Saturday, March 31, 2007


I love doing my Fantine track... it affords me much down time during the show to have some interesting and meaningful conversations with other members of the company, when they're in down time mode too.

Last night, I stopped by Norm Lewis' room before my final entrance. I sat on his couch and we started talking about people taking time off from the show, and how much he didn't like doing so. He then started a new topic, on how there is a current crop of youngsters now on Broadway who, for some reason or another, didn't feel the same way we do about what it is to be doing a Broadway show. My dresser (in a later conversation on the same topic) told me that when she was at another show, there was an "epidemic" of performers that would show up at work, then say they were sick and take the night off, knowing they would still be paid for that performance (Equity has since changed the rules to prevent that from happening). It's as if these kids feel a sense of entitlement, that they are owed something... that "don't they know who I am" syndrome. That kind of thinking really, really burns me, and makes me wanna just smack these kids upside the head. Hard.

I echo Norm's sentiments, and said to him that we are kind of the "old guard" here, in a way, a generation that still feels that doing this kind of work is a privilege, and not a right.

This is what I miss about doing theatre in Manila... there was an incredible sense of community and team spirit whenever we'd do a show. It was never about "how much so-and-so was getting paid (like it's anyone else's business anyway)," "who had the bigger dressing room" or "who was the bigger star". At the end of the day, we all had to haul ass to make the show work, and that created a strong team that really pulled together to make the magic happen. And yes, it certainly was magic.  (I also missed that before the show started, we'd all join hands to pray.  Doesn't happen too often over here.)

I am indeed truly honored to walk into the stage door everyday, sign in on the call board (with a happy face drawn by my name) and head to my dressing room to warm up and get dressed. I feel a tickle of excitement and a tinge of paranoia (only with my lyrics) at the same hour of the day. My entire body is thrilled at the thought of another night on Broadway, being able to sing for 1,100 people, and seeing some of them after the performance is over. I sign as many playbills and programs as I can, and pose for as many photos too, as my way of saying "thanks for coming to the theatre, you have no idea what it means to all of us."

This is a privilege. Not a right. And anyone who gets to walk into a theatre through the stage door is truly blessed to be bestowed with such a wonderful duty. This is the work I love, and it's where I am most happy. It is where I feel I belong.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Uh, we have a problem...

Yesterday, with barely a warning to speak of, my apartment building needed emergency repairs, so the water was shut off.  As in, no running water... no dishwashing... no bathing... no toilet flushing... no hygiene.  In other words, a utility that has become a necessity has suddenly ceased to be.

It's something I don't expect in New York.  Then again, I do live in an old building (which I love; the walls are so thick I can't hear my neighbors' business, and they can't hear mine), so I should come to expect something like this.  It's just a hassle more than anything else.

If the water doesn't yet return by tomorrow morning, I'll just leave for work early and shower there.  In the greater scheme of things, this is but a minor problem... we've suffered worse before.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Nic as of March 23, 2007

I took these yesterday... look at how big she's grown!!!

Nic Pics - March 24, 2007

I had all these pics in my camera-phone, and didn't get them out till yesterday. Enjoy!!! These were taken in most of February, and part of March. Cebu, Davao, Manila and New York.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Does anyone's opinion matter?

Opinions... critiques... reviews... they can be funny (not funny ha ha) things. As a performer, I can't help but wonder what another person's opinion of my performance is. To a certain point, it does matter. After all, I'm a performer, whose job is to entertain. So yeah, I wanna know.

I lurk on many message boards where I read reviews and critiques... some of myself, some of other performers. Many of what I've read can only be described as below the belt, cruel, harsh, humiliating, degrading, rude, insensitive... and that is alongside the sublime, encouraging, wonderful, sweet, ego-boosting ones.

When I do read a negative review on me, part of me wants to take the person who wrote it by the throat and bash his or her head against the wall until his or her skull started to crack, while reciting in an intense and audible whisper, "I'd love to see you try singing while wearing a corset that's squeezing you to within an inch of your miserable little life," while another part of me says, "you sad, sad, shadow of a human being, you must really have a lot of time on your hands to come up with creative ways to say 'YOU SUCK'."

I have to remember that opinions are all subjective, and aren't a benchmark if something's good or bad. What's garbage to one person is glory to another, and no other person can convince him or her otherwise. Everyone's entitled to their own opinions.

At the end of the day, all I can hope for is that I stay on pitch, serve the show and make the audience (or most of them) happy. If the crowd that gathers at the Broadhurst's Stage Door after every show is any indication, then I'm doing my job right. I can then go home feeling happy and fulfilled, with my mind at work, thinking of how to top each passing performance.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The View

Start:     Mar 21, '07
Location:     ABC
The cast of Les Miz is going to sing the Act II finale for Rosie O'Donnell's birthday. We'll be up at the crack of dawn! Watch us in your city!

