Chewing Bubble Gang

FULLY LOADED - Mikael Daez - The Philippine Star

I never saw myself doing drama on television before. However, when I finally tried it out, it was extremely liberating because I had never imagined myself doing it before. I could go as far as saying that there was a certain high that kicked in when I dropped my personal barriers and reluctancies, and stretched myself beyond my own pre-conceived limits. After all, we are our own most difficult obstacle. But since then, I’ve felt as free and light as I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m no longer afraid to jump into new things and give a hundred and 10 percent to it. Every day, I’ve continuously discovered something new about myself and it all started with that leap of faith into this foreign world — the entertainment industry.

Being that I was a complete newbie to it, there were so many doors that I could enter, so many things that I had yet to try out and experience. Some of them would be expected. For example, I knew I had to get into television drama and hosting. But for the unexpected, I had a recent run-in with a genre that hasn’t crossed my mind at all — comedy. In a nutshell, I was invited to guest in Bubble Gang, the longest-running gag show in the Philippines, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was that it was work and I was going to take it.

The date was the fourth of March, nearly two months ago. We were in Studio 6 of the GMA Annex building and I was given a brown envelope with a pile of scripts for the different segments we were going to do. I was scheduled to do the first gag that day and I didn’t think much of it. I read my script thoroughly, internalized my character as if I were doing a soap and let it rip! In a few short minutes, I had completed shooting my first comedy sketch. Surprisingly, as I was walking back to the holding area, I realized I was in a high. As the taping went on, I played a variety of colorful characters and I found it extremely fun jumping from role to role and from sketch to sketch. At the end of the day, I still felt the high and I kept telling myself that this day was awesome and I sincerely wanted to do it again and explore even more. Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to guest in each week since the fourth of March.

On that note, if I were to sum up my experience in each Bubble Gang guesting, I’d say it was all crazy fun! What I’ve loved about working in Bubble Gang is that you can tell that everyone is enjoying. We work hard and try to create good material but everyone always has a great time doing it. The people in the show are also very supportive and willing to share their experiences. For me, that’s a huge bonus because I really learn from what they have to say and also just by seeing how they do their work. A lot of the mainstays have become very successful so it would do me well to pay attention to detail. Also, there are so many different kinds of personalities and work styles in the cast. It’s like an explosion of various characters during each taping day. There’s just never a dull moment!

So far, each guesting with Bubble Gang has not felt like work at all. I’m working as hard as I can but it’s so enjoyable doing work with them that I hardly notice the stress. It’s also fulfilling to know that every Friday, I’m bombarded with tweets of people who enjoyed the show. That’s what our material is for anyway — to entertain. Thus, if I’m able to enjoy my work, learn from the best, explore myself and still entertain, then I can’t ask for much more than that!

As wonderful as it has been, however, there are still moments when I find it shocking being in Bubble Gang. Before, I thought that you needed to be a funny person to do comedy — the type who cracks jokes every other minute. I’m not the funniest guy in the world but so far, I’ve done all right in my Bubble Gang segments. When I think about it, by the time I get to the set, the scripts are already written and the punch lines are laid out. I don’t have to think about the joke because the writers do that for us. I guess the work in Bubble Gang is about letting the comical situation speak for itself and just allowing the actors to let loose and execute. So far, that’s what I’ve seen and learned but like I said, there’s still so much more to experience and explore so I’ll remain an open book.

Overall, I’m thankful for what has happened and what is to come. Because of my Bubble Gang experience, I saw a side of myself that I never knew was there. I learned a lot, made new friends and it’s definitely going to be unforgettable.

(For comments/suggestions, e-mail me at mikael.daez@gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter @mikaeldaez. Catch Bubble Gang every Friday at 10:30 p.m. The summer special is airing April 26 and May 3.)


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