Monday, October 6, 2008

Going to the Theater for Friends' Sake

Tracing my "art" history, theater watching was first than cinema.  It was like "cutting classes" with the high school gang.  Since my childhood friend's father was a board member of Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), we would sneak out in all of their plays wearing our school uniform, even staying in unauthorized places inside the CCP Main Theater so we can get a glimpse of the play.  Most of the plays were directed by Nonon Padilla.

Our School Uniform

Sadly, the theater bug didn't hit me.  I would only go if a friend invited me or I get complimentary tickets from family and colleagues.  Everything for me are long shots and fade outs in cinematic terms.  I get sleepy unless there is an outstanding performance.  It is really a big effort on my part to drag myself into theater.

Photo Courtesy of Jun Aves

But a friend is always a friend no matter the distance or time.  I have a cousin who used to be a taong bayan with no lines during the TP days I was sneaking in.  Even though he was not a "star," we would still go to the backstage and congratulate him, to give him a little boost, hehe.   He is now a popular TV personality and yes, I would still surprise him and visit his set at the ABS CBN compound.

There was this time when a colleague played different roles in different dates so I had to see the play three times!!!  I didn't know how I survived watching but I am still alive. 

Another occasion, I had to drag my film director friend and his wife to surprise a friend who was performing in a play.  We travelled to a two-hour horrendous traffic and when we got to the venue, all tickets were sold-out!  The ticket sellers told us to just go home.  We had no chance of getting in. What!?  And I cannot contact this performer-friend because it was gonna be a surprise visit.  We pleaded with the "powerful tripping" sellers that we can pay anything just to be inside, even if we just stand all throughout the play.  Ayaw pa rin.  (Request denied)

Good thing, the playwright recognized me, then saw I was with a bigwig director hehe so he told the ladies to sell tickets to us.  Mission accomplished, we got in.

This time, a high school friend  who I last saw during our graduation (1992) is playing in the orchestra of  "West Side Story."  We have lost touch until I saw her in Facebook.  She is a violin protege.  Everyday after our class, she is off to her musical lessons.  It was part of her daily habit.  She is such a simple, quiet girl compared to my outgoing nature haha, but we knew she was going to make it.  We made a pact that she was going to play in my wedding day (whenever that may be, haha).  So when we got in touch again, she reminded me of our pact, haha.  

Finally, after more than a decade, I heard her play.  Never saw her holding her violin since she was at the pit, but hearing her music brought back a lot of fun, high school memories.  

Text from my friend after the play.

I never really cared if a play is good or bad or if the actors are standouts or so-so performers.  I am just there to support my friends with or without an applause, with or without the spotlight.  Presence is more important.  


preggy said...

Very touching and it really shows what kind of a friend you are. Hope the pact will be fulfilled soon :)

Twin said...

Preggy, I guess you are giving birth soon? Have a safe and happy labor :)
Re the pact, let's wait and see...haha.

eye in the sky said...

the things you do for friends.

jepayuki said...

hey twin, welcome to our world, finally you gave in hahaha! here's to more posts in your blog =) this is one good, from-the-heart entry ha! =)

Twin said...

but eye, sometimes you also reach a limit and say, enough is enough.

jepayuki, thank you for the comments. hmmmm...heart?

JMI said...

I remember 'Going to the Theater for Friends' Sake' - for what its worth, for Art's sake - the passion and love of Art and Filipino culture - the root was planted at this time for all of us; we just branched out differently. Thanks to our chilhood friend... :)