George De Jesus III: If artists are not responsible for the context and meaning of the things they say, and if we simply ignore or give excuses to comments made "out of context" and deem it innocuous, then what's the point of art?
As a theater actor, I've been trained to have clarity in each line and intention. If there's no meaning or intent in the art that we do, what's the point? If we are not clear in what we say, what's the point of saying it? If we let go of everything said because it was taken out of context, when can we ever learn to speak clearly? If we don't learn how to convey a clear message in our art (whether it's intellectual or emotional), what's the reason for continuing?
So, to those who say that the issue of "skyflakes and cat food" was taken out of context, enough with being polite and "trying to be understanding" and considerate. What was said (no matter how good the intentions were) is a reflection of how theater actors are regarded. And it is not good. Excuses will not change the perception. Perhaps over-reacting and being unforgiving will.
Bea Garcia: I think the bigger question for us now is, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS? Rafa may have joked about how we are treated as actors but I think the reason why the reaction from our sector is huge is because there is truth in it. Sure we are not paid in cat food and we actually eat rice and ulam on set during shoots, but it is a known fact that we do not expect high talent fees and will do things for the love. Now, is that really so bad?
What I think we have is passion--passion for the work we do, passion for acting, passion for telling stories. And if we choose to accept jobs that pay low, it is no fault but our own and we should not blame anyone else. I for one have done probono work to help people, or simply because the material is so good that I cannot let the opportunity of being part of it pass. Lines can be drawn. We can always choose the work we do, demand for higher pay, and demand that we be treated just like any other talent, celebrity status or not. After all, we are good at what we do and deserve no less than that.
I think that this is a wake up call. A harsh one, but a call to action nonetheless. Now that we know the perception of people in the industry about theater actors in terms of rates and fees, we can work together in changing this paradigm. All we really need to do is assess our worth and accept no less than what we think we deserve.
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