You could feel the tension in the air.
Jomjom Po, the first artist, started the evening with a recited poem. Maybe it was the number of people, the audience was bigger than expected, maybe it was nerves, being first is always difficult, maybe it was because he decided to push himself and try something new, he recited the first sentence of his poem then he stopped. A few seconds passed. He started again, and then stopped again. He was struggling to remember the words. This was when the audience started applauding. “You can do it bai!” As if the encouragement was all he needed, he found his footing and finished the poem. What happened next was unexpected.
After reciting the poem, he took the microphone away from the stand and placed it near his mouth, and then as if it were the closing credits of his spoken word, a trumpet sound filled the air, then a single snare hit. Then a symphony of drum sounds emanated from Jomjom. You couldn’t help but bob your head to the beat. His beatbox skills were on point and this was when he won back the audience. You could feel the change. It was like we were looking at a different person.
Jomjom’s performance encapsulated everything about Art Party. It’s an event to give artists a chance to show what they’ve got and get better in front of a crowd. The only way for performers to improve is to continue to do their art in front of an audience. One of the criticisms of the Cebu scene is the lack of avenues for artists to get on stage, hence, the lack of repetitions to get better. Art Party is just a small step towards that.
As an audience member, Art Party is a rare treat. We want it to be different every time. You never know exactly what will happen with different disciplines merging in one event. On any given night you’ll be treated with “Uhms” as well as “Ohs and ahs”. We’ll see artists working through their craft, we’ll see them struggle, and with any luck, we’ll see them shine. It’s all part of the experience.
After the end of the show, I found myself in conversations about which performance I liked best, which discipline seemed fun to do. I even found myself day dreaming about trying out improv theatre. Personally, I don’t think I would be good at it, but it would be an interesting experience. That’s what good art does to you. It inspires you to act in some way or, in my case, daydream about acting.
What impressed me the most was the community that showed up for Art Party. It was a mix of people who wouldn’t have found themselves in the same room if it weren’t for the event. That’s one of our goals, to get people together, and hopefully form a community. Art Party won’t be for everyone, but those who wish to experience a community of creators banding together, creating a space and experiencing something new every time, this event is for you.
We will have another one later this year. Who wants to perform? If you were there at the very first Art Party, what can we do better? What would you like to see?
We are very open to suggestions.
This is something we hope can continue. It only makes sense to make it better.
Thanks to everyone who made Art Party a success. Monica and Melissa, this event was your vision. I hope you continue to trust your instincts. To A Space Cebu, the venue was perfect! We’ll be having more Art Parties there soon. To the Arts Council of Cebu and Cebruery, thank you so much for trusting us. To the artists, Martin Tabanag, Jomjom Po, Silingan ni Felicity, Adrian Muntuerto and Vincent Paul Diez Gaton, you made Art Party an experience truly memorable. To the volunteers, Donald Villamero, Tim Cusi, April Chy, and Nica Reveldez, your help was invaluable. To Carlo Rodriguez, it was great having you around. Till next time!