Saturday, April 28, 2007

April 28, 2007 - Smile

My physical malaise is behind me, thank goodness... my throat is holding up very well and my tailbone area is no longer in pain. Yeah, I had some throat issues not too long ago, and a wrong fall onstage resulted in my tailbone area feeling bruised. I couldn't sit down, and doing the show was quite uncomfortable. But now, after a couple of days of Epsom Salt soaks, Tylenol and TLC, the pain is all gone. It's as if nothing happened.

Now I'm back to having fun doing what I love to do. And it feels great!

I don't like it when I'm in that strange position of hating every minute that I'm onstage, for whatever reason: that my costumes are ill-fitting, that my wigs make me look like some kind of hideous, monstrous beast, that my physical being is weak and uncooperative for performing, that I'm just having a really bad day. I've gone through all these at one point or another in my career, but the show always went on... and things were never really as bad as I thought. At the end of each run of every show I do, I feel like something in me grew and thrived. At the end of it all, I fall madly, deeply desperately in love. And in spite of the risks and possible pitfalls, I'm right there in the thick of things, ready to do it all over again.

An artistic life is never easy... but when you feel the call to it, answer it. There's nothing like this life, and I would never wish to live any other life.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Say Cheese... NOT!!!

Yes, we have seen all manners of bootlegging going on at the Broadhurst... and who are the usual snitches?  Us onstage.

We have the perfect vantage point to spot would-be video and still picture takers, down to your section and even the seat location.  The ushers move so quickly because we move quickly, to report cameras in the audience.  Those flashing red lights are a dead giveaway.

And yes, we are not pleased.

To be honest, the flashing red lights are incredibly distracting, especially in scenes that require our full focus.  It's not easy doing our jobs out there, and we try as much as we can to minimize anything that would take away from what we are required to do to maintain a strong emotional connection, as well as to keep from falling on the turntable when it goes at a faster clip, or when climbing up and down the barricades.  I find myself zapped back to reality in a harsh way once I spot one of those incriminating lights and become very frustrated and angry.  And I know I'm not the only one that feels this same way.

We do appreciate that you want to take home a memory of your night at the theater, and we don't want to take away from an otherwise wonderful experience.  We do our best on stage to give you a night you won't soon forget.  However, we need your cooperation as well to do just that.

But at the end of every performance, we're only way too happy to see you at the stage door.  Be as camera happy as you like then!  We'll have only our best smiles for you.

Thanks for your understanding.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Dawn
Amazing, talented musicians, and cool cats too. Yes, I am indeed a fan.

(NOTE: The website could use frequent updates as well as current news and more photos, but the site as a whole is comprehensive and informative.)

Backstage at Les Miz

Pictures taken backstage at the Broadhurst. This is stuff that happens when we're not on stage. I shall keep taking more pics as my run progresses. Hope you like these!

New Nic Pics

As new as these are, I can't get a good shot of her upper teeth (and they are HUGE!). Enjoy!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Spring is here!

Finally, it looks like spring is on its way!  Yesterday's walk to the
theater was a beautiful one.  Not a cloud in the sky, the temperature
never going above the upper 60's, and people finally shedding their
winter coats.  More sunglasses were in sight, as well as short sleeved
t-shirts and shorts (displaying pasty winter white arms and legs).  At
last, winter is over and done with.

Unfortunately, I spent it indoors for most of the day... we had a major
put-in rehearsal for four... count 'em, four new principals that are
joining the show beginning April 24: Ben Davis (Javert), Ann Harada
(Madame Thenardier), Max von Essen (Enjolras) and Mandy Bruno
(Eponine).  That's okay though, it was actually a lot of fun, and I
know these new people are going to fit right in. 

