MANILA – Aside from Rachelle Ann Go, another Filipino actress is part of the West End production of “Hamilton.”
Christine Allado will portray Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the hit musical, which will premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre on November 21.
Allado’s West End credits include “From Here to Eternity,” “Here Lies Love” and “In the Heights.”
Last year, she shared the stage with Andrea Bocelli in his Manila concert.
In an e-mail interview with ABS-CBN News, Allado shared how she started out as a theater actress, the challenges of working away from home, as well as her future plans.
ON HOW SHE STARTED HER THEATER CAREER
“It’s music that’s been in my bones from the very start. I grew up in a very musical family with parents who constantly encouraged us to sing and took us to every theatre and music school that they could. I joined summer workshops at Repertory Philippines and Trumpets Playshop very early on and discovered the joy of marrying music and drama, and it’s a love affair that’s filled my life with joy to this day. At the time though, I couldn’t see how it could be a realistic career path, I constantly was trying to convince myself that it was a hobby and so pursued Business Administration at UP Diliman instead.
“But I think life had other plans, and my path was diverted. It was a very big leap - in my mind - to sort of give up the safe and secure vision I had for myself. But it has thankfully led me to quite a good point in my theatre and music career so I think following my passions proved to be the right thing to do!”
ON WORKING AWAY FROM HOME
“I left the Philippines and all the comforts of home and family at the age of 18. Looking back now, I can’t believe I actually had the guts to do that. I didn’t know anyone and had no family ties in Hong Kong when I moved there and the same was for when I moved to London, absolutely not a friendly familiar face in sight. I mean, we Filipinos are no stranger to working far away from home to secure a better life, so maybe in a way, I tried to hone into the spirit of that and constantly tried to tell myself that I wasn’t alone in that struggle of trying to make a life in a foreign land.
“But I soon got the hang of it, really, it’s been an adventure and it still is. Diving into a culture that is so far from what we've grown up with is such an enriching thing. And people, in turn, are often times also very interested in learning about our culture and customs, and I of course gladly try to represent us as best I can!”
ON JOINING THE CAST OF ‘HAMILTON’
“First of all, I must say that I'm a self-professed Hamilfan fan-girl extraordinaire! When it first came out and kind of blew up on social media, I tried very hard not to listen to or watch a single clip as I refused to give in to the ‘hype.’ But a friend eventually forced me to watch a clip of the original Broadway cast performing at the Tony awards and I was completely blown away. So to be a part of it is surreal to say the least! I'm incredibly grateful and can’t believe my lucky stars that I will get to be a part of this amazing cultural phenomenon and downright cool musical!
“I had been auditioning since July last year and although we didn’t have as many rounds as I’m normally used to, because I wanted to be in the show so much, it kind of took over my life. It was always at the back of my head and I would research and find as much as I could about the show to kind of see what made it tick. I found out eventually just before Christmas that I had gotten the part, and let me tell you, that was the best Christmas present any girl could ever ask for!”
ON WORKING WITH RACHELLE ANN GO
“I’m so, so proud to have Rachelle Ann as my big sis Eliza in Hamilton. She’s representing our generation of Filipino talent so well and can’t wait to see her be amazing in the role. I think it’s such a leap forward that Hamilton is making in promoting colour blind casting. And hopefully this will open many more doors for the immense pool of talented Pinoys in the theatre scene.”
ON HER FUTURE SHOWS
“Quite a few things in the pipeline, a few bits I will hopefully be able to announce soon! But at the moment I’m working on a solo concert and it will be at the Maybank Arts Theatre in BGC on March 4. We’re nearly sold out thankfully, but still a few available so hope to see you there!
“I'm also going to be performing with the Manila Symphony Orchestra at Manila House in BGC in March. Aside from that, I have a few shows around Europe and hopefully in New York soon, too, so fingers crossed, all the stars align! And hoping to record music soon, as it’s always been a dream of mine to make music.”
ON ASPIRING THEATER ACTRESSES
“I don’t know if I have the authority to give any advice, but I can share a few things, certainly! All I can say is work hard, keep learning, always keep learning. Constantly take lessons and in singing in particular, there are so many new groundbreaking vocal techniques available out there right now. Skype singing lessons are a thing now, apparently, and they're actually really good when with the right teacher. See good work, support the local theatre scene and learn from the greats.
“Doing shows in the West End, I can honestly say that I’ve learned the most from working with some amazing actors and actresses on the job. Be kind to your fellow actors and to yourself, it’s a tough industry and it takes a person with thick skin to survive it, so lift each other up and support each other, because I’d like to think there’s room for everyone!
“And on another note, save your money! One thing my mom taught me that I am so grateful to her for. No one goes into theatre to get financially rich. So be smart and frugal and you'll be fine. And lastly, if like me, you can’t imagine doing anything else but act, sing and perform, just go for it. Give it your all, and maybe something amazing might just happen.”