(center) Nikki Snelson and Kelly White (photo by Prod'G Arts International)
By Razel Lauren Guerra
Manila, Philippines, March 18, 2013 -- Nikki Snelson has successfully "Snelsonized" Manila! Popularly known as the fitness queen from the screen-to-stage adaptation of "Legally Blonde," the famed Broadway actress, singer, dancer and choreographer delivered her first workshop with Prod'G Arts International in the Philippines last March 9 and 10.
"I've never seen a group of young people so passionate and wonderful with the theater bug. They were loving it; they were laughing it out -it was amazing," Snelson said after the workshop.
With 10 eager participants -- some even coming from Bukidnon State University -- the workshop started with an energetic dancing session, one that left even the audiences hyper and, after a while, tired. The amount of energy that Snelson, Kelly White, Snelson's assistant, and the members gave matched that of Broadway performers. After dancing and acting lessons, Snelson then proceeded to giving them singing techniques: each participant was asked to sing a song of his or her choice and from there, Snelson was able to coach the students and give them techniques on how to improve.
"There were so many good triple threats in the room; everyone seemed to be very proficient in singing, dancing and acting. They were incredible," Snelson observed.
"It was really great and I've learned a lot of things -it was so inspiring," Hanzel Mendoza remarked.
"There are no words for this class. It's awesome; it's really intense and I felt like I was on Broadway," Abigail Garza stated.
"It's indeed knowledgeable; I've learned a lot of things especially in singing because technically, I'm not a singer, but I've learned a lot in dancing as well," Kirby Gohol commented.
"It's very humbling to be actually part of this and I feel very blessed to work with people who share the same passion for life and theater. It's just overwhelming to have Nikki and Kelly here and Gimbey as well because they are such talents and it's overwhelming to discover other people who have the same passion. I really enjoyed and this has really been a blessing," Mitzie Lao shared.
Snelson's advice for aspiring Filipino talents that want to make it to Broadway: "Just keep training. Get as many classes as you can, take singing, take dancing, take acting, go to acrobatics school -- whatever you have to do. Just keep training and keep loving what you're doing and keep being passionate about it."
The reason for holding this workshop, as shared by Gimbey dela Cruz, head of Prod'G Arts International, is that the Philippines has a lot of professional talents and there are not enough avenues to foster these talents. Workshops for intermediate learners with international talents to teach and guide them provide a set of standards and goals that should be achieved and it allows Filipinos to see where they are in the international setting.
Could we expect more workshops like this in the future?
"As long as there is a high demand, Prod'G will try to deliver the highest quality workshops in Asia," dela Cruz said.
Prod'G Arts International is a company that realizes the need for growth and improvement of theater actors, both professional and non-professional, to excel in their field. In return, there would be higher performance standards that would mean better performances and therefore, better shows.
For more information about Prod'G Arts International and Nikki Snelson's workshop, visit their FB Pages.