Tuesday, February 27, 2007

February 26, 2007 - Ah, a day off

Sure it's a day off, but when you have a teething 9-month-old baby girl whose body whips backwards when a stab of tooth pain kicks in, it isn't much of a break. Both my mom and I took turns trying to calm her down, and trying anything that would hopefully work: homeopathic teething tablets and paracetamol... rocking her back and forth... singing to her... wearing her in a baby carrier... breastfeeding... bottlefeeding... finally, in her Abu's arms, she fell right to sleep. Nic's been out for about 2 hours now, and I'm using the time to read my research material for the show and pertinent passages from Les Miz (the novel).

It's a cloudy day outside, and I see snow flurries outside my window, but my insides are warm and sunny. I try to bring that cheeriness with me as much as I can. I've been called "sunshine" before, perhaps because of this. I'm a generally positive person, trying to steer clear of any dark, negative thoughts. I'm not one to carry much angst in me, because it just isn't in me to do so. What for? Life's hard enough as it is, I don't wish to cloud my world and whatever I see in it.

It's an idealistic view, and maybe a very naive one. But so what? Life can already be bleak and unfair, dealing cards that we didn't want, or we throw down hands before we were supposed to. I choose to deal with that by making the best of things and every situation. I see no point in stamping my feet because I made a wrong move here and there. Nandiyan na eh, make the most of it na lang.

So, when life deals lemons, I make lemonade. Sayang naman if I just squash the fruit beneath my feet.

Monday, February 26, 2007

February 25, 2007 - Staging done...

Yes, believe it or not, I'm through with the basic bare bones staging of my track in Les Miz. Right now I'm allowing what I've learned to simmer and sit in my head and heart. Hopefully something will come of it, and I'll be ready to perform soon. I'd love to get a couple of shows under my belt before my opening on March 6 (meaning, my actual first show will be on March 2, 3 or 4), so that at my opening, I'm calm and collected.

Okay, now for the fun stuff:

- there's a Kristy Swanson lookalike, as well as a Michael Vartan lookalike in the company;

- this will be the first time I'll get to work with Norm Lewis, as we never worked together in Miss Saigon (he played John at one point during its run on Broadway);

- my understudies are of varying ethnic backgrounds (Nikki is African-American while Havilland is Caucasian);

- I'm not the only Pinoy in the show... there's Adam Jacobs and Ali Ewoldt who play Marius and Cosette respectively;

- once I'm onstage as Fantine, I don't come offstage until just before her death;

- this is the third time on Broadway that I die, which bodes for a better omen than when I stay alive in a show;

- the Les Miz theater is right beside Spamalot, and I am thrilled to bits (and Marin Mazzie is now playing the Lady of the Lake... Marin's presence in the neighborhood should interest Menchu);

- we're right across the legendary eatery, Sardi's;

- I'm incredibly excited and can't wait to go on!!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

February 25, 2007 - At the end of the day...

What a great rehearsal day it was.

The great thing about coming into this particular production of Les Miz is that no one is married to any of the previous production's staging. Everything is coming from a very organic place, which makes each actor's experience a very visceral (and very real) one. (With Fantine in particular, I'm thankful that I don't have to recreate the Breck Moment when she reveals her long hair during I Dreamed A Dream.)

Of course, it goes without saying that I cried... and cried... and cried some more during the day. (The associate director's comment: "So much harder now that you have a kid, huh?")

I have a great feeling that I'll be ready when I'm supposed to be.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Despedida Birthday!!!

Thanks to Nene Leonor, I had a really wonderful despedida birthday party at the Peonor Compound (home to other legendary parties past). Enjoy sharing the night with me! (All photos courtesy of Steffi Inocentes)

Monday, February 19, 2007

On The Lot


This is a link to a short film by Paolo Dy.  It's called QWERTY.  Go to the site and register, then review and comment on the film.  All biases aside, it's great.  Really, really great.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

February 18, 2007 - And I'll Be Home Soon...

We just came from a mini concert tour in Cebu and Davao, and I gotta say, what a great time we all had.

Of course the baby was the light (and unofficial mascot) of the tour, and everyone that saw her and spent time with her was just made extra happy. She's now also just learned to "smile for the camera," instantaneously putting on a smile whenever a camera was pointed in her direction (well, by me and my mother anyway). It's more than provided amusement for us... she's game to smile! And her teeth are finally starting to emerge. I think her hardship over the last many weeks will pay off with a "tiny toothed" smile, very soon.

However, in a few days (on my birthday, no less!), we're going on another plane ride, this time to cold, wintry, frosty, freezing New York. Yes, we've been warned, the weather is not going to be fun. I've been in bitter cold before, and it is winter after all, so I'm not ill-prepared for what's in store. We've got the coats and sweaters ready. We'll be just fine.

Let it be known though that my heart, mind and soul will be here, enveloped in the warmth of a thousand and one embraces... nursed by holding hands through good times and bad, and ice cold beers in parties past... fueled by music that stirs the soul, and photographs seen and remembered... lunches and dinners bathed in laughter... all that and more, with much love.

