Young stars send out mixed signalsBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In other countries, career development in show biz is clear and methodical, a purposeful surge from one career-enhancing gambit to another, culminating in young stars finally establishing themselves as long-term players in the lucrative entertainment field. Here? Not so much.
Local starlets’ careers go from one “offer” to another, willy-nilly, encompassing all sorts of performance modes, as long as there’s money to be made. Between jobs, they just wait for the next offer, instead of working with their handlers to generate a coordinated image thrust that will make it easier for producers to think of securing their services for their next projects, whenever the right role for them comes along.
And when the scattershot offers stop coming, the starlet’s career withers on the vine.
This is what happens when young stars and starlets send out mixed signals—a downbeat phenomenon that’s been happening more often in local show biz, as talent discoverers concentrate, not on creative and painstaking career development for their wards, but simply on making money off them.
Take Coco Martin. He made a name for himself as an edgy indie actor before the “maindie” industry appropriated him. Instead of retaining his key edge, he’s given up some of it in favor of the standard dramatic-romantic acting gambits that pass for “deep and felt” TV portrayals in these parts.
Indie actors are famous for being able to create characters very different from themselves, but Coco now plays mere variations on his persona. And, talk about lack of believability, on his current series, “Walang Hanggan,” he can’t make his character’s shift from farmhand to sophisticated and wealthy businessman credible. Yes, he’s given a radical change of wardrobe, but that’s about it.
For his part, “Budoy” star Gerald Anderson’s mixed signals involve his physical appearance. He appears to have bulked up a lot, which makes it difficult for us to see him in sensitive dramatic roles. Is he planning to go the action route instead? If so, what was all the dramatic mileage he gained from “Budoy,” for?
Xian Lim is experiencing his own lack of career focus. “My Binondo Girl” made him popular, but now he’s been playing the “popular” card too much, and is coming off as awkward and TH, instead of natural and emotionally accessible. And his recent stint as beauty pageant host came out from left field, un-focusing his image even more. What gives?
Our young stars really have to manage their careers with greater clarity, logic and prescience. If they themselves aren’t sure about their main “selling points” as performers, how can they expect viewers to focus on and relate to them, as they most productively and rewardingly should?
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