Let's see... I've been in the show nearly two months now... my how time
is flying.  Speaking of which, my little Nicolila will be turning 1 in
less than a month!  Can you believe it, she was born almost a year
ago?  Amazing.  She's the cutest little human I have ever seen, with
lots of soft, downy black hair and chubby cheeks.  Right now she's got
a bit of a cold, but thanks to Dimetapp and Tylenol, she's resting

Time is flying... and that's never a bad thing.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Entry for April 13, 2007 - Ugh

My throat hasn't been feeling 100% well, unfortunately, and it doesn't look like things are about to get better. I'm performing nightly in a show where stage smoke seems to upstage all the actors, enveloping us in puffs of unwholesome white clouds. The timing of the puffs tend to be such that they come just as I'm needing to inhale to hold a long note at the finale. It leaves an awful taste in my mouth, and doesn't smell so pretty either.

The other reason for my malaise is the weather. It's been raining... it's been cold... springtime has definitely NOT arrived in New York City. My walk to work hasn't been fun. I try to give myself a boost, because I do normally love the rain, but add freezing temperatures to the mix, and you've got one unhappy little actress on her way to work.

I'm hating the winter... I'm hating the weather... I can't wait for the sunshine and warmth to kick in.

So to you guys in Manila, savor the heat. I'd rather have that than this gray, damp, cold, and unhealthy day anytime.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Nic as of April 5, 2007

New pictures!!! And yes, they will keep on coming.

My Show Schedule

Okay... so I've received not-so-few messages about what my performance schedule is.  So here's the lowdown.

I perform at each and every performance of the run, except of course when I'm sick (like right now) or injured (like hopefully never).  Unless there's a notification on the board by the box office or an insert in the playbill, you can be sure that it'll be me up on stage singing.

This summer, the schedule is going to change, from the normal Tuesday-Sunday to a Monday-Saturday work week.  Tuesdays will always remain at 7 pm, whilst all the other evening performances will begin at 8 pm, and matinees at 2 pm.  This schedule will run until Labor Day, but I can't remember when this starts.  Hooooh, boy... this is something I am not looking forward to... because there won't be a day off as we make the transition.  We'll be working for 12 days straight without a break.  This should be very interesting.

Stay tuned, kiddies...

Happy Easter!

Am still home sick.  My throat is better, but I thought it best to not go back to work too soon.  I have a busy two weeks ahead, what with rehearsals for the new principals coming up in addition to the shows.

Happy Easter, Everyone!  I hope your celebrations are joyous and wonderful.  We're celebrating with watching the final round of The Masters.  Yes, we are huge fans of Tiger Woods, and of golf in general.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Black Saturday, Part Deux

Well, the throat is still feeling pretty bad... I'm taking the entire day off.  Thank God I have wonderful understudies into whose capable hands Fantine is (and has been) well taken care of.  I only feel bad for the people that come to the show to see me... hopefully they decide to come back when I'm back in the swing of things.

So, I'm occupying myself with some baby time and The Masters golf tournament on TV.  Tiger Woods is making a move toward the top of the leaderboard, which makes me very happy.  I'm also downing some hot soup and getting a lot of sleep and rest.  One of my friends has already scolded me, telling me to SLEEP EARLIER.  I should, really... I tend to push my body into the dead of night and not give myself enough rest time for the next day.  It's also difficult, what with the 2 am garbage retrieval across the street some days of the week, so I'm having my windows done to soundproof the apartment.  Something I should have had done a long, long time ago.

That's it from here for now... I'm now curious, what are you guys doing to prepare for Easter?  Egg hunts?  Visits to family and friends?  A beautiful and delicious dinner?  Do tell, I'd love to hear your traditions.

Black Saturday

I just called stage management... my throat isn't feeling very well so I'm taking one show off and will see how I feel the rest of the day.  Dangnabbit, I don't like being sick and not being at work.

Perhaps it's the winter wind that got to my throat... perhaps it's being sleep-deprived and tired in addition to the weather.  Whatever it is, it finally got me down.  My body is telling me to take it slow, and so I shall.  Sometimes, a slowdown if sorts is exactly what one needs.  Worry not, I'll be better soon enough.  Hopefully I'll be back for tomorrow's matinee.  It would be wonderful to sing on Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Good Friday

It's now 1:12 am of Black Saturday...

