I like to come early to a gig (birthday party or other types of performance). My show is not a packs-flat, two-suitcase affair, so the set-up takes longer than most shows. Not only that, I find it convenient to set things up before the children arrive.

I while away my time by doing some warming up exercises—magic tricks to the wait staff or to the early birds. That way I get to practice my close-up tricks and also earn brownie points with the audience. When it’s time for my performance, I have half the audience already rooting for me.

Sometimes, when the party is held in a Clubhouse near a village park, I go to the park, sit under a tree and catch up on my reading.

All these niceties, however, are not possible if the performance is for a non-Filipino family. Why? Because foreign clients usually start their parties on time.

I once performed for an official of the Indian Embassy. Just 10 girls in the audience, plus the mom and dad. The mom said the show would start 4PM. I arrived around 3:45PM and set up our stuff while the kids ate pizza. Like clockwork, by 4PM, the mom put us on. By 5PM we were out of the house and driving back home.

The same thing happened when I performed for an official of the French embassy. Also around 10 kids, pizza, and the mom and dad in the audience. No yayas, no titas, no titos, just us. It was not a loud party on account of the few numbers of attendees, but boy, it started exactly on time.

When will Pinoys learn to start a party on time, I’ll never know.

Filipino time is altogether another topic, I’m sure you knew that already.



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