“I’m So Glad You Bought Me!” How I Bought Actress Andi Eigenmann, and Why She Was Glad I Did
In February I found out there was a charity auction for a date with a TV star. Available were Filipina stars Roxy Montealegre, Megan Young, Isabelle Abiera, Lauren Young, and Andi Eigenmann. About half my business is doing reputation management and social media development for local celebrities, and it was for kids with cancer, so I thought I’d bid on one. I chose Andi, and for 4,500 pesos [$102] won a date with her! For my American readers, this is akin to getting a date with a cast member of Grey’s Anatomy or another hit show.
I got to the restaurant (Taste of Sanctuario, at Metrowalk) before she did, and her manager showed up first, probably to make sure I was normal. After a few minutes, Ms. Eigenmann arrived. She was a little stand-offish at first. We sat and opened menus, and she asked me what I did for a living. I told her that I do reputation management and social media development for Filipino celebrities and corporations. And then an amazing transformation took place: the ice melted, she brightened up and said “Oh, really! So like, what is that?” I explained “If there’s negative tsismis [gossip] about you on Google, I bury it.”
“Oh, wow! I know some people that could use your help!” Andi was suddenly a charming, engaging, warm young woman who showed both intelligence and a frankness I found refreshing. Most people in show business are very poised and guarded, and for good reason. Either Andi hasn’t gotten jaded yet, or she just doesn’t care, or both. She explained that she doesn’t pay too much attention to what people think and so speaks her mind. She told me interesting stories about her cast mates (nothing juicy, she is discreet), her challenges in acting a very reserved character (who is very different from her real life, outgoing personality), and other anecdotes.
Although she’s outgoing and warm, she didn’t do all the talking: I regaled her with stories of my misadventures in Asia here and there. I said said to her about halfway through the evening “I’m really having fun, thanks for coming out,” and she responded by saying “I’m so glad you bought me!” I laughed and told her that would be the title of my blog post. Then she confessed what she meant: it turns out she didn’t really understand what she had agreed to when she said yes to the celebrity date auction. They were vague about the details and didn’t tell her she’d actually be going on a date with a total stranger. She didn’t find out until after I’d “won” her, and was unhappy when she learned it. That’s why it took two months to schedule, because she didn’t want to go! She said that she was nervous, having wondered what kind of a person would actually bid on girls for a date. She was relieved that I didn’t bring a camera, I didn’t call my friends (“Dude! I’m on a date with ANDI EIGENMANN! Yeah! Really! No, I’ll prove it! Hey, Andi, say hi to my friend Rico real quick!”), and I had no expectation of romantic overtones. I told her that actually it was a business development strategy, as I’m not yet working with anyone that her talent management company manages. And she took no offense, being the smart girl that she is.
Turns out we live in the same area, so she gave me a lift home. She even invited me to a taping of her hit show Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin [I Will Love You Once], a Philippine military drama that premiered last month! In her ride, she showed me all her scripts, and the uniform her character, soldier Gabby Marcelo wears. She was very open. We had a ton of fun. And an hour later I got a text from her manager, to meet the following week to explore options for my working with some of their other clients.
All in all, it was really fun evening!
For those still reading, I want to say that if you view someone at a distance, you’re left with distant impressions. Anyone who gets the chance to know Andi Eigenmann a bit will certainly be drawn in by her charisma and forthright attitude. To be honest, I’ve spent more money on dates that were less fun, so thanks for the awesome evening Andi, and I’m glad I “bought” you too! –Tony Ahn