In a world where most people try to hold themselves back in fear of criticism, Jazmine Reyes stays true to herself all the way. Coming from interesting beginnings that involved yearly trips to a Chinese boarding school, which she dreaded, Jaz tells us all about how these experiences shaped her as a person, and ultimately, her career.
Young STAR talks to Jazmine Reyes about her beginnings, radio hosting as a profession and her recent film Pagnanakaw bagging a regional award at the 5-Minute Video Challenge in Singapore.
YOUNG STAR: Could you tell us a little more about background and your career?
JAZ: I was very independent — learning on my own ever since I was a kid. I always felt like the only way people would like me was if I made them laugh or I was nice to them. I got tough love from my parents; when I was a kid I studied in China every summer. Back then China was completely different. The communities were poor, it really felt like a communist country. It was so intense — military style. Every morning at 6 a.m. you had to fold your bed in a certain way then run around the whole school. You’d have to run around, sing the anthem to be followed by more exercises; then you’d eat breakfast, which was cucumber and hardboiled egg. All your classes were in Chinese — Math, Science, History. It’s crazy. I have two brothers, they got to stay together but I was alone since it was hati but it was fine because I loved that independence. [Laughs]
Back then, I was fat. I knew that there was nothing to depend on when it came to my looks so I depended on my humor. Back in high school I would host events like variety shows and I just found it fun. In college, I auditioned for courtside, not knowing UAAP was a big thing. I’d never heard of it, but I thought it was a good way to practice. I loved the training I got there. Because of that, in the same year I auditioned for Junior Jock at Magic 88.9, having not listened to radio ever. I guess everything that I’m doing know is an accumulation or all thanks to how I honed my personality back then. It has flavor.
Now, after meeting my partner Miguel, I’m really honing that film aspect. I love producing, writing and creating shows.
Can you remember the moment you realized that hosting was something you wanted to do in the long run?
I did hosting because I realized that people actually get paid to do this and it comes naturally to me. When I was represented by a manager that was when I realized this could be something I could do and it’s not only on radio or TV but in events as well. It’s good, it’s a three-prong thing and I can meet different people.
I think people think that hosting is easy to the point that they just get anyone, but the way I see hosts is that they represent whatever your event is. Whenever I host for someone, I always imagine that it’s an event I’m planning. I make sure I do them proud, it’s not about the money for me. Every time I step off and the client is happy, I’m okay. I may take it a bit seriously sometimes because I feel for these people. Even in TV, hosting and film, I treat it all the same way.
What do you consider the highlight of your career?
The most recent one would be our film Pagnanakaw because I’ve never won something that huge in my life. Miguel and I met in March and we discussed this idea already that we didn’t get to do for the longest time because we were busy.
One of the judges, Eric Khoo, a national artist of Singapore for Film, got pissed off because our film was supposed to win the grand prize, but it was 70 percent judging, 30 percent votes. He was so angry that he looked for us to talk to us. The next day we met and he explained everything. Currently, we’re in talks to make a commercial for SingTel — to us, this is the award.
What can we look forward to from you in the next few months or years?
Hosting is going to be there, I’d love to do some shows, but I’d really like to create since I’ve always wanted to produce. Also, I’d probably be making more films, I have two or three on the backburner that we’re trying to produce. Whenever brands coordinate with me to promote, I always try to make it something worthwhile. It’s really a leap of faith, what I do. There are many times that it is very trying. My parents say that hosting, it won’t last forever so you have to think of a business — but I like it.