TV acting brings home the bacon » Manila Bulletin Entertainment


JUST A THOUGHT: ‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.’ –Annie Dillard

LONG ABSENCE IN MUSIC SCENE: In a fatherly, practical tone, Ariel Rivera explained his absence from the music scene for years.

Ariel Rivera

“Acting provides food on the table these days,” he said. The durable singer-actor made such a choice as early as 10 years ago when the shift from movies to TV was felt throughout the industry.

It was about the same time the local music industry experienced continued slump in sales and patronage. It also marked the shift from Ariel’s kind of music (ballad) to rock, later R&B, and whatever else.

TV acting, he explained, brought home the bacon. Ariel is father to two grown boys, both of school age.

Besides, he says, the roles offered him, while for the most part stereotypical, were quite good.

STEREOTYPICAL ARIEL: And what is the stereotypical Ariel role in teleseryes?

Ariel himself volunteers. It is the typical father who is kind and understanding, sacrificing personal happiness for his family.

Why does he think he attracts roles such as these?

Not one to blow his trumpet, Ariel says he is clueless about his typecasting but admits producers probably view him as such. This is not to say he admits to fitting the bill, although wife Gelli de Belen is the first to advertise Ariel’s virtues as a husband and family man.

Maybe it’s also because Ariel radiates an aura of formality, always civil yet friendly. He is, what one may call, an old-school gentleman.

Breaking away from that pigeonhole is a flight of fancy as Ariel plays an off-beat role, for a change, on GMA-7’s “Mulawin Vs. Ravena.” Working on a freelance basis, Ariel has the luxury of swinging between channels 2 and 7 with ease.

WHY THE SHIFT: Ariel says shifting from singing to acting was not a conscious effort. It was brought about by circumstances, a natural progression.

He said that when BMG, his long-time recording studio folded up, he lost a home. The music industry was changing fast, and with that, passing trends.

It was also probably what Frank Sinatra experienced in 1966 when, as he was approaching 50, music trends turned in favor of rock and roll and The Beatles. Such an account was chronicled in Esquire magazine by Pulitzer prize-winning author Gay Talese in his timeless piece, “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold.”

Asked why he hasn’t returned to the studio to record a new album, Ariel wondered aloud, “I don’t think they’ll be interested in me at this point.”

However, concert producers still are, riding on the bankability of his classic hits (“Sana Kahit Minsan,” “Ikaw,” “Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin”).

Ariel meaningfully stated that he’s been singing in casinos between TV breaks, some even in shows abroad.

He has, in fact, a collaborative concert called “Love Throwback 2” with other OPM bigwigs like Hajji Alejandro, Christian Bautista, Joey G., Jinky Vidal on May 27 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Ariel says he limits his concert appearances as singing requires physical effort. “It’s hard to perform when you come from an overnight taping,” he sighs.

YOUR PASSERBY ON FACEBOOK: Sharing with you our recent posts on my Passerby series on social media. By the way, thanks for all those likes and and other words that inspire us to write furthermore.

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