Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for July 29th, 2008

A headmaster and student’s reunion 8

Posted on July 29, 2008 by jimparedes

Boboy and I had a fun evening last week  teaching the kids at the Pinoy Dream Academy ( a reality TV show about artists in training)  how to be in a group. It was a strange feeling for me to enter the academy again since my stint as ‘headmaster’  two years ago. The physical layout had changed and the whole cast of characters, students, faculty save for Monet Silvestre, Kitchie Mlina and Joey Reyes had changed as well. Nevertheless, it was great to be there and  see the staff behind the show and to visit.

We taught the kids how to harmonize, to think as one unit when singing with a group, to listen to each other, and a few other techniques to speed up the gelling process which they needed to do to sing as three separate groups that weekend.

I felt I was looking at the same type of kids I was helping train two years back–wide-eyed, lean and hungry for fame and fortune. People ask me constantly how I feel about the new batch. The main difference between the two, and I admit I say this because I was more emotionally involved with PDA 1,  is the earlier group seemed to have had it in them  in a more fierce and intense way. People like Panky, Rosita, Yeng, Iya, JR, Irish, Ronnie, Yvan and the rest had that yearning to be somebody in a way that was more palpably felt by the viewers. Some gave it their all in  brief shining moments. But what great moments they were. Some are still glowing up to now. Some, although not present in the TV world as of the moment will still, I believe, make their mark in some way someday. We will see.

Batch 1 also had the advantage of being the first group to tell this type of story to a TV audience in the Philippines– the story of artists on the make with all its sordid details. Batch two has the burden of being compared. Don’t get me wrong. I am not being negative about Batch 2. There are some students there  that stand out as well.  I like some of them especially Bugoy and Liezl maybe because they do not fit the pretty boy-mestiza mold of the regular, run-of-the-mill  ‘young stars’ currently shining in the firmament. Their talent shines easily and brightly.  I wish all of them the best.

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Still on PDA mode, I enjoyed a lunch with some of the students of batch 1. Yeng, Ronnie, JR and Irish joined me for a late lunch  at Ebisu  in Eastwood the other day. It was great reminiscing with them, and talking about their take on what they went through. I’ve always imagined what it’s like for them to now watch youtube episodes of their lives in the academy then. They admitted feeling good  watching  their teachers cheer every performance they did which was not obvious to them as they were performing live then. We also  had a good laugh at some of the  then ‘burning’ issues they went through. The pain and tears have  lost their sting in the past two years and had been redefined as growing pains.

I did appreciate and relish their view that  the Company and I, and the entire teaching staff had prepared them well for the world outside. I was surprised and touched to hear them quote verbatim, the five rules of creativity I had taught them which they said they try to live by. We had great bonding that day. I am  grateful and proud to see these former raw talents on the way to promising careers or at the very least become performers on the make with the right tools and attitude which we inculcated in them.

Some of them have achieved much, but it seems that they are hungrier now than when they entered the academy. The taste of success is sweet and intoxicating. One can never have enough!

Good luck guys!  There’s a whole big audience waiting to see you shine–again and again.

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TCU begins in a few days. If you’re still dilly-dallying about joining, write to emailjimp@gmail.com NOW. Or call 4265375 and 0916-8554303 and ask questions or make a reservation. Chase the dream before it gets away.

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