The stunning, refined, and gifted Nicole Laurel Asensio has finally entered the showbiz industry | Inquirer Entertainment
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The stunning, refined, and gifted Nicole Laurel Asensio has finally entered the showbiz industry

/ 04:40 PM January 12, 2023
Nicole Laurel Asensio

Nicole Laurel Asensio

What distinguishes a multi-talented artist or a person capable of doing virtually anything proficiently? It would be a gifted individual who is hardworking and determined to succeed no matter the cost.

Nicole Laurel Asensio comes to mind as a gifted individual with those qualities. She continues to demonstrate that by appearing in films and on television now.

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Nicole Laurel Asensio still has a long way to go in this field because she is young, gorgeous, and has the genetics to succeed. Nicole Laurel Asensio’s ancestry is well-known and has a rightful place in the industry. Yet she has earned all her current accomplishments through hard work and determination.

Nicole Laurel Asensio deserves the honor due to the many years she spent on the music side of the industry. It is a natural progression for her to enter the realm of showbiz. Again, whether it was as a member of the all-female rock supergroup General Luna, as a solo singer and recording artist, in the theater, in films, or now in family dramas such as “Mano Po Legacy: The Flower Sisters” on the GMA Network, she has succeeded and will continue to flourish. Nicole Laurel Asensio demonstrates an awareness of the profession’s fast-paced and ever-evolving nature by meeting the industry’s demands.

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Since my younger years, I’ve admired Nicole Laurel Asensio; she exudes elegance! Nicole Laurel Asensio is undisputedly one of the artists who belong to the upper echelons of this industry. She is one of the most well-rounded artists currently known to us. I believe it is only appropriate to give her “roses,” which means appreciating her, and this is one way to do so.

When the rare opportunity to finally interview Nicole Laurel Asensio presented itself, I jumped at the chance to do so. Here is someone who was a permanent fixture of the indie scene and the mainstream scene when she was in her band, CrowJane, and then she was the leader of an all-female rock supergroup, General Luna. Since so many members of my generation are fans of Nicole Laurel Asensio, the 20-something in me came to life again.

Without further ado, here is my brief interview with Nicole Laurel Asensio to get her answers on how her professional life has changed since she became more prominent in the entertainment industry (movies and television).

Nicole Laurel Asensio

Nicole Laurel Asensio

How did your appearance in “Mano Po Legacy: The Flower Sister” come to be? How was your experience?

Nicole Laurel Asensio: I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to have played “Celeste” in the renowned Mano Po series. This came as a surprise. I got a call from an agent, writer, and family friend, Ricky Gallardo, and was asked to do a live audition with the Regal Films team on Zoom. Of course, zoom auditions have their fair share of challenges because of connection problems and the different impact of having a live audition in the room. I could have done much better; I was not expecting a callback. A few days later, Tito Ricky called, asking for my schedule and telling me to prep for the role. I was going through such a tough week that week, so that news made me smile! I was ecstatic and grateful.

The cast is superb! The shooting was done in one day. We did each scene in one or, at most, two takes. The production and our director, Sean Lim, were all very generous and efficient; it was one of those rare occasions where we packed up hours earlier than we were supposed to! I was so thrilled to have such a positive experience on set. I still keep in touch online with Marcus (“Redmond”) and Ms. Aiko (“Lily”); they were very nice to me.

How often have you appeared on television, and is this something that you plan on doing more of (guesting, being cast in a permanent role, and cameos) if given a chance?

Nicole Laurel Asensio: TV and film are new territory for me, perhaps even a pandemic revelation. With the lack of live concert and event opportunities during the first year or so of the pandemic, I had to switch my offerings as a working artist consciously. As a host and singer, I became more active in hybrid events and converted my simple home studio into a production place where I could make online or recorded content for clients if needed.

