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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Saturday, June 01, 2013

entry arrow12:51 AM | Notes on a Melancholic Night


I just came from the first run-through rehearsals of Elsa Martinez Coscolluela's play In My Father's House, which is being directed by the great Amiel Leonardia -- a homecoming to Silliman for this theater stalwart. And I'm sad because, for some strange reason, the tail-end of my last scene just felt ... off. I play Miguel, the stoic, distant, heroic scion of a Dumaguete family torn apart by World War II. Act III Scene 2 demands of my character a certain tiredness from the war, but also a certain gentility, and a certain persuasiveness which I think I got right during last night's rehearsals. That instinct, unfortunately, was lost on me tonight for reasons I can only blame on energy seeping away as the night wore on. But excuses, excuses. It saddens me only because I am not up to par the way I want myself to be. But it has been such a long time since I've acted on stage, and getting the hang of it -- to convey the truth of your character and his story -- may take a bit more time. It's not like learning to ride a bike again at all. But I'll get there.


There are songs that play for you like autobiography, and you come to love them for the way they seem to know every breath of you. The music of Spring Awakening is nothing of that sort, but the musical strikes such specific emotional response from me. Just hearing the beginning strains of "The Guilty Ones," for example, sends me back, just like that, to a covered, cushioned space in my head where there are a lot of dark shadows, but also a lot of fugitive light. I have local theater producer Hendrison Go to thank for introducing this musical to me at a time in my life when I was untethered, when I was desperately looking for something to hang on to, when the world I thought I knew was fading away fast. It is a long story, nothing too sad (because I reveled in the mistakes and the misadventures), but I do know that I was at that time in need of a new anchor, a new lease on a better life, a deep reacquaintance of what I was and what it was that I wanted. What a sweet, tumultuous year 2009 was. Spring Awakening -- something I listened to nonstop in the first six months of that year -- made it bearable.


I think about Ron sometimes and the whole thing makes me sad. I see him, and he wears his smile and his words like a stranger. It makes me question what was true about us: Was it real those nights when we would be talking about stars till they faded away? Was it real those kilometric text messages, and the equally dramatic quarrels that lasted a year or so? Was it real when I'd take him to the bus terminal for home in Tanjay, almost on a nightly basis, and stay on till the bus went away? Was it real our regular search for things to eat in a city that was small? Was it real when he'd patiently wait in the gym for me while I did my exercises like a soldier? Was it real all that togetherness in the light of the nothingness between us at present? One questions things, and the only thing that seems real is the fading of what once had weight, but has now come to bear the lightness of ghostly feathers.

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