Jay Gonzaga on how to sustain being an actor for 14 years: Be well-equipped

Jay Gonzaga on how to sustain being an actor for 14 years: Be well-equipped

/ 12:20 AM April 15, 2024



While Jay Gonzaga said being recognized as an actor is his ultimate career goal, his 14 years in the business has taught him that “one has to be well-equipped all the time.”

With this, Jay, who started doing theater with Dulaang UP (“Orosman at Zafira”) in 2010, meant that “If your director tells you to sing, you should be able to sing. If your director tells you to dance, you should dance, or at least, be able to learn the steps well.”


“After graduating from college, I told myself I wanted to pursue my childhood dream, which is to be an actor. I want to be seen on television doing what I love. This was also the time when I realized that it’s not easy,” he told Inquirer Entertainment in a recent interview.


“I’m thankful that I started in theater because I discovered skills I didn’t know I had,” said Jay who signed up with Cornerstone Entertainment as one of their talents.

“If a director has a certain job for me—whether to sing, act or dance in a film or onstage—then I can confidently say, ‘I can do that’ because it’s part of my job to learn them,” he pointed out. “And because I chose this kind of job, I’m willing to embrace everything related to it that comes my way.”

Guardian angel

Jay is part of the cast of the musical adaptation of the hit movie “One More Chance,” which features the music of Ben&Ben, and is being staged by Peta (Philippine Education Theater Association).

“As an actor, I admit feeling nervous. But since I’m part of a team, I’m confident that every member will try to help each other. We promise to cooperate with our director,” said Jay, who plays Mark onstage, a character portrayed by Derek Ramsay in the movie version.

“While our director gave me instructions on how to play the character, I also did my assignment. For example, I had to personally discover why Mark was always there as a friend for Basha, whom he considers very special to him. Even though Basha has her solid group of friends, Mark is able to give her a guy’s perspective on how to handle a relationship,” Jay explained.

“As an actor, I also added my take on what Mark is like as a guy friend who wishes for Basha to find a man who would take care of her. Also, in the film, Mark is the ultimate dream guy. He has all the good qualities. He is sort of a guardian angel to Basha,” the actor pointed out.


On the small screen, Jay will be seen in the action series “Diego Romero” on TV5 in May. Jay plays the lead character, Diego, who is an ex-Marine. He describes the series as “Rambo meets John Wick.”

“I worked on the series from October to November last year. I had fun with the shooting process because it’s an action series. I had just come from ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ then, so I had experience doing action series already. The show became my training ground,” he recalled. “‘Diego Romero’ is also my first lead role. When I auditioned for it, I didn’t expect to get the part. When the producers told me, I felt overwhelmed. To be honest, I didn’t know if I could handle it well. Will I be able to deliver what my director requires of me? It was good that Direk Willy Cuevas, as well as TV5, trusted me. I gave the project my best. I even trained on how to use guns. It also helped that I’m into martial arts. I was able to use it.”

Modern-day Superman

He continued: “Diego is a man who has great love for his family. I relate his experiences to what’s currently happening to the country. Not a lot of Filipinos understand what’s happening on a day-to-day basis, but Diego is different. He plans to solve our problems. He tries to right the wrongs of our government. He’s like a modern-day Superman—that’s how this character was constructed.”

Asked if he finds being an actor a sustainable career, the 35-year-old said: “Yes, if you are diligent and passionate enough. Yes, also if you are kind to people you work with—because all the goodness you share will eventually come back to you. People will ask you to join their projects. Not only that, you also have to constantly work on improving your craft. As they say, ‘You’re only as good as your last performance.’”

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“One More Chance, the Musical” will run from April 12 to June 30 at the Peta-Phinma Theater in New Manila, Quezon City. INQ

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