I’m acting??? Anong balak ko sa buhay?

I began taking improv acting classes around January 2017. It started on a whim or more like a whimper. I was feeling sad and lost because I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Perfect timing for a Facebook ad offering improv classes by Third World Improv (a school by the improv group SPIT). Before seeing that ad, I actually took an improv class that SPIT did for the media, back when they weren’t offering classes yet. They were just doing that to promote their shows, and I was one of the lucky lifestyle reporters who got to experience it. I remember enjoying it, and wishing I could take more. I was crestfallen when they said they weren’t offering any. Years passed, and I forgot all about them, but when I saw that Facebook ad, it all came rushing back. I thought, maybe I’ll be less miserable if I took improv.

Looking back, I don’t know why that was enough for me to get from my savings and pay for those classes. Now it’s June 2017, and I’ve had four shows and took two levels of classes. The response towards me has been surprisingly positive. Yet, I’m like, what am I doing? Why am I acting? Am I an actress???? What the fuck? This wasn’t part of the plan.

When I resigned from my art reporter job around January 2016, I thought that I was just bored with the newspaper I was working at. I was really happy for two years, and then I lost interest in my third year, but I couldn’t get myself to quit (Read Fear is no reason to stay). Finally, something clicked, and I got out of there. That was possibly one of the best decisions of my life so far. To be fair, I also consider accepting that job as part of my best-decisions list. Though the newspaper was imperfect, I did learn a lot, but, by the time I was ready, boy, was I ready to leave that place.

When I left, I thought, maybe I just need to be exposed to new editors and new challenges. Maybe I can still do this writing about art thing. So I decided to be a freelance writer. At first, it seemed promising. I got assignments from leading newspapers, magazines, and websites, and yet, they weren’t enough to give me a stable income. After seven months of doing that, I also realized that I still wasn’t happy. I thought that I was just bored with the newspaper, turns out, I was bored with writing about art or doing anything like lifestyle writing (What?!! But you’re writing right now. Click Confession: I hate writing now for more info).

By July 2016, I was nominated for an art writing award. A little after that, I also got in an art writing residency. All the signs were pointing for me to continue, and I was still trudging on for a while. Everything changed when I got hired for a teaching job in August 2016. Though it was part-time, and my salary was lower than it used to be, it was a steady income.

When the obligation to earn through writing disappeared, so did my motivation. I told myself I was “on a break”, and sometimes I still tell myself that, then I remember a Netflix lecture by Ken Robinson where he talked about a pianist who realized she wanted to be an editor so she closed the lid of the piano and never went back. It is the most unstrategic move for me to make. I had been looking for a thing to specialize on, and I finally found it, and I was becoming good at it and getting recognized for it, but I got bored.

And now I’m…drum roll please…aaaaacting! On one hand, I’m like, what the fuck? On the other hand, I’m like, it makes sense. I’ve always been a performer. My original dream was to be a singer, but I was sintunado, and more problematically, I was shy (Click A Shy Person’s Top 8 Worries and Fears or shyness). So I became a writer instead. Unknowingly, I still had elements of performance in my life. I loved participating in school skits. When I was a kid, I always had a dance number for the program for our family reunions. I was also a debater from high school to college, and my favorite thing about debate is feeling the crowd, making them laugh, or making them clap. Not being applauded by the crowd, but saying the right words to elicit the response I wanted. You throw something to the crowd; they throw something back. You think making a speech is a monologue, but you’re actually in a conversation. Maybe that’s why I enjoy teaching because it’s like I’m performing in front of my students. Or maybe I’m in the speaking phase of my life?

Yet, here I am thinking: this wasn’t part of the plan. But what was the plan? What was part of it? Maybe I haven’t really learned the rule of improv, and that is to say “Yes, and”. This means to accept what life gives you and build on that. This means to embrace and welcome life when it catches you off guard and yells surprise!

What I need is courage. What I need is a whopping amount of fuck it, I’m here, this is happening.

And, yes, this might not be part of the plan, but this is part of who I am.

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All the opinions expressed in this page and in this blog are my own and do not represent the official stances of the companies, institutions, and organizations that I am affiliated with. I am a person. I’m not just a manifestation of corporate interests. I have an identity that is separate from my company because even if human beings are paid for a service by corporations, human beings are not owned by corporations. 

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2 thoughts on “I’m acting??? Anong balak ko sa buhay?

  1. that’s great! i reckon you are exactly where the universe wants you to be at any given point in your life. as cliche as it sounds, everything happens for a reason.

    i can actually relate to a lot about what you said about being shy but kind of relishing the vibe you get from standing in front of an audience and getting the reaction that you want from them. personally, i’m notorious stay away from giving public speeches or anything remotely close to that but once i start and the nerves have calmed down a bit, i start kicking back and enjoy it. but that doesn’t mean i would go out of my way to volunteer myself, though. just when i really have to, you know? like at close friends’ weddings or something.

    i’m happy for you that you found something that you truly enjoy. best of luck with everything! =)

    1. I’m glad you can relate to the speaking in front of an audience thing. Maybe you also have an interest in that! You should try to pursue it if you want 🙂 Thank you for your kind words! I am really happy 🙂

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