#YESANGPOGI Jameson Blake
It’s a Friday afternoon when Jameson Blake quietly walks onto the set of his first YES! Magazine photo shoot. Some people in the photo studio, who have only previously caught a glimpse of him on TV, are surprised to discover just how good-looking the 20-year-old actor is in person, especially when he flashes his bedimpled smile.
As we begin the interview, Jameson lets out a quick yawn. We ask him if he is puyat, and he answers, “Hindi naman. Mga five hours.” Is a night’s sleep of five hours normal for him? “Yeah, that’s normal na. But it’s enough for me,” he says with a smile.
He is a busy actor, after all, with two movies being filmed simultaneously. Add to that the TV appearances and other commitments happening in between the film shootings.
Jameson is slowly but surely getting into the prime of his career. Not bad for someone who, just three years ago, had zero acting or performing experience.
Jameson Andrew Capili Blake was born to Robin Blake, an American, and Claire Gibson, a Filipina, on June 17, 1997, in Hong Kong.
“Kind of gulo” is how Jameson describes his childhood. “We had financial problems,” he explains. “Pero we were a happy family. Me, my brother, my sister, my dad, my mom. We lived in Hong Kong. I was born there, and raised there for 10 years.”
When Jameson was 10 years old, his parents decided to part ways and he, together with his mom and two siblings, Nicholas and Abigail, came to the Philippines.
“At first,” Jameson recalls, “I’d always see my parents fight sa Hong Kong and stuff, and I didn’t see my mom happy all the time. And when they separated, siyempre I was sad. But then I was ten. After a while, you get over it, and I started to see my mom happy naman, so that made me happy as well. And I was in contact with my dad, so okey lang naman sa akin ’yon.”
The family settled in his mother’s hometown, Angeles, Pampanga, where Jameson would continue his studies at L’Altra Montessori School after two years of taking a break. He says that he actually enjoyed studying and being in school. He excelled in academics and was consistently in the top 10 of his batch.
“When I was a student kasi, I was really into academics. I like math even though I suck at it, and I like science. I like school books. It’s interesting to me, ’yong mga history, science. I’m really into that stuff... I liked sports din. I liked basketball, chess, volleyball. Nasa basketball varsity ako dati.”
After graduating from high school in 2015, Jameson made the decision to audition for the ABS- CBN reality-TV show Pinoy Big Brother ( PBB).
“Before PBB, I didn’t really have any interest in joining showbiz. ’ Yong mga kaibigan ko said, ‘Try mo kaya mag-PBB! May potential ka naman!’ So I said, ‘Sige, I’ll try it out.’”
Together with his mom and his sister Abigail, Jameson made the trip to the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, where the auditions were being held for the first leg of the PBB season, which was going to be made up of teen housemates.
“It was hard! There were so many people. Like, half of Araneta Coliseum was filled up. You had to do group tasks, group performances. They would ask you questions about your life and everything.”
Jameson got to advance in the audition process but ended up not getting chosen.
“What happened was, I actually auditioned for the teen part of PBB, but they didn’t accept me anymore, kasi I was seventeen na then. So I just moved on. I was planning na to just go back to my studies.”
But as fate would have it, he got a call after one month. The producers wanted to see him again. This time, he got in and became part of the second leg of that season, which would be composed of regular housemates.
“I couldn’t believe it. When I got in, it was overwhelming. I was in the house, and I was thinking, ‘Am I really here?’ It was kind of pressuring for me because I was the youngest there. I was 18 and everyone else was 21 and above. I had to learn how to fit in. But PBB really changed my life.”
After 31 days in the Pinoy Big Brother house, Jameson got evicted. He didn’t know what to do next.
“After PBB, I was thinking, ‘What’s going to happen to me?’ Because usually, after PBB, the housemates would get projects, like acting. But I didn’t have much experience with that, aside from doing some commercials earlier that year.”
Around that time, ABS-CBN was holding auditions for an all-male dance group, which would be known as the Hashtags and would be a regular attraction in the noontime show It’s Showtime.
“Well, I was never a dancer, so when I had a go-see for that, naisip ko, hindi naman talaga ako dancer, so paano ’yan? But still they let me join the group.”
Things weren’t easy for Jameson. He had to prove that he could keep up with the more seasoned dancers of the Hashtags to keep his place.
“It was kind of pressuring. Kasi, you know, si Direk Lauren [Dyogi] told me na if I don’t step up, I would have to leave the group, kasi I wasn’t really performing well. Maybe because I was still trying to get used to it pa. But then, I’m a fast learner, especially when I’m into something. So eventually, I got used to it, and they started to see my improvement.”
The TV dancer soon moved on to become a movie actor. His first foray into acting was in the 2016 independent film 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten, a coming-of-age drama that was part of the Cinema One Originals Film Festival. He considers his role in this movie his most challenging yet.
Jameson admits that, growing up, he was more of an introvert, but everything changed when he got into showbiz, which forced him to socialize more and be more open to people. “I want people to know na I can be makulit and really fun to talk to. Kasi a...