Star Quality: John Prats opens up about being in showbiz
4:30 na! Ang TV na!
As a kid, it was never my dream to be an artista. It was my sister Camille who did a lot of commercials and when I saw her on TV, I also wanted to see my face on TV! Sumasama lang ako sa kanya kaya nakukuha din ako sa bawat project. In 1992, auditions were held for a show called Ang TV, directed by Johnny Manahan. CAmille was the only one who was suppose to audition bt in the end, we both got in.
Being on Ang TV was fun! I was only eight years old at the time. My first friends in showbiz were Chesca and Patrick Garcia and Vandolph. We used to pretend we were part of a gang and that we had enemies. We even had a hideout behind the set! I really enjoyed being with the people I worked with. They were like family to me.
After Ang TV, a lot of projects followed. I starred in my first movies, Batang X and Pulis Patola 2. Some of my shows after that were Kaybol, Cyberkada, G-mik and Berks. I never thought of acting as work. It was always fun for me. Kasi pag iniisip mo na work, madali kang magsasawa at mapapagod.
Starting young in this business wasn't hard for me. I was never intimidated by the older actors because I wasn't aware of their status at the time. I think it's better that I started early because after being here for such a long time, I now feel very comfortable with what I'm doing. Those who just entered showbiz tell me that they're intimidated by me because I've been in the industry longer.
The first time I realized I was a real celebrity was during my G-mik days. At the time, I was part of a band called JCS with Carlo Aquino and Stefano Mori. We wanted to be different from other trios so we formed a band. Every time we had mall shows, sobrang daming tao. I was really amazed because I never thought I had any fans - I was always known as the brother of Camille Prats. But this time, out fans were screaming our names. "John! Carlo! Stefano!" Even if sometimes, Carlo was out of tune, or I made a mistake while playing the drums, our fans still appreciated it. All we had to do was smile and say hi and they'd start screaming. I'm really happy I got to experience that.
My most difficult period in showbiz was growing up in front of a lot of people - my transition from bata to binata. When I was 13, I was really fat and my dad said, "Hindi ka puwedeng maging heartthrob 'pag ganyan itsura mo!" So I went on a diet and played basketball to lose weight.
Another difficult thing about being in showbiz is the lack of privacy. There was a time when I had a fan who would always wait for me after ASAP. She'd give me coffee after the show and she'd text me all the time. When I didn't reply, she'd get mad at me! I distanced myself from her after awhile. She was so obssessed, it was scary!
What I love most about showbiz is the fact that kakapal ang mukha mo. You can make more friends because you have a wider reach. I'm really glad I got to join the Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition because aside from making new friends, people finally realized that I've grown up. I'm 22 years old but a lot of people still think I'm 17.
I'm thankful I've gotten a lot of new opportunities after PBB, like starring in the movie Manay Po, where I play a gay guy. I like playing offbeat roles now - those that are new and different. When I make a movie, I always give my best kasi 'pag hindi mo galingan, nagmumukha kang tanga. If you give your best, you'll have no regrets.
Perhaps the best advice I can give to budding young actors is to have patience. Wait for your time to come - and when you get your big break, give it a hundred percent. Don't do it for the money. Do it because you're passionate about it. Seryosohin mo ang ginagawa mo, 'wag puro laro. Always arrive on time, read your script and know your role well - in other words, be professional.