Aicelle dishes on her ‘give-it-your-all’ ‘Saigon’ adventure
I instantly liked Aicelle Santos the moment I met her. There’s really something about the spunky chanteuse. When I watched her in “Rak of Aegis,” I was blown away. The last time we hung out during the birthday bash of our friend, Robert Seña, she gamely danced a la Michael Jackson to “Billie Jean.” Even offstage, she grooved with gusto.
Now Aicelle is strutting her stuff as Gigi on the UK tour of “Miss Saigon.” It’s the same role that Isay Alvarez-Seña and Rachelle Ann Go portrayed. But an artist of Aicelle’s caliber won’t suffer by comparison. She never fails to sink her teeth into a role and own it. She’s simply “Aic-ellent”!
Here’s my chat with Aicelle:
What was your debut in “Miss Saigon” like? The opening night was a burst of energy and excitement from all the passionate hearts onstage. It was a very good show, and we will just keep getting better in time. It was a “give-it-your-all” moment!
When the curtain went down after our bows, and while the thunderous clapping of the audience went on, it dawned on me that, “Right here, in front of you, Aicelle, is the next 365 days of your life!” Awesome!
How do you handle jitters before a show? I remind myself to relax and pray.
What excites you or makes you nervous about doing “Saigon?” New discoveries about theater, culture and seeing new places excite me. The thought of sexy dancing in a bikini got me nervous, but surprisingly, I got over it right after the opening show.
Tell us a bit about your wedding plans. As of now, no concrete wedding plans yet. Mark (Zambrano) and I are still in the process of getting settled in our new jobs. As we get together, we also let each other grow in our careers.
What do you miss most about your fiancé? Hugs and kisses, eating together and just being beside each other.
What’s your most memorable experience in the UK, so far? Independence and getting to know myself more.
What new things did you learn about theater while rehearsing for “Saigon?” Work ethics is important here. They respect time and are very polite in the way they go about things. They have a very organized system. I’m not saying that we don’t have all these in Manila, but we can learn from them.
What song in “Miss Saigon” can you most relate to? I am more Ellen than Gigi in real life. Though my spirit may be as tough as Gigi, I think my heart is like Ellen’s—she’s loving, understanding and forgiving. Ellen’s song, “l Still Believe,” is my song.
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