Being a host, I always get my audience involved. I engage them with the program. They are the program and their opinions will build a bigger stage for me to play in. The better their participation, the smoother my program can run.

So here’s a little clincher that I need to get an outside perspective from.

I grow my facial hair for so many reasons…actually I only (really) have two:
1. People do not take me as seriously because they think I look young(er). This is flattering considering my real age but imagine the disadvantage when I’m in front of clients. If my eyes aren’t expressive enough and not bring much wisdom, then where do I stand? This also surprises some people and get them curious eventually asking me how old I am. when I tell them, imagine the “aha!” moment.

2. I simply have chubby cheeks. With my genetically gifted body (sense the sarcasm), one can only manage so much. When all the fats have gone, my face (the cheeks especially) will still be there. The facial hair distracts the people from looking directly at it noticing my chipmunk cheeks. I was fit 2 years ago and it lasted for about 8 months more and it sucks but what can a middle-aged man do?

I’m also quite torn. Whether performing, hosting, or speaking with clients, people say that it is “corporate” to be neat, same as some women say clean and neat is always good. Then there are some who find the scruffy look more appealing, that it adds character to a person. The term “fear the beard” is not only to put terror on other people but I believe this as a difference in presence. Then again, there are my parents and wife saying that the ‘stache gives my baby facial rashes, when I kiss them it’s “itchy” on the face. It looks cool on photos, makes me look manly and adds a little something extra for my overall look. These things make it hard to decide…Plus, I forgot that it is tremendously painful to shave every after 2 days. Women who shave armpits and crotches will know this, so do men with my same dilemma. It is also expensive on razors.

So here we are. I need to know and basically just want to hear your opinions and suggestions on which is better. Lately, the facial hair has gained back its popularity and I was one of the blessed ones to be able to grow it. It is just difficult to keep up. I am the type who feels that I need to do something different with my look after (maximum) of 2 months.

Is it better grown and groomed or clean and shaved?

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If you have worked with me before, you might have heard me say that I have tried to avoid wedding gigs because I (used to) dread them. The intimacy and close-personal relationship of the guests to each other challenges me and basically, I thought I just didn’t want to ruin a family occasion. Ones that are recorded on video, ones that you bring along your memory until you grow old….”that’s the host that screwed up my wedding” type of thing.

Lately, I seem to have grown passed that and if you’ve also read my other blog entries, I’m beginning to enjoy it. It just dawned on me that I was actually the one creating the moments. I AM THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES (pardon the shameless plugging). Regardless of how a bride and a wedding planner envisions the event, it is up to me how to make it better…or worse. The timing, the lines I say, that mostly are spontaneous, create these moments, and I just thank the Big Guy up there for giving me this talent (if any) to do somethingnreally special formother people.

Yesterday, March 14 2015, I celebrated with the Pizzaro family. It was yet a hurdle I haven’t passed through in my life. It wasn’t the usual wedding, or a corporate party. They were celebrating a surprise party for Jessie Pizzaro on his 60th.

Remember when I said how I used to dread intimate occasions? This is a very good example. It was a very tight crowd of 30 guests consisting of family and close friends. With that much people, messing up a portion or sequence is highly noticeable. In a crowd of a thousand, I can create an illusion that I am staring at each one of them and engaging everyone. With a smaller crowd, I had to try to satisfy each one (or so I thought I should). I’m quite critical on myself and my performance. I have a certain level of quality that I expect from my profession especially with myself. If I had 1000 guests, I want to make sure they listen. All the more pressure to keep the attention of 30 guests, like in statistics, the smaller the quantity, the higher ratio of proportion is expected. I am quite used to adlibs but people are different from each other and like/dislike different things.

