Joining show business was never really the plan of Survivor Philippines Castaway Jace Flores when he flew in from the U.S. last August 2007. Initially, he planned to play professional basketball but things went in a different direction when he auditioned for the local franchise of the "mother of all reality shows."
"Hindi po natuloy 'yon, e. I came here for basketball talaga, I guess Survivor just paved the way. I don't know how. I wasn't really preparing or anything. I just saw it sa newspaper and pinuntahan ko na lang, biglaan na lang. I guess my path led here [acting]. GMA Artist Center offered me an opportunity," said the 20-year-old newbie actor in an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last June 17.
For the third time, Jace will be doing an actor's job through GMA-7's newest soap in its Dramarama sa Hapon block, Sine Novela Presents Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin. He will play the role of Ardie, the drug addict boyfriend of Gladys (played by Glaiza de Castro).
This role was played by the late Master Rapper Francis Magalona in the 1987 movie version. Jace will work with Francis M's daughter Maxene in this project. What was his initial reaction?
"Actually, before ako mag-start ng taping, medyo pressured ako," he said. "Sabi ko, kailangang galingan ko ito kasi kasama ko pa si Maxene. Pero she was very, very nice about it and open about it. Sinabi pa nga niya sa akin, 'Oh, you're playing my dad [character], ah.' She was very nice and easy to work with, so it helps me focus more and lift that pressure of playing the role."
How will he approach the role of Ardie in this TV adaptation of Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin?
Jace said he watched the original movie thrice, but will portray his character in his own way. He added, "Actually, that's what I was asking my [executive producer] and the people around, 'Should I read or play it exactly how Francis M played it?' Pero a lot of them, majority of the people, actually all of them told me, 'No. Play it how you're gonna play it.' For me, I'm playing it my own way."
ADDICTED TO ACTING. Jace never thought of becoming an actor, but he admitted that he's already starting to enjoy the job.
To learn more about this craft, Jace said that he has joined several workshops to hone his acting skills. "My first workshop was for Luna Mystika with Ms. Anne Villegas. Then, my second workshop was, obviously, for summer with the GMA Artist Center. A lot of people came and did lectures," related Jace.
He also said that portraying a bad character in Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin? is a little easier because of his experience in his first TV project, Luna Mystika.
"The experience that I got from Luna Mystika, kasi kontrabida din ako dati, really helped. So, kahit mahirap po siya, mas dumali kasi I had an experience from Luna Mystika and on the set, we have Ms. Anne Villegas coaching us, so okay naman po," he said.
Does this mean that he's getting used to his new job?
"Hindi naman sa sanay na sanay," he replied. "First, I have my disadvantages. My disadvantages are, minsan nape-pressure ako kapag nakakakita ako veteran actors. Doon din pumapasok ang advantages and disadvantages, kasi mas napu-push ko ang sarili ko na pumantay sa kanila, e, sa energy nila at saka sa acting nila."
In the end, Jace wished to stay longer in this industry since he has already started to love it.
"Honestly, walang bola, I think I finally found my passion—acting talaga. Now, whenever I watch soap operas, hindi ko na napapanood ang istorya, parang napapanood ko 'yong actor. Hindi ko na naririnig yung lines, nakikita ko lang kung paano nila ibato 'yong lines. Parang naa-adik ako!" he said.