The first three months of 2016 have been really busy and tiring, but I’m not complaining! In case you were wondering what I have been up to these past few months, well, I just finished performing for a musical last week!
If you’ve been reading my blog for several years already, you know that it’s always been my dream to perform in a musical. I love watching musicals and I’ve always wanted to be a part of those productions, but it seemed impossible because I have minimal experience when it comes to performing onstage. I like to sing but that’s it; I never really received formal training in singing for musical theater, as well as in acting and dancing.
However, last December, I decided that I wanted to chase my dream and try learning the basics. I tried my luck in Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) Creative Musical Theater (CMT) workshop. Actually, my original course was Theater Arts, which is a basic course for beginner actors. I really wanted to try the CMT workshop but I was intimidated by the course description, which made it seem that the workshop is only meant for professional actors with extensive musical background. But during my interview, the interviewer recommended the CMT course, which seemed more suited to my interests and experience. I was a bit hesitant to push through with it but decided to audition for it anyway. After the talent test, I was told that I was admitted to the program. So, there’s no turning back.
Fast forward to 8 weeks, and I found myself performing in an all-original musical that my classmates and I created for the workshop’s final showcase. I am so proud of what we have achieved because we made the story, and all the songs, by ourselves (with the help of our awesome facilitators of course). The musical is about common occurrences during the Philippine election season and I think it’s a very timely and socially relevant show because in two months, the Philippines will be holding the next general elections. I’m so glad that our guests loved our show and we really enjoyed ourselves because we could feel their excitement while we were performing. I wish we could perform it again!
A short video where you can find snippets of our rehearsals, the actual show, and some behind-the-scenes footage before our performance 😛
For non-Filipino speakers: One of the first scenes in the musical, which portrays a senatorial candidate shooting a campaign ad in Payatas, a dumpsite community in Metro Manila. He only has one line but couldn’t deliver it perfectly even after so many takes, much to the dismay of the production crew. The writer and the producer fight over the fact that they accepted this project from a corrupt politician, but the producer nervously defends him (though she knows it’s wrong) just because they’re being paid PHP200M (USD4M+) to do this, and this amount of money will do wonders for their fledgling advertising/production business.
Though I had reservations at first, I’m glad I took the risk and enrolled in CMT. I discovered so much about myself and about theater, and I was able to do things that I never thought I could do. Most of all, I gained great friends who share the same love for performing, and for that I will forever be grateful.
I know that I still have so much to learn about musical theater but with everything I learned from this workshop, I am definitely more comfortable performing in front of people and stepping out of my comfort zone. If given the chance, I would definitely study more about acting and perform in a musical again!