Volunteering for TA Means

September was drawing to its end and I was frustrated with my bum self (3 months unemployed). But a post at the city public library calling for volunteer actors for Teatro Angeleno (TA) for the play "Ang Paglilitis ni Mang Serapio" was one captivating sign to me.
To make the story simple, I decided to commit my whole October for this group- excited to learn and thrilled to meet new people.

What is TA?
Its a non-profit theater organization in Angeles City that aims to gather theater enthusiasts. Its mission is to educate, inform and engage community awareness on politics, socio-economics, Christian values, patriotism and the like. This group's core advocacy is to "End Child Hunger" in the city and be a platform for artists to walk with a mission. 

Behind the scene stories
The play, Mang Serapio, was done twice a day- afternoon and night, in two different locations. Imagine all the ingress/egress that we did- load the setup (big boxes, round heavy platforms, props, etc) from the 3rd floor (City Library) to the cargo vehicle (jeep. haha),travel to the evening venue (PNR) for another setup... then after the show back to the 3rd floor to ready everything for the next day's show. That was done 5 days straight! We didn't have runners, the actors were the props men and set-up team behind the curtain and most of them were students passionate in the love of arts. Since the whole production was a non-profit project, it was visible for us volunteers actors to experience hunger first hand. Can you just imagine how exhausted we were? Nevertheless, I honestly salute my colleagues for getting pass through this together.

So, what have I learned?
Here: (ummmm..)
-i can go everywhere with my bike
-to lose my make-up kit and accept the fact that it won't come back to its original form
-to go home with a broken mirror
-to walk bare foot and roll on a sandy and stony floor, but wait there's more: + scars + bruises on legs (good bye muna shorts!)
-to accept the fact that my phone can get in trouble too! (haay.. bwiset)
-to hop over a jeep's roof :)
Seriously... what have I learned?
These are just the top 4 lessons that synced to me: 
  1. Ask questions but don't complain to your director. When me and my co-actors found out that the stage will be raw, as it is, no platform or whatsoever, we started to complain. We worried on a lot of things because the idea was outrageous! But then there was nothing we can do to change his mind. THEN to our surprise, photos from day 1's evening show were wicked! Everything was beautiful! 
  2. Empty yourself. Its about emptying yourself and letting 'the character' portrayed be seen in you on stage.
  3. Make the stage a sacred space. Only through teamwork (esp. pakiramdaman) and seriousness will the presence be felt by the audience and respect you. You don't step there to rest but to be in character.
  4. "Kung Kaya Mong Isipin, Kaya Mong Gawin...". This is the song that wraps the whole show together. I learned to sing this to our audience (esp. kids) having the faith of translating hope from my eyes to theirs. Coming from Phil 4:13, someone planted this verse to me when I was 5 years old. It's high time to share it on young minds. :)
I wish I can write more. Thank you and congratulations Teatro Angeleno! This one is marked as part of our history! :)

Photo credits: Sir Sky Haven (except for jeepney shot)


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