"Nakakapanibago," said Gabby Concepcion when PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) interviewed him about his experience in taping his upcoming TV series Dahil May Isang Ikaw.
It can be remembered that Gabby had not practiced his actor's craft for almost 13 years since he went into self-exile in the U.S. after the 1994 Metro Manila Film Festival scam. (Click here to read related article)
When he returned early last year, Gabby starred in the longest-running drama program Maalaala Mo Kaya. But his comeback was actually marked with his portrayal as Atty. Raphael Torralba in the hit TV series Iisa Pa Lamang.
Although he has been acting in a few more TV shows, Gabby admitted that he's still trying to get used to the many changes in the entertainment industry since he left. To familiarize himself with the latest in local showbiz, the 80's matinee idol started watching local shows while he was still in the States.
He related to PEP, "In the past, hindi ko talaga masyadong pinanonood 'yong mga pelikulang natatapos na namin. Pero ito [mga teleserye ngayon], gustung-gusto kong sundan. Maybe because matagal din akong nawala kaya lately, or even before dumating ako, pinanonood ko talaga 'yong mga bagong nangyayari ngayon para ma-update.
"Bago ako umuwi, alam ko nang uuwi ako dahil nakausap nga ako ng ABS-CBN na there's a possibility. Pero hindi pa kami nagpipirmahan during that time na nasa Amerika pa ako. My wife, Jinbee, watches also, so sabi ko, 'Tingnan ko nga kung sino ang mga bago ngayon dahil hindi ko na sila kilala.' So, kapag nanonood siya, kapag nasa bahay ako, napapanood ko na rin."
Thus, he was able to compare how he did the job before with the style of the young generation of actors.
"Tinitingnan ko sila, magagaling na rin pala silang umarte," he commented.
He was glad about the current trend in show business whereby actors attend several workshops before they start taping a show.
"Nauso pala ulit 'yong workshop. Kasi, noong umalis ako, ang nagwo-workshop noon sina Laurice Guillen. And I found out na sila pa rin hanggang ngayon. Kaya naalala ko 'yong workshop ko noong una with [movie director] Lino Brocka, pero mas naging active sila noong later years. I'm happy to know na sila pa rin hanggang ngayon, 'no? Magaling sila, ang galing ng nangyayari sa workshop.
The 45-year-old actor elaborated on the benefits he got from these acting workshops.
"Pagkatapos mo kasing dumaan sa workshop, matitimpla mo na. Malalaman mo na kung saan mo gagamitin ang certain feelings, depends on the situation, depends on the script. So, malaking tulong ang workshop and I highly recommend it kung mayroong ibang papasok na tulad ko na matagal nang hindi gumagawa at babalik o yung hindi pa nakaka-experience sa industriya. Masarap ang mag-workshop."
WORKING ON A TELESERYE. Before he left the country, soap operas were not as big a hit as they are today. Gabby admitted that this, too, has taught him a lesson about the changes in the industry.
"Alam mo naman ang mga teleserye, umiikot sa lahat ng tao, e, ang dami nilang mga twist sa stories. Nababago, gumaganda, kung minsan akala mo 'yon na ang script pero kapag shooting na on that day, ni-revise na 'yong script. So, kapag minemorize mo 'yong lines mo for that day, you'll just find out hindi na pala 'yong lines mo."
So, instead of the old style of memorizing the scripts, Gabby said, "Ang nangyayari sa amin, ewan ko lang sa iba, pero sa akin, hindi na ako nagme-memorize ng script. Binabasa ko na lang muna kasi kapag minemorize mo, iibahin na naman. So, mabuti pang i-memorize mo na lang sa set, unless hindi babaguhin. Ngayon, kung mahaba ang eksena, sa bahay pa lang, pinag-aaralan mo na."
Besides preparing for his upcoming second music album, Gabby juggles time for his comeback movie with celebrity couple Angelica Panganiban and Derek Ramsay, I Love You, Goodbye. He also crunches his schedule to make time for his reunion project with Lorna Tolentino, the TV series Dahil May Isang Ikaw.
"Ang hirap minsan i-jumble ang oras kasi pagka-pack up mo rito, punta ka naman doon sa kabila. E, minsan ang pack up is 9:00 in the morning the next day, 'tapos tatakbo ka na naman sa set sa kabila. Pero ganun talaga, lahat naman 'yan may timetable, lahat naman 'yan ay may taning," Gabby said at the end of our interview.