That is exactly why I couldn’t do acting.
One summer break from college, I earned some money working as an extra in a movie – Gaano Kita Kamahal – which was partly filmed in the City. Featuring Christopher de Leon and Lorna Tolentino as principal actors, it tells the story of Rolly Suclad whose face was severely burned by coal embers thrown by an assailant and Auring who provided him solace during his recuperation and loved him despite everything. Their daughter was my friend and a classmate both in high school and college. But it wasn’t because of it that I was able to get a part in fact I didn’t know that the story was about her folks and she didn’t know that I was doing part-time work in the set. It was my aunt who got me in but that’s another story altogether.
The finished product, the movie that viewers see on the screen, and the filming itself are worlds apart. Scene shots are devoid of the dramatic renditions of light and sounds that are in the final product, all there is are actors’ dialogue and/or movements, and they’re not necessarily shot in sequence. Lots of retakes as well.
Observing these, I was fascinated at the actors’ ability to focus on the moment and tap into their imaginations and emotions on cue. In comparison, when the director tells us extras to “focus, focus and give me your best ever sad (or happy for that matter)” which didn’t even have dialogue, I was, f**k, but I’m not in the mood, or sh**t I can’t conjure up sad (or happy) right now.
There’s the difference. I have no inclination and talent for the art. On the set, it was purely my head that was involved and the result was acting that’s toneless, flat, unconvincing. It’s not that I’m devoid of heart but cues that are supposedly meant to get me wholly into the moment have the opposite effect. Frozen is ages too late.
Still can you imagine Snow Queen Elsa turning Maleficent?