I can't say that I hate watching myself on television, but I must admit I'm very uncomfortable with the idea. Even with family home videos, it's too painful for me to watch myself on screen. The gestures, the voice, even the slight rise on my brows whenever I talk, feels so morbidly wrong.
My formal debut on television would probably be on the now defunct ABS-CBN debate show Y Speak. Every member of my family and friends back then in 2005 were able to watch it. Save for me. And then many more follow, obviously, as I was a former activist and the fact that I'm a broadcast communication student made the appearances more often than I would like to.
And then I entered Entertainment Television Group. And boy, my ordeal doesn't end with late night tapings, the derogatory words my Executive Producer shoving on me and the occasional tantrums of my pretentious actors and actresses. Whenever the paid talents weren't able to deliver their lines or simply dragging the entire production out of their crappy acting, or when the production cost is already skyrocketing, or a quick revision on script is need and the undying flashbacks, my director would often throw his headset, shout on top of his lungs and say "DB, take over. Wardrobe bihisan nyo na."
I didn’t and I won’t like it.
Now, it was our anniversary/Christmas party the other day and I know some of my readers here were able to share my nervousness as I was tweeting about my ultimately dreaded dance number. I already knew it’s going to land an item c/o our respectable reporter Sir Mario [Dumaoal] on TV Patrol. However, it didn’t occur to me that my face would be shown, in tight shot and in full more than five seconds, on national television during primetime news hour.
Of course it was hilarious for most people – except me. Instantly, I received tons of messages, SMS, BBMs, on FB and others telling me the obvious – “You were seen dancing like crazy on TVP man! Waddup with that?”
Friends, not only here in the third world but also those who are from Chicago, LA and Singapore didn’t miss my seconds of shame. What a joke!
I find it very ironic. For someone whose ambition’s trajectory leads to becoming a TV news reporter [and a popular one at that], being seen on the screen should be something I still need to learn to master. Maybe it’s still a question of confidence. Maybe it’s still an issue of not fitting with the society’s dictate of what looks good and not. Or maybe it’s just a habit.
But I will remember that being on television is not the ultimate goal here, or looking damn beautiful with it. I must remember that there’s a higher reason why I have this kind of ambition. For now, I’ll probably give all the fun to friends and relatives seeing my gorgeously hilarious face on screen.