There are pros and cons of being a one time actress. You get recognized at times and they ask for photos, which is pretty flattering. Sometimes, you get special treatment too which is always nice. Then, there are times when people can’t seem to differentiate between the real person and the character you’ve played. Worse is when this happens in the most inopportune time.
One night, I met with a client/friend of mine to discuss the next steps in the campaign we are doing for him. Client/friend is out and proud and is very handsome. We’re at this soshalin restaurant just for a quick talk as he had a gig nearby. I needed dinner and a drink badly as I had a long and trying day. I wave to the server and she came over with this look on her face. She probably recognizes me but can’t seem to put her finger on it.
“You look familiar, ma’am!”
Here we go. I usually have a script ready for this.
“Talaga? May utang ba ako sa iyo? Jinowa ko ba ang ex mo?” (Really? Do I owe you money? Did I date your ex?)
“Di ma’am! Ikaw yung comedy sa TV!” (No, ma’am! You’re the comedy on TV!)
Comedy sa TV. Sige na. (Comedy on TV. Okay, sure, why not?)
“Bold star ako, actually.” (I’m a porn star, actually)
They usually laugh and leave me in peace and whisper amongst themselves, trying to figure out who I really am. Client/friend and I talk and he leaves. I have dinner – or at least try to when same server comes back to my table and ask about how I’m enjoying my meal.
“It’s good, thank you.” Now, that usually means: I like the food and would like to enjoy it some more in peace, please. Ate server did not get the hint.
“Friend nyo po sya, ma’am?” (Is he your friend?)
“Yes, he is.” Polite smile
“Sayang po sya, ano?” (Such a waste, isn’t he?)
I stop dead on my tracks. I know where this was going but I did not have the control to just let it go. I was hungry and the only thing that is keeping me from going Helga on everyone is the food that I am now just looking at and not shoveling in my mouth. “What do you mean by sayang sya?” (What do you mean by he’s such a waste?)
“Kasi ma’am, di ba… ano sya…” (Because ma’am…isn’t he…you know…)
Ano. Sya. Like saying gay or bakla is such a bad word to use, similar to Voldemort.
Here’s the ironic thing about this – she has the shame to not say the word ‘bakla’ out loud but she had no qualms judging his worth/value because of his sexual preference.
“Bakla? Oo. Bakla sya. So, anong konek nun? Bakit sya sayang?” (Gay? Yes. He’s gay. What does that have to do with him being such a waste?)
“Kasi po ang guapo nya.” (Because he’s handsome!) Lord, di niya na gets yung tone ko.
“So? Dahil bakla sya, sayang sya? Nabawasan ba ang kaguapuhan niya dahil bakla sya? Feeling ko naman eh hindi. Guapo pa din sya kahit bakla sya.” (So? Because he’s gay, he’s such a waste? Did his attractiveness diminish just because he’s gay? I don’t think so. He’s still handsome even if he’s gay)
“Hindi ma’am. Di niyo po ako naiintindihan!” (No ma’am! You don’t understand!)
Wow. Ako pa ang di makaintindi.
I put down my knife and fork, just to make sure I do not use them on anyone within my reach. I sat straight up, spine cracking, cleared my throat and looked at her with such ferocity that I’m pretty sure she cannot misinterpret what I am about to say.
“I understand perfectly well. Sayang sya sa paningin ng mga taong tulad mo dahil di nya feel ang pekpek, moreso ang pekpek mo*. Please do not ever do this again to any of your customers dahil napaka disrespectful nun, homophobic at napaka inappropriate. Now, please leave me alone and don’t come back until I call for the bill or if I need anything else” (*He is such a waste for people like you because he doesn’t like vaginas, moreso YOUR vagina)
I turned away from her and went back to my food that looked and tasted like pure garbage now.
Tangina, wag mo akong subukan with your ignorant homophobic shit. Lalo na pag gutom ako.