Rock star braves TV cameras
For Rico Blanco, variety is the spice life. So while music will always be his top priority, the famed singer-songwriter and former front man of Rivermaya loves shaking things up once in a while by going off stage to act in front of the cameras.
“I’m a guy who likes to rearrange the furniture once in a while. I don’t like doing the same things all the time. Acting is a refreshing break from touring,” he told the Inquirer at a press con for the ABS-CBN afternoon soap “May Isang Parangap.”
Rico was restrained and emotive when he sang the show’s theme—a far cry from the kinetic, tribal-geared and face-painted persona he assumes in his “Galaktik Fiestamatik” gigs. Fiesto Bandido was nowhere to be found. In his place was Obet, a father of an aspiring child singer.
Rico isn’t a stranger to acting having done the action-fantasy TV show “Imortal” and the indie film “Nasaan si Francis?” in the past. However, “May Isang” is Rico’s first time to be in a more conventional and melodramatic drama series.
Did you have time to prepare or undergo workshops for your role?
I’ve been doing a lot of touring and shows lately, and I didn’t have the luxury of warming up. I’m doing things on my own.
Does singing or performing on stage help you with acting?
Singing keeps the knife sharp. For the past couple of months, I’ve been going up on stage as Fiesto Bandido—I put up an act. And I think it helps. The emotions I project vary when singing different songs.
Were you always interested in acting?
Yes, I did school plays back in the day. In 2000, I played Judas in Music Museum’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” with Noel Cabangon, Cynthia Alexander, Joey Ayala, etc. I’ve always been a fan of pop culture, of movies and filmmaking.
You’re also into photography, among many other things.
Yes, singing, acting, dancing, photography, painting—hindi ko mapaghiwa-hiwalay (I can’t separate them). They’re all forms of expression and creation; all are interconnected. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, and I remember pinning my works on my parents’ bedroom walls.
I love the creation process. And when you’re acting, you create a character. I always get thrilled when people feel something from what I do—whether it’s a song or an acting scene.
Do you think your foray into TV acting could alienate some of your fans?
I’m blessed to have a great fan base. Back when I was in Rivermaya, we always try to change our sound with every album we release. Then I decided to go solo and venture into TV acting. But despite the decisions I’ve made throughout my career, the fans continue to support me.
My fan base gives me the freedom to do what I really want.
Were you ever worried about your rock star image?
I never worried about my image. Well, I do think about it sometimes since it’s part of the creative process. But it was never a huge concern. Deciding to be a keyboard player during the early 1990s —a time when being one was far from cool—pretty much proves that. I think it’s just the way I was wired.
What’s next for you in music?
Right now I just want to improve and think of new things for my “Galaktik Fiestamatik” shows. I love the people’s responses to my performances. It’s refreshing to give fans something different after doing the same things. I’ve never presented music the way I do now and I’m excited.