When I was invited by a friend (Ms. Luchie DR) I didn’t hesitate. We knew it was not a paid gig but the experience of working side-by-side (literally!) with THE Lea Salonga was priceless!
After I excitedly told my mom that I’ll be part of a small group of background artists for the ABS-CBN station ID filming at Times Square, her first response was, ” … But you can’t carry a tune.” And she’s right.
SIDE NOTE. Thanks, ABS-CBN US correspondent Don Tagala.
In yet another facetime session with my mom that happened after the filming of the station ID, I jested, “See I told you, I get to sing with Lea. I performed a song and dance in Broadway district so you already have a daughter who is a Broadway performer.” Always the bluntly honest one she answered without malice, “With all the ABS-CBN stars your face might not even be included in the final cut.” Hahaha … True!
But what the heck, Lea Salonga is Lea Salonga! It was the experience and the thrill of doing things so unique and so New York. Memorizing the lines was challenging and singing was humbling… Pretending to sing was very difficult acting! Although we knew only the images will be used we were told that they might use the actual sound recording for the news.
Let me write about Lea. That day she was the only one wearing red as we were given explicit instructions to wear bright holiday colors and never black, brown, red and earth colors. A lot of us had to shop for candy-colored outfits because in New York it is the norm to dress in muted colors. She arrived at 7:45am, just after daybreak and found us already rehearsed for our call time was at 6:00 am. Leah arrived with her 2 assistants, a stylist and her sister, from her apartment at West 54th Street. Like us she was worried she might forget her singing lines.
This experience goes to my alkansya of special memories!