Pilipinas Got Talent finalist Markki Stroem discovers his passion for theater

"Everyday I'm a different Henry. I feel like I'm a different person every time I go onstage. Because if you stay the same, you'll never grow," says Markki Stroem about his character in the rock musical Next to Normal. He is joined in this photo by fellow thespian Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo.


Fil-Norwegian singer Markki Stroem says he returned to the Philippines to pursue a career in singing. The Pilipinas Got Talent finalist is slated to release an album featuring his own compositions under Star Records.


"My songs are kinda like James Morrison," he says and starts to sing an excerpt from the Morrison song, "You Give Me Something."

"But [there's more piano] instead of guitar," he adds.


Markki, in an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), says he has already composed 30 songs.

"I let out my emotions onstage or in my songs. I'm about to release an album under Star Records and it's exciting 'coz a lot of my originals will be included. It's like a diary for me. When I write a song, I let it all out. I let it all out on stage kanina."


PASSIONATE ABOUT THEATER. Markki has also been bitten by the theater bug.


He is part of Atlantis Productions' staging of Next to Normal where he plays the character of Henry, a musician who is almost always stoned.


In this contemporary rock musical, Markki is paired with Bea Garcia (who plays the problematic pianist, Natalie). He also gets to work opposite theater veterans Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Jett Pangan, Jake Macapagal, and rising thespian Felix Rivera.


"This is my first professional play. I did a few plays in high school, elementary school, middle school. This is my very, very first play. Oh my god, it's amazing!" he tells PEP after rehearsals.


He is grateful to Next to Normal's director Bobby Garcia for introducing him to the world of theater.


"I have no words. They helped me grow as a person. They helped me understand what I want to do in my life," he says.


"I remember Bobby telling me, 'Markki, you can't take any projects. You have to really focus on this.' I said, Yes, I will. I told my management, 'Guys, we can't do anything else.' That's how much I love this."


Markki rehearsed for one month for Next to Normal.

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Bobby explains why they chose the reality show finalist for the part: "Markki auditioned for the role and he was wonderful."

"We decided to cast him since he seemed perfect for the role of Henry. He was sincere. He was truthful. And he has a great singing voice," adds.


Next to Normal is being staged at the RCBC Plaza, Makati City until March 27.


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