Monday, September 23, 2013

SHE Rocks: Menchu Lauchengco still enjoying theater after 15 years

Photo courtesy of Atlantis Productions.

What else can you do after you’ve earned the title “First Lady of Philippine Musical Theatre,” and you’ve wowed critics by playing practically all the challenging roles available to stage artists?

You don’t rest on your laurels. Not when you’re Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo.
Voice coaches Jai Sabas in the Philippines and another one in New York, among others help Menchu keep her voice pitch-perfect for musicals.

“You could do things that could hurt your voice, especially in this country where you end up singing songs not necessarily in your vocal range. So you have to go back to your voice coach, ” she explains.

Menchu also makes sure she rests her voice to prepare it for all the singing and even screaming she does on stage.

“You need discipline. You don’t party after rehearsals and just go home and rest. You have to take care of your body.”

Menchu needs all the energy she can get in the upcoming production of “Carrie” the musical where she plays deranged mom Margaret White who cries and shouts – in song – all at the same time.

“It’s fifth gear in every scene. I get mad and I’m screaming. It’s one of the hardest roles I’ve ever done. This is another level of difficulty. It’s such an intense role.”

It’s so intense it even requires her to slap Mikkie Bradshaw – who plays Carrie, the teenage girl equipped with telekinetic powers that frightens her mom so.
The role can sap the energy of the most hyper actor, and Menchu is no exception.

Cartoons to relax
What does she do?

“I watch cartoons,” she smiles.

Cartoons – and the love for her craft – keep Menchu going.

“I like to accept roles that stretch and challenge me. I have no time to relax. I’m on my toes. I want to do justice to every role. You wanna push yourself constantly.”

Menchu has been pushing herself constantly since age 15, or 35 years ago, when she started in theater.

Theater has been her “happy place,” and Menchu feels blessed she can go back to her comfort zone anytime she wants. The good roles just land on her lap, and for that she feels “lucky and honored.”

“I’ve been very blessed. It would be wrong to complain.”

Menchu’s followers – who have seen her grow up in theater – are enjoying the journey along with her.

Catch CARRIE on its closing weekend run!  
Ticket Prices: 1700, 1600, 1300, 800 and 700 
RC Marzan 0922.888.5348  
Onay Sales 0917.908.0565 
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