Writing is never easy.
It may be easy (for some) to think of brilliant ideas, but putting it on paper is a different thing.
It may be easy (for some) to put it on paper, but making it interesting is likewise difficult.
It may be easy (for some) to make it interesting, but translating everything to television, making the host say your written work out loud, and making it appeal to the television viewer is not an easy task.
I started my career on television in 1991 as a television writer. It was for Martin After Dark (on GMA 7) hosted by Martin Nievera. It was not easy for a fresh-from-school newcomer to write for such a seasoned host. He has a million wild ideas which can come out before a take, during the take and sometimes, yes it happens, after the take.
It was also not easy dealing with Martin who can talk fast and loud. Sometimes, it pains me to follow what he was saying, but years of working together made it easy. Not only is Martin fast and loud, he is also straight-forward, making me cringe every time he says something “not so good” about my scripts. But through the years, we have become friends and we have learned to understand each other’s body language while he is on stage and me, on my knees (literally), writing cue points and bullet questions on the floor behind the camera.
In 2008, I decided to take a spin on my television career, from being in production, to a more challenging management position. I was tasked to oversee local productions for some cable channels, which I did for more than a year, before I joined the Content Management and Development Group of ABS CBN in 2010. During all those years (roughly 5 years), I was missing writing a lot… Dreaming of making it back, but time was not on my hands.
Early this year, the plan of ressurecting Martin’s talk show on air came on. And I was asked to write for the show. I was excited, really excited to do at least one script for the program. And it happened. Early April of this year, I was asked to write an episode for Lea Salonga’s guesting.
Whoa and double whoa!
Not only am I being asked to write for my favorite host, but to write about one of the celebrities I looked up to since I was in school. Inspired, it was a breeze researching about her, reading her blogs, looking up news and magazine articles on my own, while waiting for the show’s researchers to submit what they have found out. But before that research came, I was well on my way to finishing the episode script.
It was easy, because it was a good subject and I basically know how Martin talks and thinks (I think…). It was also a very smooth taping, with very minor setbacks. I was on my knees again, and I was surprised that it is not the usual practice now. Writers have it easy on the floor. And it was finished, just like that.
It was on May 17 when the episode was aired and I was excited to watch it. I was smiling from ear-to-ear during the entire airing. Though I was not credited, it was nice hearing words that you wrote out of Martin’s mouth.
And that’s how I got MAD again. Tonight will be the final episode of the program’s season. It was nice seeing it back on air. It was nice to write again. It was a new experience to see my work on air again. Kudos to Martin Late@Night. It was a short stint, but it was memorable, for me, and hopefully, for the viewers and the host as well.
So when can I write again?