Spell Saab

“Silence your inner critic.”

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Illustration by Ross Du

This is what No Filter director Toff De Venecia always tells us when he sees even the slightest bit of self-doubt in our performances. It’s true: we are our worst critic.

That’s why I’m so thankful he talked me into joining this production. It’s been such a milestone in my life. It’s not that it was my first time to be in theater (aside from my role in a kindergarten play as “best friend of bida”), it’s a milestone because it taught me to say yes to trying new things.

Yes to lowering your guard

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I learned that the message is better delivered when you’re just keeping it real, not trying so hard to make the audience feel something or laugh

Yes to making new friends

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Crazy bunch! Clockwise: Lauren Young, Micah Muñoz, Sarah Facuri, Cai Cortez, Khalil Kaimo, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Sam Concepcion, Carla Humphries. Not in photo: Mikael Daez and Paolo Valenciano

Yes to new opportunities

Getting interviewed by CNN Philippines about No Filter

Getting interviewed by CNN Philippines about No Filter

Yes to things that scare you

Improv with the cast

Improv with the cast

Yes to humility

Having an open forum with the audience after Press Preview

Having an open forum with the audience after Press Preview

YES TO HAPPINESS

Getting interviewed with Jim about Cheats

Getting interviewed with Jim about Cheats

I have made new, true friends with these people. We’ve become such a support system that we wake up to about 200+ messages on our chat group every single day. Sharing some of the photos we’ve shared on that group:

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Hindi pa kami close nito (LOL): press conference for the first run

Hindi pa kami close nito (LOL): press conference for the first run

One of our earlier rehearsals! PIZZA!

One of our earlier rehearsals! PIZZA!

Recording a promo video for people to watch the first run!

Recording a promo video for people to watch the first run!

Pulling out clothes from H&M!

Pulling out clothes from H&M!

Celebrating our opening weekend!!

Celebrating our opening weekend!!

Surprising me by going to a Cheats gig!

Surprising me by going to a Cheats gig MORE THAN ONCE!

Before my last show, during the first run.

Before my last show, during the first run.

Eating a sandwich on the floor before my last performance during our first run

Eating a sandwich on the floor before my last performance during our first run

Our last show for the first run!!

Our last show for the first run!!

YS Prom with #TEAMNOFILTER

YS Prom with #TEAMNOFILTER

Route 196 with Jasmine

Route 196 with Jasmine

First day of rehearsals for the second run!

First day of rehearsals for the second run!

Taking actual selfies while pretending to take selfies

Taking actual selfies while pretending to take selfies

At our assistant director Sab Jose's pool party back when we were in 5th grade. That's her sitting on the ledge, you can probably guess which one I am because I look exactly the same, and that's our fave Cai Cortez beside me!

At our assistant director Sab Jose’s pool party back when we were in 5th grade. That’s her sitting on the ledge, you can probably guess which one I am because I look exactly the same, and that’s our fave Cai Cortez beside me!

There are a LOT of photos in that group, most of which should be kept within our circle because they are VERY unflattering (I think we have daily contests for best pangit face) and/or crazy (during one of our many nights out). I really do cherish this group, I didn’t think I would grow so close to a group of people I’ve only known for a short amount of time. Is it too soon to call them FAM?? Okay, for all y’all totally un-hip peeps: FAM is a term used for people very close to your heart, obvs it’s short for family. Yup, I keep in step with today’s slang because I want to be able to relate to my teenage sister and brother. Haha!

Going back to #TEAMNOFILTER, there’s something about theater that kind of forces you to dive into a sea of strangers and come up for air, just seconds later, with a formed intimate bond. For all of our improvs, we have to have “mutual consent” — that means we have to feel if one person is about to talk and make their punch line. We all have to feel each other out and kind of meld our minds in that moment. It’s the only way improv will work. Going out and getting to know each other outside of rehearsals was integral to our show becoming a huge success. There’s no one trying to outshine the others, everybody is rooting for everybody to give their best performance each and every time. We’ve cried and have allowed ourselves to be vulnerable in front of one another, and so our trust is rewarded with this diverse group of great people who will be there to always tell you, “you can do it!”

Thank you so much to everybody who caught my opening (and closing weekend).

The real FAM

The real FAM

Thanks for watching!!

Thanks for watching!!

We chose random people from the audience to play my boyfriend/girlfriend for one monologue. Go to the next show to be Lauren's or Carla's boyfriend/girlfriend!!

We chose random people from the audience to play my boyfriend/girlfriend for one monologue. Go to the next show to be Lauren’s or Carla’s boyfriend/girlfriend!!

Tim Yap played my boyfriend during Press Preview! Why am I the only one who looks happy in this pic?? HAHA

Tim Yap played my boyfriend during Press Preview! Why am I the only one who looks happy in this pic?? HAHA

Of course, Jim played my "boyfriend" during one of my shows!!?

Of course, Jim played my “boyfriend” during one of my shows!!?

Thank you so much to @GeloYellow for the photos!!! Your tweets are hilarious!!

Thank you so much to @GeloYellow for the photos!!! Your tweets are hilarious!!

BACKSTORY: When we learned about No Filter getting a second run in October, Toff got all our schedules and I told Toff I was going to be in Europe from October 10-25. He moved the opening weekend a week earlier so I could be a part of it. It’s the sweetest thing. You know what, this isn’t even confirmed, I’m just making it up because there are no shows THIS weekend so it only makes sense that I assume I mean that much to the production. LELZ I know, I’m such an echosera. #shameless

If there’s anything you must filter about yourself, try to make it your inner critic that keeps telling you that you will probably fail. I did just that when I said yes to this project when it was just, as Toff says, an idea. No script, no details, just an idea. Now I have these small victories. I’ve got a theater play under my belt, I’ve made new friends, I have learned the value of saying yes to things outside my comfort zone. Yes to new experiences.

And tomorrow I fly out to Paris for my Honeymoon.

Is this real life?❤️

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Catch the next shows featuring my gorgeous alternates Lauren Young and Carla Humphries and the rest of the wonderful cast of #SandboxNoFilter!

♥,
Saab

September 23, 2015
October 16, 2015

Saab

5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Raei

    October 9, 2015

    Congrats Saab! Sana may third run pa. Have fun on Paris. :D

  2. Reply

    janine

    October 9, 2015

    I’m just simply happy for you Saab!
    Plus you always make my day with your blog post. :)

    PS: I miss Ask Saab so bad. hihi. hope you’ll answer some questions

    I love you so damn much!!!

  3. Reply

    Veronica

    October 9, 2015

    I was there during the last show of the first run!!! Huhu love you guys ❤️

  4. Reply

    Laney

    October 10, 2015

    It’s admirable to see you take on various projects! I was part of a few theater productions in HS, and though it scared the bejesus out of me, I had a really great experience. I’m visiting the Philippines in December, so fingers crossed for more shows :) Have a safe and fun filled trip!

    – Laney from http://www.laneyatbp.com

  5. Reply

    henley

    October 10, 2015

    Bring this play here in Cebu! Enjoy your honeymoon :D

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