SA TESDA, MTK! (MAY TRABAHO KA)

In this blog entry I will savor the memories of a reality tv show (which happens to be my first national television appearance) and a job reality interview show from the dossiers stocked in my mind.  I was just a fresh graduate from the UP College of Fine Arts in 2006 when I came across an ad in JobsDb.com for MTK! (May Trabaho Ka).  MTK! by the way was a show of QTV-11 (now GMA NewsTV) that aired every Sundays at 6 pm.  I immediately submitted my resume online, without any knowledge of the position they were looking for.  Heck, they would just put me for an interview in their art department once they see my resume, I honestly thought.  Then in a couple of days I got a call from QTV-11 asking me to join their reality tv show MTK! (May Trabaho Ka) for the actor/actress auditions of an upcoming digital film back then, Xenoa.  Immediately, I said yes, I was bitten by the showbiz bug.  It was the morning of September something 2006, where I donned my military get up and headed to the Mowelfund Film Institute located at Betty Go Belmonte, Quezon City.  I saw two nice chicks, Ms. Mariz Umali(the host) and Ms. Hiyasmin Neri (the winner), and class b actors and actresses.  I also met my Acy Ramos there, who up to now remains one of my good friends.  Pen Medina and Xian Lim(director of Xenoa) were two of the judges for us actors and actresses.  I did a battle between a human and an android type of fighting scene.  The imaginary android set itself in a “self-destruct” mode in the script and my acting played on how I escaped the explosion (haha).   Too bad I wasn’t able to search or keep any footages of my audition but some of my friends were able to watch it and even texted me on how funny my audition was.  Even the winner herself texted me on how funny I was.  I made it to the top 10 of the actors and actresses but I fell short in the next round.  In the end, it was a meaningful and remarkable showbiz experience.  Looking back at those days, hehe, I could have done better.  What’s important is the friendship and yes, the television exposure.

Last November 2009, I was supposed to be featured in NBN Channel 4’s one month long show “Sa TESDA May Laban Ka” hosted by Secretary Augusto Boboy Syjuco, but it didn’t happen.  The show was created in order to give the viewers the needed skills and employment information in various sectors of Information & Communication Technology, Tourism and Health etc.  2D Animation falls under the ICT department, so they invited me as their 2D animator guest for their pilot episode.  A segment of the show would also narrate the journey on how I became an animator to serve as an inspiration to aspiring animators.  I actually liked the idea and I was flattered.  TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) then arranged the venue and the day of my interview without first consulting with Toon City (the amazing company that I work for).  TESDA’S mistake was that they only contacted Toon City two days before the actual taping and it was so unfortunate that their timing came during those Typhoon Ondoy & Peping days.  Meaning, people in my company were very busy helping, evacuating and at the same time finishing some animation deadlines.  TESDA failed to contact our president and didn’t get the full nod of my company.  However, the taping still pushed through last October 2009, even without the full consent of Toon City.

During the week NBN 4 & TESDA were busy editing my part, our president contacted TESDA for my interview.  This was the only time our company had the time to formally talk with TESDA after the massive damage the two typhoons had brought to our country.  However, it was a little too late for both parties to agree with the guidelines and rules for the interview because it already took place.  Toon City had a contract confidentiality clause with all of the shows that we were doing that time.  In layman’s terms, any mention and showing of our ongoing production works on air were forbidden.  Kaya in-edit out ng channel 4 yung pag mention ko sa mga show at bawal din ipakita yung actual cartoon scenes.  Dahil dun, wala nang makukuhang impormasyon sakin ang mga viewers.  So they decided to replace me with a 3D animator (asap) instead of doing a re-shoot of my interview because of Channel 4’s super hectic schedule and deadlines in production and tapings.  In fairness, Toon City only followed the rules and regulations of their contracts with their clients, for that I salute them.  Had TESDA contacted Toon City at least two weeks before the interview, naplano sana ng mabuti.  The good thing was that TESDA paid my talent fee and provided me with some pictures of my interview.

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Looking back at my experiences with the two reality shows, I therefore conclude that it is really not easy to your dream job.  My dream job is located in the freelance world, where things are rough, tough, unpredictable, frustrating and nasty.  Even though I am still in the journey of fulfilling it, with prayers and discipline, hopefully I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in the future.  Most people settle for boring jobs just to have a stable salary, sacrificing their passions.  I really can’t blame them, some that I know have families, and lucky for me I am still single.  However there will come a time where I won’t have the “single” excuse anymore.  Most of the models, actors, actresses, animators and artists alike belong in the freelance world, survival of the fittest.  What separates these types of workers from the ordinary workers in the corporate world are their guts and determination to succeed.  Whatever I do, whatever is left of me and whoever I am, it is because of animation and acting.  Remember that no matter how hard life kicks us in our butts, our determination and passion in the things that we love will thwart all impediments towards success and prosperity.

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