IAN VENERACION

The actor as a musician

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TESSA MAURICIO-ARRIOLA

If theater has what they call a triple threat—an artist who excels at acting, singing and dancing all at the same time—Philippine showbiz has the habit of making its up and coming stars the same way. Sometimes even four times a threat if you add hosting a show as another talent.

For a lucky few, it all works out well, but there have been countless other artistas who end up a jack of all trade and a master of none, to use the proverb, juggling an acting, singing, dancing and/or hosting career all at once so that they fail to make a mark on the public.

Former child actor-turned teen heartthrob and one of the day’s most noted dramatic leading men, Ian Veneracion, is one celebrity who refused to go by this local showbiz formula and is happy that he stuck to his guns. Throughout his career, he chose to concentrate on acting, even if he had been playing classical piano and the electric guitar since age seven, writing songs and singing, and even if he had every opportunity to pursue his love for music as a member of the late German Moreno’s “That’s Entertainment” stable of talents.

“Music has always been part of my life but I’ve always seen myself as an actor first and foremost, so I concentrated on acting—it was that simple,” said the ever handsome Ian Veneracion, who shot to fame as the son of comedian Joey de Leon in a hit ‘80s sitcom.


Now in his 40s with a formidable filmography in such phenomenal teleseryes as “A Love to Last” and “Pangako Sa ‘Yo,” as well as notable movies like “Ilawod” (for which he just won Best Actor at the 38th Oporto International Film Festival in Portugal) among others, Ian believes he has dutifully established himself as an actor and finally has the license to explore another creative passion publicly.

“I’ll be mounting my first ‘real’ concert this April,” he laughed in a huddle with The T-Zone and a few other Entertainment Editors. “The ones before—sa ‘That’s’ kasi lip sync eh!” he laughed even harder. “And then the others [that followed]from time to time were part of promotions for shows.”

The top leading man has been playing the guitar, as well as the piano, since he was seven years old

And so, come April 21 at the Waterfront Cebu Hotel and May 13 at Resorts World Manila, a full band will join Ian on stage in a major concert entitled “Ian in 3 Acts” to show his long kept musical side.

His excitement contagious, the mestizo actor related how he and his band has been rehearsing for months and how he is thriving not just in the music but also the visual aspect of the production.

A painter too, just like his dad Roy Veneracion, Ian explained, “There’s going to be a giant LED screen that will play out my repertoire like a movie—that’s why the title of the concert is Ian in 3 Acts. Being an actor, I have to incorporate that major part of me in the show so I will be interacting with the visuals so that they won’t just serve as a background. It’s fun because I get to tap into all my artistic sides for this one thing—being an actor, a musician—because I’d feel pretentious calling myself a singer—, and a visual artist.

The three acts, according to the performer will comprise the following: “The first act is ‘the Ian you know,’ and will cover the theme songs from my teleseryes; the second, ‘the Ian you don’t know,’ where I’ll bring in my personal choices in music from Sting, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder…; and finally the third act is ‘who I am,’ which is a combination of the first and second acts. This is where I’ll get to sing my own compositions.”

A song already playing in several radio stations and music streaming websites is Ian’s original song, “We’re All Alone,” will see its first live performance at the concert, perfectly summing up its composer’s life as an artist constantly in the spotlight.

Directed by Mike Alcazaren, Ian in 3 Acts will also feature young singer LA Santos as special guest. It is produced by Dreamwings Production Inc. with tickets already available at SM City Cebu, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino and Ticketworld.

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