John Prats: Try to always be the best in your field, and keep surprising them
By: Tinna S. Bonifacio   From:
[October 2009]

Big things come in small packages. These are the words that leap to mind when speaking of John Prats. Although he may not be as tall as other actors, he is tall in terms of achievements and career success. After all, how many of his contemporaries can say that they have been in the business for nearly 20 years? In that span of time, John has tried almost everything, from being part of a young onscreen loveteam (with Heart Evangelista), to flying high as a tiny but powerful superhero (in Komiks Presents: Tiny Tony). Now, he’s making waves on Precious Hearts Romances with his new onscreen partner, Denise Laurel. Known as the Dance Floor Dynamite, John is also a gifted dancer, a skill he demonstrates regularly on ASAP ’09. A dancer, actor, TV host and, as his recent Typhoon Ondoy experience proves, a courageous neighbor who braved floodwaters to help rescue people—what else is there that John Prats can’t do?

In this exclusive interview, John shares with jobsdb readers the secret of his long and successful career. We might all learn a thing or two from what he has to say.

How long have you been in show biz to date?

Seventeen years. I started in 1992.

Would you say that in that time, you’ve achieved all you want to or dream of achieving? When will you say that you’ve done it all, career-wise?

Maybe when I’ve done my own movie under Star Cinema, or under any movie outfit. I want a piece na kahit tumanda na ako, that I can look back on and still be proud of. In short, something timeless.

How have you been able to keep your career going as long as you have? Seventeen years is a long time.

Two weeks ago, Aga Muhlach and I were talking, and he remarked, “Grabe ang staying power mo.” I guess it’s because of the passion I have for my work. I’m really thankful that after all this time, I’m still here. I think part of it is also destiny, but really, I’m thankful. Not everyone gets the kind of opportunities I’ve been given.

Would you call yourself a successful actor?

It depends on your definition of success. Ang success for me is being able to prove yourself, again and again. It’s also about being able to reinvent yourself so your career doesn’t burn out quickly. I remember what Roderick Paulate and Aga Muhlach told me before. Ang pag-aartista daw, hindi pasikatan, kundi patagalan. There are a lot of people in this business na biglang sikat, pero bigla din nawawala. As an actor, mas maganda yung steady lang ang takbo ng career mo. Kahit hindi ka yung sikat na sikat, pero at least hindi ka nawawala. For me, that’s success. So judging by that yardstick, I guess, yes, I’d consider myself successful.

But you still want to do more, right?

Of course. When you’re passionate about what you do, you always have that desire to do more and better. You want to keep proving—and improving—yourself. Sometimes, you feel that even after you’ve done something or even after you’ve finished a job, that you still have a lot to give. Binabalik-balikan mo sa isip mo and you ask yourself, ‘What could I have done to make this better?

What is the best and worst thing about having a career in show business?

The best is being able to do what you want to do. You portray different characters, you get to dance on television…the worst siguro is the chismis, to the point na naaapektuhan na yung paano ka tingnan ng mga tao.

Some people say that your height—or lack of it—could be considered a disadvantage in a field full of tall, good-looking actors. Do you feel insecure about that sometimes? Do you think it’s a career drawback?

Minsan, nag-usap kami ni Ogie [Alcasid]. Di ba we did Oh My Girl together? Sabi namin, it’s hard to be in our shoes. You have these actors like Jake [Cuenca] and Gerald [Anderson] na they don’t only have the looks, but also the height. But for us, minsan, hindi mo alam kung saan ka lulugar. So ang laban na lang, versatility. You try to always be the best in your field, and keep surprising them.