“Mayaman ba kayo?” “Ilan ang kotse niyo?” were some of my EP’s questions during my job interview when I was applying as program researcher for Powerhouse more than two years ago. At first I thought it was just his “getting to know each other” part of the interview, but later on I found out that he asks all of his interviewees those two questions to gauge if they will be able to make it in this industry, financial-wise. That and your wit, and kaartehan levels.

It’s a bit odd, but I think it’s a good strategy, because contrary to what most people think, working in the media is NOT A GLAMOROUS JOB. I repeat: NOT A GLAMOROUS JOB. I can’t remember how many times I’ve said that line already. So if you’re rich, you wouldn’t be able to stomach the kind of salary we have or if you’re dirt poor, you won’t be able to help out your family with it. Both way, you’d end up resigning in a few months or so and training you would be a total waste of time. That was his logic.

That is very practical. If you’d ask me though, I’m not dwelling that much into the person’s level in the caste system because you can get more shows if you really want to earn big, just expect more stress as well. I’d be more on how people handle their emotions and how they deal with it. Because honey, the media industry is kinda like the movie Mean Girls: if you don’t know how to pull a Cady Heron, you’re going to get hit by a big yellow school bus and DIE. DIE = RESIGN ha, or di maka-survive. Haha!

I mean if you can’t take a simple criticism, a simple correction on your grammar lapses, then this job is not for you. Some people in here throw the meanest remarks to the simplest thing you did wrong. Some of them will tell you that you have an adorable vintage skirt and once you turn your back, it’s like the ugliest effing skirt they have ever seen.

Case in point: Do you remember that one time when an artist’s manager humiliated me for something I never did I shared before? I did everything he asked me, but something (someone rather) went out of hand I ended up crying buckets of tears to my PM, EP and SP for an hour. Can you imagine me, the tough, intimidating girl allowing that kind of person to make me feel so small I thought I could be part of “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” 2012 version of the film? Chos.

And it’s not just the people you deal with outside the network, some of them, you work with Every. Single. Day. Prolly the best story to tell is that of Ate Cheng’s when she was still a researcher for Unang Hirit. I can’t remember what was it really, maybe it was when she lost some pairs of Havaianas they borrowed or another story they were working on (there are far toooooo many “horror stories” in this industry if you’d ask me) but what I wouldn’t forget is what her superior told her: “Bakit hindi ka na lang mag-security guard, Cheng? Yung trabahong nakaupo at pang-hindi nag-iisip? Kasi bobo ka e.” I think it went something like that, or meaner. I can’t remember how she took it, all I know is that she left the show after. And she’s still a bit chummy with the person who told her that. Hahaha! Oh, don’t hate me for the security guard comparison! It wasn’t me!

And it’s not just during shitty days (we have lots of shitty days) that you see people spew balls of fire out of their mouths like dragons, it’s like a jungle. They do it when something goes wrong, like say, you didn’t give them what they want, all of a sudden you’d get “Ano, tamad tamad ran ang peg?” texts you wouldn’t know how to react: mainis o matawa sa maling grammar niya na Tagalog na nga. Hahahaha! I’m advising you to take the latter.

They also do it in postmortems. My EP always wants me to start the postmortem because he thinks I always see the bad in everything. Char lang! Haha! I believe he thinks I was the only one who can say what the fuck I want to say and not bat an eyelash while saying it. What? Postmortems nga e!

And then of course there are the camera crews who say the meanest things ever! You know how they say that guys say the more hurtful words? They do! Some of them would tell you outright that your treatment suck, or so what’s new with it, they have seen it hundreds of time, or the “Ano na naman yang mga pauso mo?” or the casual “Pag tong pinapa-shoot mo, hindi ko napanood ha.” banat on a daily basis, ay nako!

If you don’t know how to jive with these kinds of people, then I suggest you start thinking about your Plan B. If your parents sheltered you and didn’t tell you that the world is a bitch and it’s going to fuck you over and over again, this is not for you. If you didn’t have friends or classmates who tell you that your idea suck, or your horrendous shoes should go burn in hell with your suck-y idea, rethink your plans of working in the media industry.

This is why I thank my mom for telling me to suck it up, because back then, if I go home crying after a fight with someone, I’d even get more spanking. And the woman spanks hard, I tell you! I am also thanking my friends and my classmates for the kind of behavior they had, haha, my meanness and sarcasm were further honed because of them, especially during my college days. Lol.

Another advice on how I deal with these? Get yourself a voodoo doll and tons of needles. Pretend that it’s the person you have beef with and stick that needle every-freaking-where! That’s how you relieve the stress, dear. I mean if you can’t be a bitch, at least be a witch, right? Or give them Kalteen bars. Lol.

So if you still want to work here after all the things I said up there, you better toughen up bitch, because there is no room for balat sibuyas people in here. It’s like being with the Plastics: it’s better to be in it, hating life, than to not be in it all. Because being with the Plastics was like being famous… people look at you all the time and everybody just asks you “E di ang dami mo ng nakitang artista?” Lol. That’s for another story.

P.S.

Sorry for the whole Mean Girls reference, I can’t help it. It’s a Wednesday, and I’m wearing pink! Hahahaha!

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