An article came out last night about a status I posted the other day on Facebook. The title reads:
Guji Lorenzana vents frustration over fast-changing showbiz landscape
PEP.PH (NEWS, April 22, 2017)
I didn’t think that my “venting” would even be newsworthy, but thank you to Arniel for noticing, and shining light on it. Since it is now out in the open, I think it is a great idea to talk about it, because I believe that a lot of people are probably in the same boat as I am.
The business of creating art is definitely a very fickle one. I’m not blaming showbiz at all in my vent, because it is not showbiz’s fault.
In my opinion, it’s really just how it is sometimes. Some trends come and go… while some trends come back, are upgraded, and even better. Hence the return of a lot of retro music, fashion, etc.
I’m hoping to be the latter… maybe an upgraded, better me.
I think I wrote my post out of the circumstances of what’s happening in my life right now.
When you consider what is happening with my mom in the U.S.A., while feeling somewhat helpless being away from my family; some of that pressure piles up. I may have felt overwhelmed. I really don’t know, actually.
But I do think of my family at home a lot… along with my career.
In fact, before I typed that post, I was literally on the couch breaking down, crying about it. I felt so weak, and broken, because I thought that I would be somewhere else right now, especially in regards to my “art.”
I moved to Manila in 2005. A bad break up then, made me reevaluate my life. I was working a corporate job I hated because I was following a path that I thought was the only option I had.
It only occurred to me, at 25 years old, that I could do anything I wanted to do. Any my parents were fully supportive when I told them I wanted to pursue music and acting.
I remember reasoning with my parents, explaining to them that if Simon Cowell thought my voice was good enough to make it in music, then I should give it a shot. He liked me in my 2003 audition for American Idol.
That is when I tried auditioning in New York, and almost did a few things Off Broadway, but found living there to be a bit too expensive. That’s when my parents suggested I moved to Manila.
Luckily, my Tita Joanne gave me a few pointers, and my Tita Beth (her sister) pointed me in the right direction when I moved here.
I realized soon enough that the music industry was very different from when my Tita Joanne was in the industry. I had to adjust.
So after releasing a few indie albums, I ended up doing it all- radio, theater, commercials, music. I was okay with it, because I was enjoying it. I had this fire inside of me. I remember saying that I wanted to be as busy as Ryan Seacrest (He was the busiest guy in showbiz at that time). And I was busy, and soon… Star Magic noticed me.
It was 2008, I was in my mid 20’s when all of my batch were just little kids. Enrique Gil was one of my batch mates. (I’d like to add that I knew he’d become huge. He is so talented and charming. And he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I am so happy for all of his success.)
I was nervous, and excited. I felt so old, but Star Magic really took a chance with me and molded me into a great all around performer. I still learn so much from them.
In one of the acting workshops, the director took me aside and told me that I was one of the best actors he’d ever seen. That boosted my confidence in so many ways. My only problem was that I struggled (until today) with my Tagalog. But still… I thought that if I could act good enough, the world would be my oyster. I was excited to keep going.
In 2008, Star Magic launched Batch 16. They launched me as a singer. I loved it. I was singing on ASAP! A dream come true for me. In 2009, I was launched on a Precious Hearts series, and then soon after… starred in my own Precious Hearts.
My love team was voted as the most promising love team of 2010. I was excited for what was going to come next.
And things did come. I was even part of a singing group on ASAP, and got pretty busy.
And maybe, one of my problems was that I got too complacent, and didn’t work to better myself as an artist. Maybe I waited too often for work to just fall on my lap. Maybe I didn’t try to be innovative, or look out for opportunities to make me grow as an artist. One thing for sure, is that I forgot about my dreams of Hollywood, an Oscar, and a hit song on international radio. Instead, I realised that I was too concentrated on a failing romantic relationship, that was going no where.
As a result of all that, I ended up forgetting myself. I forgot my friends. I forgot my fire and drive to succeed.
And I broke down because I began to wonder… am I too late? Will they give me a listen, still? Will they remember me?
How do I stay confident? How do I stay positive about the art I create, the music I write, the projects I push for?
Luckily, I married such a supportive wife. She is one of the reasons why I haven’t given up. I have never had someone like that rooting me on, and encouraging me to keep going, and to do better. She listens to all the songs I write before I take the next step in the studio. She reads my scripts with me, and helps me analyse my scenes. She helps me plan out my days so that I stay productive when I don’t have tapings or shootings. She also keeps me well fed, too. She really makes me understand the meaning of “team”, “man and wife”, and so forth. I am very thankful for her.
Mom and Dad really sacrificed a lot for me to be out here. I know that with whatever I decide to do, they got my back. But with how things are right now, I really wish I could do more for them. And despite the circumstances they are in, they still root for me. I love them.
I may not know where things will go from this point on.
I’ll have to keep reminding myself that: I act, write music, sing on stage… because I love it. Not for anything else. It is that love for it that connects with people. That is the purpose. If you love it, they (the right people) will love it, too.
So lately, I’ve been been connecting with some awesome, and inspiring people around the world. A lot of these people are kinda in the same boat. In fact, one of the people I got to connect with, is a New York director, doing a documentary. He asked me to be a part of it, and remotely, we shot a few of the scenes these past few weeks. I am not allowed to talk much about this project yet, but because of this project… a lot of emotions have come out. He was able to really open me up to things I don’t usually explore or think about. But for that, I am very grateful.
I think that this has also opened up a lot of time for me to reconnect with my faith. I have been praying a lot, and seeking His guidance. And I know through all of this, my relationship with God will be better.
I hope that my story can be of some inspiration. The story is still very much open ended. But maybe, you can join me as I continue this journey.
Maraming salamat, po.