10 questions for Jimmy Marquez

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It seems like Star In A Million finalist Jimmy Marquez has found his home on the professional stage. He has appeared in Aida and In The Heights, and recently, the scene-stealing Iago in Atlantis Productions’ hit staging of Disney’s Aladdin. The family musical which also starred Aiza Seguera and Calvin Millado (who alternated) as the Genie, Tom Rodriguez as Aladdin and K-La Rivera as Princess Jasmine, played to packed houses at the Meralco Theatre. We caught up with Jimmy to ask him a few questions during his downtime.

1. How did you get started singing?

“Music is one thing I can’t live without. Singing, to me, has always been innate. I didn’t have to learn to like it, I’ve loved it ever since I did my first public performance at the tender age of five. I knew exactly what I wanted to become — a singer/performer — to be on stage.”

2. Describe your Star In A Million stint?

“One of my dreams was to sing on TV and it came true when I joined Star In A Million in 2006. That experience was nerve-wracking and exciting altogether. I got along really well with the other contestants but at the same time, I had to put my game face on during performances. Honestly, I never thought I’d be part of the Top 50 but fortunately, I made it to final three.”

3. Are you still close to other finalists and winners?

“I made real friends in SIAM (Star In A Million). In fact, we get together once in a while. We keep in touch.”

4. How did you get started in theater?

“I used to just watch Atlantis shows in the past and I was so envious every time because I wanted to be part of it. Sounds cliché but it’s a dream come true as well. I didn’t know how to get started until my manager told me about auditions for In The Heights at the eleventh hour. I remember singing somewhere in front of our directors and I was so nervous that I forgot some of the lines. But I think I did good because they gave me the role of the Piraguero — a character that I dearly loved portraying.”

5. Tell us about your theater experiences?

“My theater experiences have been wonderful. I love the people I’ve worked with, the discipline, how much time is valued. Everyone is so supportive and genuine. I feel a sense of belonging!”

6. What has it been like working on Aladdin?

“Working on Aladdin has been pleasurable and fun. I saw the movie when I was a kid and I believed it. And to actually be part of the live storytelling was such a thrill! Our directors Bobby Garcia and Chari Arespacochaga brought out the best in us as actors. Hence, we became better at what we do. My castmates are all very talented and we treated each other like a family. Like in In The Heights, I looked forward to the rehearsals. And I will miss everybody.”

7. How was it like working with Tom and K-La?

“K-La and I worked together in In the Heights and we have kept in touch since. She isn’t just pretty and talented, but also a beautiful person inside. We know a lot about each other. It was my first time to work with Tom and already I have so much respect for the guy. He has so much dedication and passion for the craft. It was a delight to work with them both.”

8. What is your favorite moment in the musical?

“My favorite part of the show is A Whole New World. It’s truly indescribable how I feel seeing them on the magic carpet. It brings back a lot of childhood memories. I am in awe watching Aladdin and Jasmine come to life!”

9. Why do you love the theater?

“I love theater because it gives me a different kind of fulfillment I love (the idea) that you get to be someone else and be convincing and good at it. You breathe life into a character which is challenging and I love challenges. We have so much respect for each other and we’re treated as equals — no diva, no star!”

10. What are your dream shows?

“My dream role would be Princess Jasmine. Ha, ha, ha! Kidding! It’d be great to play the role of Priscilla in Priscilla Queen of the Desert!”








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