Empress Schuck finally gets her big break
- Vanessa A. Balbuena () - June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - After getting left behind by young actresses who joined show business much later than she did—like Andi Eigenmann, Melissa Ricks, Erich Gonzales and Kim Chiu—Empress Schuck has finally gotten her deserved place in the spotlight.

The 19-year-old talented Kapamilya mainstay has been in the business for 10 years now that it must have been disheartening for her to see contemporaries getting big breaks via their own soap operas while she continued waiting for her launching pad. Last month, her mother network gave her an afternoon teleserye of her own titled "Rosalka" and coined for her the moniker "Empress of Drama".

Aired right after "Wowowee", she plays here a hunchback complete with prosthetics not unlike Anne Curtis' "Kampanerang Kuba". She has two leading men namely, Matt Evans and Felix Roco, while the rest of the cast include Mickey Ferriols, Dominic Ochoa, Bernard Palanca, Maricar de Mesa, Kier Legaspi, Nikki Bacolod and Isabel Abreira.

Empress, a Star Magic Batch 13 member, was recently in Cebu for a promotional visit of all Metro Bum stores, a clothing apparel that she is endorsing. She serenaded fans who waited for her appearance in Metro Colon, Metro Ayala Center Cebu and Super Metro Mandaue where she handed out Bum give-aways to lucky spectators.

Asked what significant changes in her career she has noticed after being finally given leading lady status, she replied: "Siguro ang mga pagbabago lang, mas naging busy ako, marami na akong work and guestings. Mas madalas ko na rin napapanood yung sarili ko sa TV. Yun pa lang naman so far."

She avoids letting the break get to her head and refuses to acknowledge herself as one of her station's important talents.

"Hindi ko naman iniisip yun. Hindi ko alam, ayoko kasing isipin yun kasi baka sabihin ng mga tao na lumaki yung ulo ko," she said backstage at the event center of Super Metro Mandaue. "Syempre masaya ako dahil kahit papano malaki yung suporta nila sa 'Rosalka', marami ang sumusubaybay."

In 2003, she was hailed as the Most Popular Child Actress by the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. for her portrayal in Jose Javier Reyes' "9 Mornings", topbilled by Piolo Pascual and Donita Rose.

Her previous TV projects include "Super Inggo", "Abt Ur Luv", "Star Magic Presents: Astigs", "Your Song Presents: Underage" and "Agimat: Mga Alamat ni Ramon Revilla".

Some of the movies she appeared in as support cast were "Shake Rattle & Roll", "Lastikman", "Angels", "Resiklo", "Magkaibigan", "BFF", and "Ang Darling Kong Aswang" , and independent films like "Hilot" and "Pasang Krus."

But it was her numerous challenging portrayals in "Maalala Mo Kaya" episodes that marked her in the minds of viewers.

Commented one blogger: "I really like Empress' acting skill. Halos lahat ng naging episode niya sa MMK sobrang ang ganda ng pagkakaganap niya. Isa sa pinaka-memorable is nung gumanap siyang rape victim ng sarili niyang ama. Grabe ang emotion na pinakita niya dun, ang lalim.

Wini-wish ko rin talaga na mabigyan siya ng magandang break, ng chance na maipakita kung gaano siya kagaling. And eto na yun."

"The new 'Empress of Drama' - a royalty not by birth but by worth!" said another online fan, in what seems to be an indirect hit at celebrities who were given projects not by mere talent but by virtue of their famous showbiz parents.

Were there instances when she felt frustrated to be bypassed by newer talents?

"Kasi hindi naman ako katulad nina Andi at Erich na hindi nagsimula noong bata pa. Ako bata pa lang nagsimula. May mga pangarap din po ako na lumabas sa ganito, sa ganyan," she shared. "Hindi naman sa frustrated. Pero parang syempre, 10 years, matagal din na paghihintay. Nandoon yung medyo naiinip ng konti. Pero okey lang naman kasi sobrang worth it naman yung paghihintay."

The teen star would like to pattern her acting career after the Young Superstar who also began as a child actress. "Ang idol ko talaga si Judy Ann Santos. Gusto ko talaga 'yong 'Teleserye Queen'," said Empress, who noticeably resembles "Wowowee" host and fellow Becky Aguila talent, Valerie Concepcion.

Empress is also occupied with completing fourth year high school through home study.

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