Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Acting With Cups Of Coffee

a backlog blog post.  more to come.


I'm no coffee drinker.  Well, I used to, but due to my acid reflux I have to stay away from it as much as possible.  But I never stayed away from two types of coffee that played a huge part on my acting career: Kapeng Malamig and Flat Whites.  I've been acting here and there (nothing mainstream), but these two coffee-titled projects made a mark in me.

It was in "Kapeng Malamig" (Cold Coffee) where I had my first kiss.  My first ever kiss, and on stage, but with a lady who happened to be my friend!  I played the role of a lesbian lover named Mitch on its first run back in college.  Years after I graduated, us alumnae got together, formed an independent theater group and made "Kapeng Malamig" a musical.  This time, I played the role of Hazel, a barista and Buddy's (one of the lead characters) love interest.
(upper left, Kape's poster; upper right, cast for Jan 2008 run; lower left, marketing staff; lower right, me as Hazel & Gino as Buddy)

Kapeng Malamig: The Musical, Jan 2008, St. Cecilia's Hall
Me as Hazel, the barista, and extra (upper right) on the bar scene as a local celebrity.
Cast, September 2008

Aside from being part of the cast, I also worked as the assistant production manager and marketing staff of the said production.  Creative Impact Production has been put us.  We were, unfortunately, scammed by our production manager and her boyfriend who happened to be the 'owner' of the said production.  I was left traumatized that's why I'm still having a hard time going back in theater.

Then as years gone by, I finally knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life:  act, have a food business, travel, and do anything creative.  It's been quite a while figuring out what really makes me happy, that's why I left my previous company to pursue my dreams and shrug off all those negative comments around (because, you know, Filipino mindset is to have a stable income in a corporate world, or be a slave to someone, in order to attain happiness even if you really loathe your job.  That's not the case for me).

In 2012, the stars then aligned and so is my fate.  Back in April, Abi, a filmmaker friend of mine, called me late at night and asked if I'm willing to act the next day for a web series.  I instantly said yes without any doubt.  Plus, I'd get to act with my bff too!  Dream #5..check!  After hanging up, I went to Google and watched a couple of Flat Whites' episodes.  Hilarious!

photo grabbed from
'Marriage' is one of my favorite episodes.

"Flat Whites" is a weekly Australian dramedy web series that revolves around guys, girls and coffee.  Its main characters were Phil and Luc who are best buds.  They talk mostly about women and how to get them but they, most of the time, fail to do so.  It's more of a dry-humor kind of series, which Filipinos, in general, are not used to.  So better pay attention to what is being said as it will really make you laugh.  It's kind of difficult understanding at first due to their strong accents, but eventually you'll get used to it.  Each episode runs 3-5 minutes, so watching it will definitely beat your boredom or stress in an instant.

Just so you know, Flat Whites won three awards (cue: wooooooot!) at the recent LA Web Series Festival: Best Producing (Max De Bowen), Best Composing (Cy Gorman), and Best Actor (Christian Heath).  They all deserved it.  Props to them! :)


April 16th.  Meeting place: Starbucks Coffee at Gateway.  It was my first time meeting my fellow actors and director.  I was terrified.  I'm not used to conversing in English for a long while now (and, obviously, I'm trying to write on the said language as a practice since I'm not really good at it) so I'm pretty much mum as I remembered.  While waiting for Mike, our DP and Abi's bf, we discussed about my role, the episodes that were going to be shot in the metro while Abi and I were contacting actor friends who are willing to join the series.  I'm also not used to having the director ask me what I think about the episode or the project because with the directors I've worked with, they mostly don't ask the actors' opinion.  So this is a great start for me.  I love collaborative work.  But all I did was just nod or shrug, or, I-don't-know-what-I-just-said kind of thing.  I was too shy!!!

We scratched the Quiapo scene and went somewhere in the south to shoot this episode.  Then went to a different location for the next day's shoot.  I can't reveal much of it since our episode isn't up yet.  So here are some stills  :)

don't think dirty.  you, green minds XD
I'm very blessed to have worked with the team especially with my co-actors who are great!  Great acting chops guys ^_^

Day 3 and 4 shoots were in Tagaytay, that you definitely need to watch out for but Dess (my bff) and I were not in it.  Then on day 5, right after my auditions for an international film, I was about to head home thinking that Chris, Nev, Max, Abi and Mike had gone to Pampanga for the 'cast party'.  But no, they waited for me and I tagged along even if I don't have extra clothes and toiletries.  That's what you call spontaneous aka kaladkarin.  :p

The cast party was great!  The place was so cool! Abi and I went to the grocery for our dinner and late night drinks; we all prepared our dinner, played some billiards and foosball, and sang our hearts out on videoke.

The entire experience was totally rad.  What inspired me the most is the overflowing passion of each member of the team (including Doc Christine: that pretty lady in yellow top at the lower right of the collage).  I sincerely thank Abi for tapping me to be part of this wonderful project.  It boosted my confidence, my drive to pursue the arts.  As what Joseph Gordon-Levitt said, "the most valiant thing you can do as an artist is inspire someone else to be creative," and these guys definitely did me!  I hope I did too to you who's reading my blog.

Cheers to Flat Whites!
Philippines episodes credits:
Director/Writer/Producer/DOP: Max De Bowen
Actors: Christian Heath, Neville Mchina, Dess Verzosa, Apple Pueblo, Abi Butalid, Michael Seiling
DOP/Cinematographer: Michael Seiling, Abi Butalid

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