This is not an attack to those who are graduates or current students of the John Robert Powers institution, so no offense meant here. I honestly have a very high respect for the school, until now, of course. This is a story of how the treatment of one of the main coordinators/organizers of the event I attended just may stain the school's credibility.
For the record, everything written here this my blog entry is fact, and opinions are all mine (including the title), which I am entitled to. So to any negative comments, I will not respond. Rant in your own blog if you have to.
If you're not familiar with John Robert Powers (JRP), Manila, it is an institution where you can enroll yourself or your children for personality development, and/or to become a model/actor/tv personality. It teaches kids, teens, and adults manners, grooming, communication skills, self confidence, and so on. It also teaches them how to eat properly, speak properly, sit properly, walk properly, how to ride a tricycle properly, whatsoever.
Basically, it teaches how to be PROPER, period. Parents can enroll their kids for around a whopping P500,000 for I-don't-know-how-many-levels.
Anyway, I was one of the Basement Academy's makeup artists today for the JRP event/showcase that launched the students to people, more importantly to agents and talent managers who can boost their careers. This was an x-deal between JRP and Basement Academy where Basement graduates sponsored the makeup service WITHOUT pay so we can practice and promote ourselves, then JRP will promote the Academy. Note: it is the ACADEMY that provides the makeup service, not the SALON. It is like WE, the graduates, paid Basement so WE can do the makeup. Ironic right? Well, it's our choice and we want to practice and to expose ourselves in the industry so it's very much fine for us. Remember, we were not paid for this. We were also using our own tools and products which, mind you, are not cheap.
A few days ago, we were instructed that the makeup should be 70"s look. And what do you understand by 70's? It should be hippie-ish very light makeup and no dark colors. Not even brown eyeliner nor false eyelashes. Just think of old-school-Farrah-Fawcett -Charlie's-Angels look with the soft hairflips and shiny cheeks with muted colors. We were event sent an email with links for 70's makeup how-to's. I was actually wondering why they chose the 70's because that look is not suitable on stage. I guess they just really wanted that.
When I arrived the venue in RCBC Yuchengco Tower, I could hear "Oh,Oh,Oh. Woke up today
feeling the way I always do. Oh,Oh,Oh. Hungry for something that I can't eat...."
Yeah, they're rehearsing Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray. Uhm... Isn't the Hairspray setting in the early 60's? Fine, I considered that it may be a different set, that maybe certain groups were instructed to do makeup for different decades. I let that go. Then, when the models/students arrived, they told us what they're going to do in the show and what looks they wanted. They all talked about the 60's looks.
(The 60's look is supposed to be full makeup with a lot of eyeliner and false eyelashes, lots of powder and big hair. TOTALLY THE OPPOSITE OF 70'S LOOK.)
But they kept insisting that the theme is 70's. Fine. Maybe they just did not know or they're confused. I let that go. Anyway we were not there to comment. We should follow the instructions.
Then we did the makeup and all that jazz and took pictures of the students with the makeup, of course. We were actually very excited to be part of the event and it's John Robert Powers after all. There were "avail" moments because they also had to rehearse for the show at the same time. My classmates and I were talking and one of them, Cas, was even thinking of registering her daughter in the school.
In the middle of the work, a lady went into the dressing/makeup rooms to give out numbers/tags to the students. She had to get everyone's attention while calling out the names so the students can take their numbers. She was yelling the names one right after the other without waiting for the kids to get their tags. How do you expect people in the middle of makeup AND hair being done to get to the other side of the room that fast? She was all, "PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I'M SAYING BECAUSE I'M NOT GONNA PAY ATTENTION TO YOU."
Wow. I knew then that she was also an instructor in the school the way the students called her. Hmm... Talk about attitude. We are getting somewhere...
When the jobs were done, one of the staff told us we can go backstage to watch, and some of the students may need retouching. Of course we wanted to see our work onstage. I, in particular, also wanted to see the couture fashion show. My co-artists also did bronzed makeup for the Dreamgirls portion (which is very difficult, mind you) so they wanted to see their work, too.
Three of us (Me, Cas and Jean) went then, backstage where there was a mix of excitement, confusion, nervousness and nausea from the students and the staff. The stage manager did not mind that we were there. We were pinned to the walls (there were two walls, parallel to each other) because we didn't want to get in the way of the students/models. I had to see the backdrop of the stage so I had to move from the first wall to the other, next to where our makeup boxes are, away from my co-artists. On the fourth set, one of my co-artists, Cas, approached me and sounded upset. She said that one obnoxious coordinator told her that we were not allowed there. I thought she was just upset because she wanted to continue to watch. So we took our things and exited the backstage.
Cas was still fuming. Then I learned that the lady was very impolite and disrespectful. She said that this lady asked her who she was, and when she said her name, the lady did not even let her finish saying she's from Basement Academy. The lady told her, "Why are you here? You're not allowed here! Only students and staff are allowed here! You have to leave!" in a disrespectful tone. Then it just dawned on her that she should have told her off.
(And yes, this person was the same lady who was in the makeup room calling out the names of the students for their numbers.)
Cas could not let it go, so she went back to find her but couldn't. Instead, she asked for the name of the "lady" from the acting guard. The name was CINDY CHAO. Apparently, she is the head organizer. Cas told the guard that what Ms. Chao did was uncalled for, since we were told we could go backstage, and that she could have asked us to leave in a PROPER MANNER. She told the guard to pass the message to Ms. Chao that we're not from the Salon but from the Academy, and what we did was pro-bono. She could have been nicer to us. Besides, we almost ran out of makeup because of them and they didn't hear anything from us.
