It is a great thing to experience something, which you know, will just be a bucket list thing. And with that I mean doing something which is a one shot deal. On the other hand, maybe there will be another opportunity to do it again but not in the immediate future or not quite readily.
What I am referring to is the recent activity I did with the Fabulous Running Divas – an “extra” appearance as a zombie running after runners in Pepito Manoloto! So who can say that as ordinary denizen he or she had an experience appearing as an extra in a TV show or in a movie, not much, right?
A member of the FRD, Red Ginger, works in the production department of a TV station and it was through him that we got the invite being previous participants of Outbreak and Zombie races.
The call time was 11 a.m. at 711 GMA but left the premises more than an hour later since another member was late (Alyna is that you?). Our destination was Casa Mila but our van made a very quick side trip to an ukay-ukay where Benj, the founder of the group, bought his costume which were just old long sleeved shirt and matching pants worth P100 total. Upon arrival and after some initial picture taking, we were served our pack lunch.
Jake Vargas actually appeared as he passed by our area on his way to his car. Unfortunately, we were slow to react and were not able to have souvenir pix with him. The more young ones, Nikki and Joy, FRD Juvy’s beauteous daughter, were especially let up like some teenager who had just been snubbed by their crush. For the rest, we were contented at mere stargazing.
The task of creating zombie faces fell on the three of us – Benjo, Alyna and me. It involved some ample amount of tissue paper, white glue, liquid and cake foundations, and lots of black and red pigments. We are not expert prostheticians but we did quite impressive in our job as amateur zombie creators. Or maybe it is just that they were left with no choice. The job took most of the afternoon from past 1:30 pm until almost six!
We were then brought to the shoot location – the La Mesa Ecopark. It has lush garden and hilly landscape ideal for a spooky night scene in some secluded place. Though most zombie races were held right in the heart of the Metro save for the one at Nuvali, for TV presentation, this place is perfect. The rest of the extras who will act as runners whom we as zombies will try to grab the flags from also arrived.
We likewise saw some of the main cast like John Feir (Patrick), Ronnie Henares (Tommy) and Arthur Solinap (Robert) preparing for their roles and exchanging some banter among themselves. One of the topics we cannot help overhear them talk about was the latest showbiz scandal involving Wally Bayola, a co-comedian.
From the moment we reached the shoot location at around 5 pm till the very moment our first take was done (at around 9:30 pm!), it was listless chikahan, harutan and espying of the goings on in a TV comedy sitcom shoot which is Greek to most of us. Buhay extra nga naman! It is an endless killing of time for us. What compounded our situation are the facts that not only our faces in hardened tissue paper and glue and heavy make-up making some food nibbling and talking difficult, sticky blood like substance was likewise dripping from our face and body. This can indeed be very uncomfortable given the cold breeze blowing with face barely able to move for hours while eagerly awaiting our 3 seconds worth of fame!
Fortunately, we have each other to provide entertainment and bottomless fun. My kapatid Leonard led in most of the okrayans and kwelas. Alyna provided another indecent exposure that shocked many of us faint of heart! I will not divulge thought what scenario she created because it is not for public consumption. Hehehe…The tandem of ultra FRD Glenda and Benj with lots of humorous running and life’s anecdotes to share was a welcome entertainment. We have also the guys who lent their support most specially in the photography department like Ien, Saul, Glenn and Jose.
FRD Blue and Madam Lilian cannot let this event pass without them witnessing it. Straight from work, they proceeded to where we were arriving just in time to witness some of the first few takes to personal stardom, if there is such a thing!
When at last our part was to be taken, after more than 8 hours waiting I just need to reiterate, it took just a few takes of running and pretending to scare the runners and the main casts. For my part, I have to jump out of some bush towards Patrick and try to go after him and his flag. As I am wearing a mask, I did not see the female runner in front of me stumble over some wooden props along the roadside. But the acting must go on till we all reached behind the cam.
In another scene, a major one for me I must say, I need to utter, or mumble as I did, two words: “talaga” and “o sige” in response to Patrick commenting that the mask I was wearing seemed very real and that he wanted to borrow it from me. Unfortunately, I was not able to catch the cue on the first one so I only managed to say the second word. Another millisecond of stardom down the drain!
Each one of us I believed got a chance to appear in the scene though in varying prominence. I hope that the editors will not put most of our sacrifices going there, dressing up, being made up, and seemingly bottomless waiting game to the virtual garbage. They even took individual shots of us doing some scary moves so maybe that will suffice for most of us. This was just for experience after all! Gawin bang career?
The main star of the show, no less than Michael “Bitoy/Pepito Manoloto” V., arrived past 10 pm so we had to take dinner break first before resuming with our shoot with him. This shoot lasted no more than an hour. The scene was he being scared by some zombies who were actually beauteous Juvy, Leonard, Alyna and Benj. Then he will run towards the finish line only to encounter Patrick wearing my mask. Mistaking him for the real one, he punched the masked Patrick. Then after some realization of the person behind the mask and some scene at the finish line came the much sought after “it’s a wrap” statement from the director.
Since we need to clean up first and change into something decent before getting transported via the studio van, we finally managed to reach the GMA, Timog area at past 12. Needing some added nourishment (I myself wanted something hot), we stopped by Lugaw Republic along Timog-Tomas Morato. Then something shocking and regrettable happened cutting our extended okrayan and harutan short. However, that is something only the 17 of us, hopefully, will know and remain such.
So there went our experience, a one of its kind that may or may not happen again. I arrived home past 3 am very tired, physically and, well, mentally, and to a greater extent, emotionally because of “that” incident very late in the activity, but very contented at having done something not everybody can boast of having done.
Indeed this was another testament that many fabulous things happen to those who look at life in a gay and light perspective.
HERE IS THE FULL VIDEO OF THE SEPTEMBER 15 TV EPISODE: