LEA SALONGA

LEA SALONGA gave her fans on the Internet
another night to remember last August 1, 1997
when she chatted with them at the TalkCity's Pavilion
for two hours (10:00pm to 12:00 midnight ETD).
The chat session was facilitated by FILIPINO TODAY. 
Full transcript (with minor editing for clarity and organization) appeared below.
The show was hosted by TalkCity's CityConferenceCrew (CCC).


CCCMyst: TalkCity in conjunction with FILIPINO TODAY Newspaper is pleased to welcome International Star and Celebrity ~*~ LEA SALONGA ~*~

CCCMyst: LEA SALONGA made her professional debut at the age of 7 in Repertory Philippines' production of The King And I and has since appeared numerous productions. At the age of 10 she began her recording career and received a gold record for her first album Small Voice. She has played the role of Kim in the hit musical Miss Saigon for which she received the Laurence Olivier Award, and went on to Broadway where she received the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. While in Miss Saigon Lea recorded the singing voice of Jasmine for the Walt Disney animated hit Aladdin. Lea performed the song "A Whole New World" live at the 65th Annual Academy Awards, where the song won an Oscar. Lea has performed for President and Mrs. George Bush, Queen Elizabeth II and President Bill Clinton.

CCCMyst: Please join me in a very warm welcome for Lea Salonga.

CCCMyst: Welcome Lea!!! Lea comes to us today Live from Manila!

LeaSalonga: Thanks for the welcome! Hi everybody!

CCCMyst: It's great to have you as our guest today Lea!! When did you first realize you wanted to perform?

LeaSalonga: Hmmm... my mother tells me that I started using the living room coffee table as a stage when I was two... using a plug for a microphone.

CCCMyst: Lea, mothers are the best audience!

LeaSalonga: You can't find better ones!

Questions: Lman says: Did you idolized anyone growing up?

LeaSalonga: I listened to the Osmonds when I was growing up, as well as The Carpenters, Olivia Newton-John... and Abba.

Questions: Edyliza says: From where in the Philippines did you originate from?

LeaSalonga: I was born in Manila, stayed in Angeles City for 6 years, then moved back to Manila.

Questions: chilliseas says: What was it like for you to perform with Menudo and Charlie Masso?

LeaSalonga: Menudo and Charlie? It was a lot of fun, but it got scary because they were adored by their female fans. The performing itself was fun and they were great to get along with, but hearing boos and hissing while I was onstage wasn't the best. But those boys were really cool.

Questions: BPearl80 says: Any plans on having another album???

LeaSalonga: Yes, there are plans, and there will be something released in Manila soon... but I can't really talk about it in full detail yet until it's closer to release time.

Questions: kuang says: Have you ever heard of the "Philippine Madrigal Singers"

LeaSalonga: Oh yeah... an old schoolmate of mine from high school is/was part of the group.

Questions: Edyliza says: Did you get to work directly with Robbin Williams in Alladin?

LeaSalonga: Unfortunately, no... I never got to meet him at all, to this day. I wish I did though...

Questions: Stefan says: Will you be returning to the States to do Eponine on tour or on Broadway? If so, when?

LeaSalonga: No, I think that I've sung my last Eponine (Honolulu). I'd like to do something else if ever I get to do another Broadway show.

CCCMyst: What is your most memorable performance?

LeaSalonga: Whoa! Hands down, the Les Miz concert in London two years ago (has it been that long?). The audience was just so game and involved in our performances, like they were on stage with us. I had the best time... plus the performers were absolutely fabulous!

Questions: Violet says: What was it like doing the voice of a cartoon character?

LeaSalonga: Doing a voice for a cartoon? Strange, in a nice way. I couldn't believe it when I finally saw Aladdin in its entirety... I knew it was my voice, but when I saw another form mouthing the song, it was different. It's a wonderful experience though...

CCCMyst: Lea, you're unique in the fact that your popularity spans several generations of fans

LeaSalonga: I'm fortunate that both young and older people like the work I do...

CCCMyst: Yes, you are! What kind of vocal training have you had?

LeaSalonga: Not as much as a lot of other people... I did train for a year in London with a wonderful teacher named Mary Hammond and in New York on occasion, but other than that, nothing else. I do sing in the shower a lot!

CCCMyst: LOL Lea!! we're all shower stars !

Questions: Violet says: Was doing the Les Mis 10th Anniversary especially exciting?

LeaSalonga: Yes, it was. Firstly, being invited to be part of such a cast for that one show was enough of a thrill... next, meeting and performing with these people was such an honor. third, seeing a sea of people in front of you as you perform... it's an adrenaline rush you just can't get anywhere else!

Questions: Violet says: What was your most memorable moment on Broadway?

LeaSalonga: Ooh... I guess that would have to be the opening night of Miss Saigon.

CCCMyst: If you weren't performing, is there anything else you could see yourself doing?

LeaSalonga: Oh wow... maybe being a doctor... I was in pre-med before leaving Manila to do Miss Saigon, so I might have continued had I not tried out for it.

CCCMyst: Really Lea?

LeaSalonga: Yeah... dissection was a particular favorite activity in college. particularly...

LeaSalonga: Pardon my typos if they happen...

CCCMyst: No problem

Questions: KauaiLarry says: As far as pop tunes suited for your talents, how about Debbie Gibson's "Lost In Your Eyes"?

LeaSalonga: Hee hee! to perform or to listen to?

Questions: KauaiLarry says: We finally obtained "Redwood Curtain". You were wonderful! And the laser of "Les Miserables" Rowena cried when you died. Me too!

LeaSalonga: Awww... thanks! Crying is a big compliment for what I do.

Questions: Violet says: what was your favorite part to play?

LeaSalonga: My favorite part? Probably Eponine... poise wasn't a prerequisite for the part. ;)

Questions: Raptor says: Lea, what have you been doing lately?

LeaSalonga: BUMMING! Doing absolutely nothing! I did a performance in Hong Kong during the handover period (not at the main ceremony)... and a private show in Singapore... and one in Manila. I also just had the flu, so I've been taking care of that too. yuck.

Questions: Jon says: Is it true that you are considering returning to "Miss Saigon" on Broadway?

LeaSalonga: There was talk, but in the end, no, I won't be returning to the show. It was special, but it's time to move on and do other things.

Questions: AGILA says: having received grandslam recognition for your portrayal of Kim in Miss Saigon (Olivier Award, Tony, and NY Critic's Circle), do you feel that your talents are "underutilized" as far as performing in theater is concerned? You don't seem as visible as we would want you to be in mainstream Broadway.

LeaSalonga: I guess everything has its own time... when the right role comes, I'll be first in line to grab it. I would love to do another show in New York... I miss it.

Questions: Lman says: What was it like the first time you came to America?

LeaSalonga: After living in London for a year and a half, it wasn't much of a culture shock. The easy part was that I was going into a show that was very familiar to me, so I could just concentrate on everything else like settling into my apartment, getting bank accounts, familiarizing myself with the neighborhood...

Questions: Carlos_ says: Lea, would you ever consider returning to Miss Saigon?

LeaSalonga: Perhaps for a special performance, but not for a long stint.

Questions: KauaiLarry says: Don't you think Erin Blair does a great job maintaining your webpage?

LeaSalonga: My webpage is maintained by Joyce Torres and Dindo Dawis. That's the official one. [FT: the URL of Lea's homepage is: http://www.xnet.com/~wmeistr/LEA/]

Questions: Mel-T says: I'm a big fan of yours. I have your self-entitled album, the Miss Saigon cd, the Les Miserables cd, the King and I cd, your song "How Wonderful We Are?", and even the making of Miss Saigon, the video. I just would like to know if there are any plans for another album or marriage plans for that matter.

LeaSalonga: There are plans for another album... and as for marriage plans.. I haven't gotten a proposal yet!

Questions: Violet says: What was the best part about the 10 anniversary Les Mis concert?

LeaSalonga: The best part? Just being on stage with those performers, that orchestra and hearing the audience react. It was overwhelming.

CCCMyst: Lea, do you get nervous before a performance?

LeaSalonga: Always! My teeth chatter, my palms get clammy, my knees knock and I tremble all over. Once I start singing, I feel better.

Questions: Lman says: Is there anyone you most like to work with in the entertainment business?

LeaSalonga: Oh wow... gee... Barbra Streisand probably... I don't know.

Questions: Violet says: who is your role model in your professional career?

LeaSalonga: None really... I don't pattern my career from anyone else... I just go with my gut and do stuff that I love to do.

Questions: Stephen says: Dear Lea, do you have any plans to come to Paris to meet the Pope, and do you need a guide ;-) (From Stephane, French correspondent for Playbill on-line)

LeaSalonga: Hee hee! Thanks for the offer... No plans to fly to Paris though.

Questions: Lman says: Do you have a favorite singer, actor/actress?

LeaSalonga: Hmmm... I adore the cast of Friends (Matthew Perry is my favorite "Friend")... Jodie Foster... the cast of newsradio is hysterical.

CCCMyst: Who is your favorite performer to work with?

LeaSalonga: To work with...

CCCMyst: Yes, of all the people you've worked with, do you have favorites?

LeaSalonga: Everyone I worked with has been wonderful, so I can't give one specific name.

Questions: Stephen says: Is it true you are going to star in "Anything Goes" in Manila and if yes, when ?

LeaSalonga: I haven't been asked yet... but if so, I'd have to see if I was available to do it. I like the show though, and would love to do it.

CCCMyst: What kind of suggestions would you have to young and aspiring actors?

LeaSalonga: First, to determine if they have talent. Second, to determine if they're willing to work hard. Third, TO ALWAYS BE ON TIME FOR EVERYTHING!!! I hate waiting, and I hate being waited for.

CCCMyst: Good Point!

Questions: Stephen says: Will you perform in the Centennial Concert in 1998?

LeaSalonga: There are a lot of centennial events next year... I haven't been asked to any one of them.

Questions: Jon says: What can you tell us about "Mulan"? Has it all been recorded? How many songs do you sing?

LeaSalonga: Mulan is nearly done, but it ain't over till you see it on screen. It's mostly finished. I can say nothing more.

Questions: CANINE says: Do you prefer wolves or tigers?

LeaSalonga: Tigers.

Questions: Stephen says: You worked with a lot of Broadway and West End names, do you still keep in touch with people like Liz Callaway, Ruthie Henshall or Nicholas Hytner?

LeaSalonga: Unfortunately no... I have no idea what any of these people are up to now.

Questions: pochontas says: Is there going to be a big Mulan premiere like there was pocahotnas in the park?

LeaSalonga: I have no idea... I'll probably find out when everyone else does!

Questions: AlexC says: Will you be doing any concerts in San Francisco this year?

LeaSalonga: There are offers, but nothing has been set.

Questions: Stephen says: Do you have any plans for a new recording?

LeaSalonga: No plans yet, but it would be nice.

Questions: FLAMES says: If you ever make another movie in Philippines... Sinong gusto mong maging leading man mo? (FT's translation: Who do you want to be your leading man?)

LeaSalonga: Leading man??? Ooh, I'm open to suggestions!

Questions: AGILA says: Any plans on releasing a second international release album?

LeaSalonga: I'm not signed up with anyone, so I guess the answer would be no.

Questions: Jon says: Having accomplished so much already, what are some of your goals and aspirations for the future?

LeaSalonga: Goals and aspirations... to just continue to do quality work for as long as I can. That's all I can aspire for.

Questions: chilliseas says: Lea, do you still keep in contact with any of the Menudo guys?

LeaSalonga: No, but I did see Ricky Martin in Honolulu.. He's absolutely GORGEOUS!

Questions: Edyliza says: Are there any upcoming movies that we can look forward to?

LeaSalonga: Nope. Nothing other than Mulan.

Questions: Jon says: Are you presently in the Philippines?

LeaSalonga: Yes... I'm in Manila.

Questions: chilliseas says: Lea, what do you feel was your most rewarding role and why?

LeaSalonga: Rewarding? probably Eponine... no one would have given me a chance to perform a part like that... I've been stopped from auditions because of my background, and to do Les Miz was my way of getting sweet revenge. mwahahahaha!

Questions: WEBBER says: Lea? Will you visit in Korea (Seoul, Korea)?

LeaSalonga: No plans to visit Korea yet.

Questions: Jon says: How would you describe the music of "Mulan"?