Promise me you'll wait for me
'Cause I'll be savin' all my love for you
And I will be home soon
Promise me you'll wait for me
I need to know you feel the same way too
And I'll be home, I'll be home soon.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

February 14, 2007 - Happy Valentine's Day

I wish you nothing but love in all its forms on this very special day. If you're having a night out, enjoy! If you're staying in, ooh, that sounds even better!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Start:     Mar 6, '07
Location:     Broadhurst Theater, 235 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10019
Tonight is my opening night in Les Miz!!! Wahoo!!! And I'll be in the show until the end of this limited run. Wish me luck!!!

Nic as of Feb 7, 2007

Just felt like taking pictures at home. The smile is incredible!!!

February 10, 2007 - Ill at ease

My insides are frought with an uneasiness that I can't explain. Events taking place over the last few days undoubtedly have something to do with it. Usually I'm able to put things away and get a good night's sleep, but that hasn't happened lately. I might just be overthinking a certain situation a bit too much.

Then again, this situation is the kind where overthinking is absolutely required. It's the kind where every single stone cannot remain unturned, with every possible consequence and scenario played out. Time is also of the essence... if anything's to happen, it should happen soon.

I've prayed over this, and asked God for guidance and help. Hopefully He sends me some, and soon.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

February 08, 2007 - I got a new computer

Yes, yes, oh God yes! (And this really is my reaction when I bring home a new laptop... but I let Rob open the box; I think he loves tech far more than I do.)

I have the new Macbook... black (once you go black... he he he)... 120 gigs of hard drive space, 1 gig of RAM, a beautiful 13" display with a glossy screen that makes video just totally pop... 6x superdrive... and a "no one can pry the keys off the keyboard" keyboard. I was very proud when I walked out of the store toting the box.

Well, my purchase today was more out of necessity than anything else. The logic board of my existing PowerBook got fried (everything working fine one minute, then the unit going to crap the next)... good thing though that I could start it as a Firewire hard drive for the transfer of information to the new laptop. And I didn't skip a beat. Awesome!

My brother remarked this morning that they don't make Macs like they used to. Given that observation, I can't help but fall in love with the offerings that Mac is making. And they made something truly beautiful with this computer.


Monday, February 5, 2007

Lea Live in Davao

Start:     Feb 17, '07 8:00p
This is my first time here, and I'm so looking forward to it!

Lea In Love... With Cebu

Start:     Feb 14, '07 8:00p
Location:     Waterfront Hotel (Lahug) Ballroom
I'll be spending Valentine's Day with you in Cebu! Guests are Jed Madela and Jon Joven. Come and spend this romantic day with me. See you there!

Lea... UNCUT

Start:     Feb 11, '07 8:00p
This concert is for the benefit of Adamson University's scholarships. Hope you can make it!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

February 03, 2007 - Spatiquette

I'm a spa person. I love the scent of essential oils wafting through the air, the feel of plush towels against my skin, and the hands of a talented masseuse working through my weary muscles. It's a peaceful, quiet, rejuvenating experience I indulge in from time to time, and for the most part I leave with a smile on my face.

However... there are times when my spa experience is marred by the ring of a cellphone, the sound of a soccer match on TV, or loud conversation. Hence, here's my list of how to conduct oneself in a spa, to make the few hours spent there an enjoyable one:

1. Everyone else around you is trying to relax... this isn't the time to be yakking away on your cellphone. If you must take a call, put your phone on silent mode, and keep the vocal volume low. You came to the spa to escape the outside world, so leave part of that world in your locker.

2. Many times, the inhabitants of a spa stroll around in their birthday suits (hey, sometimes I do). So do these others a favor, and keep your eye level above the delicate areas. It shows respect.

3. When coming to the spa with company, of course you'll have a conversation. Keep this exchange as low in volume as you can, particularly when sharing a common area with other spa patrons, such as in a foot spa area.

4. Tip your therapist fairly. They have a tough enough time doing their jobs. Imagine a customer coming in with body odor or fungus-ridden feet.

That's all I can think of for now... anything else we can add?

Friday, February 2, 2007

February 02, 2007 - Sweet, sweet baby...

Nic's still teething. Her front teeth still haven't erupted, much to her chagrin. A little Calpol just before she sleeps is incredibly helpful, and allows her to get some rest. During the day she's distracted and active, and has an easier time with her naps, but in the evenings... well, let's just say that all we can be is patient until this time passes. And how many more teeth to go... oh boy...

Not much has really been going on, save for loving this wonderful weather we're having. A strong breeze was blowing in the south (as in Alabang), which means no aircon necessary! I spent a lot of the day with the baby before I had to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony of the ReBirth Spa at Asian Hospital.

Yes, there's a spa in a hospital! The intended clientele will be composed of patients, their families and guests. Their speciality is lactation massage (I've had two sessions... it's AWESOME), focusing on breastfeeding women, and encouraging them to breastfeed. They're calm, relaxing, and cool-headed. It was definitely needed when I gave birth, and needed again many months later. They also provide other services: manicures and pedicures, foot spas, other massages and detox treatments.

More ReBirth Spas are planned at other hospitals in the city. A place to heal the spirit as well as the body.