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FEATURED YOUNG ARTIST: LUIGI QUESADA

Luigi Quesada, who has always wanted to be on stage, talks about the life of a young theater actor

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Interview by DOM GALEON

Welcome to our Featured Young Artist segment!
Here we feature young, up-and-coming local artists and ask them questions about their art style and how they express themselves through it.

Luigi Quesada has been taking acting workshops with Repertory Philippines (REP) since 2009, appearing in his first show as John Darling in REP’s Peter Pan. His stage journey only continued from there by taking more workshops, joining his school’s drama club (under the mentorship of Michael Williams), and endless auditions. Luigi recently ended his stint as Toby in the Manila run of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street alongside Jett Pangan and Lea Salonga.

How would you describe your art and yourself as an artist?
It’s really hard to describe what theater is. I’m sure a lot of actors, directors, stage managers, playwrights, etc. can agree that it’s hard to describe what we do. But in my words, I guess I’d say we breathe life into something that breathes life into others.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from my co-actors. I’m almost always the “baby” of the cast because I’m still so young, but that has its advantages. You get to work with people who have spent so much time in the industry, and you get to see all their different processes. Every actor has a different process of turning the material into a performance, and you have the privilege to watch it happen right in the rehearsal hall.

Luigi Quesada as John Darling in REP's Peter Pan

Luigi Quesada as John Darling in REP’s Peter Pan

Do you have a particularly favorite piece that you’ve done?
I genuinely do love all the roles I get to play. But I have to admit getting to frantically run and jump around the stage as Toby six times a week is something I absolutely enjoy doing. It’s a no-joke cardio session, physically and emotionally! (laughs). And his character arc throughout the show is something I painfully loved working on. Apart from Toby though, playing Marty in The Sandbox Collective’s Dani Girl and being part of the ensemble of REP’s Hair are absolutely memorable to me. Those shows and roles are completely different, but I would do them again and again if I could.

What is your personal opinion about young people pursuing arts, whether as a passion or as a profession?
If it’s what you want, go for it! Professional or not, there’s so much out there for you to learn and also an endless space for you to give. The world needs art, regardless.

What message do you have for aspiring artists?
I still consider myself an aspiring artist, I’m definitely still growing and I have a lot to learn. But something I can definitely say is this: Don’t wait for anyone else’s approval to start your career. It’s your career and you are in control of it. Surround yourself with people who support you, and please support them, too. Also always be open to learn. There’s so much to absorb. As they say, “Try everything at least once.” Lastly, remember you have a life outside your career. You are more than your work and deserve to rest, decompress, and live your life apart from your career. It’s very important to breathe life into ourselves after breathing so much life into our work. Self-care!

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