Thursday, January 19, 2006

 

“BAKIT HINDI KA PA RIN LUMALABAS SA TV?”

‘Yan ang tanong sa’kin ng kuya kong med rep nang magbakasyon sila rito nu’ng Christmas. And he asked it like appearing on TV is the most natural next step in my life. Mas nauna pa niya ‘tong tinanong sa “Wala ka pa ring girlfriend?” Yikes! Buti hindi na niya tinanong kung bakit at baka maging eksena sa Queer As Folk ang tagpo namin.

I now write about this because hindi lang naman siya ang unang taong nagtanong sa’kin niyan. Mukhang marami-rami sa mga kaibigan ko ang naniniwalang dapat komedyante na’ko sa TV ngayon. So bakit nga ba hindi tutal nasa GMA na rin lang ako?

Well…It’s not like ayaw ko. Believe me, I tried. And for the longest time it’s a secret dream na hinding-hindi ko din-discuss kahit kanino. Nahihiya kasi ako, eh.

Back in college I joined a couple of stand-up comedy contests. In one, I beat a certain Izel Sarangelo at na-“discover” pa’ko ng manager ng isang magbubukas pa lang na comedy bar. Tinur pa niya ako sa ginagawa nilang bar at nag-lunch ako with the owner. Pero ang concern ko nu’n, parang baduy. Nahalata yata nila kaya hindi na nila akon kinontak ulit. ‘Yun Izel Sarangelo ang eventually nagtrabaho ru’n pero iba na ang pangalan niya ngayon. Tuesday Vargas na.

Na-trauma kasi ako sa mga gigs ko immediately after winning those stand-up comedy contests. And even then, meron na agad akong phobia kapag ini-invite ako para mag-stand-up. I’d much prefer na mag-host ng isang event kesa mag-stand-up kasi walang pressure na magpapatawa talaga sa hosting. Pero kung sinabing stand-up comedy routine, mandando na nakakatawa ka. At natatakot ako sa pressure na’yon. Hindi ko kaya.

Still I tried. With my newly gained confidence from my wins, I’d go and accept invites to perform as a stand-up comedian. In all cases, I would bomb big time. And I just couldn’t handle the disappointment. You see, I take pride in my sense of humor at kapag hindi ko siya nalalabas successfully, sobra ko talagang nafi-feel ang frustration and humiliation. So hindi ko na lang pinursue.

I am happy with being a writer. The pay’s good and the flexible hours is great. Exciting siyang trabaho. Pero a few months ago ay nakumbinse ako ng isang teammate na sumali sa isa na namang stand-up comedy contest. Nanalo na naman ako. And this time, nagkaroon na talaga ako ng great resolve na i-pursue na itong dream na magpatawa for a living. Nag-volunteer akong mag-perform sa Lee’s Night sa Magnet Café Katipunan. UPM din kasi ang organizer na si Romeo Lee.

I was psyched for this event na iniisip kong magiging turning point ng aking comic career. Nag-text ako ng mga tao para panoorin ako, something that I wouldn’t do before. Kinilig pa’ko kasi nakalagay ang pangalan ko sa marquee sa labas. All my friends were there. Ang ending – I bombed! Big time! Even my friends weren’t laughing!

Pag-uwi ko ng bahay nagpakabangag talaga ako at ibinuhos ang lahat ng frustration ko sa isang tell-all blog entry na forever lost na ngayon kasi nanakaw ang laptop ko shortly after that. Kinaumagahan, ‘di pa’ko nakuntento at nag-jutes pa ulit ako.

Ngayon naisip kong destiny telling me that it has other plans for me. Much like nu’ng bata ako at pangarap ko talagang maging teacher like my parents pero everytime na magkakaroon ng Personnel Day sa Marist at mapipili akong maging teacher for a day (Sophomore pa lang ako napili na’kong magturo kahit usually mga 3rd at 4th Years ang ina-assign magturo), eh, nagkakasakit ako. That’s how I concluded that God doesn’t want me to be a teacher. True enough, ibang-iba siguro ang buhay ko ngayon kung Educ ang kinuha kong course sa UP at hindi Broadcast Communication.

Besides, hindi pa yata ako magsu-survive sa isang trabaho na pepersonalin ko ang bawat failures. Personal ang pagsusulat at masakit kapag pinapa-revise o kina-criticise ang gawa ko pero hindi pa naman ako umabot sa point na kinailangan kong maglaseng at mag-marijuana para lang ma-numb ako sa sakit. Steady lang ako as a writer.

Marami pa naman akong outlets for my ‘comic energy.’ Last month, I was invited by the radio station that sponsored stand-up comedy competition na pinanalunan ko recently. Pero conflict ‘yung comedy gig na binibigay nila sa’kin sa Extri Off-Road Triathlon. Besides, takot na rin ako mag-stand-up nu’n so nag-decline na lang ako. Ending, pinag-stand-up din ako sa post-race party ng Extri. Feeling ko naman natawa sila sa impromptu routine ko.

At that moment na nagjo-joke ako infront of other racers sa moment na dapat may gig rin ako as a “real” stand-up comedian, I felt validated.

Comments:
I've a feeling Rey that you thrived more in competitive arenas that's why you won all those contests.

It could also mean that you're basically a happy well-adjusted person. Kaya ko nasabi ito dahilan most comedians I've known of (especially with Jewish background) were usually coping with intense inner turmoil. I don't know; just speculating.

Anyway, being funny is a powerful gift. You ought to keep honing your skills on it. :)

Eric
 
Rey, that was my comment. I didn't realize the kids were using my PC and his ID was logged on, not mine.

eric aka senor enrique
 
yes, i am happy. sana lahat tayo.

nu'ng college pinasalamatan ko sa thesis ko ang aking sense of humor na para bang isa itong separate entity. pakiramdamn ko kasi, without my sense of humor i will just be this mean, opinionated, irritating person.

here's to more reasons to laugh.
 
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