June 21, 2024 The voice of all eras.

‘You Never Know What Could Happen’: Michael Sager on Stepping Out of Comfort Zone

June 7, 2024

June 7, 2024
With beautifully curated posts on social media, it’s easy to think that fame is handed out on a silver platter. The spotlight blurs out the corners where real effort and hard work happen. So, it’s easy to assume that people like Michael Sager had it easy.

But life in the limelight is a double-edged sword. Fame comes with relentless scrutiny, challenging personal boundaries, and comfort zones. It’s not a life for the easily contented, but a path for the brave and ready to face challenges head-on.

Here, the Abot-Kamay na Pangarap and Shining Inheritance young actor shares what it feels like to step out of his comfort zone, especially as an introvert. He opens up about what it takes to become more than just the charming chinito actor people see—a journey that requires stepping into the unknown and embracing growth.

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

Beyond the Superficial

In an industry that requires building connections, Michael Sager stands out with his magnetic charm and rugged good looks, making hearts flutter with his smiles. Yet, despite this, some people find him intimidating and hard to approach. “That’s usually a misconception about me,” Michael reveals. “Most of the time, when you get to know me, I’m actually very makulit and very energetic once I get comfortable. I’ll do anything from corny jokes to just having fun with my friends and family.”

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

And though being fun looks natural for him, it took a lot of growth to show this warm personality to people. Growing up in Vancouver, Canada, Michael was a true introvert, cherishing his private time and the silence of his room.

“But as I grew older, especially in high school—in my senior years—I learned that socializing is a skill you need for the future.”

He then became more open to honing his communication skills by engaging in healthy conversations and doing presentations. However, these skills truly leveled up when he entered show business. “Talagang nagbago ‘yung perspective ko. I became more extroverted.”

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

The industry taught him not just to crack his shell but to spread his wings and fly. Instead of just talking with people, he learned to initiate meaningful conversations and say ‘hi’ first. “Because sometimes when you say ‘hi’ first, it leads to conversations that are so cool. And you always get to learn something from people.”

The Many Ways to Look at the Problem

While change may bring discomfort to some, Michael Sager is one who actually loves the journey more than the destination. Shifting from a low-key life to one that demands engagement has allowed him to express himself more freely.

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

“I guess being an ambivert, I actually learned to love it. I felt like I was able to express myself more. And it showed my personality to the people that I want to talk to and stuff.”

This mindset prepared him for a major move in 2020: relocating to the Philippines to pursue his passion for entertainment. “It was never been my goal to be an actor, but for some reason, I just had the curiosity to do it.” Michael auditioned for a reality TV show online, encouraged by his supportive dad to give it a try as it was a good show.

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

Having lived almost his entire life in Canada, moving to the Philippines was a big adjustment. He learned a lot, not just from the people around him but from the culture and systems, particularly in navigating the strenuous life of show business. “But I think that’s what helped me become the person I am now. I think I am now more independent and determined.”

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

It’s Okay to Be Uncomfortable

While there is wisdom to learn from those who came before him, Michael also takes pride in being part of a generation that brings in fresh ideas and social consciousness on top of their youth and vigor. While most people resort to complaining when pressed with problems, he takes comfort in knowing that all these challenges and discomforts are normal and healthy parts of life that can’t be avoided. “I can see the difference in my generation. We like to step outside of our comfort zones. We look outside the box if we tackle a problem. There are many ways to look at it.”

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

While often labeled differently—sometimes poorly—by other generations, Michael sees how people his age tend to find ways to do things. “There could be written solutions [to a problem], but my friends or myself tend to find ways to another possibility, which amazes me. It shows that this generation is willing to innovate and really add value to how they want to show who they are. And it’s really cool that you get to see that.”

But as cool as it may sound, Michael has also disclosed that it takes time and courage to do these things. Like most growing kids, he used to fear being bullied and not fitting in, which limited his capabilities. He used to love dancing so much and was even part of a competitive hip-hop team, but he pursued sports in high school due to societal pressure. “So, it’s like I wanted to be the way the cool kids are. But I kind of regretted it. Because if I had those extra years, I would have improved way more than compared to now.”

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

Staying on shore has always been a comfortable space for many. However, this does not make one a good sailor and does not allow exploration of new oceans and new horizons. Hence, Michael has always been inspiring people his age to step out of their comfort zones because you’ll never know the opportunities that could open.

“I just wish that I was brave enough. But I don’t blame myself because I was young and just wanted to be somewhat safe. But I learned that it’s okay to not always be safe and it’s okay to not be comfortable [at times] because you’ll never know what could happen.”

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

Do What You Love to Do

Needless to say, Michael’s cheerful and optimistic disposition has opened many opportunities in the entertainment industry and earned him significant support. His ‘Sage Warriors’ have been so generously showing their support ever since his first livestream up until he established his name and earned projects on TV. “I’m just really grateful and thankful for my supporters. For taking the time to line up to watch the shows and to go to the locations even if at times they live far away. I really appreciate that.”

Michael recalls one meaningful encounter he had with his fans that truly warmed his heart was when they hosted a surprise party for him. Living away from his family—as they are in Canada, though his Tita is with him here in the Philippines—his fans’ love and support felt like home.

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

Despite the many challenges that come along with his profession, like conflicting schedules, Michael is inspired to continue doing what he loves to do—acting, singing, hosting, and dancing—believing that every challenge that comes along the way will teach him something.

He admits that there are times that he really did fail and didn’t do well in a scene or on stage, but he believes that these experiences build him up to become a better person. Someone stronger.

“You learn from experience. That’s the best teacher. And for me, if you love what you’re doing, there’s nothing that would be super hard to overcome.”

Gen-Z Features Michael Sager

Creative Direction & Photographed by Em Baun

Assisted by: Niccole Mendoza

Video: Mary Jane Manglicmot, assisted by: Stephen Singson, Trillian Galicia

Hair & Makeup: Mycke Arcano

Styling: David Milan

Overall Coordination: Angel Altura 

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