In life there are many things that we do for the very first time. There is no limit to the amount of new challenges, goals, frontiers and experiences that come our way. I am that kind of person who always goes after these things. They keep me on my feet and not placid and complacent which I am likewise inclined to. They make me acquire new insight into things or diverse information which opens my consciousness into realms previously unknown to me. In short, they give us something which makes our life worthwhile.
I am not a showbiz type of person. In fact, I find them superficial and, forgive my disrespect, inconsequential. If I have to turn on the tube, I usually veer towards documentary, reality and news shows. But with the prodding of a team mate, Red Ginger, who is a PA/writer for a game show Game N’ Go over TV5, I obliged.
The call time for studio audience is 9 am for a 12 o’clock show at Delta Theater, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. The group met over at Jollibee-Guadalupe at around 7. We are a group of 6 eclectic individuals/runners all excited and expectant. Arriving on the dot and after some perfunctory picture taking by the studio front, we bee lined towards the gathering of many giddy teenagers by the studio doors filling the area with lively cheers and energized atmosphere, not to mention smoke screen effect from loose powders spreading into the air as they are patted on their faces like that of a mine artist. We were met there by Red and introduced to the friend/personnel in charge of the audience and given some food to fill up before being corralled inside while the show is going on. Some of us ate; some did not for moments before they already did at our meet up place. I ate though despite not really hungry just in case the show goes on for hours after lunch time.
We realized only at this point that most of our time will be spent waiting by the doors to open and let us in. For almost 3 hours we patiently waited to be let in and enjoy the show. One of us, Ivan Patrick, is lucky enough to be chosen for a little role before the show starts by the mere power of his young looks (compared to the rest of us, that is). He was able to enter what seemed already like a sanctuary where only the chosen ones are allowed much earlier for some rehearsals. He was accorded that privilege of an air conditioned room with seats and all while we languish in the heat and noise outside like some, well, outsiders. That’s showbiz in a nutshell, I suppose.
Then the time came. The sanctuary’s doors opened! Group by group headed by fans clubs and barangay chapter groupies where led in and seated accordingly. Fans club members mostly composed of hyperactive and impressionable teenagers were assigned the most prominent and widely covered by the camera area at the back of the center stage where the Bangag and the Gaga portion, plus the very popular, True or Fall game where contestants fall down the floor if they got the wrong answer, and the one where gigantic slippers step on equally huge insects (contestants are inside these mascot like suits) is being shot.
Naturally, we came in last. But since one of the PAs is a friend, we were hurriedly led to the front row seats in the left part below the stage where some persons are already seated. They were made to transfer for our sake. We felt somewhat special. At this point, we will take whatever form, be it the minutest and the farthest, of importance that resemble a red carpet treatment. After some discomfort outside, we were given that which we deserve – a seat! And we’re ready to be wowed and entertained, but not yet.
Everything has to be staged. Everything has to be rehearsed, including the applause. What televiewers thinks as a spontaneous reaction and occurrences are actually scripted. So we went through repetitions that I already feel foolish. When it is time for the real thing, a live show, everything feels like automatic and instantaneous. We felt like a pro despite being first timers.
Set-up after set-up happened in but some few minutes in a very audio enhanced environment that all are moved to an energized frenzy. After some live part done at the stage and some gyrating, cinematic production number from the Gaga dancers, it was our part of the studio to come alive. Two mature lady contestants battled it out in the war of pitches. Using their idol Imelda Papin’s hit single “Isang Linggong Pag-ibig”, and with her sitting as one of the judges (the other one is Arnel Ignacio), they started singing a stanza each with the pitch stepped higher each round. The singer who can sing with the highest pitch without cracking was declared the winner. The one with the potential of getting a higher pitch lost due to missing the start cue and not because she cannot reach the pitch given. I was so sorry for her.
Spiel after spiel, applause after applause, smile after smile and the show came to an end. Picture here, picture there, the voice of the show’s director can be heard giving instructions for all to disperse and hit the exit. So we did as if everything’s were just a routine. It was time for the next episode to be shot; time for newbies like us to hit real life and consider everything as just a dream. And so we did. Just like in showbiz. I still can’t get the fuss of it all.