A year since Pancho Magno was included in the cast of the Marian Rivera-Sid Lucero starrer, Amaya, he admits that he still stumbles in delivering his lines. “Masyado raw ako mabilis. Kulang yung tone, walang emotions. Yun yung hinahanap nila sa akin.”
In person, he's not as stiff as he appears in the soaps Amaya and Broken Vow. He takes pride in the latter project with Gabby Eigenmann. At present, Pancho has a role in the afternoon soap Kasalanan Bang Ibigin Ka?.
The 25-year-old licensed nurse, who completed his Red Cross and IVT training, laughs in disbelief about his third acting stint. When he did not get lucky after a year and a half of seeking a nursing job, he finally conceded to the “offers” that had been knocking on his door long before.
What made him hesitate to grab any showbiz opportunity was a deal he made with his mother, Redgie Magno, that he would set first priority on his studies. Plus the fact that she is a GMA executive (AVP for drama ). He was never bent on taking advantage of that connection. But now he takes a chance because the offer is a job, too, that's timely and practical to seize at this point in his life.
At the press conference of Kasalanan Bang Ibigin Ka? Pancho was introduced among a roster of cast members that includes the father-son tandem of filmmaker-actor Michael De Mesa and Geoffrey Eigenmann. He plays the other half of a love team with Jennica Garcia, daughter of actress Jean Garcia. Interestingly, he also portrays a nurse, described in the teaser as “ang boyfriend ni Bianca na walang direksyon.” It was meant to be dramatic, but it threw everyone in fits of laughter.
Later teased about it in a one-on-one chat, Pancho laughed it off, “Oo nga, e!”
To the obligatory question, “So, what was your reaction when you were handed this project?,” he amused his interviewer by mocking the showbiz retort “Siyempre na-shock” and “Siyempre [I feel] blessed.”
When the hilarity died down, he said, “Siyempre, siyempre happy. Nakakatuwa. May project uli. Nakaka-ipon…”
He finds it rewarding, too, that his exposure, while it has not been long, has made his face familiar to some people. “Kahit hindi nila ako kilala sa pangalan, alam nila.”
His friends have been genuinely supportive. “Dati inaasar nila ako, ‘Hindi ka marunong!’ Ngayon, ‘Wow, wow! Gumagaling ka na! Ang haba na ng mga sinasabi mo!’"
They even imitate his acting teasingly. “Yung mga lines ko, pati yung… gestures ko ginagaya nila!”
While he cannot escape those remarks, he is happy to know that at least someone watches him and finds amusement in what he does.
LEARNING TO ACT. On a non-taping day, Pancho is deeply immersed in his acting workshops. He knows he has to improve much and indeed he has. He recalls that when he first shot a scene in Amaya, “One line— ‘Magandang Umaga’— hindi ko masabi! As in yung first syllable [pa lang], hindi ko masabi!
“Pero nung tumatagal, ayun, nasasanay na ako.” Still, Pancho confesses, the first-time acting jitters have not worn off.
“Hindi talaga mawawala, e. Lagi akong kinakabahan. Pero sobrang magaling sila, tinutulungan ako.”