I think I already mentioned in a previous blog post that I initially wanted to become an actress because I wanted to be beautiful. I would watch awards shows on television and marvel at the actresses and their gowns. I thought to myself that I wanted to be amongst them. I was 12 years old. The following year, I decided to join our high school drama club. My initial audition didn’t go well at first, but I eventually got in. Through persistence, somehow, I got “better” at “performing” – until landing a lead role in a summer musical theater workshop made me think that maybe I can continue this through college.
As I write this, I realize how crucial this summer experience was, so I guess I have to reveal what musical it was: “Chicago: The Musical.” I wince at mentioning it because it’s so western and feels so trite now. But in 2014 (I was 14 years old) it was one of the best movie musicals I’ve seen since Singin’ In the Rain and West Side Story. I played “Velma Kelly” and sang “All That Jazz” and the “Cell Block Tango.” I had a good working relationship with my director and choreographer. My parents and the rest of the family who watched the show were dumbstruck.
I thought I did good. During the cast party, my director told me that one of his former students asked him who I was because I was “annoyingly good.” I think that summer workshop experience made me realize I could get really good at this performing thing. Over dinner sometime after the show, my father said to me that a life in the theater is difficult. One will only make it if one is “really good.” I thought to myself, “I will be really good, then.” I was 14 and had a lot of drive, ambition and energy. I think that summer was pivotal. It led me to continue training in college, which led me to the acting company at the Cultural Center of the Phillippines, which prepared me for Juilliard.
REGINA DE VERA
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES