Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for June 20th, 2008

From heat to cold, old to new 4

Posted on June 20, 2008 by jimparedes

Jun 20, ’08 12:12 AM
for everyone

I’ve been in Sydney for a week now and am getting good sleep. And the cold of winter is most likely responsible for it. I am eating well too and suspect I am gaining some weight.  The presence of my family is also very healing for me. I was suffering bouts of loneliness in Manila during my last visit . The heat, the absence of most of my family and the depressing news about oil, rice shortage, etc. were all beginning to get to me. I am glad to be here.

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I am also getting a lot of new voice and guitar students on top of my old students and I am enjoying really enjoying my sessions  with them. My Saturdays are really full teaching.

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My son Mio took the citizenship test the other day and he pretty much aced it. He was feeling good after the test knowing that once he gets his citizenship, new doors will open for him.For migrants, the oath-taking is a major turning point. He hopes to be sworn-in in a few weeks. I am happy to be instrumental in  helping him expand his horizons.

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I have been watching new Pinoy Dream Academy 2 and I find myself undergoing some sort of a deja vu experience. Here they are again, a fresh bunch  of kids with raw talents who will be going through the euphoria and pain of having a shot at stardom. Some will learn, some will not, some will hopefully find their nitch in the biz. Hopefully, all of them will find some value in being part of all this.

During my stint as headmaster two years ago, I found the job rewarding but pretty exhausting as well. I felt I could easily get attached to the kids and so had to  make sure I maintained a certain distance. My main aim was for them to learn their skills, develop a professional attitude, become better persons and give them a platform from where they could have a career if they wanted one after the run of the show.

The nitty grity  of the task–of passing on a good attitude  and right values towards work and their colleagues, and the tackling of the issues that prevented them from personally waking up to their talents, personality, and confidence was tiring but rewarding at the same time. I saw them  laugh, cry, complain, gush, backbite, support, help, and encourage each other throughout the 16 weeks. We wanted them to be the best they could be and to develop the life skill of approaching one’s artistry with constant creativity.

There was also the whole reality of it and that was, it was a TV show. The producers, with all their 64 cameras available 24-7 took care of catching on to threads that they weaved into stories for the viewers. The company, and all teachers would be briefed on the state of the students at the start of the day so we knew what was happening at all times.

The best and worst parts of the job happened on Saturdays where they showcased their talents and where one of them would get eliminated. As their teachers, we pushed them hard to give them the skills to deliver heir best performances but alas, one had to bow out each week. It was edifying on the one hand since we saw them give their heart and soul but wrenching on the other hand to have to be instrumental in choosing who must go and who must stay.

All throughout, I was always warning the kids of the transient character of being in this business. One day people will be fawning over you. The next day, you are day-old bread, or yesterday’s papers. The only thing that can keep you there or at least within striking distance of fame is to hone your talents and be able to deliver every time you are given the chance.

My secret agenda when I accepted the job of  headmaster in an popular TV show was to be able to pass on some values which i felt were wanting on TV. I wanted people to see the value of hardwork, a positive attitude, creativity, gratitude and the capacity to awaken to one’s inner talents, and the awareness of living in the  present. I feel that in a world of intrigue and out and out ‘gamitan’ which showbiz can be, one can still have a lightness, a compassionate attitude  and project redeeming qualities to one’s audience. I hope we were able to do some of them.

To the teachers, Ryan, Kitchie, Joey, Monette, congrats and enjoy the roller coaster ride. I know you will give them the best you’ve got!

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