Saturday, March 31, 2007

Privilege


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.



59 comments:

XXXX YYYY said...

If only everyone in theatre thinks the way you do! Sheesh, but really, that's why you are such an inspiration to many. Exactly that: the attitude. Passion. Professionalism. Nevermind the fact that really, you can boss around and say "they don't know who I am." But what for, right? You know what you can do, so keep it up my princess...

Urane laderas-cabantog said...

oh, Miss Lea is really a proud filipina, doesnt she?? Thanks Miss Lea, for still being humble, thats why we keep on loving you..

Urane laderas-cabantog said...

oh, Miss Lea is really a proud filipina, doesnt she?? Thanks Miss Lea, for still being humble, thats why we keep on loving you..

Urane laderas-cabantog said...

the way you love your work and the way it makes you happy, make us proud of you!!! we also belong where you feel belong..

Soleil NYC said...

What you say is so true! Not that I'm old guard or anything..but just having worked so hard to get here... (visa pa lang sakit na ng ulo), I feel like I'm in a dream everyday so it surprises me to run into people so young and so jaded. Kids who are literally 19, 20 on Broadway who are fed up with it na. I'm like "Dude, you're so lucky to be here, to have been born here, to have had that liberty of making a decision for yourself without any added barriers."

I remember one time, I was at an Annie call and an 11-year old (I asked how old she was) was sitting on the floor, buckling her character shoes and saying to another kid, "I'm just so burnt out, you know? I need a break from Broadway."

faye juezan said...

you are one heck of a person! LOL. i cant wait to see you for the first time on April!

XXXX YYYY said...

...and this is why you are an idol to so many filipinos.

continue doing what you love, we are always here to support you!

god bless.

Johann dela Fuente said...

"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."

I was touched by this statement of yours. Truly, I know God has a purpose why he's led me to be part of this industry. I know I have so much to learn, to experience, but I know im in the right track, because it's the passion that keeps me going- and to influence others with this wonderful feeling of content after every bow.

I'm now "passing on" my love for the theater to teenagers, where in I will be conducting musical theater workshops in Trumpets. Reading this entry of yours, it gave me inspiration.

Be blessed.

Jordan Imutan said...

I truly applaud the example you give to our youth especially back home. Few things in life can surpass the feeling of a job well done, regardless of what it may be. Way to go cuz and regards to Auntie Ligaya.

-- - said...

Amen!

Could it be that some of these jaded youngin's take their jobs for granted because they haven't had to work as hard and sacrifice so much to have this opportunity? From my experience, many of the actors/singers I've worked with who have this "holier than thou" attitude are those whose parents paid for the singing, dancing, acting classes, etc. The more humble performers I've met are the ones with the day job, struggling to pay for rent, transportation, classes, and still manage to have enough energy to perform 110%.

I find the auditioning process so difficult and tedious, especially after having worked a full day job, that when I'm fortunate enough to be cast in a show, regardless how small the part is, I savor every nanosecond of it. I can only dream of having the opportunity to make a living solely from performing. You guys are so lucky!

Thanks for doing your job well and not taking what you have for granted. It's refreshing.

Franco L. said...

It is truly a privelege to be given the opportunity to use the talent that God gave us. "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." What a joy talaga to be able to do what you love to do and get paid for it and its not so much the money but the chance to make people laugh and cry and go through the emotions with you while you are in character. Thanks for this wonderful entry in your blog lea! You are truly an inspiration! God Bless you!

Felix Rivera said...

What you wrote will serve as inspiration to a lot of theater artists. I know that for sure coz it sure inspired me to continue doing what we love to do not for the money or for the recognition but for the art, the craft, the people who watch us, the people who work with us and most importantly, the people we touch. I always tell myself to work more than what I'm paid because it is a way for us to be thankful for what we have and what we're given. I hope a lot of artists' perspectives change when they see your dedication and humility.

Ames Away said...

