30-DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE
DAY 19: A TALENT OF YOURS
Before I delve further into today’s challenge, please allow me to differentiate talent from skill:
Talent is something that is innate. You are born with it and if lucky enough to notice and nurture it during your formative years, can achieve some level of success.
Skill, on the other hand, is developed through practice. Practice that can take result in massive capacity for achievement, as a result of months or even years of steady and consistent work.
I had to consult my mother on this basis because if there’s one person who can vouch for the gift I am born with, that would be her. Initially, she got confused as to the reason why I’m asking her when I should know this stuff by heart. According to my Mom, two talents were evident in my younger years: singing and acting. Before going any further, I must warn you, though, that this is going to be a lengthy post…
My parents, even relatives, were witnesses to this talent. My love for singing perhaps began when my mother was pregnant with me. According to Mom, she used to put headphones on her belly while she sleeps. She would play soft music or nursery rhymes, and she would feel me move inside, perhaps responding to the music. At age three, I can sing in tune. Among my favorites were Someone’s Waiting for You from The Rescuers and Somewhere Out There by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram from the movie, An American Tail (1986).
My first actual performance in front of an audience was in 1996 when my grandfather’s boss invited me to sing at their company’s Christmas party. I’ve never done it before, but I was thrilled! It was my mother’s request that I sing Vanessa William’s Colors of the Wind from the movie, Pocahontas (1995), because she thought it fits me. Did you know that I gained something from this? My grandfather’s boss thought I was adorable, thus he rewarded me with Php 1,000. It was a lot of money for 10-year old at that time!
Not that I have stage fright, but my parents thought I’d do better if I get myself exposed to a live audience more often, thus they enrolled me at Center for Pop Music Philippines, Inc. in 2001. It was a nice experience having learned the dynamics and all that technical pointers in singing. Hey, I gained friends from there, too!
Unlike singing, I didn’t know I had a talent in acting until I reached high school. To serve as our final exams in our Filipino class, every year, we had to remake a historical book/story in a form of a play with full production. In second year high school, Florante at Laura was our theme. It is a story about the love and determination of Duke Florante and Princess Laura of Albania while being pursued by the usurper Count Adolfo. I played Princess Floresca, Duke Florante‘s mother, opposite Duke Briseo, who was portrayed by my now-fiancé, Miggy. It wasn’t a main role, but our scriptwriter slash director gave me a solo scene at the time that Duke Florante had gone missing. It was my first time in the field, but I received my first acting award (Best Supporting Actress) from this role.
In our junior year, however, we had to pick a scene or a chapter from the renowned novel, Noli Me Tangere, by our National Hero, José P. Rizal. Only this time, we won’t work as a group/class. We had to pair ourselves or perform solo. My partner and I wanted to be unique from everyone else and at the same time leave a lasting impression from the audience, thus we picked the least chosen scene from the book. Our took on male roles which was challenging, and we used minimal props during our performance. Our script was filled with heavy lines—in a form of debate—leaving us both breathless towards the end. Lo and behold, we were both awarded acting awards for our commendable portrayal.
I’d say between the two, I miss the latter most. I miss everything about theater-acting: from memorizing lines and internalizing them to stage-blocking and costume-fitting. I do get stage-frights before my actual performance, but once I get on stage, I’m completely a different person.