LeaSalonga: Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Questions: Violet says: Did you train professionally in singing?

LeaSalonga: Only for a year... and off and on in New York.

Questions: Carlos_ says: Lea, Were you a big Boublil & Schonburg fan before joining Miss Saigon?

LeaSalonga: No I wasn't... I only learned about Les Miz when it was time to audition.

Questions: VinTek says: If a reputable record company, say Varese Sarabande, asked you to do an album, would you consider it?

LeaSalonga: If the offer was good, sure. It would depend on the reputation of the company and their current offerings released.

Questions: stephen says: Lea, I heard they just re-released "Small Voice" in CD. Is there any plan to re-release other old CDs of yours? We would love that!

LeaSalonga: That's about the only one... actually, the re-release is a combo of two albums... at least, the best stuff from two of them.

Questions: Violet says: are any of your family in show business?

LeaSalonga: Let's see... one prima ballerina in Atlanta... one artist in Manila.. one musician currently in Boston... but I'm the only one who did the whole show business thing.

Questions: Carlos_ says: How do you keep your voice in shape on a day to day basis?

LeaSalonga: The shower! Singing in the shower! Also, I don't smoke and keep the alcohol at bay.

Questions: pochontas says: You're my IDOL, any tips to an aspiring Broadway singer? By the way what's your favorite songs from Les Miz and Miss Saigon

LeaSalonga: First question... tips: get 8 hours of sleep, especially the nights right before a performance. prepare thoroughly, and then some.. lyrics, spiels

LeaSalonga: Second question... my favorite songs? Hmmm... Sun and Moon and Bring Him Home.

Questions: Toria says: What's it like to work for Disney?

LeaSalonga: It's a lot of fun!

Questions: AirForce1 says: Have you ever auditioned for a show and did not get it? How did that make you feel?

LeaSalonga: I've gotten the shows that I've auditioned for... feature films, I've been turned down... I don't feel bad when I don't get the job.... it's just part of being an actor.

Questions: FLAMES says: Lea... Do you ever use any chat?? like ICQ??? or ICHAT??

LeaSalonga: I do sometimes... but anonymously.

Questions: pochontas says: When your'e in the middle of a musical, what do you do to keep your voice up? And what's your schedule like when a musical is going on?

LeaSalonga: I try not to spend hours chatting on the phone...and my schedule becomes more strict... go to work, do the show, and go home. I stay home for most of the day.

Questions: VinTek says: Saw you at the Hollywood Bowl. Will you be performing in Los Angeles again?

LeaSalonga: I haven't gotten offers or invites... hopefully soon.

Questions: Queenie says: Lea, you look so well prepared and perfect while on stage. I was just wondering if you've had any bloopers. If so, what would you consider the funniest?

LeaSalonga: Oh yeah! For the beginning of On my Own (before the main song begins) I totally forgot the line. Instead of singing "sometimes I walk alone at night," I sang something else. That song sends me into paranoia fits before I sing it...

Questions: sunken says: Do you have a any projects with the Disney Company coming up or any TV/Movie appearances in the states?

LeaSalonga: Mulan... release date is summer 1998. That's about it.

Questions: NanuNanu says: Do you look back of old clips with you singing duets with your brother when you were young. I think you sang a duet from Man of La Mancha.

LeaSalonga: Man of La Mancha? Oh wow... I don't remember that one. But we look at old pictures and listen to tapes... and get all mushy.

Questions: RJ1 says: Lea, what's it like to perform in big-time venues like London, New York and Manila?

LeaSalonga: It's scary, but exciting.

Questions: oxymoron says: Lea, have you heard about the Miss Saigon movie? Do you think you may be in it? As Kim of course!

LeaSalonga: I haven't heard of it... I doubt that it'll be filmed while the show is still running.

Questions: The_Kurgan says: My family are Pinos in the states and cannot make out English music very well. Is there a way to find your pino albums in the states here?

LeaSalonga: Try your local Filipino store... I have no other suggestions.

Questions: DannyEys says: Have you seen all the web sites devoted to you, and do you surf online:)

LeaSalonga: I've seen a few of them.. but I call one home.

Questions: Raun says: Are you on vacation now, and if not, what occupies your time the most these days

LeaSalonga: Yes, I am officially on vacation, so being a couch potato occupies my time now.

