Please Watch the Indie Film “Ang Nawawala” Because I’m In It!

That’s me on the left with Annika Dolonius (middle) who plays my daughter Enid in Ang Nawawala and Direk Marie Jamora on the set.

Geez, can you imagine? I actually have a cameo role in one of the hottest indie films of 2012 – Ang Nawawala by Marie Jamora. This is actually a dream come true for me because I have always joked about becoming a famous soap opera kontrabida in my old age . While I’m far away from qualifying for a senior citizen card, I definitely am getting there if I am to believe what my mirror and bones tell me.

Of course, my heart is telling me a different thing: go chase your dreams because dreams can’t tell how old you are.

Me and Annika Dolonius in the middle of our scene together in Ang Nawawala…

To be honest, this is a big SECOND chance at an acting career for me. The first chance was when I was a  young beauty queen in the 80s. Those were the days when movie producers were offering me projects left and right. But I wasted that chance by being a brattinella. I clearly remember when the TV sitcom Chika Chika Chicks got me as a mainstay but after three months, they fired me because I was always late. My defense? Well, all the big stars come in late, why should I come in early? By the time I realized how arrogant I was, it was a bit too late to return to what was offered to me on a silver platter.

Now that platter is in front of me again. But unlike before when I got a gazillion offers, I now get an occasional offer to audition. LOL!

And that’s how I got my role in Ang Nawawala. I got a text from my friend Ana B. from Viva who said there were auditions for Cinemalaya at the CCP. It was a late Saturday morning and I was in the gym when I got the text. There was no time for me to get fixed but I said, what the heck, I’ll just show up, bare-faced in my gray cotton jumper and tsinelas. Bahala na si Batman.

About to enter the bedroom of my ‘daughter’ Enid on the set of Ang Nawawala…

When I got to the CCP the line was as long as the MRT and I think I got number 371. After a three hour wait, I was called in together with four or five other aspirants. Wow, it felt like being in a beauty pageant again! There we were lined up, in front of directors and producers who were all judging us. Each one of us was asked to introduce ourselves in Filipino. I am one of the lousiest Filipino speakers but I gave it my best and shifted to Taglish when the going got tough.

Four producers spoke to me afterwards. One Canadian Filipino filmmaker even asked me to grovel and cry on the carpet on one of the hallways in CCP with people everywhere watching me. The other two just asked for my availability and then Marie Jamora, whom I respect so much for her MTVs of Pinoy bands like Sandwich, the Eheads and Imago, asked me to read part of a script on cam.

After the auditions, weeks went by without a single call and I assumed that it was a closed door. No biggie for a voice talent like me who is used to auditioning. You win some and lose some, so oks lang. Then suddenly, I recieved a text from Marie Jamora’s staff saying that I got the role!  Wait daw for the script and contract. I couldn’t believe it! The role was short, but I didn’t care. I just couldn’t believe that after one try-out at Cinemalaya, I landed something. I know of people who audition every year but still get squat. So I was thankful and excited!

The coolest movie set I’ve ever been on!

The shooting itself was surreal. It felt more like a college get-together than a movie set. And I LOVED it! Marie Jamora was also awesome – swearing angrily on the phone one minute and then sweetly motivating actors the next. Her direction for me? Do less acting and just be real. Being real is often harder so it was quite a challenge for me.

And I think I did a good job because all my friends who’ve seen my short spot said I was like a rockstar! AAHAHA! My role is the mom of the character Enid del Mundo, the love interest of the leading character Gibson Bonifacio. It was even funnier because I didn’t realize that there were some big names in the movie like Dawn Zulueta and Buboy Garovillo. Just so proud to be part of this thing…

Practicing my lines in Ang Nawawala…

BTW, this isn’t the first acting project I’ve done the past couple years. Last year I played the lead actress in a stage play by Chancel Repertory called Family Outings and this year I have done two student thesis films for La Salle students. All Mommy roles. And I’m loving it! Right now, I am tentatively set to play a secondary role in a Tagalog stage play – a major challenge since, as I mentioned, my Tagalog sucks.

I really wonder if all this will really lead to my dream role: being an evil Mom-zilla on TV. Woooooooow. So I might as well throw you a pitch in case you’re a film person: If you want me (to audition) for your film contact me via email Or look for Joyce Burton Titular on FB and drop me a message. I am not finicky to work with and am very friendly to indie and student film budgets. But I can’t do anything beyond PG-13 and the story has to resonate with my heart…

BTW, Ang Nawawala is currently showing in theaters across Metro Manila, please support Filipino Independent Cinema!!!