Meet the two new ‘Rak of Aegis’ leads making a splash in local theater

Photos courtesy of PETA

 

It’s Rak of Aegis’ fourth year, and they are still making waves in the local theater community. And we don’t mean floodwaters. True, it has become some sort of ritual for theater fans to flood PETA every time the rainy season arrives. To those unfamiliar, Rak tells the story of Aileen, an aspiring star whose dream is to make it onto The Ellen DeGeneres Show, all while helping her family escape their current living situation. With the sheer power of Aegis songs and the extremely talented cast, what happens in the next few hours is just pure delight. You’ll need to stop yourself from singing at the top of your lungs.

This year, they welcomed two new Aileens who will join Rak veteran Kim Molina in this run. Shaira Opsimar and Princess Vire landed the role through PETA’s online contest: “Rak of Aegis Hu Got Talent, The Search for the Next Rakstar.” We talked to them via email to know more about how they got into theater and what they love most about playing Aileen.

Come out of the rain: Princess Vire and Shaira Opsimar join the Rak of Aegis barangay in this year’s run.

Young STAR: Can you talk us through your video audition? Any interesting behind-the-scenes stories?

SHAIRA OPSIMAR: I almost didn’t push through with the audition. I went back home crying in fear of having regrets, though. Why shouldn’t I give it a try? So after gathering enough courage, I went back to PETA to audition for the role. We’re like a big family encouraging and lifting each other up to give the crowd a great show. Pressure isn’t a new thing, most especially for a newbie like me. But it’s very humbling how my co-actors give me advice to help me portray the role of Aileen better.

PRINCESS VIRE: Honestly, I was doubting if I should go and audition because I was running for SK chairman in our barangay. I thought at the time, “What’s really meant for me, politics or career?” But then I auditioned at the same time. I went to PETA and auditioned during their live auditions, even though I didn’t have my voice then because of the public speaking I did.

Rak of Aegis is really a blessing for me, because they told me to go back to PETA three times just to hear me sing. I realized that maybe I wasn’t meant to win in my real life barangay, but God gave me Barangay Venizia to be my second home, my second barangay.

 

The best thing about playing Aileen is being able to inspire other people, including myself, through her story. 

 

What’s the best thing about playing Aileen? 

SHAIRA: The best thing about playing Aileen is being able to inspire other people, including myself, through her story. Just like her, I’m a dreamer; that is why I was able to muster the courage to move out of my comfort zone and conquer bigger stages. It wasn’t only for myself, but for everyone that matters most to me, too: the people who truly believe in what I can do — my friends, my family, and of course, God. All for His greater glory!

Aileen is quite the opposite of me when it comes to having an optimistic outlook. I must say, though, her character helped me slowly find the parts of me that I lost years ago. The courage, self-esteem, being bubbly and more.

PRINCESS: The best thing about being Aileen is that I can relate my real-life story to her story. I am also a dreamer who wants to become an artist and an inspiration to other people. I am like her; we both love our family and will do anything just to help our parents and make our dream come true. Our place at home is also often flooded like Barangay Venizia, and like Aileen kalog at madaldal din ako. That’s the best thing about becoming Aileen: nakakahugot ako sa kanya. Becoming part of Rak of Aegis was really a dream come true.

 

Do you have any tips for aspiring triple threats? 

SHAIRA: Constancy and consistency. If you feel like musical theater is something you imagine doing for the rest of your life, never stop honing your craft. You have to constantly and consistently pour out your best efforts to become that character you want to portray. It may not be perfect, but you’ll get there soon enough for as long as you focus on giving a better performance every single time you set foot onstage.

 

“Ang bawat biyaya ay may kaakibat na responsibilidad, at bawat responsibilidad ay may kasamang pagsubok.”

 

PRINCESS: Trust and believe in the talent you have, because that is a gift from God. Life is full of challenges but if you’re determined enough and you love your dream, the time will come when you will shine as well. I live by the saying, “Ang bawat biyaya ay may kaakibat na responsibilidad, at bawat responsibilidad ay may kasamang pagsubok.” Our failures are challenges that make us stronger and wiser in our journey of achieving our dreams. Everything we accomplish, we offer to God.

You can catch Rak of Aegis until Sept. 2 at the PETA-Phinma Theater, New Manila, Quezon City. For tickets, visit ticketworld.com.ph or check out petatheater.com/rakofaegis for more details.

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