Questions: SOFTimage says: Lea, out of all the international celebrities that you have come across...which one got you really starstruck?

LeaSalonga: Spielberg, probably... he came backstage after watching Miss Saigon, and told us how much he loved it.

Questions: Alligator says: What would your DREAM role on Broadway be Lea?

LeaSalonga:: Oh to do Eva Peron would be a dream....

Questions: Queenie says: Lea, I love your Avon commercials, but do you have to do a Palmolive commercial a la Evita?

LeaSalonga: I got to be Evita for a day... if for nothing else, I had a great time doing that ad.

Questions: Jon says: Do you keep on touch with people behind Les Mis and Saigon?

LeaSalonga: With the few that have email...

Questions: WEBBER says: did you meet Andrew Lloyd Webber one time?

LeaSalonga: I never met him... maybe one day I will.

Questions: leeq says: Lea, are you still using your Mac Performer 405 and the Powerbook and Windows 95 now?

LeaSalonga: My brother uses the Performa, and I use a Powerbook. I have never and will never use Windows! Sorry, I'm an avowed Mac user.

Questions: Krista says: Would you like to play the part of Christine in Phantom of the Opera?

LeaSalonga: I don't have the voice for Christine... I wasn't trained that way (operatic soprano).

Questions: oxymoron says: what do you think about the musical RENT?

LeaSalonga: I saw it in Boston... it's pretty cool, but there were so many kids who saw it, that I couldn't concentrate.

Questions: FLAMES says: If you had a 1 year vacation... What would where would you go and what would you be doing?

LeaSalonga: Oh I don't know! Certainly go somewhere private and quiet be it the beach or a cabin in the alps...

Questions: SOFTimage says: Lea --just out of curiosity, do you think there will be a cinematic version of Miss Saigon (ala Evita) with you in the starring role?

LeaSalonga: My own opinion? Not while the show is running.

Questions: SOFTimage says: Lea: you must have countless fans, what's the craziest stunt a fan has ever done to try and impress you?

LeaSalonga: Nothing crazy really...

Questions: pochontas says: is there somewhere I can find a recording of the making of Aladdin or when you sang A Whole New World when it won an award?

LeaSalonga: I don't know where, I'm afraid.

Questions: Luis says: What enticed you to come chat on Talk City?

LeaSalonga: I got invited!

Questions: RJ1 says: Where's your favorite place in the world to perform?

LeaSalonga: hmmm... probably at home... because... it's home.

Questions: Flipper says: What do you think of today's Repertory Philippines?

LeaSalonga: The performers are really good... but because of the exodus of its stars to other countries, it's tough finding good actors.

Questions: Jazzz says: Do you see yourself settling down in the Philippines or abroad in the long term?

LeaSalonga: That would depend on who I ended up marrying.

Questions: Carlos_ says: Did you like working with Claire Moore? I thought your voices perfectly complimented each other.

LeaSalonga: Oh she's so much fun to work with... she's got a great sense of humor.

Questions: kabayan says: what kind of family (size -- no. of children) do you want to have?

LeaSalonga: Two kids... max. three.

Questions: pogz says: Do you still visit/lurk/anonymously post in the Filipino newsgroup (SCF) from time to time...we kinda miss ya there!

LeaSalonga: I still do... but the posts have gotten... well... a little strange.

Questions: DannyEys says: Will you ever duet with Glen Medeiros

LeaSalonga: I don't know... that would depend on whether or not I get asked to.

Questions: Patryn says: We're all acquainted with your beautiful singing voice-- do you also play any instruments? Have a favorite?

LeaSalonga: I used to play classical piano... and a string instrument called the banduria, but I've forgotten how.

Questions: DavidTurley says: Now I have been in several shows at my hometown like "Anything Goes" and "Hello Dolly!", but how do I know if I am good enough for Broadway and is it hard???

LeaSalonga: How will you know if you're good enough for Broadway? Audition for shows on Broadway... if you're good enough, you'll get hired.

Questions: RJ1 says: Lea, did you get to celebrate when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their 5th NBA Title?

LeaSalonga: I was in Manila early in the morning to watch the game... I certainly celebrated when they won!

