According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, how do artists separate their reel life from real life? How do they decompress to get back from fantasy to reality? Rita Daniela and Jak Roberto answer my questions in my in-depth interview with them for the episode of “Regal Studio Presents” where they are starring in, entitled, “Anyare Sa ‘Yo?” with the special participation of Snooky Serna. This episode will be aired today, Nov. 21, 4:35 p.m. at GMA Network.
Rita Daniela and Jak Roberto separate their reel life from real life. (Photo / Provided by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Regal Entertainment, Inc. and GMA Network)
You are an artist and a private citizen. Who are you as an artist? Describe yourself as an artist. Who are you as a private citizen? Describe yourself as a private citizen.
Rita Daniela: Who am I as an artist? I am a very, very passionate artist. I love what I do. I do everything that makes me excellent and I believe in excellence in everything that I do. So, I will do everything to the best of my ability. Sometimes it can get frustrating but I will still do it so I can excel in what I do. [As a private citizen], I always go on the side of what’s right. I know all that is right is not easy. If that makes sense… Isn’t it that there are times that we are doing the right things in life, of course, but sometimes we just choose to do the shortcuts? However, for me, as much as possible, if I can choose not to take a shortcut, I will not take a shortcut. So, I go by what’s right.
Jak Roberto: As an actor, once a project has been given to me, or I have guestings, it’s a go for me. I give it my all… as you would say, with blood and flesh. As in, all in. Because my passion as an actor, especially now, is to grow and transition into a Kapuso drama leading man. I want to focus on that. And even though my guestings are already lined up for me, I would still want to focus on being a drama leading man. A branding, as you would say. Building my brand. I love my job. I always say that. I truly enjoy doing this. I love collaborating with my directors, co-actors, with everyone I get to work with on the set. And even with the camera crew. This is already my life. And I love my job. So, every time I am given a project. I will not be doing it for the sake of merely doing it and memorizing my lines for the heck of it. Absolutely not! I truly prepare the night before so that I can memorize my lines, know how I will be able to characterize my role, and who I will peg it to and how I will be able to fully build up my character. That is how much I love my job. Once I arrive on the set, I will have laid out all my preparations and memorized my lines. That is an example of how my life is as an actor or artist. Now, as a [private] citizen, I always make sure to follow all the health protocols especially in this time of the pandemic we are in now. Of course, we all have to be safe. I am reminded now, elections are close. I already know who I shall vote for. As Rita says, we should always go by what’s right. And for me, let’s just all be good citizens. Let us follow all the laws so that we can avoid experiencing any inconveniences. In the end, this is for all of us. And we must always pay our taxes.
How often do you find the lines blur or cross between your public persona (an artist) and your private persona (a regular individual)? In moments like those, what do you need to do to remind yourself, “Hey, wait. I am no longer in a make-believe world. This is reality now.”
Rita Daniela: In my case, Joseph, as I have said earlier, I am a very passionate artist. Oftentimes what happens is that right after I have finished a project, I need to take a vacation. Because I find that I still carry my role with me. I experience some difficulty trying to break away from the character I am portraying. So, when do I end up not going on a vacation or taking a break, that is when I realize, “Shucks!” it does feel like the character I was portraying is still with me. It is like I am still carrying it with me. So, that is how I end up realizing that that is just how I am! I have a hard time breaking away. There were moments before when some people would remind me, “You are no longer on the set. You are no longer acting.” Then, those are the times I would be reminded and realize that is just how I am. So, that is what I do right after the project. Whatever happens, I need to go on a vacation. Even if it is a short vacation only. I really need that so I can come back to being the real Rita.
Jak Roberto: As public figures, of course, we must be able to separate our personal life from our professional life. Again, what Rita said is correct. Sometimes, when the storyline or theme that is given to you is so heavy, it does stick with you so that when you get home, you still feel down. In my case, I specifically experienced that when we had a lock-in taping. For some reason, we were all given a brief break for that. To get back to what I was saying… there are times when I get back home, I am still in my character mode. I still feel down. It takes me two to three days only, though, to shake off that character from my system. I realize that I need to be freed from my character and re-build myself to be me again before I head back home to my family so that they will not worry that there is something wrong or bad that might have happened to me. For us actors, we have our workshops, we have our own preparations for that. In a way, we must build up ourselves again, before we break away from the character we are portraying. Now, when it comes to my private life, even when I am at home, I do have my vlog where everything can be seen from my relationship with my family to my relationship with my girlfriend, Barbie Forteza. So, for me, I have accepted that only around 20% remains in my private life. But I am happy with that. Because I am enjoying everything I am doing in my life.