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Sino si JEYMSHARBI?

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Jeymsharbi is James Harvey Estrada the artistic director and one of the seven founding members of The Scenius Pro.. He is a journalist, writer, director, actor and playwright.

As an artistic director of The Scenius Pro. a contemporary performance company. James’ works advocates on empowering the Deaf community with Hear, Here!, HIV stigma reduction with Reign-Bow a drag-vocacy and Maikling Dasal, Mahabang Gabi a theatre play on the plight of Overseas Filipino Workes. His latest works focused on the drug war of the Philippines entitled “Pagsusumamo Para Sa Kinalimutang Kislap Ng Perlas Ng Silanganan” a prayer performance for the victims and families of Philippine drug war.

Performing arts mentor at the Regional Lead School for the Arts in Angono and founding artistic director of Luwal Sining-Pagganap, the official performing group of RLSAA Senior Highschool Arts and Design Track, a collaboration of five art areas; music-vocal, music-orchestra, dance, rondalla and theater arts.

Asian Performing Arts Farm 2019 Laboratory member in facing the cities of Yogyakarta Indonesia and Tokyo Japan.

His media production experiences includes a wide array of multimedia platforms where he was a researcher, producer, writer, news editor, acting coach and director. Explored every possible broadcast formats like docu-drama, teleplays, magazine shows, reality shows, showbiz talkshows, satirical news program and news and public affairs special hard hitting coverage and viral internet short videos for TV 5, ETC Solar Entertainment and currently with GMA Network Inc.

He graduated Film Directing under Cinemalaya Institute and the former festival director and curator for Queer International Film Festival and Short+Sweet Film Manila.

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WORK-IN-PROGRESS “Mga Anghel Ng Talim”

I’m developing a new work-in-progress performance for Regional Lead School for the Arts in Angono under Luwal Sining-Pagganap.

The piece is called “Mga Anghel ng Talim”. A culmination of a year-long testing of process of collaboration and crafting emotionalities with Rasa principles.

As of writing, I think we are around 30 percent of the production stage! Waaah!!!

We challenged ourselves by testing a screenplay I wrote into a performance. Trying to find ways to mount, articulate and design these sequences to live performance segments.

I tell you this is a grueling but a really necessary process for the five art areas (orchestra, rondalla, dance, vocal, theater) of LSP.

Catch our preview showing of the work at PASINYA 2020 Tanghalang Huseng Batute February 8, 2pm.

MgaAnghelNgTalim #Pasinaya2020 #LuwalSiningPagganap #GrandRecital2020

Orchestra of the Filipino Youth: Paskong Pinoy and other Musical Journeys

It was a windy 17th afternoon of December amidst the Ortigas traffic, in one of the building in Rockwell business center, was a musical gathering celebrating christmas and music with the youth.

I’ve heard OFY for a long time and been following their page. I was very interested to hear them. I missed their anniversary concert in Areté last October so maybe I should catch the Christmas concert instead. It will be OFY’s last concert for this year, so might as well watch.

The concert was set in a simple and intimate space enough for you to observe as the young musicians play.

I was seated near the percussions. Watching them play and prepare for every musical piece was fun to watch. After a few observations, I was motivated to write something about them.

As someone who collaborates with young musicians these are my takeaways:

▶ There is a distinct youthful, cutesy and smooth clever sound/feels when you listen to youth orchestras. This is the same thing I felt listening to RLSAA chamber orchestra.

▶ Young players are like gamers. Instruments as their joysticks and notes as their game apps. The only difference is when they play, they could touch souls.

▶ Orchestra is not just for the rich kids. If you are poor but passionate with music you are welcome in the pack!

▶ Music can take you to unknown destination. Just let the magic of music take you to great heights. Feel the music and get lost along the way. The young musicians are effective and interesting musical guides.

▶ Age should not limit someome in becoming a great musical storyteller.

▶ Give the young musicians burger/merienda after. Reward the youth with complements for a good show. Eventually, their good will be better and their better best.

Thank you Orchestra of the Filipino Youth!
Mabuhay kayo!

Acting for Stage and Character Analysis for Teens

I went back to Teatro Kalayaan of RLSAA for an acting workshop with young thespians. It’s more than a year since the first time I trained them and met my first ever apprentices. I missed the young passionate disciplined theater energy!

I just want to share my takeaways!

