I am so honored that Oliver Oliveros has agreed for me to interview him for my blog. Although he took a while to answer my email as understandably he was very busy, he was still very gracious to spend time answering my questions. He is currently the Regional Director for BroadwayWorld.com, one of the most trusted sources for information on anything entertainment, from TV and film to theater productions in the US and all over the world.
Without further ado, here’s the interview.
|Photo courtesy of Oliver Oliveros|
From which part of the Philippines you and your family are from?
I was born and raised in Quezon City, Philippines (near Santo Domingo Church, which explains why I took High School at Angelicum School, now Angelicum College, in the late ’80s). However, my dad, Getulio Oliveros Jr., hails from Gumaca in Quezon province, which, unfortunately, was recently battered by Typhoon Glenda. My mother, Imelda Libiran Oliveros, hails from Balagtas, Bulacan. They were both public school educators; both are now retired.
What started or sparked your interest in public relations and corporate communication?
I always wanted to be an official spokesperson for a multinational company, which sparked my interest in public relations and corporate communication; consequently, I became one (an official spokesperson) for Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines in the early 2000s. My great interest in the fields of public relations and corporate communication—reputation management, in general—led me to study Organizational Communication at De La Salle University-Manila in the early ’90s, and to complete my Master’s Degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communication at New York University from 2011 to 2013.
What about Broadway theater, what led you to your current role as writer and regional director of BroadwayWorld.com?
BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theater-centric news site on the Internet, was trying to expand its presence in Asia in 2009. I got on board because I was handling a lot of publicity efforts (FYI: Publicity is only about 10 percent of what the practice of public relations does) for Broadway shows opening in Manila at that time. I am also grateful to Tony winner Lea Salonga for putting in a good word for me when she was interviewed in New York by BroadwayWorld.com’s CEO-Founder Robert Diamond at that time.
What’s the difference between Broadway World and Playbill? Or maybe the better question is, what makes Broadway World different and stand out from Playbill? Do you also publish copies of it, or are the news all online?
Playbill.com and BroadwayWorld.com are both excellent theater news and feature portals on the Internet. The printed Playbill Magazine is distributed at Broadway theaters, touring production theaters, and some regional production theaters across the United States. BroadwayWorld.com does not have a printed magazine version, but it does special events, e.g. cabaret productions at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in the East Village.
I am happy to see that Broadway World also features theater productions in New Zealand. But I’m a bit shocked that Annie the Musical, previously shown in Wellington and Auckland (with Filipino-Australian Mig Ayesa as Rooster) was not mentioned in the New Zealand page. Are there any local reporters here in New Zealand who are writing exclusively for BroadwayWorld.com?
BroadwayWorld.com is currently seeking an editor and contributors from New Zealand; please email resumes to Regional Managing Editor Christina Mancuso at . In the meantime, email related press releases to or to me at .
How’s it doing in terms of having actors of diversity play roles in US theater? Has there been flexibility in the casting process, or is it the same as in film and TV where only very few of them have the chance to get roles at the moment?
The Actors’ Equity Association, an American labor union representing theatrical talents, has always been pushing for color-blind casting. I give props to Broadway and West End Producers Cameron Mackinstosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber for showcasing color-blind castings in their latest productions of “Les Miserables” (Ramin Karimloo as Valjean, Tony winner Nikki M. James as Eponine, and Kyle Scatliffe as Enjolras) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (Norm Lewis as “The Phantom”), respectively. I hope other Broadway producers would follow suit.
As Regional Director, what are the tasks or responsibilities that come with the job?
As a regional director, I do random fact checks and correct mechanical errors across BroadwayWorld.com’s webpages (Broadway, Off-Broadway, BroadwayWorld.com Hub, etc.). I also manage and edit the works of a select group of writers, photographers, and videographers at BroadwayWorld Philippines, where I started. I also manage advertisement placements and promotional campaigns of advertisers and partners across Asia. I am constantly looking for talented writers, photographers, and videographers, and competent advertising agents, so please send resumes at .
Are you also writing for other publications in the US and Philippines? Which publications?
I am currently the editor-in-chief of Fil-Am Who’s Who (), a monthly magazine that tells the real-life success stories of Filipino-Americans from the New York Tri-State area. I also recently wrote for the Philippine Entertainment Portal ().
How long have you been living in New York? When was the last time you visited your hometown?
I studied and lived in New York from 2011 to 2014; I will travel to New York again in October for The Outstanding Filipino Americans In New York Awards (TOFA-NY Awards) that will be held for the fourth time at Carnegie Hall. I sit as one of the board of directors, handling public relations consulting, at TOFA-NY Awards.
I currently travel across the Philippines and Asia to market and promote BroadwayWorld.com.
I love travelling on a shoestring budget, and taking great travel photos. I also love eating authentic ramen in Tokyo, Japan.
I also love teaching young and serious students from non-fiction writing to the basics of public relations and corporate communication to managing integrated marketing communication campaigns and crises.
As a New Yorker, what are your favorite places to dine and hang out with friends? Also the places that tourists must see while they are there?
I love the string of restaurants, especially the ramen houses, in the East Village near school, New York University’s main campus. These restaurants are not that pricey.
Besides enjoying a Broadway production in Times Square, please also visit the less popular tourist destinations in Manhattan, e.g. The Cloisters, a museum located in Fort Tyron Park, which features artifacts from Medieval Europe.
Wow, that’s good to know since I also love ramen. Now, what are the Filipino restaurants and particular foods in these restaurants in New York and the rest of the US can you recommend for people, especially those who would like to try our food for the very first time?
Filipino restaurants in New Jersey City, New Jersey serve the most authentic, unpretentious (meaning, not the fusion type) Pinoy cuisine. Their chicharon bulaklak and Cebu lechon are to die for!
For the readers out there interested in going into public relations and corporate communications, what would you specifically advice them that they must do to be successful in this career path?
To succeed in public relations and corporate communication, one should be a good researcher, writer, editor, strategic thinker, and an open-minded collaborator. That person should also master the art of observing and listening to people first, before engaging in any conversations.
GOOD NEWS! They are looking for editors and contributors around the world to swap and share entertainment and theater news for the world to see. This is an opportunity to showcase local talents and productions. For more info, read this link and email Regional Managing Editor Christina Mancuso with your resume and one writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.