Backed by her solid stage musical experience in the Philippines, Rachel Alejandro is bracing for Broadway. She and husband Carlos Santamaria are newlyweds who decided to make Manhattan their second home.
“We both thought New York is a good place to start our life together,” Rachel who has been a longtime U.S. resident told The FilAm.
Carlos who works for a Spanish news wire agency asked to be transferred to New York where Rachel’s mother and siblings are long-time residents.
“I’m still looking for something to do here other than being a housewife. I’m open to doing projects with the Filipino community,” she said.
Although Rachel has no U.S. experience yet as far as Broadway is concerned, she is considered a seasoned stage performer in the Philippines.
“Definitely, I’d love to audition for something that suits me. Pretty soon, I’ll try to see what auditions are happening in the city. I know it’s seasonal—twice a year — there are auditions.
“I’ll start getting ready for these auditions, getting my resume together. Although, I’ve been a green card holder for a long time, I always come to the U.S. to perform for Filipino events, but never had the chance to try out for these Broadway shows.”
Moving to New York was a tough decision for the couple. Carlos adores the Philippines like he’s been a Filipino all his life, even wears a tattoo of the Philippine flag on his leg, according to Rachel. And Rachel, who’s been active in theater portraying lead roles for “Rent,” “Avenue Q” and most recently, “Aida” is at the same time busy with the catering business she runs with her sister, The Sexy Chef.
“My sister Barni and I have been in the food business for several years now. It’s really running pretty well and our life there is ‘masaya’ but I have to give this a try — to be in a city where there’s a chance for us to make it big also,” she said.
Rachel and Carlos met on a blind date set up by her sister. Born in Spain, he grew up in the U.S. and Switzerland. As a journalist, he traveled various locations in China, the Philippines and Bangkok.
They had a low-key beach wedding in Boracay in April attended by 60 people.
“We’ve only been here for a week and the first week was dedicated to apartment hunting,” said Rachel, who performed at the Pinoy Singing Idol event in Flushing. “When we finally found an apartment in Manhattan, we got so excited. This week is shopping, online and onsite. First stop, Ikea.”
Rachel said since she doesn’t have a definite project yet, she’d still be going back and forth to Manila to do shows and promote her catering business, where she is in charge of marketing.
But wait. There is an album to promote: “Believe” under the Sony label that includes selections from the musicals she’s appeared in.
Are children anywhere in the equation? Said Rachel, “Oh not so soon, we’ve just moved here.”