▶ Never underestimate the power of young storytellers!

▶ It takes a lot of patience, time and energy to polish diamonds in a rough. Take the challenge and you will learn from them too! It is worth it!

▶ Safe space always for the youngest in the room.

▶ Make the oldest trainee your ally. Most of the time they will initiate and lead.

▶ Honest/truthful performances can be achieved if they trust you. For teens and kids, it is going to be tricky! Do not intimidate them. Join and play with them.

▶ Backstage preparations is as important as the performance.

▶ They need rest. They can be energetic but be sensitive if they need to rest physically and emotionally.

▶ Love them and they will love you back!

Thank you Teatro Kalayaan! See you soon!

University of Sto. Tomas Christmas Concert 2019

It was the night of December 6 at around 7pm but it felt like Christmas eve!

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After the show, it made me reflect on so many questions:

How do we assess religious performances?

Is the process of performance-making in the church should rely deeply on spirtuality more than the artist’s technique?

How do we mix indigenous people in a very catholic performance with utmost sensitivity
of their culture?

If a performance is a form of worship, how do we create sincerest intentions?

When do we exoticize? Is there a need to exoticize?

How do we evaluate/derermine inclusivity from mere exoticizing cultures and disability?

Maybe in my process of performance-making I’ll try to find answers to these questions. I want to continue this conversations and questions in the future.

Anyway, the christmas concert was grand!
The singers and musicians were amazing!Cathrine Sunga was a stand out performer!

Maligayang Pasko University of Santo Tomas!It made me want to eat hamon and quezo de bola after!

In Life, Love and Magic Our Town: Aguas Santas!

In Life, Love and Magic
Our Town: Aguas Santas!

I was able to watch and observe PUP Sininglahi Polyrepertory’s last production for 2019; Aguas Santas 1901. It was an adaptation of the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

Here are some of my take aways.

▶ How we deal about love in a generation of jowang-jowa na millenials? Love stories combined with career dilemmas is a go-to perfect formula for audiences.

▶A mother’s tender heart for kids is a tearjerker! Believe me! A good mix of texts/lyrics with a simple piano accompaniment is a sure tear ducts activator.

▶ Queer in 1901? Why not? An aspirational perspective on straight men and women’s ideal relationship from a queer body in 1901? Ofcourse!

▶ Patriarchy in theater. How do we deal with it? How do we act on it? How do solve it?

▶ A humble musical is a bomb! It is a play with music as Polyrep would say but for me it was a delicious musical treat.

▶ Honest, truthful and believable acting choices. Period. Exclamations!!!

▶ A play in three acts for an hour and twenty minutes with a simple yet touching magical ending.

Yakap sa PUP Sining-Lahi Polyrepertory.

GAANO KAIMPORTANTE ANG GINAGAWA NATING PAGPAPATULOY NGAYON?

‘Bakit di na lang kasi tumigil gumawa ng art?’ A resounding thought from an artist friend kanina habang pauwi. Habang iniisip ko ang pambayad sa doktor, may utang pa kasi kami sa ospital. (Nasa ospital si daddy for heart operation)

‘Madali naman ang tumigil, but something feels right kaya nagpapatuloy…’ Yun yung sinagot ko from the core of my truth. Yun ang initial response ng aking senses. Habang inaakyat ang hagdan sa gitna ng hatinggabi galing sa putok tiyan na samgyupsal at meeting sa kung paano pa hahanap ng aattend sa Scenius Eskwela workshop at proposal for an international residency.

Nagiisip ako hanggang sa marating ang pinto ng maliit na apartment. Bakit nga push na push ang mga kaluluwang lumikha kahit walang-wala na minsan, hindi pala minsan madalas ay salat talaga pinansyal at pisikal na lakas at oras.

Umupo sa mesa at bumuntomg hininga may naisip. Marahil ay nangarap din tayo noong bata na mabigyan ng ganitong espasyo para matuto. Pero noon, ay walang katulad natin na magbibigay ng halos libre maturuan lamang ang nga mumunting alagad ng sining na nais pang humusay.

Nasaan na nga ba ang mga batang katulad natin noon? Sila ang kailangan nating mahagilap. Nasaan ba sila? Pucha ito na kami eh. Yung mga batang salat sa dunong, may mga magbibigay na! Tara na! Avail nyo na!