Very true. I like this saying by Oscar Wilde: "The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine your life without one."

chinggay villacrucis-atillo said...

lea, you will always be blessed for having a thankful heart, for always being humble and for always being grateful for the opportunities and the privileges given you. i guess the irony in hollywood has rubbed off on these young kids in broadway. they want fame in an instant and yet doesn't want to earn their stripes and learn the ropes. they all want the quick schemes to fame, just look at Paris, Nicole, Britney, Lindsay, why are these kids so popular when they have no talent at all??? but broadway is a much better venue compared to the film industry. if you suck in theater, you suck,there's no take 2,3,4 & there's no editing of your lines. i hope this too shall pass. be still!! i won't blame you for being bummed out by these kids.

darlene gc said...

Lea, you are not only gifted with a beautiful voice, but you are also gifted with wisdom. God bless you always.

Gina MS said...

Wonderfully written! And that is why so many of us salute you and look up to you, Lea. Your character and integrity shows in everything that you say and do. Keep up the good work and we'll always be here to cheer you on!

Early Sol Gadong said...

Hmmm... maybe this is a *sign* that you should be doing more theater shows here in the Philippines! Hehe just wishful thinking.

Oh, and by the way... i know this is way long overdue but i had a superb time at your february concert at picc... taking that trip all the way from iloilo was worth it!

Continue INSPIRING more souls, Ms Lea! =)

Pink Pumpkin said...

You are a wonderful wonderful professional woman miss lea... what you're doing brings joy in your countrymen. Continue making us proud, we'll always be here to support you... God bless! =)

P.S.
The "kids" in the business.... have you ever bumped into the Broadway newcomers (i.e. the previous American Idol contenders)? What are they like?

LA YM said...

Ms. Lea, you are such a blessing to us. you have always been humble, we thank you for that. ") and i believe that you will always be successful in everything you do.

Jason . said...

I think your blog entry in general applies to more than just performers. Many of us, no matter what generation, job, race, should learn to appreciate what we have in front of us. Obviously, some are more fortunate than the others, so to those who believe that they are in an unfortunate situation, he/she should take a stand and do something about it instead of whining and complaining about their case. I've learned that whining will not bring food to the table. Learn to deal with your situation, do something about it, and find whatever it is that will make you happy. Ok...I'm off my soap box! Happy reading! :-)

Hill Top said...

Quite a sensible blog entry, Ms. Lea. I guess you're referring to the "kids" of Spring Awakening. 'Read in a forum on broadwayworld.com that they're always off knowing that they have understudies who are waiting to get onstage. I felt so dissapointed when I read it. I've become a fan of these kids when I listened to the great cast recording (kudos to Duncan Sheik!) but they kinda lost me when I learned of their lack of professionalism. Someone's gotta mentor these kids on nurturing their talents and not wasting them this early by their premature prima donna stance.

raul montesa said...

well said manang!!!

Mich M.D. said...

And that's why my fiance and I are seeing the show with you and the rest of the cast in 20 days. =D I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chari Arespacochaga said...

Amen to that! Miss you!

Nightingale Ngo said...

Amen and Amen! Thank you for always being the shining example of professionalism and, as a fan of yours for many years, thank you for showing respect to your fans. I have such tremendous respect for you. I am so excited to see your performance in one month. I'll be taking off work and going to NYC for a couple of days just to see you - my favorite performer in my favorite show - and it's going to be so worth it! Thank you for acknowledging your fans!

Emil J said...

yay! im going to NYC and i cant wait to see your show :-) ~E

Chami Viray said...

Amen!

Chinky Fuentes said...

This is the reason why I admire you, Lea. There are many performers who are also very good in singing but few of them put their heart and soul into every song and acting they do. You, on the other hand, added integrity, dedication and discipline to your already exceptional talent.

The time we spend listening and watching you and the money we spend buying your tickets and cds are never wasted because we get more than just good singing. We feel your heart and song in every performance.

Keep up the good work and continue to make us all proud!

CJ Jimenez said...

