Let them talk
MANILA, Philippines - Let’s admit it. We’ve all seen the memes and we’ve shared all the long Facebook posts. (Yes we’re looking at you, 9gag. You too, berlin-artparasites.) Nowadays, truth prevails in the form of sass, humor, and hugot — existential blabber if you will. So when The Sandbox Collective decided to get serious on dropping truths and metaphors about today’s generation “why”, they did it in the most millennial way possible — all talk, No Filter.
Now with a new venue, new monologues, and more millennials, the conversation just got a little bit more interesting. We caught up with newbies Paolo Valenciano, Sam Concepcion, and Carla Humphries to get the lowdown on how it was like joining the gang, re-learning theater, and perhaps even get a hint of the surprises up their sleeves. It’s maybe too early to tell what No Filter 2.0 has in store but if there’s anything we can already take away from this set of re-runs, it’s that it will always be a process of constant learning and improving — oh wait, is that another metaphor?
YOUNG STAR: What did you think about the first run of No Filter?
Pao VALENCIANO: It’s so refreshing to hear all these tiny voices in your head finally [said] out loud. Either I experienced something exactly like that or I know someone who was going through the same thing, and it’s comforting cause its nice to know that I’m not the only one.
Sam Concepcion: Aside from it being relatable, it was very reflective. At first, it was [said to be] a play by millennials for millennials but it turned out to be for everybody. It was a way for the previous generation to understand our struggles more.
How did you get the part?
Pao: (Director) Toff (De Venecia) actually asked me to be a part of the first run but we had some problems with the schedule. But I really liked the material so I wanted to get involved somehow. He started inviting me to the critique night and asked me for my opinions. Then when they decided to have a second run, I had about three shows this September and one show in October that got cancelled so I figured it was a clear sign that I should do it.
How was the first day of rehearsal?
Pao: I was the new kid and I haven’t felt that in a long time. It freaked me out a bit but then I slowly started to get to know each one of them. Right now it kind of really feels like a family. They keep on pushing me, and it’s a really good feeling.
Carla HUMPHRIES: Despite me having existing friendships [with the original cast], it’s still so hard cause the bond has already been established — the repor is already there, the banters, the inside jokes. I couldn’t help but feel like I have to be kapal enough to assert myself. We took a picture of all of us lying down on the carpet in Toff’s living room and I felt that this is what an acting environment should be like.
What’s your favorite monologue from the play?
Pao: I really like my monologue called “Best Chance.” It is a story of a guy who was held back by his parents. Thankfully, my parents were not like that, but being Gary V’s son, I sort of get that pressure from everyone else. We have certain dreams and aspirations that we want to do but society sort of hinders us because of what they believe we should be like. I was originally supposed to be Khalil’s alternate, but then I told Toff that I really want [Micah’s monologue] so that I won’t have to act. I just need to read it and remember my “emo” days.
Sam: “About Last Night” is a monologue where five different people talk about the same event from different perspectives. My character talks about being in the middle of a conversation and he didn’t know his place among adults. When do you know that you’ve become one? Because of the way things work and how fast things happen, sometimes you just get thrown out there and you’re just expected to do things. I grew up in the business, so I was probably already an adult before I even hit puberty. I was already working and I was dealing with situations that children should not even be dealing with, so I could really relate.
“Into Silence” is also a feel good monologue and it’s a new one about what this generation is doing, how we are, and how we should be affecting our society. I think we are the way we are because of how the previous generation brought us up and it’s kind of daunting how it also depends on how we carry it on for the next ones. It’s a little scary, but if you think about it, it’s the reality.
Carla: I was so excited that I got Saab’s track. I had just come from a year of soul-searching and I actually ended up in New York. One of her monologues was set there as well so it hit so close to home. It was such a perfect opportunity to express that part of my journey.
“Trial by Numbers” is a new monologue about online shaming. As a celebrity, it’s something that I always worry about. We are given a platform to judge and humiliate people. It’s interesting to see the cycle that it goes through and now, it’s making people aware that it’s not just going to happen to celebrities. Now, [their] lives are as public as ours.
How and why does No Filter 2.0 resonate with you?
Sam: It tackles subjects that aren’t usually talked about and we have the privilege of being able to do it in this show. It’s therapeutic.
Carla: Aside from being a part of this as a voice, it’s also a personal journey for me. I’ve been gone for a year and honestly, it’s renewing my love for acting. It’s teaching me so much and you don’t get a lot of opportunities in life that lets you become aware that it is really molding you into something.
For those who have seen it, what’s there to look forward to? For those who haven’t seen it at all, what’s to expect?
Carla: Aside from the obvious –– Sam, Pao, and I. (laughs) Since the feedback for the first run was really good, they have to see the second run because it gave [the cast] an opportunity to say whatever they weren’t able to say in the first run. There are a lot of new monologues that I think people should hear. Also, we’ve mastered it enough that we can play with it a little bit more.
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Catch No Filter 2.0 at the Power Mac Center Spotlight, Circuit Makati starting Oct. 3. Show will run until Oct. 25. For tickets, contact 0917-8996680 or Ticketworld at 891-9999. For more info, visit The Sandbox Collective on Facebook: http://facebook.com/thesandboxcollective or on Instagram: http://instagram.com/thesandboxco.