By Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 06/16/2013 6:18 PM | Updated as of 06/16/2013 7:26 PM
Juday: Teleseryes now not just about cryingMANILA – Television series nowadays are no longer just about shedding tears when the director says so, prized Kapamilya drama actress Judy Ann Santos said.
The 35-year-old actress, who started acting on TV when she was only 8, said she witnessed first-hand how soap operas in the Philippines have evolved.
“Ngayon parang mas gusto ng tao 'yung natural, normal ka lang bumabato ng linya mo, natural kang bumibitaw ng emosyon sa eksenang 'yon,” she said in an interview with veteran journalist Cheche Lazaro for a documentary which aired on Sunday.
Noting viewers today are much discerning, Santos said this makes actors like her to be always on their toes to keep up with the changing landscape of storytelling on television.
“When it comes to watching teleseryes, they get connected and then they get professional na ‘Mali ang continuity niyan. Ito 'yung suot niya kanina ‘di ba?’ May ganun na sila ngayon,” she said.
Despite this, Santos admits her ability to easily cry when a scene calls for it is still one of her advantages.
“Bata pa lang ako talagang mababaw na 'yung luha ko. Natuwa lang sila na ang bilis kong umiyak. Mahilig ang Pilipino sa drama. Mahilig ang Pilipinong umiyak. Gustong gusto nila 'yung may pain silang sinusundan at the same time, gusto rin nilang may kinaiinisan,” she said.
Santos was one of the lead stars of the 1992 series “Mara Clara,” one of the longest-running series in local TV, which lasted for five years.
“Hindi ko [inexpect na tatagal] kasi ilang beses kami pinatawag ng management to kill the show already, to stop it, to end it. Siguro three times,” she said.
The teleserye’s initial slot was in the afternoon block but the unexpected surge in ratings triggered the management to transfer it to the primetime block.
“Feeling ng management it’s not working. Mga 2:30 p.m. kami pinapalabas so feeling mo walang nanonood sa 'yo kasi patay na oras. Nung third [time na pinatawag kami], ang huling sinabi sa amin, ‘Good news, mataas ang ratings, ililipat naming kayo sa primetime.’ Doon na nag-start na naging head-to-head na kami with ‘Marimar,’” she said.
ABS-CBN’s creative manager Mel del Rosario said that was when the pacing of storytelling changed.
“Kailangan na tayong humabol. Nabagalan na sila sa local teleseryes,” she said.
Since then, a lot of changes were made which led to how TV series are now created. Among them, Santos said, is how a story is modified when the ratings don’t look good.
“Everything is instant in teleseryes. You show it tonight, you get the ratings the next morning. And then you’re okay when your ratings are high. When they are not that high, then you can change [something sa story],” she said.
Acting in front of the camera for over two decades now, Santos said she still feels nervous because the longevity of a show is now also based on its ratings.
“Yes [I feel pressured]. Kasi ngayon nakabase sa ratings 'yung renewal ng contract eh,” she said.
Santos will headline “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala” which is set to air on ABS-CBN starting Monday.
In the new soap, Santos plays a battered wife who will do everything to be free from her husband and to protect her child.
The role of Santos’ husband will be played by Sam Milby, while KC Concepcion will portray the other woman of Milby’s character.