It is really nice of you to step out the stage door in between shows just to sign autographs and have your picture taken. Some actors just don't seem to care to go out for a while and sign playbills, posters and whatnot. I feel bad seeing other fans waiting in the cold and not knowing that the person they're waiting for is never coming out anytime soon. Norm is really nice and very much talented, it's sad to see him leave the show. But I'm excited to have Ben back.

I'm glad that you liked the caricature I made for you. Just in case you want to see your other artwork, its in here.

Dalia Thurnherr said...

Keep up the good work,there`s a lot of people who admire you...Any show in Europe?????

Anne Shirley said...

I always get this feeling, after watching a musical, that theater is the most amazing thing that someone can do - to sing, dance, act in front of all those people... to have to memorize your lines and make sure you do it right for the first time as it's not a film where you can have takes... to be very professional, very patient... the list of talents and virtues you should have to do theater is just endless. I've always wondered how people who make a show happen must feel. Your post here answers many of my questions. I love the second to the last paragraph. You are fortunate to be doing what you are doing, and more importantly because you love what you are doing. It will just be a dream for most of us (I sing along with songs from musicals all the time, and emote, trying to imagine I am in a music video or something). I salute you and all your colleagues for all the work that you do!

XXXX YYYY said...

Lea, I love the way you write...you're so eloquent. I wish I were when I saw you on Saturday after the show. But, I was completely star struck and couldn't find the words to express how much your performance, and who you are, moved me. I always wondered why fans would cry when they saw their favorite artist, but I understand completely now. Once you walked on stage, I had tears in my eyes. I could not believe that you were right there, on stage, and that I was in the same room with you. When you started singing "I Dreamed A Dream" I got dizzy with excitement! Could you believe that? It was so surreal. I actually had to tell myself to calm down so that I could really take your performance in. The rest of the show was incredible. The cast performed as if it were their first.

You were so gracious and nice while signing autographs and taking pictures with us. I almost freaked when you moved onto the next fan after signing my program because I didn't get the chance to ask for a picture with you. I kept saying, "Lea, can I trouble you for a picture?" And sure enough, you said, "Hold on," and I was like, "Oh my gosh! She addressed me!" I'm a big dork, aren't I? I was too shy to tell you how much I admire you so after you moved on to other fans, I yelled, "Lea, you're so nice!" Hehehe...then I just stared and gawked at you until you left. What does that feel like? I hope you don't get "weirded-out" by fans like me.

As you were leaving you told us all that you were going home to eat before the evening show. This may sound crazy, but did you eat sinigang? My husband, who is Chinese, so imagine how he pronounced sinigang, said while you walked away, "She's going home to eat sinigang." I think that's the only Filipino dish that he knows the name of. Does Rob know any Tagalog yet?

Ok, I know this is getting long, but it's fun typing all this out. I'm re-living the moment. I went back after your evening show to request an autograph on a Miss Saigon piano book I purchased, and I gave you a gift. I hope you enjoyed the chocolate...I loved how you closed your eyes and said, "Choocoooolate!" I know, I love it too. I also hope that Nicole will like the teddy bear we got her. :)

To end, I want to let you know why I idolize you. I am a Filipino-American, born in Illinois, raised in California, resided in the Philippines for 6 years, then returned to California. Music and the arts bring richness to our everyday lives, and it's always wonderful to have that one artist to admire and follow. Though there is an abundance of American and Filipino artists that can be my favorite, I could never truly identify with them. You, on the other hand, are Filipino-American. At least to me you are. You possess the qualities and characteristics of the Americans and the Filipinos. You are a world-class artist, and I am so proud that I share a similar background with you. You are the pride of the Philippines, and the pride of all your fans - Filipino or not.

Lea, as performing on Broadway is a privilege for you, watching and supporting you is a privilege for all of us. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your talent with us. Thank you for being so kind to your fans..."you have no idea what it means to all of us."

Alisa Austria Lim
Los Angeles, CA

XXXX YYYY said...

