March 10-15, 2014
I wanted to blog about this while I was at the hype of my emotions. But finals week was taking over all the spare time I had therefore I was left with no other choice but to wait till this week.
I just want to share with everyone how blessed I felt when all these things happened. Truly an unforgettable week.
A week before the 11th of March, I was informed by my professor in one of my majors (who’s also the Communication Department Head) that I was chosen to take part on a script reading event and open forum which will happen inside Miriam College. The thing was, it was a hosted event by one of Philippines’ top live-situational comedy show: PEPITO MANALOTO.
I was beyond excited! The director, writers, and the cast themselves would be there. Realizing this during that time, I never thought something bigger would come my way.
Aside from the COMPLETE CAST being there, Tom Rodriguez was also another guest. Who’s currently a big name in the industry, specially known for his very intriguing gay role on a telenovela.
The day came, and aside from being told that I was to have script reading with the cast no other details were given. I honestly had no idea how to prepare for it other than read the whole script given to me in advance.
Only two of us from my school were chosen to work with the cast. Ate Arielle (who was a senior) was the other lucky student. We were both excited and sort of in unaware of what was to happen, that’s why during the cast call (which was an hour earlier than the event) we shared how this felt for us.
During the cast call the director informed everyone involved of the flow and what was to happen. I was so surprised and stunned by how many actors were inside the venue. I could not believe that I was exclusively witnessing something like that, and was inside the same room as them. As this was happening the setting up of the stage was also being done. It looked similar to what press conferences are done. With the name on a nameplate and settled by the chair where that person is to be seated. I searched to where I was seated and my heart started to beat fast when I found out that I was to be seated next to Tom Rodriguez. I was panicking on the inside. While I was trying to compose myself from what I just saw, the director affirmed that Tom wont be able to make it. I initially felt sad but convinced myself that that was fine (because if he were there I wouldn’t know how to carry myself on stage, knowing that I’ll be beside someone as good looking and talented as he is).
The cast call was done and everybody was told to go backstage and wait for the event to start. It actually was around 30-40 minutes till we started. One by one the cast was called. The audience outside was crazy. Then it was my turn “A first year Communication student; Bianca Niccole Felipe!”, I had goosebumps because the moment I heard my name people cheered, I was overwhelmed. Then as I sat down, I felt my hands shaking. I was overjoyed.
The seat beside me was empty and the director took the mic from the emcees, asking the audience who they’d want to replace Tom with. They shouted names, and then the director said “Oh, merong nagvo-volunteer diyan sa likod ah!”
So people looked.
Direk “Come on here!”
And then there he was. Strutting the ramp inside the venue….
"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome MR. TOM RODRIGUEZ"
Everybody went crazy. Even our Department Head had to show her joy with him showing.
As for me, I was speechless. I was starting to think of how I’d compose myself with him beside him. He was approaching the stage, he’s getting closer, he’s now by the steps of the stage, damn he’s now nearing my seat.
THEN THERE HE WAS. Gorgeous. Smiling at me. I shook his hand, then there he was, finally seated beside me.
People’s reaction to this was priceless, I could not help feel so giddy and overwhelmed at the same time. People were mouthing “Ano okay ka lang?” “Grabe katabi mo!” “ANG SWERTE MO!”.
And so, the script-reading happened.
I had two roles: Agnes and Crowd 1
The role of Agnes was that she’s the real estate broker that sold a house to Tom Rodriguez, who actually plays as a celebrity in this episode of the show. I cant believe that my role was specifically a scene with him.
I got to execute it very well but what happened after our scene was beyond my expectations!
After our throws of lines, the script says that Tom and I are to shake hands. What he did was…..more than that. He put his arm around me and leaned his head by my left shoulder. THE AUDIENCE WENT ECCENTRIC.I had no idea how I got to maintain composure on stage, but I did. I know I tried. Haha!
The rest of the event was something I’d keep dear. It was just surreal. That moment on stage with huge stars.
So the event ended and I had my script in my hands. I had it autographed by Michael V. even! I was about to get my name on the nameplate by the tables on stage when suddenly one of the production assistants called my attention and told me that she needed the script back. I was panicking because I would never ever ever give it to her, having Michael V sign it was obviously treasure. Ate Arielle also came into the scene and was asked to give in hers as well, we were both trying to figure out what could be ways to keep our copies. THEN DING DING DING, I figured to just have to script photocopied and give it to them. They agreed and we were glad they found the idea bright. So we went off and ran to Ate Malou (the mighty master of photocopying in Miriam).
Here are photos during the event: © Mai Topacio
The day continued being a blessing as to the news that we got a high mark on one of our Finals Paper (67/70 baby!).
Here’s an extremely short video montage of what happened that day :)
That same week, I met the great and wise Mr. Ricky Lee (sadly wasn’t able to have my book signed)
Also a week before I placed as a CHAMPION on the Creative Storytelling competition, I’ll post videos of my piece soon :)
Miriam has given me so much already and I cannot be more thankful.