Cherie Gil Will Teach You How Not to Be a Second-Rate, Trying Hard Copycat

IMAGE Francisco Guerrero

Legendary actress Cherie Gil is teaching an online master class in drama.

No acting experience necessary.

“All you will need are a pen and a notebook. And your trust and commitment to do the work,” says Gil. “What’s acting, anyway? But reliving lives.”

Gil has been acting since she was nine years old. One of her most famous roles was in the 1985 movie Bituing Walang Ningning playing Lavinia Arguelles, a singer. Her iconic line, “You’re nothing but a second rate, trying hard copycat” has been quoted for decades since. 

“It’s kept me relevant, I suppose. People who use it have made it work in my favor too. We all win,” says Gil.

Since that movie, Gil has been cast in many anti-hero roles.

“I don’t mind as long as I don’t have to slap the protagonist more than 10 times in a series,” says Gil. "But really, I play strong women. If that's what people consider to be kontrabida, then that's what they think. I like playing strong women."

For the master class, unlike a webinar, Gil and her students will all be together in a virtual room interacting with one another. 

“I want to engage the students with why and what it means to be an actor, reel and real, and perhaps they will also discover what is truly sacred to them. Whatever it is,” says Gil. “Acting has been a vehicle and a tool for me in every area of my life because of the way I use its concepts and principles. I hope it does the same for my students too.”


You must be at least 18 years old to apply. Gil will be accepting a maximum of 25 students, so she can see everyone online at the same time. She will personally be reviewing all applications.

Gil says the idea was first sparked when she worked with Rebelde, a group of young filmmakers, at an acting camp in Caramoan.

"I didn't have much formal training in acting, but it was so inspiring to see how much they loved hearing and learning from actual experiences," says Gil. "And I learned that a lot of those books published in America about acting are not applicable here."

"And so I found my voice that motivated me. I wondered what made me do this and continue to do so 45 years later. And I realized it really starts with the why. 'Why am I an actor?'  And that's what we'll be discovering in this class."


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To apply for Cherie Gil's Master Class, click this link.

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Yvette Fernandez
Yvette Fernandez has written over a dozen books. Previously, she was editor in chief of Esquire Philippines and Town&Country Philippines.
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