So as I was hoping, guests could arrive before the surprise so I can whip up a pretty good spiel. I was also praying that the guests were game enough to participate. Both were tough on me. Though part of me was really expecting that older people won’t really be as game, I just really wanted everyone to have fun. So I did my usual adlib punchlines, people laughed. When I asked them to say something special for Jessie, our celebrant, they did, and it was quite touching because Jessie was a crowd favorite. A Pieces if you are familar with the traits are very loyal. They pick the right people to be with and make them feel as comfortable as much as they can. They take emotions of their friends as their own and empathize soemtimes way too much. This was what I noticed evryone was telling him as they greeted him a happy birthday. When I finally got to warm up, I forgot all my worries. Everything went well.

Then we played some games.

Just like children’s games, I wanted them to enjoy each others’ company. The things you don’t usually do, these same things that you spend with friends and let you go out of your comfort zones are experiences never forgotten. I knew most of them are shy, even with incentives but the power of love and fun can change things and I hope I was able create this memorable moment with them. This I believe is what party should be all about…not the bass.

I have overcome 2 things that day. 1. I won’t doubt myself of screwing up a momentous occasion. I realized that as long as I stick with my objective of bringing memorable moments to my client friends, there’s nothing more special I can offer..and 2. Smaller crowds should not scare me anymore for the same reason as #1. I passed that hurdle lighthearted. I am lucky to be in the presence of a family that truly cares for someone and that I think was the highlight of my day.

To Jessie, a happy 60th and I wish you good health and wonderful company. To the Pizzaro family, thank you for the wonderful experience and for welcoming me to this occasion.

Affordable, discounted, free!

These are some of the words that make the rest of the world blur out when we see it. As a consumer, a client or a customer, we are always on our toes for the best deal to get our money’s worth.

Last night, something dawned on me, something I never thought would happen. I went out with my colleagues to my brother’s (Jc) burger joint, the Bad Boys of Burger- The Burgery. On the same night, our other friends came over to hangout with my brother. I, of course came over to say hi and chatted a bit. On one topic, one of our friends Rj Bautista, (RP bowling team champion) mentioned that he suggested me to their friends who were about to get married. He followed up with a side story – they researched about me, probably googled my name to checkout my credentials. I was not aware that since I put up this blog site (moxxthehost.wordpress.com), my street creds sky-rocketed. The last time I googled myself, I only came up with JC de Vera articles and photos. My Instagram account, facebook (private) profile, youtube web shows and other videos and photos were now available.

With all this, and maybe if they had discovered my affiliation with my brother, made me look unaffordable. I mean, I don’t even have a fancy website nor a following. How could I possibly be expensive to hire?

As a professional talent, we’d normally gauge our rate depending on the skill set needed and how in-demand we are. If I get double booked on the same day, I can dictate my rate as how we learned it in economics supply and demand. The more skills or talent or time required of us, we might need to charge extra. For the celebrities who use themselves as property ambassadors, anytime an entity will use their name, appearance, talent for profit gain can charge a good amount. Usually if there are record labels, network management, or sponsors involved. I do not (but I wish I did) take any part of that.

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To tell you all honestly, and this is not in any way selling myself short, I am affordable. I am not a seasoned emcee and I do not categorize myself as that yet. What I can tell you is I am not cheap either. Cheap and affordable are two different things. I mentioned in my earlier blog entry (see What Makes a Good Host / Emcee) that a talent is not an element you want to invest in last. Hiring someone cheap or asking a friend to do this for you have different results that hiring a professional. I am not well-known to charge so much but I’m not just someone who you grab out of a crowd and force to talk as a favor either.

I do my job passionately because I like being in the spotlight. It may not be my story but all eyes are on me for just about the time I have the microphone.

To some, a hosting job is just a way to earn money. When you do it so often and for too long, you forget the magic of the disappearing people beyond the spotlight.

At the end of the day, whether you’re an entrepreneur, employee or a freelancing professional, you should know your market value, your worth. This is how you work your way up the ladder unless you have no ambitions.

How many gigs can you have in a day?

In a professional talent’s life, it’s inevitable to get double, or sometimes even triple-booked in one day. I had my first just this weekend. I have hosted not one, but TWO wedding receptions. It was awesome. I knew it was going to be a challenge physically and mentally but when I finally got home, I felt a sense of accomplishment.

