Ciara Sotto has found her niche in theater

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"On stage, I could feel the fulfillment right away because I am able to hear how people react to me. It is a great achievement for me na makapasok sa teatro, because hindi superstar ang hinahanap ng teatro kundi pure talent," says Ciara Sotto.


Marami ang nanibago at humanga sa ipinakitang performance ni Ciara Sotto sa kanyang character bilang Mimi sa musical play na Rent, which had its final run last weekend sa RCBC Plaza sa Makati City.

Nilagyan ng panibagong twist ang role ni Ciara bilang prostitute nang samahan nila ito ng pole dancing, kunsaan nakikilala ngayon ang actress-singer. Naging maganda ang pagkakapasok ng pole dancing scene niya kunsaan habang nakalambitin sa pole ay kumakanta rin siya.

Second musical play ni Ciara ang Rent. Pero malaki ang kaibahan ng ginawa at ipinakita niya rito kumpara sa una niyang play na Magsimula Ka. Maganda rin ang mga naging review sa kanya sa Magsimula Ka, although wholesome ang character niya ro'n kumpara dito sa Rent.

"This has got to be my favorite role. I am in love with theater and being cast in Rent is another milestone in my career as a performer," sambit ni Ciara nang makausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa telepono noong Lunes, March 7.

Dugtong pa niya, "I had to imbibe the character well so I watched the movie and the Broadway play on DVD. I also watched movies and focus on people with AIDS [Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome]."

Ngayong tapos na ang staging nila ng Rent, marami raw siyang nami-miss.

"I'm surely going to miss singing upside down!" tawa ni Ciara. "I'm going to miss everyone in the cast, the staff and crew. They've been really helpful to me."

SHEREE & GIAN. Silang dalawa ng sexy star na si Sheree ang magka-alternate sa role na Mimi. Hindi siyempre maiiwasang makumpara ang performances nila. Ano ang masasabi ni Ciara rito?

"I always tell Sheree that she's the 'hot and sexy Mimi.' I just don't really see myself sexy. I'm more boyish than sexy!" natatawa niyang sabi.

"But Sheree is my friend and she was helpful, too," pahabol niya.

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Ang leading man nila sa Rent ay si Gian Magdangal, who played the role of Roger. Tinanong ng PEP si Ciara kung hindi ba siya nailang na ang katrabaho or "pini-flirt" niya sa stage ay real-life boyfriend ni Sheree.

"At first, I thought that I would have a hard time. But Gian's a good friend and so is Sheree, so I kinda got the hang of it after a week of rehearsals. I just had to do what was asked of me in the script and I was just following the instructions of my director," saad ni Ciara.

TITO SOTTO. Kuwento pa ni Ciara, matagal bago nanood ng Rent ang daddy niya na si Senator Tito Sotto. Alam kasi nito kung gaano ka-daring ang character na ginampanan niya onstage. Pero pumayag ding manood ang TV host-politician during the play's final run.

Kumusta naman ang naging reception ng daddy niya sa kanyang pagganap?

"My dad says he liked the play and the whole production. He says that he could sense that I was a little reserved because I didn't come out malaswa!" natawang sabi ni Ciara.

IN LOVE WITH THEATER. Sa ngayon, gusto raw ni Ciara na makagawa pa ng maraming musicals.

"Like I said, I'm in love with theater. And I think I'm going to stay," sabi niya.

Ano naman ang masasabi niya na marami ang nakakapansin sa kanyang pagganap sa entablado, kumpara sa mga role na ginagampanan niya sa TV at pelikula?

"That's actually very flattering because theater is a lot harder than TV and film because we are not allowed to have a take two. The discipline and commitment is very different from what I was used to.

"And on stage, I could feel the fulfillment right away because I am able to hear how people react to me. It is a great achievement for me na makapasok sa teatro, because hindi superstar ang hinahanap ng teatro kundi pure talent," saad niya.

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Anong pakiramdam niya kapag nababasa o naririnig ang good reviews about her performance?

"Overwhelmed!" bulalas niya. "I am so overwhelmed kasi bago pa lang ako sa teatro and I feel appreciated already. I am humbled and very happy because I've never felt so appreciated until Magsimula Ka, and now, Rent."

Tuloy-tuloy na raw ang paggawa niya ng musicals. In fact, after Rent, may naka-lineup na raw siya na susunod na gagawin.

"After Rent, I'm going to do another musical in August, and our re-staging of Magsimula Ka might push through in September. But right now, I'm busy working on the grand finals of Talentadong Pinoy Battle of the Champions, Celebrity edition on March 13," banggit niya.

Hindi man natuloy ang dapat sanang gagawin niyang shows sa Las Vegas, nakatulong daw sa kanya ang mga training na ginawa nila doon sa ginagawa niya ngayon.

"All the hard work and discipline I learned in Vegas paid off. I was on my own and I had to stay healthy and I couldn't be late, et cetera, so I got accustomed to that kind of training, which is how it is in theater."

POLE DANCING. Tuloy-tuloy lang din daw ang pag-aaral niya ng pole dancing. In fact, plano pa rin daw niyang mag-aral abroad.

"I still have a lot to learn. I'm teaching the beginners' classes now at Movement Dance Studio and I plan to take a seminar out of the country so I will be certified to teach intermediate classes too," saad niya.

HAVING A BABY. When it comes to her marriage with Jojo Oconer, very smooth daw ang pagsasama nila. Hindi raw sila nagmamadali na magkaroon ng baby, pero kung ibi-bless daw sila ni Lord, okay raw sa kanila anytime.

"Whenever God wants us to have one. My husband and I have been really busy and we still want to do a lot of things and we're very supportive of each other's goals in life, so we're not in a rush naman," sabi ni Ciara.

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