Hi, Lea. It's me again, sorry if I'm "makulit"...I asked you about Cinderella and you stated it kicks off in Manila in August '08. I know you'll probably do so, but please, please post any updates you may have regarding the show, especially if the date will change, so that I could plan our trip accordingly.

Oh, and I wanted to share a cute story with you. Probably a month ago I asked my husband what he thought about naming our future daughter Lea Lim (I'm not pregnant, I was just thinking ahead.). He just smiled. Then, on Saturday night during dinner, out of nowhere he said, "You may name our daughter Lea if you want." Isn't that sweet!? :) He must have observed how much I admire you and how happy I was to see you. Also, he was so impressed by your performance. He's Chinese-American, and was not familiar with you until I came into his life. It was his first time watching you in a musical and he enjoyed the show a lot. I let him listen to Ruthie Henshall's version of Fantine and he said you are (because you really are!) better than her. :) Though of course, with due respect to Ruthie, she is wonderful too.

Will you have a concert in the US before returning the the Philippines? I can't wait to watch you again!

faye juezan said...

you're "normal" besides being the star that you are =)

Aleli Geraldino said...

and you make us all happY :)

Lea Salonga said...

Hey there, I hope I'm not being a brat by asking, but would you kindly send me another Fantine artwork? I'd like to have one that's pristine and clean for framing. It's a memento I would love to keep forever. Many thanks!

Lea Salonga said...

To everyone that's commented, thank you so very much for your very positive and kind words! I guess I just needed an avenue to vent a little about the attitudes of many a Broadway performer that doesn't appreciate just how special this work is. It's something to perform live in front of any number of people, putting your entire heart and soul into it, and find out later that there is a crop of young 'uns that don't see it that same way. I was trained to work hard and put my whole self into the truth of whatever role I'm playing; it just saddens (and to a point, sickens) me that not everyone thinks and feels the same.

I appreciate your replies, and I have read them all! Many, many thanks once again!

Chino Hernandez said...

Hello Ms. Lea.

These are just some of the reasons why people look up to you. You really are an ispiration and a blessing from God. You touch our lives in the most amazing ways.

THANK YOU MS. LEA!

XXXX YYYY said...

You're welcome, Lea! It's the least we could do. :)

Hey everyone! Add Lea as a friend on Myspace...
http://www.myspace.com/leasalongaofficial

Mich M.D. said...

You're welcome! =D You go, gurl!

Yannah & Ethan Redondo said...

I like the way you wrote the last paragraph. You not only sing well, you also have a way with words.

All the best.

Dana Finley said...

I am glad you love what you do. How are the new cast members? Have they started rehearsals yet?

Jeff Hawkins said...

the thought of unleashing "Evil Lea" on the Broadway world is just too funny

Costumed avenger going from theater to theater in backstage areas smacking actors who are too big for their britches, then returning in time to sing the finale.

Chinky Fuentes said...

You're very welcome, Lea. You deserve every word we said, and much more. These young 'uns you mentioned, they will never last. Hopefully, there will be young actors who will follow in your footsteps. God bless!

Trish Castro said...

Seeing your profession as a vocation (which you always believed in) does remind you and I (I'm a teacher) that what we do is a privilege. If in theater, you worry about the "young 'uns" acting like divas, well, in my career, it's the "older 'uns" that think they should be the "stars" -- in their very own word, "bida" -- in any school activity.

Urane laderas-cabantog said...

youre welcome!! (^-^)
thanks also for spending your time reading to our replies...

Rico del Rosario said...

"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."

I'll treasure these words, and keep them as a reminder and spirit-boost when things get tough. God bless you!

tin samson said...

THIS makes me even more excited to watch you in May!
THIS makes me admire you even MORE. :-)
This was a beautiful entry. Thanks for sharing and thank you for inspiring.

