Actress-singer Carla Guevara-Laforteza will always have a soft spot for theater.
She started with Repertory Philippines in the early ’90s, going on to play the role of Kim in the West End production of “Miss Saigon” from 1995 to 1997.
She has appeared in numerous plays since, including “Nine,” “Rak Of Aegis,” “Avenue Q,” “Company,” “The King And I,” “Hansel And Gretel,” and now Ephesus Teatron Group’s “Once Upon A Mattress.”
“It’s been quite a fun ride for me. Theater is my first love. It will always be a priority for me,” Carla said.
Even now with three kids, Carla keeps to her passion.
“It’s really a joy to use the talent God has given me. To sing, to be able to make yabang so to speak, na ‘I can do that role’ kahit hindi.
“Like in ‘Rak Of Aegis’ hindi naman ako rakista pero sabi ko, ‘Gusto ko ’yung role na iyan.’ I did everything I can para mag-sound ng rock ’yung boses ko. ’Yung ganun ba? It’s a challenge kasi.”
Carla may be a stage veteran but there are still challenges along the way.
“Like ngayon, dahil tumatanda na ako, ang hirap na mag-memorize. It’s actually my biggest challenge now, memorizing,” she said.
Being a wife and mother adds to it. “Yes, I have three kids now, we have two dogs and I have a husband who’s also working, so it’s really a challenge also to manage my time,” she said.
Seeing the audiences’ reaction is what inspires her to keep going.
“It’s my gauge in terms of knowing if I’m doing good or not,” she said.
Carla doesn’t see herself working on TV at the moment, noting, “Ang hirap kasi sa TV, if you’re not playing lead, they will hire you few days or week before the taping so hindi ka prepared. Sana pagpalain ako ng production na will cast me a year in advance. That way I would know if I will accept theater work in the coming year,” Carla said.
Makes more sense
She deemed theater work easier than TV.
“In theater, we have rehearsals and we do the shows chronologically. So, the emotions make sense, so to speak. Eh kung nagti-taping ka, kunyari unang taping day, funeral. So, iyak ka kaagad. The next day, happy-happy.
“It’s hard with me as a theater actress, hindi ako sanay. Saludo ako sa mga TV actors na isang snap lang, iyak na sila kaagad. Sa theater, nabi-build up pa ang emotions in the beginning of the show,” she said.
In the musical comedy “Once Upon A Mattress,” Carla plays the role of the feisty and carefree Princess Winnifred the Woebegone. Relating to that, she has inspiring message for everyone.
“You shouldn’t be changing yourself for anyone. Be true to yourself. If the person truly loves you, he will love you for who you are,” she said.
“Once Upon A Mattress” will be at the Tanghalang Yaman Lahi Theater, Emilio Aguinaldo College from today to Jan. 22.
Tags: Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Ephesus Teatron Group, Forever theatre, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, Tanghalang Yaman Lahi Theater, “Miss Saigon”, “Once Upon A Mattress”