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Raymond, and my on-screen family.

It’s been shaping up to be a solid year of booking gigs. The audition-to-booking ratio has been positive lately and I feel like that kid in the candy store who actually gets to take home what he points at. I’ve been tackling auditions differently this year. I’ve shifted my attitude towards auditioning to something closer to an opportunity to perform and play. Emphasis on PLAY. More on this later.

RAYMOND’s audition was fantastic. Raymond is the lead and I had the opportunity to make an impression at the initial audition and at the callback. Both times carried an incredibly positive vibe. Here’s an excerpt from the spreadsheet I keep on all of my auditions:

Audition spreadsheet excerpt.

Ultimately they cast me as Joel, Raymond’s younger brother who seem to have problems censoring himself and lends, as I imagined it, a bit of comic relief to an otherwise intense scene. This new project gave me an opportunity to meet some new artists who, after wrap, I was certain I’d want to work with again. RAYMOND is written by Stuart Thomas and Mark V. Reyes (who also directs) —and a healthy and able crew from, what looked to be a mix of freelance and Academy of Art film students. The cast, wow, what can I say —truly a blessing! It was such a great mix of talent and there was never a dull moment during and between takes!

The "Family". I play Joel, Raymond's easily excited, uncensored-foul-mouth, and slightly obnoxious younger brother.

There was a surprisingly amount of improvisation that was required –especially when it came to scenes where we were able to really interact directly with each as our characters. As an example, we had a karaoke scene (hah, typical Filipino household? Perhaps..haha!) and they gave us basic blocking and the rest, really, was up to us to PLAY with. I’m always in awe when a director gives you that much freedom. Understand though that you’re there to contribute to the scene and not steal any of the focus. I get, as an actor and person, a sense of enrichment when other people are able to work off of me. The saying is true, when everyone gives, everyone receives.

L-R: Sandra Young (sister), Alessandra Chase (niece), Vint Carmona (dad)

L-R: Henriette Gard (mom), Francis Lansang (brother - Raymond), Stefano (brother-in-law)

"Dad" and "Grandma"!

I wish I had photos of all the food we had, but it never crossed my mind to snap some photos of it! But there were some great treats there. I do, however, remember stuffing my face with a ridiculous amount of lumpia! They just kept coming, and I kept using them in the scenes. There’s an art to it, I swear! Haha…

Here are some stills from the actual production:


And finally, the dinner scene —

I'm a HUGE fan of dinner scenes in movies and I'm happy to finally be in one!

Expect another blog as an update to this project. And going back to being a fan of dinner scenes, my favorite to date would have to be the one from AMERICAN BEAUTY (such a great scene). And second favorite dinner scene comes from I ❤ Huckabees. -Fin

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