Although I've only performed in one summer's workshop showcase, and one school org's show (lovely memories!), I can say that it's something I'd love to be doing forever if given the opportunity. I didn't mind waking up super early for those early morning rehearsals and shows, I didn't mind being absent from work (with permission of course) and my salary being deducted for it, I didn't mind not being paid for the shows at all. I was very honored to be working with our director, artistic/prod team and the whole cast. And like you said, I'd be so thrilled walking through the entrance of our little refugee camp that was the backstage of SM Megamall. It was never about the money (or lack thereof hehe). It was about the love for theatre, performing, about putting on a show, and yes, creating magic and seeing how it made people (esp. the kids) happy. It really is a privilege to be able to make magic and to share happiness.

Enough about me. I just really wanted to say thank you. For everything. :-)

arkitekfhc . said...

Good one, Tin!
Some of the young-uns feel that the stage is just another day at work. No passion at all. It shows in their performance too. Lea, you were trained well (Rep. Phils. and London) and you have the accolades. Do they?

Nelson Caruncho said...

I love reading your posts. This one was most enjoyable.

faye juezan said...

Look!

faye juezan said...

i thought you might want to see this artwork. My friend Lalayne made it :)

*LEA SALONGA*

grace querickiol said...

love reading your post!!! i truly learned so much from ur life's challenging journey. You are an inspiration.keep up your good works...God bless you and youur family.

Vince Vicentuan said...

Your insights here on the nature and essence of theater are what set theater apart from any other medium and what truly define a thespian. As a director myself, I often wonder why young people who somehow find their way on the theater stage don't put in a lot of effort into what they do and that their work all ends at the closure of a rehearsal or show. When I was still that active in the theater (performing that is), I felt as if being late was the end of the world for me and not being able to do my best was a way of cheating the entire production. I, from time to time, struggled with poverty but never gave up the theater. I almost would want to quit whenever my SM would scold me for things but I couldn't tell her the reasons for it was none of the production's business. But I prevailed. I think this kind of youth mindset has something to do with things that they get in an instant and with all the convenience that this e-generation has come to know. Learning the hard way isn't in their vocabulary. Theater is hard work and yes, magic only comes after that. Thanks Lei. God bless and more power.

marchie reyes said...

wow! :-o I am in awe with such wisdom and humility. I hope that your BLOG would just really smack 'em down... HARD! :o) Well, maybe when they lose what they never "really valued" they'd realize what a privilege it truly was for them.

Melissa Rivera said...

Haha, I'm mad late reading this blog but,as I was reading through this blog, this paragraph striked me: "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."

It's nice to know these things, especially for the audience. We are very thankful, that you or the other actors with busy schedules, find the time to socialize a bit with the audience. I could only imagine the feeling of being up on that stage, loving what you're doing, and very blessed that you get to do it everyday. It is indeed such a blessing, a lot of people would love to be doing what you are doing, but aren't getting the chance to because of complications, insecurities or whatever. But that's what dreaming is for, I guess, something to look forward to, that someday thinking maybe we could be end up on that stage or whatever it may be.

To me, this is a very interesting topic, and blog. I thank you for sharing your thoughts! You are indeed a great role model for any aspiring musical theater person! Or whatever else, lol. God bless! Keep inspiring people! :]

If I didn't make sense, lol, SORRY! But yeah, your blog rocked! Just wanted to say a few words, and then it turned out to be a long one. Anyway, have a great day :]

carla guevara laforteza said...

I share your sentiments Manang. Actually, things have changed in Manila theater too regarding discipline. People get into theater now because they think its the "in thing" not because they "Love their craft". Some look at it more now as a "chore or a job" rather than a "passion". Now theyre very consious on how much effort they will put into the show depending on how much theyre getting paid, rather than giving 200% regardless of the role or TF for that matter. Its sad that theater companies in Manila now a days have become very lenient with the actors. I remember the old days in REP when TBibot and TBaby instilled strict disciplinary rules of coming to rehearsals and shows 15 minutes before call time, and "calling in sick" was not in the REP vocabulary. Sad to say, only the "Old timers" are the ones following these rules. The newbies are very lucky they dont have ash trays or tables flying across the room everytime someone makes a mistake, is late, or absent. Im feel very fortunate that I got in to REP just in time for the old folks to drill into my head that "that there are no small roles...just small actors".

criscoboi . said...

