Another Filipino, Irvine Roy Abesamis, graces the international musical scene of his world-class talent. From representing his alma mater, University of the Philippines, as one of its Filipiniana pride, he goes global representing the Philippines. Dancing had been his first love. But he continued to dig deeper. He knew from before that he wanted to be a singer. But now that he had been given more, how does he keep up?
They say, there are two situations that define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything. I have seen how patient Iroy was when he was waiting for his break. He never gave up on his singing potential. While he danced to pay the dues, one thing that he is undeniably good at, he continued to sharpen his skills belting. With his fondness for musicals and inspired spirit, he studied songs as much as he can and auditioned non-stop. And now, he’s reaping everything he sowed.
To inspire you in taking a leap and to encourage you to never give up on your dreams, I would like to share Iroy’s success as an international performing artist. Witness the journey he had. Enjoy the plot twists that took place. And know what he loves doing from the core.
A product of UP Diliman, Irvine Roy Abesamis, 34 (at the time of this writing), had invested well on performing arts. Studying BA in Art Studies, Iroy joined extra-curricular activities that mostly involved dancing and performing. Starting when he was still in high school, he took part as a member of Sanghiyas Pangkat Mananayaw when he attended Philippine High School for the Arts. This dedication to Philippine cultural dances were enhanced further in college being one of the UP Filipiniana Dance Group which included strict training as this group performs in and out of the country.
Learning important lessons like having the right attitude, having a great deal of self-discipline and utmost respect for co-workers, success came through. This helped Iroy achieve so many things including performing internationally himself.
One thing Iroy is confident to claim, is the fact that he was never late in school and at work. But with the line of experiences he had, you would understand how that paid off and that besides being on time, he has a lot to be proud of.
When Hong Kong Disneyland launched an audition in the Philippines for its opening in 2005, Iroy was one of the pioneer entertainers that composed the first batch that were hired from overseas. A series of rehearsals, adjustments, opening of grand attractions honed more of his sturdy passion for entertainment. His first team, the parade team, formed the best friendships Iroy has until the present.
A lifetime family extended in the team of the Festival of the Lion King. And being part of the Mickey’s Wondrous Book that opened recently at 2015 sealed Homekong for him. These two stage shows had unleashed every performing fibre of Iroy at its best.
ASIDE FROM WORK
Without the shadow of a doubt, since personally I had known Iroy, his work etiquette is superb. Besides not being late and performing 150%, he always strived to give to his co-workers besides his mantra of giving to the audience.
Iroy loved all the teams he was in. He took part in activities that happened outside work. He had met extraordinary mentors and friends that helped him realise what he needed to work on to advance further into musicals. Simple things like self-awareness, standing up from despair and most of all, going limitless. While he waited for his opportunity, he made his moments count by pushing himself further on top of performing every day like his last.
He engaged in sports and won competitions. Particularly, dragon boat racing, together with Team Mushu.
This balanced him out because of the humble beginnings it endured and a reassessment of himself in terms of dedication and team work. It’s a different kind of training for him because they moved as one and each had to have the same technique as the other. Like on stage, every body should have the same pulse. But instead of having different set of skills, they had to move the same way to win. This had set his personal parameter levels higher than what he experienced in UP Filipiniana and the rest of the performing schools he trained from.
This helped Iroy get refreshed and inspired each time, to dig deeper into emotions necessary when auditioning as a vocalist. Being aware that singing is a form of storytelling, it helped him a lot to touch on his personal development each time he enters the room to face a casting team.
And this is how his huge break came through.
THE BIGGEST BREAK
It’s always a tough competition when we talk about auditioning for huge productions that getting chosen almost seems impossible. But in the Philippines, nothing is impossible as many sought green pasteur and good fortune lining up for the Miss Saigon auditions. Because of Lea Salonga, being one of its remarkable award-winning legends, a lot of Filipinos aspire to be part of it.
As every Filipino’s inspiration, they take the opportunity seriously. There’s the undeniable wide practice of Filipino time in the country but Iroy, aiming to represent his hometown, keeps a mantra to be on time and to be kind always. His work ethics of bringing 100% of what he got, each time he performs, served well when he got his biggest break of being one of the daring ensemble of Miss Saigon.
2018 had marked Iroy’s breakthrough as a triple threat in the musical industry.
Alongside Aicel Santos and Gerald Santos, and Kristine Diaz, Iroy is called to be the storyteller he always claims to be when auditioning as a vocalist. This time, it happens for real. He was humbled by the experience and admitted that he was no expert. To that he has no advice but shares investment in one’s self very important.
I asked Iroy what he would have wanted to work on before becoming an international performing artist and he admitted he could’ve had more voice lessons. He could have learned ballet more and that he would want to learn how to play the piano. Overall, he is thankful of his teachers who had guided him all the way through. He had mentors that were not only dedicated but were also patient enough on him.
One quote that keeps him guided and driven as far as pursuing his dreams are concerned:
“The brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”
– The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
That’s why Iroy is bound to move on. From March 2019 to May 2020, Iroy will be joining the cast of The King and I UK and Ireland Musical Tour.
Another adventure awaits, and more training has to be pursued. This makes him explore more in the acting field and moreover, singing capacity. He is still not sure of the final role but he will be with a former colleague, Ela Lisondra, which he is so excited about.
It took Iroy months in Miss Saigon to finally feel comfortable in portraying his role. The King and I has a totally different context of a story that would hopefully make Iroy adopt in no time. But knowing how Iroy is every show, he prepares early. He prepares his props on the stage, breathes in the energy, visualises what is going to happen and intends to make it happen. So that when places call happen, he won’t be spending extra time, hurrying himself up or getting panicky with small stuff that should’ve been prepared in the first place.
This is my word of the year. And this post inspired it as I saw Iroy strike through all of his dreams and pave new ones. I am proud of what he had attained. And I am very happy on how he was willing to share his story.
I encourage you to strike through your goals as well. Let this serve as your reminder in making them happen. Just like when you write down your to-do-list in a day. You strike through everything that you have accomplished.
And when you get to do this, you feel good. Hold on to that!