Yesterday’s Cinderella Manila trade show marked the first day I stepped into my dressing room as a cast member of Resorts World Manila’s 2013 staging of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The show & press conference was slated to begin at 11am, so we were called in at 8am for hair, makeup, sound checks and a final run through to make sure things were to go on swimmingly. Everything was a rush that morning, so I only managed to steal a few snapshots.
The first shot I took of my look for that day: the obligatory dressing room selfie.. Okay; I dislike “obligatory selfies” since really, nothing and nobody has contracted you to indulge in vanity. It’s really more like something that kind of always just happens to me. When you’re standing in front of the classic dressing room mirror decked out with lights in all its backstage-show-business pseudo-glamour, fully costumed and made up, especially when it’s the first time you’ve slipped into the costume and stood in front of that mirror.. Taking dressing room selfies almost seems like it is nature’s order. Haha!
This wig is the most gargantuan thing that has ever been placed on my head. I named it Beevus, as suggested by our co-director Rem Zamora because it looks like a beehive, and because I wanted to give it a manly name. It was begging for a manly name.
By the by, you can only imagine just how many bobby pins are holding Beevus in place.
I adore this shot of my stepfamily getting prepped for the show by the M.A.C team! For some reason they really look in-character here, and the hair and makeup helps plenty, but it’s really because of their facial expressions and body language. In the foreground is Sweet Plantado of The Company, who alternates with theatre veteran Pinky Marquez Cancio as the stepmother. In the background is Giannina Ocampo, a Repertory Philippines talent, who plays my fellow stepsister. My darling dysfunctional family is made up of some really talented women who are just as funny off-stage as they are in their roles.
Speaking of makeup, look at how marvelous a stage face the M.A.C artists paint on! My character, Joy, is a grumpy, sullen girl, so they chose to use dark neutrals and gave me a gaunt-looking face with heavy-looking eyes.
Most of my castmates are celebrated local theatre veterans, and it’s a huge honor to be surrounded by such awe-inspiring and seasoned performing artists! This is Caisa Borromeo, who is a part of the ensemble and plays one of the eligible young maidens!
This is Red Concepcion, who plays Lionel, the royal steward.
Celebrities Christian Bautista and Karylle Tatlonghari play Prince Christopher and Cinderella, respectively. A few minutes before we were called onstage, I managed to sneak in a dressing room selfie while they were getting ready! Alternating the roles of the prince and Cinderella are Fred Lo and Julia Abueva, pictured below. A dear old friend, Justine Pena, is also another one of the Cinderellas, but I wasn’t able to see her before the show started.
Stepfamily assemble! Welcome to the Jersey Shore of Fairytale Land.
The dress I’ve got on actually isn’t my costume for the show at all. The designers were pressed for time and were unable to finish my costume, so I used a Resorts World entertainment costume they already had on-hand just for the trade show. (What I’m wearing is a can can dress! Haha!) Can’t wait to see what my real costume’s going to look like.
These two gorgeous women are Sheila Fransisco and Pinky Marquez. Tita Sheila plays the queen and Tita Pinky plays the stepmother. She also alternates with Tita Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as the fairy godmother.
The press con ended and we morphed back into regular human beings. It took me a little bit beyond forever to get Beevus off and I couldn’t do it alone! I was starving and getting frantic because everyone was going ahead to the lunch with the press and I still hadn’t gotten the wig off. Hahaha!
We still had rehearsals after the press con as there was one final scene that needed to be choreographed, so during the 2 hour break in between I waited and chatted in the dressing room with one of my castmates Giansy (my stepsister dearest!) and Christian. It was a pretty exhilarating day, and this was the last shot that I captured of it.
I’m gonna get a little sappy here: as I stepped out onto the stage for the trade show, I was so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the realization that “this is really happening; I’m really on this beautiful stage performing for an audience and it has what I have always longed for” and kind of had to fight back tears. Coming back onstage for the cast interviews after the show, I felt them welling up again. This opportunity is such a crazy dream come true. I feel so fortunate that I still can’t believe it! “Because these daft and dewey-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes, impossible things are happening everyday” indeed. I’m beyond grateful and extremely excited, and I really can’t wait to tell you more stories about this production!! It has been motivating me to become better and filling my heart with overwhelming, true happiness. It sounds overstated but I really mean it.