Lea, I love the way you write...you're so eloquent. I wish I were when I saw you on Saturday after the show. But, I was completely star struck and couldn't find the words to express how much your performance, and who you are, moved me. I always wondered why fans would cry when they saw their favorite artist, but I understand completely now. Once you walked on stage, I had tears in my eyes. I could not believe that you were right there, on stage, and that I was in the same room with you. When you started singing "I Dreamed A Dream" I got dizzy with excitement! Could you believe that? It was so surreal. I actually had to tell myself to calm down so that I could really take your performance in. The rest of the show was incredible. The cast performed as if it were their first.

You were so gracious and nice while signing autographs and taking pictures with us. I almost freaked when you moved onto the next fan after signing my program because I didn't get the chance to ask for a picture with you. I kept saying, "Lea, can I trouble you for a picture?" And sure enough, you said, "Hold on," and I was like, "Oh my gosh! She addressed me!" I'm a big dork, aren't I? I was too shy to tell you how much I admire you so after you moved on to other fans, I yelled, "Lea, you're so nice!" Hehehe...then I just stared and gawked at you until you left. What does that feel like? I hope you don't get "weirded-out" by fans like me.

As you were leaving you told us all that you were going home to eat before the evening show. This may sound crazy, but did you eat sinigang? My husband, who is Chinese, so imagine how he pronounced sinigang, said while you walked away, "She's going home to eat sinigang." I think that's the only Filipino dish that he knows the name of. Does Rob know any Tagalog yet?

Ok, I know this is getting long, but it's fun typing all this out. I'm re-living the moment. I went back after your evening show to request an autograph on a Miss Saigon piano book I purchased, and I gave you a gift. I hope you enjoyed the chocolate...I loved how you closed your eyes and said, "Choocoooolate!" I know, I love it too. I also hope that Nicole will like the teddy bear we got her. :)

After my husband witnessed how much I admire you, he said that we could name our daughter after you! (I’m not pregnant, just thinking ahead.) I suggested it a while back and he just smiled, but after we watched your show, he was the one who brought it up. He was also very impressed by your performance. I had him listen to Ruthie Henshall’s version, and he said you’re better. Though Ms. Henshall is great too, you truly are better! 

To end, I want to let you know why I idolize you. I am a Filipino-American, born in Illinois, raised in California, resided in the Philippines for 6 years, then returned to California. Music and the arts bring richness to our everyday lives, and it's always wonderful to have that one artist to admire and follow. Though there is an abundance of American and Filipino artists that can be my favorite, I could never truly identify with them. You, on the other hand, are Filipino-American. At least to me you are. You possess the qualities and characteristics of the Americans and the Filipinos. You are a world-class artist, and I am so proud that I share a similar background with you. You are the pride of the Philippines, and the pride of all your fans - Filipino or not.

Lea, as performing on Broadway is a privilege for you, watching and supporting you is a privilege for all of us. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your talent with us. We love you!

Emma Simmons said...

I do not know if you will see this comment because I was so late in finding your multiply site in the first place let alone reading your blogs.

Gosh, hearing about those kids that take Broadway for granted really bothers me as well. I know I am young and I am not on Broadway (yet!), but I have so much passion in me. I love singing so much and I desperately want the opportunity to perform, show my talent to an appreciative and appreciated audience, and also use it as an opportunity to improve as an artist/singer. I love reading your blogs, all of them, but especially when you mention your life in Theatre. It gives me a better idea of what I want to get myself into.

Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us. I hope one day I will not only be privileged enough to be on Broadway, but to also have the great opportunity and blessing to meet you and even be in a show with you. Omg Lea, that is one of my biggest dreams to perform in the same show as you!!!! I am working towards my dreams and thank you so much for the inspiration that you are to me.

Love and God Bless!