Isa na namang Pinay stage actress na si Eva Noblezada ang pinag-uusapan ngayon sa West End at Broadway kung saan siya gumaganap bilang "Kim" sa revival musical na Miss Saigon na nagbukas din ng maraming opportunities noon kay Lea Salonga. Posted ngayon sa BroadwayBox.Com ni Josh Ferri ang magandang interview nito. Dito sinagot ni Eva ang mga tanong na matagal ng gusto ipasagot sa kanya kasama na ang matinding pagkukumpara sa kanila ng original "Kim" at kapwa Pinay na si Lea.
Unang sinagot ni Eva ang mga natutunan niya pagdating sa London para sa West End production ng Miss Saigon. "I’ve learned to be a responsible, independent young woman who is Mexican-American and Filipina. When I started, I had never lived abroad or received a pay check before. I never worked in a professional production before. I had to learn how to control emotions when I’m supposed to be this leading lady at 17. I had a lot of self-esteem issues, like anyone at that age. It’s a struggle I have been trying to get over for years now, even still today. I had an issue feeling unqualified and undeserving to be where I was at that point—I came straight from high school. The way I lived was messy. I didn’t know what I was doing; I was making stupid decisions here and there, but then I’d come to work and have to be a professional and have this pressure on me. It made me feel like crap, like I didn’t belong there. My passport picture taken when I was 16, I looked completely different. My health was not priority to me; my diet was not a priority to me; my physical fitness was not a priority to me; and it showed. It showed in my energy and in the way that I could easily let my psychological state overpower my entire being. If I was feeling down or hideous or fat, it would take over my entire week."
Aminado si Eva na isa ito sa major adjustments na ginawa niya sa kanyang buhay at marami itong naituro sa kanya.
"I’m going to be honest because I feel like it should be normalized anyway. When I moved to London I had a lot of voices trying to get me into shape. I was put on a diet. I was put on Accutane because my skin got bad—it’s a new country with different water and air and my skin got terrible. I was put on the highest dosage of Accutane (which is linked to depression) and I was put on the pill to help my skin, and I was put on a box diet to lose weight. Everything about my body at 17 was wrong, and I didn’t handle it well. I’m an actress—I’m really good at faking it but I struggled with bulimia for two years living in London. I started seeing a psychotherapist my second year in London, who honestly helped me through the worst."
Kasama na dyan ang health status ni Eva na kailangan niyang pangalagaan ng malayo sa kanyang pamilya at mga kaibigan.
"I had body dysmorphic disorder, so there’s a muscle in your brain that you train over and over to look in the mirror and see yourself as something that you’re actually not. For example, I could look in the mirror now and see a chubby Eva—and I know I’m not. I still see myself sometimes as the girl who moved to London—the big girl with stuff hanging over her jeans. I know now. I want to give myself a big hug because it was normal. It’s normal to have baby fat. It should be an open discussion and needs to be normalized. My bulimia was really bad. I would be sick four or five times during the show. I would get bad panic attacks during the show and after the show. My Company Manager, Katy Bryant, was my guardian angel there. She always knew what I needed. Jon Jon (Briones) obviously is the older brother I never had. He was there to be supportive on and off stage. A huge part of the credit goes to my boyfriend. He was there for me and he’s still there today. He’s so patient. It took a lot of strength for him to watch me do this to myself and still be there for me as an emotional rock. That first year and a half was so difficult."
Isa rin sa mahirap na pinagdaanan ni Eva ay ang kilalanin ang kanyang iconic role bilang "Kim"
"It took me a while to get Kim into my body and my voice. Yoga saved me, the gym saved me, and a healthy diet saved me. Before I learned those things and incorporated them into my daily routine, I had to take a week off because the bile had really, really ruined my throat. I would go home and not speak for the whole day and then do the show again. I got tonsillitis twice during the first year and half. One time a doctor had to put a scope down my throat, and that’s the day I knew I had to see a psychotherapist. I thought, 'Oh my God, what have I done?' Then after that I was on the mend. It was the hardest process but I needed to learn it so that I was prepared for my life today. Now the show is physically in my body and my voice."
Sa kanyang teenage life, maagang natutunan ni Eva ang pag balansihin ang kanyang trabaho at personal na buhay.
"I had to learn work-life balance. I was a different person for a really long time because I wouldn’t allow myself to be Eva. I just wanted to be a better performer. I almost forced myself to be Kim sometimes outside of work because I was scared to be Eva. I thought, 'At least I have Kim. I could go to work and be Kim but Eva is just an absolute mess. With Kim it’s a performance.' But I had to learn how to drop her at the door and be myself. My friends and yoga saved me. It’s also about not letting myself speak disgustingly to myself. You need to be loving and kind to yourself."
Bago isinalang bilang "Kim" sa Miss Saigon, inilagay muna ng producer na si Cameron Macintosh si Eva sa Les Miserables para mahasa at masanay sa mundo ng entablado.
"I made a lot of friends at Les Mis. It was the little time of rest I had before all the major pressure hit. I didn’t build up my anxiety issues during my three-month stint in Les Mis because I was too busy having fun and learning about London. I was 10th whore to the left. I had no stage pressure to be amazing. The whole purpose of that was to learn how the theatre works, how the West End works, the lingo they use backstage, and getting rehearsal time and show time in my body. I think it was to break the stage fright and it was a smart move on Cameron’s part. I felt a lot more comfortable when I went to rehearsal [for Saigon]." At ngayong awards season na sa Broadway, ano ba ang pakahulugan nito sa young performer?
"I’m not a huge fan of how shows revolve around awards but I completely understand why. To be honest, it’s been enjoyable and I’m grateful for the people I’ve met so far. I totally fan girl. I just want people to know for me personally, I don’t base my performance off awards. My goal isn’t to impress the voters in the audience. I hate plugging myself. I want the show to get recognition. It’s a massive honor though. I don’t want to get it twisted. To be nominated with these amazing women is incredible."
At sa pagkukumpara sa kanila ng award-winning actress na si Lea Salonga, paano nga ba ito hina handle ni Eva?
"I’m always cool obviously with people saying, 'You sound like Lea.' But I had trouble in the beginning, obviously in London, not only with the pressure of being a leading lady but also you hearing 'you’ve got big shoes to fill.' It’s like, 'Gee thanks!...' I didn’t realize the pressure it would take on until the show was on. I get there’s a comparison. I understand why and how. It’s a revival. But being an actor, it’s difficult to be compared. Finally, I said, 'Okay, Eva, let it roll off your back. You and Lea are completely different people and your Kims are completely different.' I’ve never had anything but the utmost respect for Lea. She’s the most real woman. She’s legendary, but I didn’t watch her performance and take notes. How would she feel if the revival Kim watched her performance and took notes and took creative things she created. That’s not fair. I wanted to make sure everything I did came from myself—and I know actors will understand that. It’s an honor to know her and follow in her footsteps, but in my own shoes," pagtatapos ng aktres.