MANILA -- Resorts World Manila (RWM) has launched an online marketplace platform to help its performers and artists continue their livelihood amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Called Live On-request Virtual Entertainment Project or the LOVE Project, the initiative in partnership with Full House Theater Company (FHTC) allows interested patrons to book virtual gigs.
Michael Williams, co-artistic director of FHTC, said rates start at P600 for a 15-minute performance.
Transactions will be made directly with the artists, and fees will go directly to them.
"Right now we are working on units of 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes, we're charging P600. That amount goes directly to them via GCash or fund transfer. If you want 30 minutes, then it's twice the amount," he said in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
"It's very accessible," he went on. "You get the kind of show that's tailor-made to your occasion -- the songs that you want, and from the artist that you like. You go directly to the artists. The artists will communicate with you about the show that you want and work out all the details... There's no other intermediary."
Some of the artists under the LOVE Project include Singing Sensation's Cris Pastor, Charlotte Fergusson, and Jasmine Fitzgerald; El Calle regulars Jay Kent, Hans Dimayuga, and Rox Puno; Grand Bar and Lounge performers Jon Joven and James Uy; ballet dancer Kim Abgrogena; vlogger and singer Julia Serad; pop-rock artist RJ Jimenez; and theater actors Lance Reblando, Jom Logdat, and Kiara Dario.
The complete roster is displayed on the LOVE Project Facebook page. Upon payment, artists will send the show guidelines and link to their live performance via Zoom or Google Meet.
"I'm not one of the artists that have done livestreaming or anything over the Internet, so this is really a learning experience for me. We're lucky that we have technology so somehow, I'm able to stay sane and perform. Because for me that was really a worry, that I was losing myself somehow because I wasn't performing," said Fitzgerald, who is also a theater actress.
She continued: "It's not just for here in the Philippines, it's all over the world. We're able to bring people together despite the pandemic... My experience has been great because I've had clients from all over the globe. It was nice to see people reconnect and be happy again."
For his part, Joven, who has been in show business for more than two decades, assured the public that they give the same level of performance in their virtual gigs.
"We do the same routine. We fix ourselves, we have to make it worth it for these people who are paying, regardless of the amount. It's to be able to deliver. This is a platform now for entertainers like us," he said.
Meanwhile, Williams said non-RWM talents are also welcome to take part in their initiative. "It's open to anybody who wants to participate," he said.