Thursday, September 29, 2005


Starstruck, a popular reality-based, search for a teen idol TV show, awards its winner a house and lot worth at least two million pesos, a brand new car, and a five-year contract with GMA, the television network that produces and broadcasts this hit show. And that’s just for starters. Movie projects, product endorsements, a recording contract and concert performances both here and abroad follow suit. A newly-hailed teen idol can generate a multi-million peso income from talent and appearance fees.

For most Filipinos, however, the idea of being chosen as the country’s newest heart-throb is so far outside the realm of the possible that it isn't so much an aspiration as a delusion. Yet, there are those who hold steadfast to dreams of stardom. They come in droves heeding the call of open auditions. Braving the searing sun and the sometimes punishing rains, they stand in line outside the audition studio with the patience of a saint. They mentally rehearse their audition performances so as to make themselves stand out from this throng of wannabes.

There were about 30 teenage girls and boys already waiting in line when Jon Ty, a 15-year old hopeful, alighted from a taxicab at 3:00 o’ clock in the morning to participate in Starstruck’s recent open audition. It was almost 3:00 o’ clock in the afternoon when his turn came up. He nervously entered the studio, walked past by the crew of video and sound technicians, and headed to meet the panel, presided by a man and a woman. Their goal was to pick out the batch with the potential to advance to the next round.

Immediately after exchanging brief greetings, he was asked to fill in his name as he recited out loud what was written on a huge cue card pasted in front of the panel’s table, “I am _­­­________. Watch out, I’m going to be a star!” He was then asked for any performance skills that he might have in which he swiftly replied singing and dancing.

They asked him to sing first. With the video camera turned on, he sang in a cappella, A1’s Like A Rose. Much to his delight, they let him sing it in its entirety; a good sign he thought. They then asked him to demonstrate his skills in dance. He handed over to the sound technician a CD he brought along with him. Once the music was on, he showed off a well-choreographed display of some crypt walk and techno dance maneuvers. He was in total sync with Fat Joe’s and Nelly Ville’s Get it Popping. This time though, barely midway through the song, he was asked to stop. Jon Ty was unsettled. The panel then asked a technician to play back the videotape of his dance performance. As they beamed with approval while reviewing it, he regained confidence. Sure enough, they advised him to wait for their phone call in which the date and location of the next phase of the audition will be announced.

Feeling triumphant, he stepped out of the studio convinced that he was indeed right on path to realize his dream. He took one final glimpse at the remaining lines of teenagers awaiting their turn. He noticed more had arrived to try their luck; they must be students from the neighboring schools who rushed right over as soon as schools began to let out. He smiled and silently thanked God for this auspicious day.

Jon Ty began to feel hunger pangs and fatique as he boarded a jeepney to take him home. The sun had already set in the horizon when he was greeted at the door by his anxious mother and sisters. They were euphoric upon hearing his wonderful news. Noticeably exhausted by then, he begged his jubilant sisters to stop pressing him for details, but to no avail. The mother came to his rescue by grabbing his arm to lead him to the kitchen. She suggested a light snack to tide him over, because dinner wouldn’t be ready for yet another hour or so.

After relishing a cup of instant noodle soup, he stretched out on the sofa for a quick nap; oblivious to the sisters' boisterous chatter. Eventually, his musing of someday becoming a dashing young star lulled him to sleep.


Starstruck Website

Starstruck and Stardom

Influence Of Celebrity Idols



posted by Señor Enrique at 7:28 AM


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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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