WRITTEN BY CLUTCH VOL. 4 PARTICIPANT, VICTORIA MARIE SAWAL When I was filling out my application for Clutch Volume 4, we were asked what our expectations of the program was, what did we intend on gaining by joining Clutch? From the beginning, I was aware that this program could offer so many opportunities for networking. I simply knew, that clutch would open many doors for me, but I never expected it’d open a prison cell door.
Yes, that is correct. Thanks to Kapisanan, I ended up in jail for an entire week. Now, before you get into a tizzy, you have to understand that it was a beautiful, life changing experience. I met some of the most interesting and inspiring people, the food was great and best of all… I SURVIVED.
Confused yet? Don’t be. First you need to click this link and watch this amazing trailer: http://www.youtube.com/prisondancer .Did you catch that? Yes, that is Mikey Bustos… girls feel free to go craycray. Don’t be stingy, LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE.
Thanks to Romeo Candido (director/co-writer), I was able to take part in the creation of this amazing web series/musical called, ‘Prison Dancer’. I was onset as the PA for the Arts Department, Wardrobe Department, Crafts Services and every once in a while I stepped in as the background talent. Being the youngest on a set full of incredibly talented people, I was able to soak in as much experience and street cred as possible, I even acquired the prison nickname ‘Bebot’, hardcore! Over the span of a week, on a prison set, in the very large and shady Fraser Studios, I figured out the three best ways to survive prison.
3. Find Love
The golden pipes of Jeigh Madjus (who plays Lola) could most definitely save him from any situation, unfortunately we’re not all that talented. So, in this case being able to sing simply refers to being able to vocalize your thoughts. Whether it be through the mumbling into headsets or the unmistakable boom of Alejandro Valbuena, our resident megaphone. Whose commands bellowed in and out of each prison cell into every eardrum, causing some unpleasant responses at times which means he was doing his job right; the man got his point across. Loud and clear. With any good production, communication is key. I observed ‘powwows’ held in the wardrobe department, where ideas bounced back and forth. Genuine open mindedness and conversation led to the brilliant execution of a single creative vision.
If you’re afraid that your dancing may lead to self inflicted injuries, don’t lose hope! You may still have a chance to survive prison, even if you’re not as suave and sexy on the floor as Joseph Sevillo (as Oo Oo) and Pierre Bayuga (as NaNa), or as innovative as choreographer Diana Reyes. Learning to gracefully jump over obstacles, being quick on your feet or rolling with the ‘Pacquiao punches’ will get you to the other side, safe and sound. A production this large is bound to run into problems here and there, but being able to accept those difficulties and learning to adapt resulted in fruition. Some days, the weather will be horrendous, but being able to dance in the rain will keep you from losing your mind and losing hope.
Lastly, if you want to survive, not only prison but life in general… you must find love. I’m not going to lie to you, Rihanna’s song instantly starts playing in my head as I write about this, which is only fitting; jail can seem like a pretty hopeless place. But sometimes, it’s in the darkest, dingiest areas in life that we find something or perhaps someone, that turns everything around. I’m not saying you need to find yourself a large, bald prison boyfriend, named Bubba; but the reason this production has so much life is because there is love infused into every ounce of it. There’s love in each original song and dance number, love between the entire cast and crew, each character in this web series is inspired by a love, made whole by Carmen DeJesus and Romeo Candido. There’s an undeniable passion and inspiration woven into Prison Dancer to make it what it is. So whether it be finding your love for singing, dancing, conceptualizing a breathtaking production, or a person in an orange jumpsuit with a killer smile… you have to find love.
As Caro always says, Be Inspired.