Questions: FLAMES says: Are you satisfied with your lovely career right now??

LeaSalonga: Oh, more than satisfied. I'm thankful that I'm even given these chances to perform.

Questions: izmute says: How do you see the theatre "industry" in the Philippines? Is it very different from Broadway or the West End? Do we (the Filipinos) have a lot to learn about theatre? I hope not!!

LeaSalonga: First question... the theater industry here (Philippines) hasn't reached the status of theater in the west end or Broadway, because there isn't yet a culture for it here. We're mostly a moviegoing public, not a theater-going one.

LeaSalonga: Second question... Broadway and the West end have a long tradition of theater... it's like going to the movies, and isn't seen as elitist art.

LeaSalonga: Third question... we have to learn to appreciate the theater... it's the most demanding performing discipline...

Questions: izmute says: Have any plans on doing a play here in the Philippines? If I'm not mistaken, you're last play here was Grease!. (correct me if I'm wrong) You were the best one on stage!!!

LeaSalonga: Thanks! No plans on doing a play here... not yet anyway.

Questions: Nantasket says: Lea, 2 questions, will you perform in the Boston area anytime soon (such as with the Boston Pops) and I travel to Manila frequently, can you recommend a nightclub?

LeaSalonga: First question... no plans to perform in Boston...

LeaSalonga: Second question... go to either Zu or the Conservatory... I heard Venezia and El Cirkulo are cool too.

CCCMyst: Sovanzi asks, Of all the things happening in the Philippines, what concerns you the most. Is there anything you think you can do to help? Or what others can do as well?

LeaSalonga: Hmmm... good question... there are so many things to pick from... first, that the Lahar-stricken areas haven't yet been completely rescued...second... that there still are so many kids on the streets... third... bickering among actors in the kapp... As for what I can do... as a performer, I can only call attention to these problems. I wish there wasn't this bickering though... it's embarrassing.

Questions: pogz says: If you weren't in showbiz...what would you be doing instead?

LeaSalonga: I'd be a doctor probably... a lot of my college friends are working in hospitals now.

Questions: Flipper says: Who do you think can be big in theater in terms of Filipino thespians?

LeaSalonga: What do I think can be big? I don't quite understand the question...

Questions: AGILA says: if it was at all possible to produce Miss Saigon in the Philippines, would you consider playing it for the Filipino people? :)

LeaSalonga: If it was? I'd consider playing Kim, but I think that there is by now someone more able to do it. Besides, I don't have the waistline for it!

Questions: FLAMES says: Have you been in Tokyo, Japan??? If yes.. When???

LeaSalonga: The last time I was there was when I was around 10 or 11... and of course on stopovers for flights.

Questions: SOFTimage says: Lea, twenty years down the line, do you still see yourself doing what you're doing now? Or will you pursue other goals that you might have planned but never had the chance in achieving? Hmmm..did that last one make sense? heheheh

LeaSalonga: Twenty years... I'd be 46... I'd probably work on being a mom by then and be finished with college... finally.

Questions: PochLuvr says: What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

LeaSalonga: Vanilla. Goes with anything and everything.

Questions: Nyuk says: Hi Lea! Of the songs that you've performed, have you had any that you've contributed to, ie. your lyrics, melody etc...

LeaSalonga: Oh no... not at all.

Questions: The_Kurgan says: Do you feel that the roles available to Asians or other minorities are restricted and overlooked by Broadway?

LeaSalonga: I feel that all roles should be open to all actors, regardless of their ethnic background. Meaning, I feel all actors have dibs on whatever's available. so as for minority roles...I believe there shouldn't be any... but reality and the ideal are two different things.

Questions: Herbert says: Are there any parts that you want to play that you haven't played yet?

LeaSalonga: Other than Eva? hmmm... Reno Wweeney in Anything Goes, Polly in Crazy for You...

Questions: pogz says: Do you do character voices in Mulan or is it just songs?

LeaSalonga:: I just do the songs. Ming-na wen does the speaking for Mulan.

Questions: jai says: Have you seen the new musical that Boublil and Shounberg created Martin Guerre?

LeaSalonga: No, I haven't yet.

Questions: SugarRay says: I heard that you made a 2nd album produced by David Foster. Is this true? If so... when is the release date?

