Dimples Romana builds a school for acting

DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda - The Philippine Star
Dimples Romana builds a school for acting
The actress on building the Dimples Romana Acting and Personality Development School: ‘Everybody has something to give and everybody has something to learn. We are not only teaching how to make use and to maximize the tools that you are given, we are actually teaching like, what really will make you stay long.’

“Hello, everybody! I am Dimples Romana and just like you, I am a storyteller.”

That’s how Dimples is going to welcome her first batch of students once construction of her school, The Dimples Romana Acting and Personality Development School, is completed and ready to begin classes.

“I believe that we are all storytellers and it’s just a matter of how we tell our stories based on the characters that we’re going to take on in the future if you were to become an actor,” she said. “And so, parang lagi kong iniisip, Tito Boy, na lahat tayo gusto mag-kuwento. In my school, we actually want to encourage that each and every one of us has a different way of telling our stories.”

Opening a school for acting has been her long-time dream that pushes her to do better in her craft to be able to realize it one day.

“I’ve been working on it even before Kadenang Ginto (the drama series, where her portrayal of the feisty character Daniela became famous among viewers),” said she. “This March, I’ll reach my 24th year in the business and I’ve been thinking what is there for me to do after this. What is a good way of sharing what I have learned from everybody I’ve been working with like you, Tito Boy, you have taught me so much, it’s something you opened up for me and somehow I’ve learned that through your hosting class, the possibilities are endless only if you open your heart to it. Ngayon, Tito Boy, you are my teacher and this time, I yearn to teach as well.”

Knowledge is power but it’s much more powerful when it’s shared. Dimples is among those who are generous enough to share acting tips learned from her experience. Thus, she is confident that acting can be learned.

“In fact, I think everything can be learned because of teachers like you. You have instilled in my heart and in my mind that no dream is too big for anybody,” shared Dimples. “For the school that I’m building, I want to be able to cultivate a culture of learning new things every time, regardless they are veterans or proteges or newbies in the business. Everybody has something to give and everybody has something to learn.”

“We are not only teaching how to make use and to maximize the tools that you are given, we are actually teaching like, what really will make you stay long,” added she. “We all know that most of the people who have been in the business who still are right here now are the people who are kindhearted – people who are not madamot.”

Still, there were many people who seemed to disagree. Dimples had been asked many times about her intention to share her acting know-how. There were allusions for her to just keep it to herself as her “secret way” to effective acting.

“But I’d like to believe that we are unique,” said she. “We have different talents and tools. Even if I give you the framework, we’re not the same. It will never be the same rendition because we’re two different people and I’d like to be the one to push for that and empower individuality.”

Dimples cannot be thankful enough to the people who gifted her with direction that broadened her skill set. Having been mentored by acting pros, she pointed out, allowed her to defeat an obstacle or to be better in her acting.

“Naalala ko dati si Inang (director Olivia Lamasan), when we had a shoot, sabi n’ya sa ‘kin, ‘Bakit ka nag-lo-look away? Nasa teleserye ka ba? ‘Yung totoong tao ba nag-lo-look away?’ Sabi n’ya parang pe-ne-pre-empt mo na ‘yung susunod na eksena. So, sabi ko, oh my God, oo nga.”

Another great director, Chito Roño, taught her to keep her eyes still, “especially kapag nasa movie kasi ang laki-laki ng screen. ‘Pag malikot ‘yung mata ko nakaka-distract. So, sabi ko, ganun  pala ‘yun. These are the things that I actually value over time,” she offered.

As an actor what is your style? What is your process?

“When I go on a project, I write (pointers) in a notebook. I have notebooks for all (projects) – from Amanda of The Greatest Love, I have (my character in) Bagani to Daniela. In these notebooks, I would write down what I think the character will love, like kung anong kinakain n’ya sa umaga or this character has mannerisms and this is how she speaks.”

How do you find the balance of being an actor and being a mom and a wife?

“On a day-to-day basis, napakahirap, you know may pagka-segue way ako (during shoot) to order food for my family. Sometimes, I will cook for them, for example, today, then tomorrow they will eat it. I always make sure that my family would never have to feel that they’re No. 2 (priority).”

Twenty-four years in show business, how has that journey been so far?

“Rewarding, Tito Boy.”

