Isa si Jasmine Curtis Smith sa mga pumila at nag-audition noong magkaroon ng Cinemalaya Open Audition.
At nagbunga naman ang pagpila at pag-o-audition niya dahil siya ang napiling maging lead star bilang isang half-Filipino/half-Israeli sa pelikulang Transit, isa sa official finalists para sa 9th Cinemalaya Film Festival na magsisimulang mapanood mula July 27 hanggang August 4 sa CCP Theater, Trinoma, Greenbelt 3 at Alabang Town Center cinemas.
(Read: PEP Guide to Cinemalaya 2013)
HURDLING THE AUDITION. Pag-amin naman ni Jasmine nang makausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at ilang entertainment press sa ipinatawag na pocket presscon para sa pelikula nila sa Fleur de Lys Patisserie & Cafe, Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City kahapon, July 16, sinabi niyang hindi raw siya umasang mapipili nga siya dahil mga batikang artista na rin sa Cinemalaya ang nakasabay niyang nag-audition.
“We had people there who are senior na, more experienced, of course, there are people who are regular na in the industry and I guess, more prioritized because of their past.
“People know how great they are with their acting, with how they perform in indie films, so, sabi ko, baka naman maisip nila na, ’ay, ano lang ’yan, baka gusto lang niyang magka-project.’
“I was so scared na baka ganoon ang perception. But at the same time, it was all a matter of putting my faith in God na, if it’s meant to be, it would happen. It would work. Thanks be to God, di ba?” nakanagiti niyang sabi.
Hindi raw sigurado ni Jasmine kung ilan silang lahat na nag-audition, pero, nasa 100 na raw ang number niya. Pero, may ilang nagsabing nasa 400 raw ang nag-audition.
EXCITED WITH INDIE SCENE. Sa isang banda, unang pelikula na ginawa ni Jasmine ang Transit, hindi lamang unang indie film niya. Sa halip na Filipino o English, Hebrew ang ilang salitang ginamit ni Jasmine na dialogue sa pelikula.
Sabi nga niya, “There’s this level of satisfaction but it made me want more. More experiences pa talaga in this indie industry.
“Nag-enjoy ako in this film, what more doing several, doing mainstream. It gave me more excitement.
“Being gone for so long from the media and entertainment because I was studying, parang sabi ko, ’oh my gosh, paano kung pag-uwi ko ro’n, wala akong magawa?’
“I have so many things in my management, but it’s still up to the viewers.
Ang management company ni Jasmine ay ang Vidanes Marketing Management of Betchay Vidanes.
“Kaya noong meron na, ’yehey, meron na!’ People are getting so interested and it’s going somewhere. I got more motivated and inspired to work more and get more projects.”
Unang pelikula niya, indie at isa na sa entry sa Cinemalaya.
Masayang sabi naman ni Jasmine, “I am so grateful. I feel more than blessed. I’m just so happy that it is this film.
“It is this Transit that was produced by Direk Paul Soriano and directed by Direk Hannah [Espia] who were such a pleasure to work with.”
SHOOTING IN ISRAEL. Sampung araw din daw silang nag-shooting sa Israel.
Ilan sa mga lugar sa Israel na napuntahan nila ay Jerusalem, Tel Aviv at ang Dead Sea.
Kuwento pa niya, “On my free days, nagpunta kami ng Bethlehem and Nazareth. We got to see where Jesus was born [and] where Mary received the message from St. Gabriel.
“It was such an amazing experience. Very educational too.
“Direk Hannah’s mom is a tour guide. That’s why it helped us a lot to book flights and arrangements there kasi, she was a regular in Israel.
“When we have our free days, the mom of Direk Hannah would take us around and keep telling us about the history of Israel.
“It was very beneficial, you know. There’s no point in the making of this film na hindi ako nag-enjoy.”
Pero ayon kay Jasmine, naging mahirap din daw talaga ang mag-shooting sa ibang bansa.
Sabi nga niya, “Siguro, the hours of working because we had limited time to film in Israel. We had to make sure to make the right things down and right emotions in that scene.
“Kasi, first of all, sayang kung magti-take kami, tapos, hindi nakuha yung gusto.
“Pangalawa, sayang yung location, we’re there, so, kapag hindi nagamit—haay, I guess, that’s the pressure I had for myself. That’s one of the most difficult things to overcome while I was there.”
WORKING WITH THE GREATS. Mga batikang artista, lalo na sa mundo ng indie, ang mga nakasama ni Jasmine sa Transit tulad nina Ping Medina, Mercedes Cabral at Irma Adlawan.
Kaya aminado itong na-challenge talaga siya sa bagay na yun.
Ayon nga kay Jasmine, “Of course, I was crazy stunned! Paano kung hindi ko sila maabutan? Paano kung mahalata talaga that I’m so new. But all those were thrown in the window.
“All worries were gone when we started filming. Ms. Irma, I cannot thank her enough for helping me in this film. Talagang every scene that we had, nag-usap kami about it.
“Bakit ka ganyan mag-react or ito ang puwede mong gawin. Para siyang naging personal acting coach. But, she left enough room for me to tackle the role.
“Pero, at the same time, sobrang helpful niya as my mom in the film.
“And the way she acted, kahit hindi ka niya kausapin, magre-react ka. Wooh! Hindi ko alam, nagre-react na pala ko. Ganito pala ang dapat kong gawin.”
