July 30, 2009

Of talented youth and a flustered photoblogger

Manila's performing arts season has started! And the first play that I watched was Repertory Philippines' production of The Fantasticks, the world's longest-running musical. Repertory Philippines, or Rep as it is more popularly known here, is one of the most prolific professional theater companies in Manila. It first opened its doors to the public in 1967 and has brought in many international plays and musicals that most Filipinos wouldn't have had a chance to watch if it weren't for them. Meet PJ Valerio and Julia Abueva, who play the lovers in the musical. PJ is 19 and Julia is all of 13 years old! Even at their tender young age, both are already stage veterans.

PJ Valerio and Julia Abueva in Repertory Philippines' production of The Fantasticks

This photo actually has a story behind it and it's longer than my commentary above so I hope you'll indulge me. Repertory Philippines, like other professional performing arts groups, does not allow photos inside the theater unless they give permission. So during the intermission, I approached a lady at the front of house and asked if I could take a photo for the blog at the end of the play. She said that the actors will be at the lobby after the play, but I wanted a photo while they were still on the stage and said so. She said that she would talk to the stage manager and would look for me inside the theater. By the end of the play, I still didn't have any word, so I behaved and kept my camera in my bag even during the curtain call, which was when I was thinking of taking the photo. Imagine my surprise when she approached me then and asked me to come close to the stage because the cast would come out again after the curtain call so I could take a photo. Eek! So I did and the cast did come out again and I wanted to die of embarrassment the entire time! Especially when other people in the audience started taking out their own cameras and going up to the actors asking to pose with them and all. What's even worse, I was so totally flabbergasted, I was shaking and my photos didn't turn out well. Too blurry to be usable, and overexposed too because all the stage lights were on and I wasn't able to adjust the settings for hurrying to get it over with. Sigh. I really want to thank Rep for all the bother and to apologize for not being able to post a photo of the entire cast after all that fuss. I think there are two lessons to be learned from this experience. One is for Rep: I hope they continue having the meet-and-greet on stage rather than in the lobby. It was nice seeing fans and friends mingling with the actors on stage. The corridors going out from the theater are so narrow it can take forever to go out and most of the audience miss the actors outside. And one is for myself: Next time I ask permission to take photos from any theater group, I have to specifically say that I just want to take them during the curtain call.

22 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I sometimes find it very awkward to take some of the photos I want to take. So I understand ow you became flustered.

The actress is very young but appears to be quite composed. Wish I could be like that!

James said...

So how was the performance?

Babooshka said...

Well you know I like a good tale. Well written narrative and they are just so cute. If you never get flustered you don't care enough. It is good to be a little sheepish. I still can be and it's my job.

Vogon Poet said...

I don't care much about the quality of the photo, which is anyway good. You told us a very nice and unusual story and this is enough for me!

Gunn White said...

well done, you got your photo, and i think it is very good!;-)

Abraham Lincoln said...

The young couple you portrayed are filled with radiance. I liked them the second I saw your picture. I know what you mean about amateurs and professionals alike hogging people, places and things, hoping to get the best picture. We have a name for it here. You have to learn how to be hopelessly rude and nasty in order to compete with some of these kinds and for me it just isn't worth it. I can get what I need in my backyard. LOL

Steffe said...

Great write up and a very fine portrait.

Jacob said...

That was an interesting story and I can understand your embarrassment...like the wedding photographer that forgot the film (in the good old days)...

What a cute couple. And the Rep is to be congratulated for making theater possible!

And this photo is a wonderful portrait!

Don and Krise said...

What a good looking couple. I know it's hard in certain circumstances. You try to force yourself to take your time and don't hurry the shot, but then you start feeling the pressure. I've had it happen and then later want to kick myself for not just taking a minute longer to do it right. Don't worry Hilda, this photo is fine and your story even better.

gogouci said...

Great story and pic. I would have loved to be there with you.

Lee Spangler said...

It is great that you support the arts especially for young actors. Thanks for sharing your story.

ellievellie said...

See - you gave courage to so many other people to get a photo. I went to the Lord of the Dance recently and was ashamed to take a single picture - nobody around did - wish you were there :)

Olivier said...

tu as réussis ce portrait de ces deux jeunes acteurs (13 ans c'est vraiment très jeune, elle est très jolie). pas facile de faire des photos quand on est pas prêt et que l'on doit aller très vite.
you achieved this portrait of these two young actors (13 years it is really very young, it is very pretty). not easy to make photographs when they are not ready and that they must go very quickly.

Lawstude said...

Wow, it really caught you by surprise and I definitely would not want to be in the same situation by hey, just charged it to experience and i am sure the other guys out there have you to thank because they got pictures from the cast because of you.

The guy has nice pants, by the way :)

lunarossa said...

They were really so nice that's a pity your photo didn't come out well. But the one you posted is also very beautiful. They are so cute! It would be lovely to hear them singing. Is there any link to listen to some songs? Ciao. A.

Lois said...

Well I love this photograph and these two young people are just adorable! I can't believe the young lady is only 13.

Neva said...

I love our "note to self" thoughts after we do something like that ...who knew it would be so complicated!! a very nice photo anyway!!

Sharon said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I can totally relate. It's funny the reaction you get sometimes when you ask to take photos at places like these. I've had similar situations and some pretty amusing stories to tell.

George said...

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who can get flustered when trying to get a special picture. The picture of the young couple that you posted is excellent.

Halcyon said...

Great story! I can imagine feeling embarassed thinking they did all that for you! And it's still a nice photo, shakes and all.

Frank said...

A good story and we all appreciate you sharing it with us. Your intentions and plan seemed perfect. The actors do look marvelous. And the Rep is to be applauded for all they have done over the years. (Funny, but if you'd quickly pulled out a point-and-shoot camera, would you have gotten the shots on stage?)
Great that the photo you got is SO good.

Leif Hagen said...

Hi happy Hilda!

Just a quick note - please look at the newest CDP blog from AFGHANISTAN:
www.InnerPeaceHerat.blogspot.com

Peace