Ang pinanggagalingan ko sa tanong na yan, for the longest time you were called The Pambansang Bestfriend.

“Yes (laughs).”

Was there a time when you got tired and asked, hanggang dito na lang ba ako?

“Ako naman hindi rin nag-mamadali pero sabi ko ‘pag nakakarinig ako ng, alam mo best friend ka palagi siguro wala ka nung kaya nilang gawin. So, ako naman, very lighthearted ako na, ‘Ay, talaga ba?’ So, pag-uwi ko, ang problema kasi ang doubts di ‘yan mangyayari habang kausap mo ‘yung mga tao, it will happen ‘pag mag-isa ka at napakadaling bumigay, iiyak mo talaga and there were times that I cried over it and I felt like why these people have even time and made the effort to say these things to me.

“I’m thinking, ang sakit ng ginawa sa akin, gagamitin ko ‘yan sa isa sa mga trabaho ko at pinagkakitaan ko pa kasi lahat ng masasamang sinabi sa kin nandito sa puso ko at patatawarin kita pero I will also hold on to that pain. Why, Tito Boy? Because I’d like to think that as an actor, pain is my friend.”

You worked with the biggest names in the Philippines. How was it working with John Lloyd Cruz?

“Si Idan (Lloydie’s nickname) talaga has an innate way of expressing his emotions. He has a face that somehow tells you how he feels like, it’s almost effortless for him. His face is so full of emotions.”

Dimples with Bea Alonzo.

Bea Alonzo.

“She’s the kind of actor who actually puts her mind into it. Iniisip n’ya, pinag-aaralan n’ya and even when we were younger, we would read the lines, we would throw the lines to know the approach and, always whenever I acted with Bea, I felt that the respect was always there, no matter how small my character was compared to her character.”

Dimples and Angel Locsin.

Angel Locsin.

“That lady has fire inside of her. I don’t know how she does it but every time we act together, like we did Maalaala Mo Kaya, she’s got in her that (talent) even when she’s not doing as much. Once na makita mo na may ginawa s’ya sa telebisyon, papanoorin mo Tito Boy kasi s’ya ‘yung ganung klase ng artista.”

Albert Martinez.

“Every time I look at daddy Albert, grabe talaga, he really has found that fountain of youth because he’s so handsome and when I look at him, I just feel compelled to want to make (my acting) even better.”

Dimples with Vilma Santos.

Vilma Santos.

“Tita Vilma played a huge part in how I adapt to my characters now. I remember there was one scene that we shared together. It was on the dining table and then all of a sudden, Inang said, ‘Gusto ko dito mula sa pag-halakhak mo, maiiyak ka. Gusto ko tumutulo ang luha mo.’ Sabi ko, ‘OK lang po ba kayo?’ And I remember Tita Vilma just held my hand. She didn’t say anything, she held my hand as if telling me, ‘You got this.’ She is always with so much humility, Tito Boy, you don’t even feel like she’s a big star. She makes sure that every single person on set is seen.”

Dimples with Cherie Gil.

Cherie Gil.

“She’s my Mama in May Minamahal (the 2007 TV series) and the first time I met her, I went up to her and I said, ‘Miss Cherie, ako po si Dimples. Ako po ang anak n’yo dito.’ And she said, ‘Of course, of course.’ Then after a few taping (days), she told me, ‘You know Dimps, I appreciate that you introduced yourself. Many of the younger ones don’t know how to do that and you can never assume that everybody knows you, especially when you are the younger one. You have to be the first one to go up to the veteran actors and say kumusta po kayo, ako po pala…’ Ever since I did that Tito Boy, Mama Cherie has always been super kind to me and I kept it in my heart what she told me, ‘Ang sarap mo maging anak sa teleserye kasi ang dali-dali umarte.’ Tito Boy, naiiyak ako ngayon naisip ko pa lang kasi ‘pag Miss Cherie Gil yung nag-sabi sa ‘yo, wow, icon yun.”

What are you doing when your kids are watching?

“I try to do everything that I would like for them to emulate.”

Who are you when your mom is watching?

“My six-year-old self.”

What are you eating when no one is watching?

“Sardinas at maraming-maraming kanin.”

What are you watching when no one is watching?

“Horror movies. I’m actually alone kasi walang gustong sumama sa akin.”

Who are you when no one is watching?

“Servant of the Lord, always.”


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