Of Things We Learn in the Theater

“I woke up with a tired body and a grateful heart”.

That was my Facebook status update this past Sunday morning. I’ve come to realize now how strange a feeling that is. You’re so fatigued from the night before that you can’t get out of bed, but in your head you can’t stop reliving the events that made you tired in the first place. I spent 4 years in university musical theater (which, if you’re in you know how gruelling it can be) so I’m used to this feeling, waking up the morning after a long rehearsal, opening night, an SRO show, or the cast party after closing.

I woke up that same way the morning after Ateneo Blue Repertory’s 25th Anniversary Concert.

God, I missed that feeling.

First, a little backstory. I was invited about two and a half weeks prior to show day to perform in a number for the concert. It was 96,000 (fave.) , a number from a show that I’d been in already, In The Heights (FAVE.). I was hesitant at first because of my schedule and how far I’d have to travel for rehearsals. Ultimately, I joined in because it was a chance to hang with all my friends again and honestly, the opportunity to be back on stage is something I couldn’t pass up. The concert, aptly titled Company Call: blueREP at 25, celebrates the years and productions of the Ateneo Blue Repertory since its founding 25 years ago.

With blueREP friends Gabbi and Sam. Also the only photo I have that says blueREP at 25 😦

As a guest alumni performer, I only had to attend around three or four rehearsals leading up to show day. They would go for really long at night, often overlapping the next day. Everyone was tired, but it was amazing to see the perseverance and drive to put on an amazing show for blueREP.

In the end it paid off miraculously.

This is where I go wild about the ensemble cast of the concert. They absolutely killed it. The amount of passion, hard work, determination, talent, and perseverance was unparalleled. Whole day to night rehearsals everyday, hours and hours of tech and stage adjustments, singing and dancing to 3 hours worth of production numbers, and endless costume changes is no joke. They did it all with so much heart and energy, it was truly a sight to behold. Watching my friends and former cast mates kill it on stage is such a phenomenal feeling. Serious props to all of you.

Same goes with the Tech and Stage Management crew, tirelessly working behind the scenes, teaching and guiding the guests performers through blocking and mic changes, and standing in for missing cast members. We’d be lost without them so thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ryan from HSM x Grafitti Pete from In the Heights. #onlyinbluerep
Grafitti Pete and Sonny (Bibo Reyes). Tangent: When I was 16, I saw Atlantis’ In the Heights THRICE (yes, I was that kid). So performing alongside Bibo as Sonny was pretty unreal.

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The whole experience was just a great reminder of what it means to be blueREP, and the show was a huge love letter to the org of my high school dreams and college reality. It was amazing to be back home, even for one night.

Theater has always been one of my greatest passions and blueREP has taught me so much more about it and helped me develop as an artist and a person. I learned the importance of telling stories, being truthful, being open, about leadership, about failures and rejection, about professionalism, and about commitment. It taught me to work hard, and to stay grounded (I try).

I’ve met so many great friends in blueREP, and many other people from diverse backgrounds who all share the love of theater. I’ve worked with some of the most talented artists, performers, directors, singers, choreographers, and more.

It’s impossible to write about my four years in blueREP, experienced in infinite yet brief moments, and each as special as the last. In blueREP, I’ve laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed; and felt every emotion in between.

I’m so grateful to have been a small part of the celebration. So to all involved, core members, cast, artistic team, tech, SMs, guests, alumni, and audience, a big thank you and congratulations are in order!

And to blueREP, no matter how tired my body gets, my heart will always be grateful.

Here’s to the next 25 years!



If you didn’t get a chance to see Company Call: blueREP at 25, you should catch their upcoming production Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady opening this month! Click here for more information.

Beautiful slideshow photos by Chong Alarde, hit him up for some sweet shots at ccalarde@gmail.com.

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