Gig 1: Mr. & Mrs. Jed and Nori Labastida

Jed and NoriIt was a slow morning at Legend Villas. I was asked to be there by 10am. I got caught in traffic and was afraid to have my first late entrance for a gig (as a professional, I never want to be late). So to set everyone’s expectations, I communicated with the coordinator that I am running late. I knew they can’t do anything about it but at least I want to set their expectations if ever I arrive late, though I don’t want that to happen. When I finally got out of the jam, it was a breeze from Magallanes to Mandaluyong. When I got to The Legend Villas, my first venue, I was surprised that I made it before the guests. Apparently, they all started a bit late and got into some traffic situation themselves. So I was totally safe. So the program went on…Jed and Nori, the couple had invited relatives from Masbate which made the afternoon special sharing it with relatives that made a worthwhile trip to celebrate this wonderful day.

It was a small crowd, an intimate, loving one. You can easily feel the closeness of their guests with the bride and groom. Every moment that passed by meant the world to Jed and Nori. There was nothing less of that reception. What it lacked in numbers were filled with happiness for the bride and groom. Jed and Nori was made for each other from the start. You can see it all over. This wedding may have been due for a long time but in their hearts, you can tell that they’ve always been married to each other.

To Jed and Nori, congratulations. When we met when I helped you with your wedding reception program, I felt this deep appreciation that giving you my insights weren’t just that. When I realized what it meant to you guys, it meant more to me.



No one really knows where they’re headed when preparing for a wedding. Wedding planners might have an idea, but they know it from the outside. I-myself may be used to a program but the real emotions you get during your own wedding is just magical. . .

Gig #2: Mr.&Mrs. Paolo and Kim Mendoza

The earlier crowd was intimate. I was not quite ready with what came next. When I met the Kim and Paolo, I forgot that they mentioned they were expecting about 400 guests. It did not register then in my head how big that was until I saw the venue myself at Enderun College tent.

From the garden wedding that happened with the sunset effect, I knew I was in for a good fight. It’s like a boxing match finding out your opponent is 5 feet taller than you. When the guests started pouring in, I can barely see faces from halfway onto the reception venue.

Addressing a wedding crowd is challenging. You are faced with people coming from different personalities, culture, expectations, level of society and intellect. I was like Eminem getting ready for battle on his move 8 Mile. So when it was time to hit the stage, I knew I had to kick it into high gear. I kept my energy up as I was running on reserved energy (c/o a can of Monster Energy Drink), while wondering how long I can keep this up. It was a fairly tough crowd. For one, I’m pretty sure people all the way at the back can barely see or hear me so I’m guessing they didn’t bother to listen. I threw everything I got, questions, jokes, I was almost at a point where I was going to threaten them just to react (hehe kidding). Luckily, God was at my side and I got their attention before dinner was announced.

Enderun

I was always sure I can get the crowd once I worked the games, and that I did. It was really hard to see the reaction of each of 400 guests but I get some smiles and laughter every now and then. That was enough to motivate me and move forward. The show must go on.

Moving along, I was surprised how I eventually warmed up to the crowd and breezed through the program. I closed the program with good enough applause working like tips on a subway busker but I would not gauge my performance because of that. I knew 400 guests won’t easily listen but even so, I know I brought the house down. At the very least, the bride and groom enjoyed it. Client’s satisfaction is most important.

When I host, I always say… all weddings are the same. It has a ceremony, a reception, the entourage, traditions, speeches. What makes it special to each newlyweds are their stories and the people they share it with. No matter how big or small a wedding is, the people who make you happy are all in one place, that’s all that should matter. At the end of the day, it’s just going to be the bride and groom in their own little world.

Congrats to Jed & Nori and Paolo and Kim. Your love stories trancends you both. Keep each other as husband and wife as you have done since early in you relationships.