Who’s Jonjon Martin? Rogelio Martin Jr who was also known as Jonjon Martin in the Philippine theater world. He was one of the respectable press relation officer of 9Works Theatrical. One of the highlights of Rogelio Martin Jr. is when he played a comeback role in the theater world for the hit musical play Christmas Carol of 9Works Theatrical last December 2016.
In this Psst.Ph Part of the Story Series, Rogelio Martin Jr talks to us about his theater career and his experience in the industry.
Full Name: Rogelio S. Martin Jr.
Alias: JonJon Martin, Manager Jon-Jon
Location: Malabon City
Education: Bachelor of Science in Accountancy University of Santo Tomas
Tell me something about yourself that people don’t know:
I love to bake and cook. I have an array of gourmet specialties I’ve mastered over the years.
What is your current state of mind before we continue with the interview?
Inspired, excited and ecstatic
When did you first know you wanted to become a stage actor?
I was a high school sophomore when I first listened to the cassette tape of the the original Broadway cast recording of PIPPIN and THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG. I got inspired to sing all the songs in the soundtrack.
What was the first show you ever did? And how’s the experience?
My first ever stage appearance was in a workshop production of Little Shop of Horror but professionally was for Repertory Philippines’ production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr.
What has been your favorite role so far?
Quian Po-Disney’s Mulan
How’s the experience in your comeback in the stage play?
-It’s challenging, exciting and fulfilling. It’s good to be back home.
Are you still open now in accepting role after your comeback in the hit musical “A Christmas Carol”?
-YES, I’m very much open! I want to do a Filipino musical this time. It’s in my bucket list.
Have you ever played someone of the opposite gender? (If not do you want to try it?) What was that like?
Yes! I played Imelda Marcos in 9 Works Theatrical’s production of the THE WEDDING SINGER! It was a lot of fun in a challenging way doing all the hair and make-up transformation and dancing in heels but yes, I’d be very happy to do it again if another opportunity comes along.
What show/shows are you currently working on?
-I’m doing the PR plan of 9 Works Theatrical’s 2017 season.
Have you ever forgotten your lines, or a prop, or choreography during a performance? What happened?
It happened a lot of times! There’s this one time I forgot my line in Mulan, and the show stopped for a few seconds and I realized that my cast mates were all looking at me because it was my cue and I totally blacked out! A co-actor saved me from that scene.
What is something that you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting out as an actor?
That I should have invested more on dance training and studied other genres of . It’s a big advantage if you’re a triple-threat.
Besides acting, what other training have you had (voice, dance, stage combat, etc.)?
Voice lessons and basic jazz (dance).
How do they memorize a lot of lines?
It’s a big help when you know the subtext of the lines and you have a clear understanding of the history of your character and a clear picture of the scene, but more on that, I just keep reading and repeating until I memorize the entire thing.
If you could choose, what three actors would you really want to work with?
Patti Lupone, Bernadette Peters and Betty Buckley. Just watching them perform is already a master class in action. It will be a great honor to work with them and learn from the experience.
Why do you think theater is important?
Theater feeds your soul. An escape from the harsh realities of life even just for a moment.
Why do you think so many aspiring actors end up giving up on their dream?
Because not everyone in theater are blessed with unlimited finances and there is this thing called money that we all need to survive. Unfortunately, when bills get in the way, we need to set our priorities and most of the time, it end up in people having to give up their dreams. Some have been lucky enough to still manage both career and passion, and survive but I believe it’s different with everyone.
What is something embarrassing or unexpected that happened to you on stage?
There was this one show when I got confused and screwed up the lyrics of a song!
What are some of the greatest fears you think actors/actress face?
When the time comes that you still want to perform but your body and age tells you to stop.
If you will produce a musical play for 2017, what musical play is that? And Who will be the top 3 lead actors?
Since there are a lot of upcoming big musicals both local and international this 2017, I want it to be a small but sincere one like the two-man Broadway musical called THE STORY OF MY LIFE by Neil Bartram – I’d like to see Joaquin Pedro Valdez and Gian Carlo Magdangal play the characters.
What do you need in order to become a successful actor?
If you have the money and time, you must continue training in voice, dance and acting or learn how to play a music instrument! We are all a work in progress. Study anything related to theater artistic, technical and the business side. Keep your passion burning.
What makes a good stage actor in your opinion?
You should be honest to yourself and accept your imperfections and limitations. Only then will you be able to sincerely present yourself as a genuine actor and not look so “trying hard” to fit in the role.
What is the most rewarding part of stage actor?
Sharing the talent that God gave you and being able to do the things that you love and making it your job.
What are the pros and cons of being a actor? Please be specific.
- There’s no dull moment. Not everyone is given a chance to live different person even for an hour or two. Every production is a different experience.
- It’s a chance to share your talent to the world.
- The joy of hearing the audience applaud you every after show. It’s an all-time natural high.
- It’s not always financially fulfilling.
- Committing to show schedules sometimes means having to miss holidays and family gatherings because you can only miss a show if you’re dead or dying. 😁
What goals are you working towards within your career and when will you know you have reached it?
As a producer, to be able to bring our productions outside the country.
What organizations do you belong to?
If you weren’t a stage actor or an artist, what would you want to be? Why?
I think I would love to be a celebrity chef for a cooking show on TV! Why? I love food and I’m really good in the kitchen because I learned a lot from my mom and I would love to continue her legacy while still being in the spotlight!
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to do what you do?
To always be the best that you can be in whatever path you choose. There will be a lot of struggles along the way but as long as you never lose sight of your goal, you will get there eventually. Learn from your experiences and keep learning.
How do you see yourself 20 or 30 yrs from now?
Still in theater performing and producing, hopefully with a degree in Dramaturgy. By that time 9 Works will also have its own theater, and I’d have published my own book.
What legacy you will leave on? Legacy, I really don’t know how to answer this yet. All I know is that I still have a long way to go, but as for 9 Works Theatrical, it will always be my hope for us to be remembered as one of the many institutions that helped bring theater back to its well-deserved glory.
Photos credit to the official facebook page of Rogelio Martin Jr.