We also ran into one of the organizers, and again, passed the message. This time, we added that this issue will be directed to Mr. Jeave Gabiana, the head of Basement Academy, and that such attitude should not be tolerated by Basement, therefore possibly cutting the ties with JRP because of the way the Basement graduates were treated. It could be more of JRP's loss than Basement's.
Then, we called the other staff from Basement (the hairdressers) and the HR, Kae, (who was the point of contact if there were any gigs or x-deals where we can join), who were still in the makeup room. Cas told them the story and they knew we were upset. They immediately went to the smoking area where we are to talk about what happened. When they arrived, around 15 minutes later, we were surprised to learn that Ms. Chao herself went to the room to talk and clarify what happened. Apparently, our message was given to her at once. According to the staff, she said that she did not know that we were the makeup artists and that she wasn't informed that we were there. Here's how the conversaton apparently went:
Staff: Sila po yung makeup artists. Hindi po sila bayad and feeling nila minaliit sila. Mga professional po yung mga 'yan.
Chao: Nakaharang kasi sila sa backstage, nagkakagulo na nga yung mga tao dun. Pwede man sila sa baba ng stage.
Staff: Eh Ma'am sila po yung magreretouch dun sa mga students kasi kailangan nila yun.
Chao: I didn't know, I wasn't informed!
Kae: Eh Ma'am diba po kayo nagsabi nun? Na kailangan may magretouch sa backstage?
Staff: Ma'am mga graduates 'yan ng Basement Academy. Irereport nila kila Sir Jeave and Sir
Stefan (co-head of Basement) yung nangyari.
Chao: Sorry, I thought kasi parents sila, and students and staff lang ang pwede sa backstage. Hopefully this won't be a big deal kasi friend ko si Stefan and I don't want to ruin things between us.
Staff: Ma'm paalis na po sila. Wala na po magreretouch sa mga students.
That's the gist.
Okay, first of all, of course, we were all offended by her treatment. Like mentioned, the service that we did was unpaid. We just wanted to do the makeup for the love of it, and for exposure so we can do it more, and most importantly, we are not employees of the Basement Salon. We are professionals and our work isn't eaxactly cheap. And even if we happen to be employees of the salon, she has no right to treat us that way. She could have told us to leave PROPERLY. IN A PROPER MANNER WITH PROPER COMMUNICATION. Afterall, that's what they TEACH in JRP, isn't it?
How can you be credible of your work if you don't show what your expertise is? All the more showing the extreme opposite? We would understand naman kung talagang kailangan namin umalis. But she could have done it with style, and respect. She didn't even let Cas finish telling her why we were there. That just exudes bad attitude. And ugly attitudes should not be exercised in an event where you showcase proper training for being "proper" (sorry for the redundance) especially if you're working with other companies, especially SPONSORS. Even a little "kaplastikan" will help. It's a business, afterall.
Second, how can this person be trusted with events and shows when she's not coordinated herself? She instructs one thing, and then claims she doesn't know about it. I understand that organizing an event is a stressful thing to do, but please don't take it out on the people who are helping. And I believe that it's not only stress but she really has a nefarious attitude. How can she be trusted by other companies/groups if this is what she does? And how can we possibly give retouches to the models if we're in the audience area, just outside the stage? It's not like it's proper (and easy) for us to keep running back and forth the aisle to the backstage!
Last, and most importantly: IF WE WERE INDEED THE PARENTS OF THE STUDENTS, THEN THAT WOULD MAKE IT EVEN WORSE!
Can you imagine, if you're a parent paying HALF A MILLION PESOS to this institution, and you are treated this way, then you would know that this is a half a million mistake for an investment. It's BOGUS!
But of course, you wouldn't let this person whose salary you paid for give you that kind of treatment. So what do you do, now that you've invested in it?
She said so herself, she thought we were parents! It's either she's just looking for a way to get around her attitude, or she's just plain stupid. If you're shelling out half a million pesos, then it's difficult, even to just imagine that you're letting a dunce, teach your child. And hello? Don't direct to do a 70's look and expect a 60's look. That would just confuse the students, and it's also an insult to the makeup artist's expertise. And that's not even the main point if I were a parent.
If I were the parent who was treated impolitely, it's difficult to think that I am paying the salary of a person who's supposed to teach my child personality development, when she herself is not exercising impressive, let alone, better personality--in front of the SPONSORS pa for that matter! She was very unprofessional and I think she's a stain on the face of JRP. Very untrustworthy, I should say.
...I am not even going to comment on how the show was...
So to those parents and people who studied, are studying, and/or thinking of registering in
JRP Manila, I hope you get all your money's worth.
I am writing this because this is not an issue that we can just ignore. Something has to be done about this otherwise they will just do the same thing to the next sponsors that will provide them service. Whether paid or not, people deserve respect, and even thanks, for making something possible out of their help. If you have to say something, say it PROPERLY. Especially if you're a company that promotes it. I hate to generalize the school because of this (since most of the staff were really nice), but I believe that one person represents the whole company in this business.
To Ms. Chao, if you can read this, get yourself some help. Learn some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It's better if you leave your Attitude at home, or perhaps throw it out the window entirely. You are unprofessional and undeserving of good service. You may say I don't know you at all, but see, one of the most important things in this industry is that first impressions last.