Newcomer Sandino Martin creates buzz
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2013 - 12:00am

Up-and-coming young actor Sandino Martin is already creating a buzz with his performance in the indie film UNfriend (It’s Complicated). In the film directed by Jay Altarejos, Sandino plays a disturbed young homosexual. Sandino got his start in theater, training with Dulaang UP, PETA and Atlantis Productions.  

He returns to the Atlantis stage in PIAF starring Pinky Amador and directed by Bobby Garcia. The new version of PIAF, which was staged at London’s prestigious Donmar Warehouse before a West End transfer in 2008, features a reworked version of Pam Gems’ classic 1978 play first performed with The Royal Shakespeare Company and incorporates over 25 of Edith Piaf’s songs including La Vie En Rose, Hymn of Love and Non, Je non regrette rein. Also featured in the cast are Giselle Töngi-Walters and Ima Castro. It runs until March 23 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.

We caught up with Sandino in the middle of his busy rehearsal schedule for PIAF.

How did you start in musical theater?

“I started in musical theater back in college at the Dulaang UP stage. And from there, I branched out and joined other theater companies such as Atlantis and PETA.”

What is it about musical theater that you love?

“I fell in love with musical theater because of the process involved in producing a musical and the sheer experience of acting and singing on stage. I also get to witness collaboration of brilliant minds — the results of which enrich and inspire me both as a person and an artist.”

You have branched out into film. What are the differences in acting for film and theater?

“Acting in film is different from theater when it comes to the preparation for the role. The production process also differs (for instance, there’s no retake during a live stage performance versus film shooting). You sort of have to ‘act bigger’ on stage and perform for a bigger theater whereas it’s a different case altogether for film acting as your every movement can be magnified when it’s being captured on camera lens.”

What do you enjoy about film acting?

“One thing I enjoy about doing film is the fact that we get to do scenes in different locations. Working with brilliant film directors is also an enriching experience. I learn a lot from them.”

What attracted you to PIAF?

“The story. The interesting characters. The life of this amazing singer who was once the highest-paid female singer in the world. The use of foreign language particularly French in some scenes is also an attraction. And the fact that it is a period play makes it all the more fascinating.”

What is PIAF all about?

“It’s a biographical play of Edith Piaf’s career, triumphs, romantic exploits — the highs and lows included. It has beautiful music including many songs she sang throughout her career. It is an adults-only play though as it has some very suggestive scenes.”

How were the rehearsals?

“Both fun and challenging. To reconnect with people I’ve previously worked with and to establish new ties with other performers is the fun part. On the other hand, the experience of working with seasoned performers challenges me and makes me want to up my game a bit more so as not to disappoint the whole production team.”

What has it been like working with Pinky Amador?

“At first, I thought she would be intimidating because of her vast experience as a stage performer (both here and abroad). But she turns out to be very down-to-earth and helpful, especially with my French lines. She gave me pointers which I totally appreciate.”

What are your dream roles on stage?

“Probably, a character with a psychological disorder.  It will surely challenge me a lot emotionally and physically. I’d also like to do one Shakespeare play and do say, Macbeth, for a role.”

Do you see yourself immersing full-time in showbiz?

“I see myself as a full-time actor. I don’t have any other options in life pretty much (wink!). I did take up Theater Arts in college and I really like what I’m doing now. My goal is to pursue a long-term career in acting — be it in theater, film or TV.”

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