WATCH: Nikki Gil on Repertory Philippines debut, going back to school and showbiz
Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - November 4, 2019 - 6:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — Singer-actress Nikki Gil told Philstar.com how she’s been preparing for her debut at Repertory Philippines with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel,” named by Time Magazine as “the best musical of the 20th century.”

“My last musical was ‘The Last Five Years’ by 9 Works (Theatrical) which was staged in 2014 if I’m not mistaken,” Nikki gleefully recalled.

Gil on October 14 announced on social media that she will star in “Carousel” alongside fellow comeback singer Gian Magdangal, who is also making his Repertory debut. The production, to be staged in May 2020, will be directed by Toff de Venecia.

“Carousel is a sweeping musical that follows the story of Billy Bigelow (Magdangal), a charismatic earthy anti-hero who works as a barker at a carousel, and Julie Jordan (Gil), a quiet, complex New England girl who works at a local cotton mill,” the production’s synopsis on the Repertory website reads.

The musical first opened on Broadway in 1945 and was staged in a 2018 Broadway revival.

New direction

Gil – whose portfolio includes theatre, film, and television – humbly admitted she’s not sure how she’s changed as an actress since her showbiz break.

“I mean I’ve changed a lot as a person. I’ve since then become a wife and a mom… I’m sure along with those roles comes some kind of maturity in terms of acting.”

Gil won "Best Leading Actress (Musical)" at the 2011 BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards. Her performance in a "Maalaala Mo Kaya" episode also bagged her the PMPC Star Awards for TV “Best Single Performance by An Actress” in 2013.

Gil's first lead role in a movie was even recognized by the first Vietnam International Film Festival with a nomination for Best Actress.

The thespian thanked her vocal teachers for helping her train rigorously and adapt to classical singing.

“I read somewhere that classical singing is kind of like running a marathon. You really have to condition your body. Definitely training, serious training happening.”

Nikki revealed how the musical category was still a different beast to master notwithstanding her extensive theater background.

“I like how we do the same thing (in theater). Your muscles know to do the same thing every night so you’re free to color it differently every night as well,” she shared.

This was different from musicals, according to Gil, where singing and movement was the same but “the emotions would change” depending on the actress’ mood or a new approach the director might take.

Balancing act

Beyond vocal training and acting rehearsals, Nikki said the bigger challenge was having to balance her many roles offstage.

“It’s happening. I mean I’m trying my hardest to create that balance. We’ll see once I’m in the thick of rehearsals, how I’m gonna fare.”

She’s continuing her studies at the Philippine School of Interior Design on top of being a wife and mom.

“I didn’t realize how much work it was gonna be,” Nikki confessed. 

“But I love it. I love learning new things. Interior design is something that I’ve always liked. I’m discovering that, oh wow, I can draw. Which is something that I never thought I could do.”

The designer-to-be also drew the line when it comes to television opportunities, saying that she misses acting but not the long hours.

“After becoming a mom, I feel like I’m so conscious about time, how my time is spent... I had to politely decline because, you know, I feel like I’ve enjoyed that season of my life," she enthused.

“Of course, never say never, but for now, I’m enjoying this season of my life. I’m enjoying motherhood, I’m enjoying that I get to study, I’m enjoying that I get to do theater.”

Nikki credited her family’s unwavering support and understanding in realizing her many dreams.

“My husband’s like, ‘Okay you want to do this, go ahead. You wanna do this, fine',” she said with optimism reflecting on her face. — Videos by Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo, editing by EC Toledo IV

CAROUSEL NIKKI GIL REPERTORY PHILIPPINES
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