Summer Lovin'

By Betty Uy-Regala (Tuesday,April 7, 2009 at 12:26pm)

For the past three years, summer to me meant going to the CCP after work to attend the acting workshop in the evenings. This year, although I know I will miss it terribly, I decided not to enroll -- lest I be nominated alongside Hogito the National Artist for Acting Workshops -- and just act by joining productions. To officially start my summer acting season, I was invited to perform at a national volunteer summit for youth volunteers in Guimaras on April 1.

The organizers sent me a two-and-a-half-page script mid-March for a monologue based on a story of a youth volunteer in Bulacan named Maricel Barahan. Since I was swamped that time with the Bowfinger project, a writing racket and, later on, had a severe case of owl obsession, I only read through the script and did not really study it.

Acting and volunteering are two things close to my heart. I felt honored that this network of volunteer organizations spent time and money so I could perform for its members in one show only. The pressure of giving them a show was outweighed by my love for the craft. Two days before my flight, I did the character profile, analyzed the script, and finally buckled down to memorization work which extended until before the show started. Hello memory medications.

During that trip, I contemplated about certain choices in my life. It helped that Pagatpat Resort had that serene feel to it. In acting, there is no right or wrong choice, there is only a choice that works in a scene.

In between rehearsals, amidst poor mobile signals in the resort, I texted Hogi, Haidee and Opa saying that this time I would like to experience the higher choice. Of foregoing my owl obsessions, which limit rather than expand my already limited understanding and experience of life. Of not settling for the givens. Of not accepting everything that comes my way. Accepting is a principle in improve and had been a principle in my life prior to my formal acting training.

Acting allows firsthand discovery by 'being' the character. I am discovering alot of things about others and myself because acting is a study of characters. It is essentially a study of human nature and how people relate with one another. I remember a class we had with Sir Dennis Marasigan, our beloved and much respected teacher, on April 2, 2008, a Wednesday.

We were discussing the character's objective. "Simplify the objective of the character in one (verb) word," he said. "In real life," he asked us, "what's that one thing you wouldn't compromise? That is your main objective in life." Tears immediately formed in my eyes. IĆ¢€™ve compromised so much in the most important areas of my life that I can't answer this simple question. Good thing I was wearing eyeglasses that day and my classmates, including Hogi, did not notice the unfolding of my mini drama.

The show in Guimaras went well (for one, I successfully memorized two-and-a-half pages of lines!), and after that trip, I am aiming for the higher choices. I want to have experiences emanating from those choices.
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Betty was one of the volunteer artists for the V-Monologue during the 3rd National Volunteers Summit.

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