Wala raw kay Jasmine kahit pa indie o mainstream ang pelikulang ginagawa niya.
Ang katuwiran niya rito, “Wala naman akong ano whether a film is indie or mainstream. A project is a blessing, so, you know, never close door on that.”
ATTENDING CINEMALAYA. Unang beses pa lang daw niyang makaka-attend ng Cinemalaya event.
Sabi nga niya, “It’s really my first experience with everything. Although, I’ve been wanting to go to Cinemalaya for so many years.
“Never kong naabutan. But to be in a film and well-attended and now, ikaw, parte ka ng Cinemalaya.
“You’re not just there to watch but, parte ka ng isang movie, wooh, oh, my gosh, it’s still very much unreal and amazing!”
Ang kapatid niya na si Anne Curtis ay tuwang-tuwa rin daw sa nangyayari sa kanya ngayon.
Ayon kay Jasmine, “Sobrang proud niya and she mentioned before that it’s something that she never experienced, here in the industry in the Philippines.
“Once you go and focus your time on mainstream, she said na, it’s very hard to go to the indie world because of how people regard you.
“Kaya sabi niya, sobrang happy niya for me. And that, my first movie is an indie and I get to experiment as an actress.”
Naitanong tuloy kay Jasmine na ngayong full-time na nga siya sa kanyang showbiz career, paano nga ba niya mas gustong makilala, bilang isang aktres o bilang isang star?
Diin naman dito, “Bilang actress more than anything. Because, being a star would come along as a very successful actress.
“For me, if you are a star but you cannot fulfill your role as an actress, you cannot exceed the expectation of a model, how can you be a star?
“Parang ganoon yung perception ko, but at the same time, I would love to have both. It could be amazing, but for me, the important thing is being an actress. I’m really being the best at it.”
COLLEGE LIFE. Pinagsasabay ni Jasmine ang kanyang pag-aaral ng kolehiyo sa Ateneo de Manila at ang kanyang pag-aartista. First year college siya ngayon at kumukuha ng kursong AB Communication.
“It’s all so wonderful. I’m enjoying my college life, so far. People are so kind. I don’t feel any special treatment which exactly what I want. Para naman may separation yung entertainment from academic.
“And, it’s difficult because I’m taking up subjects that I never had to take up in high school because the curriculum is different here for college. So, I’m still adjusting in terms of the contents that we are learning.”
Full-load daw siya ngayon.
Aniya, “I took full load to see if I can handle it. There’s always room for maybe, reduce the load and extend na lang my college here. Kasi, I really don’t mind as long as I finish college.”
Aminado naman si Jasmine na nami-miss din daw niya ang buhay niya sa Australia.
“Nami-miss ko, of course,” pag-amin niya.
“Nagkakaroon ako ng separation anxiety pa rin. Six months na ko nandito but it’s hard. I spent seven years there for high school.
“You formed bonds and parang pareho siya noong pag-alis ko rito na papunta na ko ng Australia.
“Noong nandoon na ko sa Australia for the first time, ayoko ro’n, gusto kong bumalik dito.
“So, parang ganoon na naman siya na feeling na, gusto ko rito, e. I love what I’m doing. I love my school. I love my work. I love the people that surround me.
“Why am I still yearning to go back to Australia? Siguro, I just need the closure na I’m settled na. But, I’ve no regrets moving here.”
LIVING WITH ATE ANNE. Ngayong nasa Pilipinas na nga siya, magkasama pa rin daw sila ng ate niya sa bahay nito.
Ayon kay Jasmine, “I have my own place, but, hindi pa siya ready. Hindi pa siya ready for me so, nakikitira muna ko kay Ate. She’s so ano naman, accommodating with me.
“As long as you want, basta, kapag kaya mo na, saka ka na lumipat.”
Ang mommy naman daw nila ay sa Australia na naka-base. Pero, babalik daw ito sa gala night ng pelikula niyang Transit.
“Actually, gusto rin naman niya dito, pero, nasanay na siya sa Australia. Nandoon ang dalawa niyang kapatid. Nandoon na ang comfort zone niya.
“Kapag nandito naman siya, sobrang busy naman namin ni Ate, so, parang ganoon din, nandito lang kami or something,” dagdag niya.
Nang minsang makausap namin si Jasmine, sinabi niyang “time management” lang daw talaga para mapagsabay-sabay niya ang lahat—ang pag-aaral niya, showbiz at maging ang lovelife na rin.
“Ako, nahihirapan pa rin naman. Minsan, diretso taping after school.
“So, hindi ko masyadong nagagawa agad ang homework or na-absorb ang natutunan ko sa class. But, buti na lang, mababait ang classmates ko, tinutulungan ako.
“O, kaya naman, yung prof ko, naiintindihan naman. I’m just thankful na meron pa rin tumutulong,” banggit pa niya.
SAM CONCEPCION. Diretsahan naman naming tinanong si Jasmine kung ang nali-link sa kanya na si Sam Concepcion ay distraction o inspiration ba sa buhay niya.
Natatawang sabi naman ni Jasmine, “No, he’s not a distraction.
“He’s one of the inspirations, I guess. For how long he has been in the industry. Gusto ko rin na tumagal ako sa industry and people to support me.
“Sam is amazing. Nakikita ko, nagti-trend siya and I can see that with my fans na sobra-sobra yung support for me,” pagtatapos niya.