Believe it or not, Good Friday this year was very subdued and quiet (given that this is New York City, that sounds highly unlikely, but there you go).  I had a rehearsal (we have a new ensemble member starting next week, and I needed to go through a couple of things with him) then headed to church to pray the rosary and attend mass. 

The mass, held at St. Malachy's Church on West 49th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue, was very solemn, holy and quiet.  Save for the spoken readings and homily, and the sung narrative of the Passion of Jesus Christ, it was a very quiet gathering.  No opening hymn, no closing hymn, nothing blaring, nothing loud.  And thankfully not one cellphone going off.

The first time I ever had to perform on a Good Friday, my body couldn't get over the shock of it (this was in London during my MIss Saigon run).  I've since sung on many more Good Fridays, and I've tried to observe the day as best as I could, as prayerfully as I could.  It's so much easier back home to do so, as all the malls and restaurants are closed, and everyone gathers either at home or at church for prayers, or the movies depicting Christ's passion are on every TV channel.

Perhaps it's not about the "how" of the celebration, but just remembering... remembering God's infinite and boundless love for each of us, and how He sent His Son to save us all.  This is a season not only to remember Christ's suffering on the cross, but more importantly, of His resurrection.  It's a season of love, and a season of hope.

May you all have a very Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

That strange Tuesday feeling...

Last night was the first show of another 8 show week, and for some
reason I felt weird. This isn't the first Tuesday that I've felt this

Last week, I had this strange feeling that I had
forgotten something. Mild paranoia set in, and thus I did a quick body
check to make sure that I had all my accoutrements: underpinnings,
garters for my stockings, microphone, costumes, my wig and my hat...
well, everything seemed in place, but I still felt weird, so I went
through the lyrics of my track to make sure I still had everything in
my head. The show came and went, and it was fine.

So, on to this
week. No, I didn't have that "I forgot something" feeling, but rather a
disconnect from my job. Just before curtain call, I asked a couple of
other actors if they felt as strange as I did, and they said yes, that
it was hard to start up on Tuesday after a day off, but that things get
revved up and going by Wednesday night. At the end of the evening, I
stood in front of my mirror in my normal clothes ready to head home,
and asked myself, "did I just do the show? I kind of don't feel like I
did." I guess it can best be described as having an out of body

I was never really aware of this before, but there
you go. Perhaps it's just one of those things. So, what will next
Tuesday bring?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

My Official MySpace Website
Hello! This is my official MySpace place... eventually I'll upload some of my music here (after I get the go-ahead from the recording company) and add special events and other fun stuff. My official site is still under construction, so till that one is up and running, pay MySpace a visit too!

Entry for April 03, 2007 - Anatomy of a brat

I've been on the topic of brats lately. Brats are people I cannot stand. Even one molecule close enough to me, and it makes me want to hurl.

Spoiled... obnoxious... loud... immature... kulang sa pansin or nagpapapansin... never, ever wrong in their own minds (may God help us all)...

I'm one to be extremely blunt -- ask any of my closest friends --, and woe be to whoever asks the question, "Lea, am I being stupid, have I behaved badly, am I being a brat?" If the answer is a resounding "yes," then said person gets a full detailed lowdown of exactly to what degree of bratty heights he or she has reached. Why say "of course not" when the facts point the other way? You're only enabling the brat, not ridding him or her of the bratty ways.

So, what do I do in the presence of a brat? Stay the hell away. At a party or a private gathering, at a funeral or a wedding, at any assembly of familiar people, I just keep my distance... mentally... emotionally... physically. Or I drink until I'm oblivious to their presence. Hey, why spoil a perfectly good evening?

I'd like to be optimistic and say that there's hope for these poor beings, that they can be made aware of their ways and strive to not be such incredible idiots. Self-awareness is one of the most difficult things to achieve, even for the best of us all, and perhaps this is a step in the right direction.

Next time your bratty friend asks you for an honest opinion, give it to them. You say you're a friend? Then you owe them that much. You'll be much appreciated in the long run. However, if you're then kicked out of their circle, then you know just where you stand and will therefore be better off without them in your life.