NEW YORK CITY: On May 23, 2009, the “Filipinas Magazine Show” came to New York City to interview me in New York City.
Why? That month, I became the first Asian American and Filipino American to win the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the highest accolade for dramatic criticism in the United States. The ceremony took place at the Philippine Consulate in New York, where the “Filipinas Magazine Show” did its taping. And in 2007, I was the recipient of the Filipinas Magazine Arts & Culture Prize during the 10th annual Filipinas Magazine Achievement Awards.
“Filipinas Magazine Show” is a 30-minute, weekly TV magazine program on GMA Pinoy TV. It airs every Saturday 6:30 pm (PST) or 9:30 pm (EST) via DirecTV and Dish Network and on cable systems that carry GMA network in the U.S.
Then, on March 23, 2010, Raymond Virata of Filipinas Magazine made the filmed segment available online by posting it on its website. Here is the link: An interview with New York theater critic, playwright and American Theater magazine editor Randy Gener, the Filipinas Magazine Show, May 23, 2009.
Looking back at that experience, I found the interview quite lovely and professionally done. I am very grateful to producers of Filipinas Magazine.
What I love best is that I now appear on YouTube:
On the Filipinas magazine website, someone named Wally Jaspers posted a remark in which he observes: “This guy talks like English is his second language.”
By profession, I am a writer. I know how to present myself on the page. I don’t get interviewed for broadcast frequently, so I am still learning to be a more polished talker on camera. I speak in public a lot, and I am comfortable with speaking in front of a crowd. I swear the camera makes you feel hyperconscious.
During the filming of that interview last year, I was aware of this unique chance I had to speak my heart to a Filipino and Filipino-American television audience. I guess this explains why I kept switching to Tagalog in the middle of the interview.
Faced with a blank page, I write in English. When I sleep, I dream in my native language. Some things are rooted in your heart and mind.