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Gina Alajar: Performing is 24/7 schooling


Gina Alajar

As the drama series “Prima Donnas,” draws to an end, the show’s director, Gina Alajar, imparts an important piece of advice to her young talents and anak-anakan: Don’t believe your own hype.

“The sound of applause, the screams, the social media likes—they can be overwhelming. But don’t believe them. Because two, three years from now, the fans will scream for new personalities and celebrities. That’s how life is; it just goes in cycles,” she said in a recent virtual conference for the popular afternoon soap, which will end on April 30.

“Today they’re clamoring for you. Later on, things will be different. Someone else will be in your position, so you have to grow and adjust. I have seen lots of celebrities come and go. Don’t let the cheers get into your head. You have to keep your feet on the ground,” she added.

Letting go

The veteran artist-director has grown fond of the cast—led by Jillian Ward, Althea Ablan, Sofia Pablo and Elijah Alejo—after directing them for two seasons. But as much as she wants to continue mentoring and taking care of them, Gina knows that she has to let them go and continue their journeys on their own feet.

“It would be nice to have a third season because I still want to work with these kids. They’re young and I know I still have a lot to teach them. But even if I still want to nurture them, I also need to let them go so they can test the waters,” Gina pointed out. “They have to go on, gradually, so they can learn more about the craft.”

But even if they go their separate ways, Gina said she will continue to watch over her actors.

“They know I’m watching and monitoring them—even their Instagram posts. I always see their posts. Sometimes, I leave them comments,” she said. “As their director and nanay on the set, I will know if they’re being difficult or problematic in other sets… Makakarating sa ’kin ’yan.”

Good work ethic

More than talent, having the right attitude and work ethic is just as—if not more important—to achieve longevity.

“You have to create good working relationships. You have to know about the concerns of other people. You’re not the center of attention. It’s not all about you,” she said. “You have to know how production works… how you can contribute to make things easier on the set. People are not meant to cater to your needs and make you feel comfortable.”

Of course, self-improvement is a must. “Never stop learning. Never tell yourself that you’re already good and content. Acting is 24/7 education. You can’t rest on your laurels if you want to last long in this business,” she said.

Gina is confident that if these young stars manage to balance talent and work ethic, they can expect many more fruitful years in show biz.

“If they can do that, people will love them. That’s it. They will go a long way,” she said. “But if this early they’re being difficult, I tell you, people talk. And news spreads easily. But I know my kids have the discipline.”

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