Ayun!
Baka kaya nga push na push pa!
Gusto lang magbigay pa!
Mag-ambag pa, kahit wala na!

Dahil iyon marahil ang aking naturalesa? Ewan?
Is this a life legacy?
I could’ve than better things yung sisikat ako! Nasa showbiz na ako oh! Lagi kong sinasabi sa sarili ko. Pokus ka na lang sa telebisyon at pelikula.

But I am for the cause of the work and inner conviction of my creative soul!

Noong matapos kasi ang mga recitalist na students ko sa Angono, naisip ko saan na sila pupunta? Titigil na ba ang ilan kasi walang pera sa art? Kasi wala na silang mapupuntahan? Kasi parang wala namang ligtas at malawak na espasyo para ilabas ang kanilang sining at pagiging malikhain? Maliwanag ba talaga ang future sa aMa-art na ito?

Paano ba? Nasaan na ang kinabukasan para sa mga matatapos sa university orgs at gagraduate ng art school? Ano ang kaya nating magawa?!

Ang hakbangin ng pagpapatuloy natin ay nakaangkla sa mga susunod pa. Hindi dahil nagpapakabayani (such a big word) tayo. Ito ay para ipakita na may dahilan upang ilaban ang ating adhikain at sining. Ang pagpapatuloy natin ay lakas ng mga susunod pa at espasyo rin sa mga parating.

Kailangan nating paghusayan!
Kailangan nating ibagay ang lahat!
Kailangan nating mag-make sense!

Nakatingin ang mga bata.
Yung batang mapangarapin, katulad natin noon.

Nakatingin sila.
Anong gagawin mo ate at kuya?

Hindi natin sila bibiguin!
Magkamatayan na!
Tuloy tayo!

Magandang Gabi.
Tulog na at magpahinga.
Gagawa pa tayo ng mas magandang sining bukas!

B A C K S T A G E

Creating performance with Luwal Sining-Pagganap for Guronasyon 2019.

Summer this year, I was asked to develop a performance for/about teachers. The performance will be a collaboration of music-orchestra/rondalla, music-voice, dance and theater from Regional Lead School for the Arts SHS.

So I took the challenge to devise this work. The process for research/music writing took us months. It was the hardest part! The choreography and blocking took a week to finish and polish.

Before the show I had this few important backstage observations:

➡ Every artist/performers stand by area is even more dramatic than the actual show. There’s a lot of emotions and energy flow going on.

➡ Selfie is a must especially with vanity mirriors. Is this a confidence boost ritual?

➡ Warm hugs before the performance melts all self-doubts, anxiety, anger and stress. Hugs are really essential, it gives so much healing.

➡ A smile can shoo away the bad vibes! Keep smiling.

➡ Acknowledge the need for silence. It helps you to concentrate more and understand you instrument (body).

➡ Before going on stage remember the core intention of the performance. It is with utmost sincerity and truth that we give life to a magical performance.

➡ Listen to your stage manager so you don’t mess up with your cues.

I learn a lot from these young artists.

#PagibigAngPamasahe
#SamasamaTayo
#Guronasyon2019
#LuwalSiningPagganap

In Art/Performance Education

Writing down my thoughts about my perspective and observation as an artist-teacher.

➡It is important that we raise critical thinking artist. Art is not a copy-me/follow-you process. Let’s hone art-MAKERS and performance-MAKERS. The ones who will push forward in creating original works.

➡Allot ample discussion in contextualizing/articulating and crafting performance. Why are we creating this? What for? To whom? How can we translate this experience to performativity? No art is instant!

➡Performers should not be treated as factory workers. It is not a process of point A to point B. Sometimes you will get lost and finding yourself back will take time. It is ok to pause, then continue. Burn out is real. We need to keep the sanity of young artists.

➡In schools, there will be a lot of competitions, events and other performance requests. But these mere things wouldn’t define you as a maker. Yes, they will hone you to craft things to cater a certain occasion or market but for me what is really important is finding your OWN voice. The judges in art/performance can not define your work and artistic process.

➡Study and rehearse then study again. Evaluate work thoroughly! Post talk/discussion is important whether it is exclusively for artists or with the audience. LISTEN ALWAYS LISTEN.

➡Never stop problematazing the system. It is when we sit in our comfort zones that we forget how to grow. Never stop finding efficient ways to educate. Pull up your sleeves and do the work.