Entry for March 20, 2007 - The View

Set your DVRs... tomorrow (Wednesday, March 21), the cast of Les Miz will be appearing on The View as part of Rosie O'Donnell's birthday celebration. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 17, 2007 - A White Start to Spring

My walk to work yesterday was clothed in white. Crunchy, slippery, freezing cold... wet snow was coming down and the wind was blowing... thanks to the thick blanket from the overnight snowfall, I didn't know the street from the curb, and was scared of falling on the sidewalk. It was grey, wet, cold, windy, slushy, and damp day.

But inside...

You couldn't have put a bigger smile on me if you did a Bollywood dance, pinched your nipples and slapped your behind like a porn star.

Friday, March 16, 2007

March 15, 2007 - Wala lang...

It was too good to last...

The weather in the city was absolutely beautiful these last couple of days. Unfortunately, rain and sleet are forecast for tonight. Sigh. Bitin ako.

So, what does one do when the winter doldrums return? Clean.

I took a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to the bathroom wall, and was surprised at the grime that had built up over the years. I kept going... and right now a 2 square foot section of the wall is clean. My mom already got to most of the wall, but the Eraser took it a step further. Now I'm on a mission to clean that bathroom from top to bottom before the spring arrives. And I can't wait for it to arrive. (Better stock up on Claritin though... the pollen count will kill me!)

The baby is down for her nap, and is sleeping through the sirens of the fire trucks that pass us by. She's a New Yorker already.

On a totally unrelated note... technology RULES!!!!! Yahoo Messenger, Skype, iChat and many other similar applications help to keep me from going crazy as I'm away from my loved ones. Seeing someone on the other side of the world brings a smile and peace to one's heart. Part of what makes the missing so terrible is not being able to see the other person for months on end, those things that made me so happy: a goofy pose... a silly dance... a terrific belly laugh... so I'm thankful to the nerds of the world who came up with webcams, high quality USB chat headphones, and all things that make the missing that much less of a heartache. Thank you... thank you so very much.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12, 2007 - Up at 3 AM

Damn those two Ruby Red Cosmos... they put me out for a short nap, only to awaken me past midnight. Ah well, I did get some online stuff done, and chatted with a few pals as well. Technology, in all its shapes and forms, does some serious rockin'. It helps to keep me abreast of all things going on at home and everywhere.

I just finished my full week at Les Miz (8 shows straight withou a break), and I must say, Fantine is quite manageable vocally. Even with a cold, I think I could do the show without taking a day off (I would have to seriously be down with something to be out sick), which makes me happy. I know that there are many Pinoys who expect me to be there, and who unhesitatingly express their disappointment when I'm not around.

Today after the show we headed across the street to Angus McIndoe Restaurant for drinks to celebrate my coming into the show and Les Miz's 20th Anniversary of its original opening on Broadway. A few of the original company came to see the show today and partied along with the current cast. It was great! As I said, I had my two cosmos (deeeeeeeeelicious!!!), and my share of finger food. I left at around 7:30, as I needed to be home with my baby. And I'm up at 3:19 after having spent some time awake with her as well.

Life, I have to say, is pretty good right now. I just feel incredibly blessed.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


I had nothing to do in my dressing room before I went on stage, so I took a photo of myself.  You like?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

March 03, 2007 - Yeaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pardon my exuberance, but it was FUCKING AWESOME!!!

Other fun stuff during my last dress rehearsal and first show:

- my dresser Kim and hairdresser Barry had to shout directives at me to get through my quick changes backstage, like drill sargeants;

- my locket got stuck in my cleavage during "I Dreamed A Dream", and I had quite a task fishing it out as I was singing;

- at Fantine's death, since I didn't have to stay dead for the put-in, as the revolve was turning the bed around, I did the ROCK ON sign with arms raised while lying down, shouting "GOOD NIGHT, CLEVELAND!!!" on the way out;

- I don bushy eyebrows as a member of the ensemble in a futile attempt to hide (my urchin's name is NICK);

- my chopped up Fantine wig makes me look like either Pat Benatar or David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust)

- the ensemble men gave me a dozen white roses to welcome me to the company (such nice boys...)

- half the time in the ensemble, I don't know half of what I'm doing, and it's great!!!

March 03, 2007 - I have officially lost my mind...

It's been a very long day. Nay, it's been a very long week.

Second show of a two show day... finale, Act I... One Day More... I found myself singing the Eponine track at the ending, as I'm marching. I caught myself in mid-line and immediately stopped... but not before a few adjacent members of the ensemble heard my booboo.

Yeah, baby, I'm back on Broadway! I only pray that this doesn't happen while I'm doing Fantine.

My knees and arms are black and blue... my upper arms and thighs are aching from barricade climbing. Well if nothing else, I'm getting some much needed exercise. Hooray.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The time is now, the day is here...

I'm on tomorrow night.

Unannounced, of course.  My official opening day is still March 6, but I've been allowed a "preview period" of sorts with the performances this weekend.  It'll allow me to get a few shows under my belt before next week.

So, if anyone is inclined to head to the Broadhurst Theater this weekend, please do come.  I'd appreciate it very much!

Say a prayer for me, and wish me luck... especially on the barricades that I don't fall and break something!