Actor-director Roeder Camanag seems to have evolved from being a pop singer to a no-nonsense stage actor. More so, through the years, he has mastered the art of effortless acting. This was very much evident in his latest stage outing, Dulaang UP’s Ang Dressing Room: Kung Saan Lubusang Pangungulila Ang Dulot Ng Agos ng Panahon, where he delivered a spontaneous portrayal of the female role of Aktres A—one of two aspiring actresses (the other being Aktres B)—who never makes it to the stage and when they die, their ghosts refuse to leave the backstage.
Roeder’s movement and pacing appeared measured and in cadence but he went around so naturally in a manner that as if he was not acting at all. Even his interaction with co-actor Jon Abella (who played Aktres B that night) was so spontaneous. Splendid!
The play with the longish title was originally written by Japanese writer Shimizu Kunio, with translation adapted by Chiori Miyagawa from an original translation by John Gillespie, and translated into Filipino by Nicolas Pichay. It is produced by Dulaang UP under Alexander Cortez and ran at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater in UP Diliman until April 24.
Let me share some of Roeder’s thoughts about the play: “There are many reasons why I love being part of The Dressing Room. For many years now, I love my personal rituals as soon as I step into the theater. The preparations excite me as an actor. I make it a point to arrive in the performance venue an hour before my actual call time. I work best when I am relaxed, when I take my time, when I get into my character.
“As soon as I enter my designated dressing room, I turn on the lights, and put on my robe or what some call the dressing gown of the actor.
“I have also mastered doing make-up on my own. If the play requires me to have a special look, I sometimes collaborate with a make up expert, but I like doing my own make-up. It is something that excites me when I create a look for my character.
“Aside from the dressing room, my other favorite place is the stage. The small talk I have with my co-actors while prepping for our roles, the conversations serve as a warm up to me. The indescribable feeling of excitement as I step on stage to breathe life to a character also is priceless.
“For this particular play, my experience is doubly memorable because my rituals and routines in the dressing room happen on stage. I play a Japanese actress from the past, a ghost whose soul never left the theater. So imagine the preparations I have to do to transform to my character and everyone sees that on stage!
“As an actor, I am fascinated with the actresses – their core, their being, their psyche, their complications, their angst, their emotions, their temperaments, quirks, and the many other things that make them different from me. This show allows me to live that fantasy. I love getting into the heart of a performance actress, into the mind of a female actor, into the soul of a diva. I’ve always loved the strong empowered women characters in theatre–Lady Macbeth and Olga in The Three Sisters. ”
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Here’s a must-watch: The concert of the Klassikal Music Foundation, Songs from a Silver World, on May 7, 7:30 p.m., at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave., Makati. Performing are the scholars of the said foundation, the KMF Orchestra to be conducted by Maestro Herminigildo Ranera, soprano Rachelle Gerodias, Alden Richards and Tenor George Yang. Andrew Fernando directs.