Sheena Bentoy of ‘Lion King’ fame on the joys of being a gifted child
Let’s take a breather from dreadful COVID-19 news and get to know Little Miss Sunshine, Sheena Bentoy. She’s the newest child sensation in theater and the latest Promil Kid. The 11-year old cutie made waves as the young Nala in the stage adaptation of the Disney Classic, “The Lion King.” It was her theater debut and yet, she already became part of the show’s international tour. Talk about making a good first impression. Even she’s still a newbie in the scene, the little darling is slaying it. Ahh! To be wrapped up in the joys of being a gifted child.
Here’s my chat with Sheena:
What’s the best and toughest part of being a young thespian?
The best part is doing what I love to do.
The toughest part is balancing my school academics and the show.
How do you handle stage fright and mental block?
I am fortunate because I never experienced stage fright or mental block. I always prepare myself by praying before a show and enjoying it by getting into character.
What stands out in your memory about your “Lion King” experience?
My first show as young Nala on stage is a great memory.
What’s your advice to kids your age who want to get into theater but are nervous to do so?
Be confident on stage and know what you’re doing. Practice a lot and be disciplined. Joining workshops is a great help to reduce nervousness on stage.
How did your mom mentor you?
She teaches me well to have confidence and to keep going. When I experienced rejection in some auditions, she prodded me to keep pursuing my dream. Her belief in me makes me believe in myself more. She’s a stage mom but in a good way because she supports me with love and care.
Are you willing to do movies/TV shows?
I don’t know what the future holds but for now I will stick to theater because it’s more exciting for me and it builds my character. I also love the direct feedback of the audience when they enjoy the show.
Whose career path do you want to follow?
I would like to follow Ms. Lea Salonga’s [career path] because she inspires me a lot. Just like me, she also started young.
I am in awe of her extraordinary voice and amazing career. I look up to her.
What stage play impacted you the most?
The “Lion King Musical” was a great and enjoyable journey that helped me hone my talent. I also enjoyed watching “Matilda The Musical” several times. I love the main character because she is smart and independent.
How do you keep your creative juices flowing now that live theater has been shut down due to the pandemic?
I keep singing at home, watch online musicals and stay in touch with my theater friends.
How do you stay focused as a performer while enjoying the normal pleasures of childhood?
I balance it by having good time management. My parents assist me to coordinate my different activities like school, playtime, theater and hobbies. They teach and help me to properly focus on the different activities I have in life.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.