dates! Listening again to the podcast I realized with horror that I'd been saying “1993” or “1995” when I had meant a full decade later--2003 and 2005. Very sorry about that. The other inaccurate numbers--like Jenny saying in the intro that I've been reviewing theater for 15 years--all derived from that mistake. No, only for about five. Not her fault; all mine. Mea maxima culpa. Worse, it made me sound much, much older than my 37 years, aargh. This is what I get for hating Math in school. Sorry again for the absent-minded but huge mistake.)


migs, the manila gay guy said...

Mahusay! Quote unquote! :)

erasmusa said...

hear, hear! (to so many points--can't enumerate) but i must echo amiel mendoza's question. there must be a role that you wish you could play in your most secret fantasies. you don't have to tell us, but do think about it :)

Dennis N. Marasigan said...


Wondeful interview! Am looking forward to your book -- that's the next logical development for your work!


Anonymous said...

hi gibbs,

honestly, i really do not agree with some of your reviews, but your interview with jenny jamora is quite enlightening. and it came across that YOU REALLY LOVE THEATER. i mean not only loving to watch plays, but you seem to really want philippine theater to prosper. And for that, i as a reader would definitely READ your future reviews, and would listen to what you will say. I might not agree as a fellow theater viewer, but i would definitely consider and respect your opinions.

which brings me to another topic, do we really need more reviewers. in terms of quantity, not really. it terms of quality, YES. in your sober moments in the future, PLEASE do not mix the word theater, review, and the name of that new MANILA TIMES theater reviewer. Ive seen some of his reviews, and i must say that he is really on a personal rampage. and it is selective, and really crosses the line. in his review of marisol, why make a "premise" saying that not all theater artists can be directors? i am not from theater, i am not trained formally in the arts, pero for you to insinuate na ganoon eh aba,now i am asking na about ethics sa paggawa ng review. surely gibbs, you would know better kung may ethics nga ba or wala.

If every critic out there eh wala ng makikitang maganda, and worse, selective yung kanilang lenses sa pagtingin ng mga bagay, mabuti pa nga sigurong wag magprosper ang theater arts. at least, maliit lang ang damage na ibibigay ng mga critics na tulad ng taga Manila Times.

Again gibbs, please naman. in the future, NEVER should you compare youself to those lot!

gibbs cadiz said...

zalamat, MIGS! :)

hi ABBY, hmmm, lemme think about it. can't be norma desmond. haha! :)

DENNIS, a book? let's see if anyone would be interested--either to publish or buy. :)

ANONYMOUS, thank you for your comments, and for liking the interview. i'll respond to your other points more fully very soon. but thanks again for airing them. :)

Anonymous said...

i saw the review, gibbs, sa iyong pagsasaliksik, and sa ibang experience ng mga theater critics, ano ba iyong valid lang na sabihin ng isang theater reviewer. i doubt it if a reviewer can/should formally write or claim na not all theater artists can be directors. ang basa ko, ang trabaho ng reviewer ay ireview ang isang work na nakita niya.

obvious naman na mayroong mga director na dapat hindi na talaga dapat magdirect :) the problem is parang wrong context ito sa case ng review ng marisol. baguhang director iyong gumawa ng play. marami talang problema yong prod, and most of them are directorial. but for such a sweeping remark, aba it defies common sense. i mean, lahat naman siguro ng established directors ngayon eh may mga play na ayaw na nilang maalala (dahil hindi maganda esp the earlier ones).

halimbawa, iyong play pala na nakita niya ay gawa ng isang established CCP or UP director, magagawa pa ba niya to claim na not all theater artists can be directors?

kung gagawing pamantayan ang isang prod na nakita (and i think in marisol's case, na makikita ever sa pilipinas since the director is a visiting researcher ) tungkol sa isang potential artists, wala na talaga masyadong madedevelop na directors.

simple lang naman dapat ang storya dito, bahit hindi husgahan ang isang prod sa merits ng prod na iyon? at huwag ng maggeneralize tungkol sa mga taong nandoon, lalo na sa potential nila as artists? kung pangit yung prod, eh di pangit. simple! wag nang sabihin na wala siang kapasidad or karapatan magdirect. malaki kasi ang pagkakaiba noon. lalo in this case na young director ito, (and first time sa pilipinas magtrabaho).

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