The acting opportunities were unexpected, but they saved me! Ricky Gallardo gave me my first series, “Afterlife,” now on Netflix, where I auditioned for the role of Monica. The director and co-writer Cholo Laurel, with whom I had no idea I was related (we only found out way after auditions), granted me the role on the spot. I was nervous because I had never workshopped before. The shooting for this series will always be exceptional because I shared it with my best friend, Max Eigenmann… I also developed friendships with cast members Jett Pangan (who I work with in concerts, but it was our first time working together as actors) and Ms. Eula Valdez, a fantastic lady! We sometimes chat with Julio De Leon and Anjo Resurrecion, who became very close friends! We’re all crossing our fingers for a second season.

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My next experience was playing “Lara” for the multi-award-winning film “Katips,” written and directed by Atty. Vince Tanada. I was recommended again by Ricky Gallardo. At first, I was extremely nervous because I knew Katy’s was once a critically acclaimed stage play and the audiences had grown attached to that cast. Coming from the cold and learning all the songs, dances, and lines in a few days was a challenge. Again, I never took acting or dancing classes and workshops, so I wanted to know if I could do justice to the leading lady role. Direk Vince gave us on-site guidance and was generous enough to allow each artist to attack their roles with a dose of their character and interpretations. We shot 80% of my scenes in one day, from crying to kissing to singing to dancing—a full range in 24 hours—and for a first-time film actress, I was very much challenged but very much up for each challenge thrown my way.

Little did I know this foray into film would earn me two acting nominations on my first try! BEST ACTRESS for the 70th FAMAS awards and BEST NEW ACTRESS for the 38th PMPC STAR AWARDS. I am ever grateful to God and everyone who gave me a chance to try something new.

God willing, if more acting opportunities come knocking, I would gladly consider them! I may be a late bloomer in this field, but I have fallen in love with the process through and through.

For now, I will be appearing in another film by Vince Tanada out this year, 2023, and returning to the theater stage mid-year to tackle the juicy role of “Sisa.”

Do you feel that your background in bands, theater, and being a performing artist has helped you in your natural transition towards appearing in front of the camera (showbiz)?

Nicole Laurel Asensio: I used to be incredibly camera-shy. I didn’t understand the technical lingo of cameras and angles. As a live performer, I wasn’t used to doing several takes; my closest experience was shooting music videos… But I feel like my experience singing different genres throughout my life helped me become a shapeshifter and learn quickly. As a rock band frontwoman, my experience gave me a hint of grit and a raw, unburdened expression that is useful for acting. As a jazz and blues singer, my experiences taught me how to improvise as I would with melodies and react to co-actors as I would my co-musicians. As an informal classical soprano and sometimes theater actress, my experience taught me discipline and timing and how to modulate my voice according to character; as a songwriter, my experience taught me how to play with my feelings, imagine their backstory, and bring out the color and nuances. At the end of the day, whether musicians, actors, or other kinds of artists, we are all storytellers, and I find that the crafts complement one another.

With acting, how do you approach it? What is your mindset when acting in front of the camera?

Nicole Laurel Asensio: As a new actress who has never trained, I have much to learn. I should train soon to give a more credible answer, but so far, I am learning to be fearless and not be afraid to ask questions. What helped me fit into the mold was to invest time with the production and cast, get a sense of the environment, and immerse myself since I was the newest one in the game. There were shooting days when my character didn’t have any scenes, but I would still ask permission if I could go and observe. Much of what we do is reacting to the energy of our co-actors, so the synergy needs to be there.

Is there one quality that distinguishes you from the other musicians turned actors, personality-wise?

Nicole Laurel Asensio: Each of us has a unique story and something new to bring to the table. In my case, it is the culmination of pains, losses, failures, and triumphs that have shaped my life that I draw from, and my story is wildly colorful and a unique formula of emotion and expression. That is what makes me (or anyone else) different: no one will interpret a character the same way because the nuances, whether conscious or subconscious, will draw from another permutation of life experiences, and that is something that we must embrace and use as artists.

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