LeaSalonga: No, totally untrue.

Questions: Carlos_ says: If you were to do a domestic release, would you like to do show tunes, pop, or other?

LeaSalonga: Good question... I'd love to do one of each!

Questions: RJ1 says: Are you amazed at the fan following you have attained & maintained over the years?

LeaSalonga: I'm amazed all right! I still don't believe it.

Questions: Raptor says: How do you keep a theater role fresh, performing it day in and day out?

LeaSalonga: It's tough to keep it fresh, but the best way to do it is to remember that the audience is seeing it for the first time. keeping that in mind is helpful.

Questions: The_Kurgan says: Do you respond to snail mail sent to your agent or is that also a no no in your quest for more personal time?

LeaSalonga: I try to answer the photo requests (but it's tough when you run out of photos to send)

Questions: Carlos_ says: When doing a show do you work out physically to increase your stamina, especially if doing multiple shows in a week?

LeaSalonga: The show is enough of a workout... plus, I hate working out. I get lazy to do it.

Questions: VinTek says: Have you considered episodic television, a la Nia Peeples?

LeaSalonga: I haven't been asked to do one, so I haven't really considered it.

Questions: Frankie says: Do you have any favourite Filipino movie?

LeaSalonga: No, not really... I haven't seen one that really stands out.

Questions: Nantasket says: Lea, you travel a great deal, do you have a favorite city?

LeaSalonga: New York, hands down!

Questions: bzmom says: Any trips planned to Canada?

LeaSalonga: None yet... But I have family and friends there, so I might make a personal trip one day.

Questions: jai says: Are you going to watch Martin Guerre the musical by the authors of Miss Saigon?

LeaSalonga: If I'm in London anytime soon, then I'll definitely go see it.

Questions: chia says: Do you have any plans to come and work in UK again in the near future?

LeaSalonga: If there's an offer again, I'd love to.

Questions: Moo says: What is your website address?

LeaSalonga: http://www.xnet.com/~wmeistr/LEA

Questions: Kuang says: Has "Little Tramp" been played in U.S

LeaSalonga: I don't think so... it only got as far as a concept album, I think.

Questions: bzmom says: which school did you go to for your pre-med?

LeaSalonga: Ateneo de Manila University...the best for the best... I'm obviously biased.

Questions: Joanne says: do people recognize you on the street? And do you like signing autographs?

LeaSalonga: People in Manila do... I can go anonymously in the US.

Questions: ROMCOM says: What do you have to say to people who keep on comparing you to other performers like Frances Ruffelles?

LeaSalonga: I can't help comparisons being made... but hopefully audiences see each performer as unique and appreciate¬Oœ

Questions: Carlos_ says: Lea, has your friend who was in "The Making of Miss Saigon" with you gone on to other acting roles?

[at this point, Lea lost her Internet connection]

CCCMyst: Lea will return shortly

[but she was back in less than a minute]

CCCMyst: Welcome Back Lea!

LeaSalonga: I disappeared.... my connection fell...

Questions: pochontas says: Are u a soprano #1 #2? or alto..?

LeaSalonga: Oh... my teacher called me a lyric soprano...

Questions: zack says: A lot of Filipino performers are visiting San Diego nowadays. Do you have any offer or plans of having a show here?

LeaSalonga: No plans yet.. I haven't received an invite. But San Diego is a great place to visit.

Questions: harryo says: "So many kids. . .?" When I first saw you I thought you were about 16! How close was I?

LeaSalonga: You're 10 years off! I'm 26.. turning 27 in February.

Questions: NanuNanu says: Stephen Sondheim has a lot of his shows on video which allows people who would normally not have a chance to see a musical, exposed to one. What's your opinion on videotaping live musicals.

LeaSalonga: I think it's a good idea for archiving purposes but not for piracy.

Questions: Carlos_ says: Are there any videos available of any of your performances besides Les Mis 10th anniversary?

LeaSalonga: Unfortunately no...

Questions: pochontas says: Do you have any pets?

LeaSalonga: Here, there's a doberman that hates me, and a mini pinscher that hates him. The doberman is Bruno, and the mini pin is George.

