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Filipino actors too earthy



JUST A THOUGHT: ‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.’ – Robert F. Kennedy

Anthony Bova (

Anthony Bova

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“Filipino actors are quite earthy. They’re so very connected and grounded.

“Yet, they’re hampered by a feeling of smallness that comes from sheer humility,’’ thus said New York-based acting coach Anthony Vincent Bova, who last week resumed teaching his one-year course program for GMA Artist Center.

At a recent media conference, I countered that the feeling of smallness stems from a culture of subservience known to Filipinos. Bova, opting to be polite, thanked me for calling a spade a spade.

He said part two of his lesson plan is Empowerment Training, which focuses on emotional and psychological alignment for peak performance.

Bova said it is important for an actor to be healthy in mind and body, making his customized program both humane and wholistic. Stopping short of being a life coach (he claims he isn’t one), the international trainor said he cares just as much for an actor’s personality beyond being an actor.

• • •
Bova, who trains not just actors but also leaders in New York’s corporate world (his office is on Wall Street), presided over more than 70 actors in two daily sessions held in a span of six days.

The training is offered exclusively and for free to artists under GMAAC. According to network executive Gigi Santiago Lara, it is in line with the company’s artist development scheme.

Bova will be back again in January 2019 in time for his students’ graduation.

In his absence, his co-teacher, actress Ana Feleo, takes over the program. Ana’s job brings her to New York for consultations and similar teaching assignments with Bova.

(Clockwise): Chynna Ortaleza, Benjamin Alves, Gil Cuerva, Thea Tolentino and Andrea Torres (

(Clockwise): Chynna Ortaleza, Benjamin Alves, Gil Cuerva, Thea Tolentino and Andrea Torres

An actor, writer, and artistic director, Bova studied under famed acting coach Eric Morris, who has taught some of the best actors in the Philippines, including Laurice Guillen, Johnny Delgado, Leo Martinez, Michael de Mesa, and Joel Torre.
Laurice and Johnny happen to be Ana’s parents.

• • •
“What attracted me to the Eric Morris System is that this work answered so many questions that other techniques didn’t know to ask. One of the biggest traps actors in general fall into in this age of naturalism as an artist is they act natural. It’s still acting. They act natural as opposed to being natural,” Bova explained.

Bova is the artistic director of the Bova Actors Workshop and the Ionica Theater in New York. He has over three decades of study in the Eric Morris System under Morris himself, and over 20 years teaching the System.

Morris himself endorsed Bova to teach the GMA Artist Center actors.

Among his students are Benjamin Alves, Gil Cuerva, Andrea Torres, Thea Tolentino, Chynna Ortaleza. It will be interesting to watch out for their next performances in the coming days.

At the open forum, Benjamin said, “You’re constantly becoming a better person. Because of that, you become a better actor.”

According to Andrea, she felt more in touch with her feelings. “At the same time, I feel I want to do so many other things besides.”

Bova is swept away. “They are talented and beautiful, and they’re really getting the work.”

Chynna talked about having found “a safety net” after processing Bova’s teachings. That, to the veteran actress currently branching out to screenwriting, spells empowerment.

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