Thursday, June 30, 2011

Post-apology takeaways

The report here.

George De Jesus III: If artists are not responsible for the context and meaning of the things they say, and if we simply ignore or give excuses to comments made "out of context" and deem it innocuous, then what's the point of art?

As a theater actor, I've been trained to have clarity in each line and intention. If there's no meaning or intent in the art that we do, what's the point? If we are not clear in what we say, what's the point of saying it? If we let go of everything said because it was taken out of context, when can we ever learn to speak clearly? If we don't learn how to convey a clear message in our art (whether it's intellectual or emotional), what's the reason for continuing?

So, to those who say that the issue of "skyflakes and cat food" was taken out of context, enough with being polite and "trying to be understanding" and considerate. What was said (no matter how good the intentions were) is a reflection of how theater actors are regarded. And it is not good. Excuses will not change the perception. Perhaps over-reacting and being unforgiving will.

Bea Garcia: I think the bigger question for us now is, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS? Rafa may have joked about how we are treated as actors but I think the reason why the reaction from our sector is huge is because there is truth in it. Sure we are not paid in cat food and we actually eat rice and ulam on set during shoots, but it is a known fact that we do not expect high talent fees and will do things for the love. Now, is that really so bad?

What I think we have is passion--passion for the work we do, passion for acting, passion for telling stories. And if we choose to accept jobs that pay low, it is no fault but our own and we should not blame anyone else. I for one have done probono work to help people, or simply because the material is so good that I cannot let the opportunity of being part of it pass. Lines can be drawn. We can always choose the work we do, demand for higher pay, and demand that we be treated just like any other talent, celebrity status or not. After all, we are good at what we do and deserve no less than that.

I think that this is a wake up call. A harsh one, but a call to action nonetheless. Now that we know the perception of people in the industry about theater actors in terms of rates and fees, we can work together in changing this paradigm. All we really need to do is assess our worth and accept no less than what we think we deserve.


Will said...

I had a mini-argument earlier with a Facebook user about Rafa's remarks, with the other saying how theater actors are simply overreacting to hyperbole. I could have showed him George De Jesus iii's final paragraph, which I find bold yet practical.

gibbs cadiz said...

thanks, WILL. i believe those saying that have no idea how close to home, unfortunately, rafa's comments had hit--how it ended up mocking and trivializing a sorry condition many theater people have long felt sore about and are chafing at.

Jake said...

I've worked in the film industry and television as a production designer for almost 10yrs. As a theater artist myself, I would suggest theater actors for some roles during casting/pre-prod meeting, ganito maririnig mo: "how about (name of the theater actor)? "naku napakataas maningil nyan", "naku kung maka-demand yan eh hindi naman kilala yan" or "kumuha na lang ng theater actor, mura na magaling pa" or "aba eh nagtatanong kaagad ng script", etc. In short, sobrang baba ng tingin ng mga mayayabang na tv staff sa mga theater actors!

And not only that, pagdating sa set, kung exterior ang location, ang kawawang theater actor ay kasama ng mga dalawa singkong "extras" na nakaupo sa tabing kalsada or sa ilalim ng puno. At pagdating ng lunch break, kasama din si theater actor ng mga extras na pipila para sa isang pritong tilapia at ginisang mongo.

Eto pa, ang mga Production Assistants na nagmana sa attitude ng mga executives nila "Madelaine Nicolas!!! Nasan ka? Halika bilis ikaw na, nasan ang costume mo bilis magagalit si Direk, memorized mo na ba ang linya mo". You talk to Madelaine Nicolas like that???

But theater actors never complain! At kapag nagcomplain ang mga theater actors, hindi ka na nila kukunin ulit!

So Rafael Santos, fuck you!

Pls. Gibbs don't delete the F word, he deserves it!

BC said...

I searched for Rafa's vid after reading this blog Sir Gibbs. I felt so bad and MAD! My God! I have such high respect to theater actors! In fact, I more am star struck whenever I see the likes of Shamaine Buencamino, Che Ramos, Mario O'Hara, Mailes Kanapi, Sir Herby Go, Lao Rodriguez and Paolo O'Hara! The fact that he thinks of theater actors that way, his movie should be banned indeed!
I also read his letter of apology. Why the hell did he address his apology to the Cinemalaya community? Mga taga Cinemalaya ba ang nasaktan at natapakan nya sa mga sinabi nya? This only shows that he wasn't really sincere about him being "sorry."
Anyway, he was right, he did just build his own coffin...

Anonymous said...

The person apologized na. Funny how some actors want a personal and individual apology from rafael santos. parang hindi na tama. buti pa sina menchu and audie , they rose above this issue....'s-remarks-about-theater-actors

Anonymous said...


Ms. Bea asked the perfect question. Will theater actors be treated better if they started acting as prima donnas and asking for extremely high fees? NO, It will not improve the treatment but it will kill the very essence of what makes theater actors really good at acting.

As Ms. Bea said, passion and love for the craft. I am not a theater actor. I had a couple of experience but not enough to say that I am one. Pero I have the passion for acting and love for the industry.
For me,this is more than fighting for theater actors. I've seen the crew being treated very poorly and paid very low. They too deserve more than sky flakes and cat food.

This a call to improve and breathe life into the industry. What we need is RESPECT.

RESPECT should be reflected in every aspect in and related to the industry. RESPECT for the people- actors, crew, cinematographers, talents, directors, pati janitor. RESPECT for the talent - mapa-acting, pag-stage design, pag-set ng light, pagsulat ng script, lahat ng work na ginagawa para mabuo ang project. RESPECT for the industry, by making sure each project that is produced, staged or filmed will lift up the world's perception.

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