Questions: Softimage says: Lea, you have a radiating smile with two of the cutest dimples this side of the universe...tell us the answer to the $65,000 question...what toothpaste do you use? ;-)

LeaSalonga: colgate.

Questions: chia says: How would you describe your personality?

LeaSalonga: My friends are in a better position to answer that... But as for me, I think I'm open, affectionate, straight to the point. simple, unaffected... but a major stickler for detail and getting everything right.

Questions: PochLuvr says: Would you encourage your future children to get into show business?

LeaSalonga: I wouldn't stop them, but I'd prefer them to live more private lives, whatever they chose to be.

Questions: pochontas says: Do you read the message boards about you in Playbill?

LeaSalonga: Sometimes I stop by...

Questions: Kuang says: Lea, do you know there are a lot of your fans in Taiwan?

LeaSalonga: No, I didn't know! Thanks for telling me!

Questions: The_Kurgan says: I'm going to be living in Los Angeles soon and am going to be away from mom's cooking any advice for a 21 year going through Adobo (FT: adobo is a Filipino food) withdrawal?

LeaSalonga: Learn to make your own!

Questions: Tatiana says: Do you plan to go on TV in the U.S. to promote "Mulan?"

LeaSalonga: If Disney sends me on to perform to promote it, I'd love it. I hope Rosie's on that list...

Questions: DannyEys says: Would you make a record especially with children? and will you get to produce one stage show, any kind of show?

LeaSalonga: First... I would like to make a record with kids... they're the most fun to perform with.

LeaSalonga: Second... I have no plans to produce any show at the moment.

Questions: Kuang says: Have you ever heard the performance of Philippine Madrigal Singers?

LeaSalonga: I have... we performed together in Spain for the Expo.

Questions: RCalderon says: What do you miss the most about the Philippines, Manang (FT: Manang is Lea's nickname on the Net)?

LeaSalonga: My friends who are here... I miss them so much when I leave.

Questions: pochontas says: is it true you have a biography out?

LeaSalonga: Nope, I don't. My life isn't exciting enough for one!

Questions: Softimage says: Lea, I'm sure a lot of guys in this channel will be interested in the answer to this question....what qualities do you look for in a man? Would you prefer him to be also in showbiz like yourself?

LeaSalonga: I like this question! I look for goodness and kindness in his heart, honesty, integrity, pride in his own work... someone humble and true, close to his family...and really, really cute! I would prefer that he wasn't in showbusiness... he needs to be affectionate too... and loving. And I found him already! [FT: if you are interested to find out who this lucky person is, check our "Cyberchat with Lea Salonga" last April 16, 1997 at http://www.newsflash.org/chat/leachat.htm]

Questions: Carlos_ says: Have you seen any other actresses perform the role of Kim? Any favorites?

LeaSalonga: I have seen... one that impressed me was Jennifer Paz... she looked the part, acted it and sang it well. There are other who I heard were really good too, but I haven't seen them.

CCCMyst: We have time for two more quick questions

Questions: The_Kurgan says: My mother would like to know if you're related to a senator named Salonga.

LeaSalonga: We've tried to find a connection, but couldn't find one.

Questions: harryo says: What happened to your"King & I" album with Julie A., Peabo B. et al? And, have you ever been to Houston?

LeaSalonga: The album did quite well, I think. We all had a great time doing it. As for Houston, no I've never been there.

CCCMyst: Lea, our thanks to you for joining us here today!! It's truly been a pleasure.

LeaSalonga: Oh, my pleasure! Thanks for your questions!

CCCMyst: Our time has come to an end this evening. Thank You to everyone who attended. A VERY Special Thank You to our guest LEA SALONGA. We look forward to your next movie and album.

CCCMyst: If you would like to provide feedback on this chat please go to:

http://www.onnow.com/eventfeedback.shtml and provide valuable editorial for OnNow- Liveworld's guide to live events.

CCCMyst: This event has been brought to you by Talk City and Live World Productions, Inc.


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All Rights Reserved.


Wondering what Lea was doing "backstage" throughout this 2-hour chat session?

Click here to read the article "The Making of A NIGHT WITH LEA SALONGA"

PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE

FILIPINO TODAY

LEA SALONGA'S HOMEPAGE

Click here for Lea's July 17, 1998 Chat Session at Talk City