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FACEBOOK.COM/THELOVEPROJECTOFFICIAL

Book a 15-minute personal online show for P600

THESE ARE desperate times especially for artists who thrive under stage lights and in front of audiences. As the pandemic continues to rage, and live performances are halted, the next best thing is to perform online and that’s what the LOVE Project aims to do: hire performers for digital performances.

“Theater is all about the live experience… You don’t get that by watching a show on the internet. But these are desperate times, and theater companies must find ways to survive. And I guess for now, online is the way to go in this ‘new normal’ until it is safe,” Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Full House Theater Company co-artistic director, said during a digital conference on July 14 via Facebook.

The LOVE Project (Live On-Request Virtual Entertainment) is an initiative by casino-resort Resorts World Manila (RWM) and its in-house production company Full House Theater Company as a way of keeping artists performing and surviving using their craft.

“The LOVE Project is a platform that allows artists to remain creative and connect to their audiences and we sort of enabled them to bring entertainment directly to the homes of the people… who enjoy their art,” Michael Stuart Williams, Full House Theater Company co-artistic director, explained during the same conference.

The project started in June and features a roster of artists from the theater company, the Philippine Ballet Theater, and regular performers in various RWM venues including the Grand Bar and Lounge and El Calle Food & Music Hall.

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“[Y]ou can have the experience of watching from the front row in the safety of your home. You can even give this experience as a gift to your loved ones for any occasion, or just to say you miss them. Plus you get to support world-class Filipino artists,” says a post on the project’s Facebook page.

Those interested in hiring an artist for a performance can do so by visiting the Project’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TheLOVEProjectOfficial/) and check the art cards of the performers and fill out their forms. Read the guidelines and pay the fee (a 15-minute performance is P600) to confirm booking, then wait for the Zoom or Google Meet invite on the specified performance date.

“During the pandemic, I didn’t know what to do… the LOVE Project is a beautiful, well-thought of platform for us artists to be able to express ourselves and to be able to reach out [to our audiences],” singer and theater performer Jon Joven said during the conference. 

The project, Mr. Williams said, also benefits the performers as their audience can book and pay for their performances without having to go through handlers, ensuring that the money goes straight to the artists themselves.

The current roster includes 31 artists including Hans Dimayuga of “Tuso” and The Voice of the Philippines fame, the trio Singing Sensations (Cris Pastor, Charlotte Ferguson, and Jasmine Fitzgerald), and singers Jay Kent and Rox Puno.

The online nature of the project also allows it to continue even beyond the pandemic, Mr. Williams said.

“This whole online paradigm of performance is a reality. It is one of the things that has been born out of this pandemic and now you cannot go back and say it didn’t exist or it didn’t happen… even though those things (live performances) may come back in some way, shape, or form this online paradigm will continue — it could run parallel [to regular shows],” Mr. Williams said. — Zsarlene B. Chua

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