When David accepted the offer to do a mini-series in the Philippines, I think it was one of the best moves he ever made. Not just because I have enjoyed this mini-series more than I could have ever imagined, but for David himself. This project gave him the opportunity to stretch himself, and he didn’t waste it. In Nandito Ako, he was asked to portray a character that is similar to him in some ways but very different in others. And he did it. He gave a performance convincing enough that the line between David Archuleta and Josh Bradley began to blur. That is truly an amazing feat for a novice actor.
David had no real acting experience to speak of when he began this project and only one day of acting classes before arriving in the Philippines. Once he got there, he had to jump right in and begin working while getting an on the job crash course in acting. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it was for him, and how daunting. He was expected to reply to other actors’ lines, with the proper emotion, while they were speaking another language. Normally, there is a two-way conversation. One actor shoots his or her lines and the other responds to what they are saying. But, David didn’t have the luxury of understanding the other half of his conversations. He could only go by what he was told others were saying and react to the emotion they portrayed. On top of that, he must have had to memorize the last few words of the other actors’ lines so he would know when to come in with his. Even a veteran actor would find that very challenging. For someone who’s never acted in a drama of any kind before to be able to do it, and do it well, is quite an accomplishment.
In addition to the language barrier, David himself admitted that he has gone way outside of his comfort zone to do the scenes in this production since he’s not one who usually shows extreme emotion in public. And that’s exactly what the scenes called for. We have seen him angry, defensive, pleading, fighting, crying, and even a little sassy and snarky. And we’ve seen him do romantic scenes.
Most of us don’t stop to think that the two involved are not alone and there is probably no romantic song playing in the background while he does the scene. Instead, there are lights, microphones, cameras, cables lying on the ground, a whole crew watching, and a director critiquing his every move. This shy young man is expected to do a romantic scene with an entourage watching, possibly having to do it over and over until the director gets the shot he wants.
And yet, he was wonderful! No one could have asked for more. If David can pull this off under these difficult circumstances, I think he has great potential for future acting projects if he decides that’s what he wants to do. Is he an award-winning actor? No, not yet. But with some lessons and a little more experience, who knows?
I’ve always said that there is no end to what David is capable of in regards to artistic talent but I was usually referring to music. Since watching Nandito Ako, I have revised that opinion. I now sincerely believe that David can do anything he sets his mind to.
It’s staggering to watch him learn and adapt so quickly, with only three weeks from the beginning to the end of this project. And I haven’t even begun to talk about how in the midst of it all, he was doing mall appearances, interviews, performances, dealing with new contract negotiations for the Bench endorsement and the album, photo shoots, commercials, music videos, and recording! How did he not go insane from the pace of it all?
To say that what he accomplished in the Philippines in just one month is amazing just isn’t enough. And he’s only twenty one years old! Can you even imagine what the future might hold?