It felt like a homecoming to Becca Godinez as she arrived in Amici, in Greenhills last week for the presscon of Flipzoids. She greeted everyone with a big smile and a kiss. A seasoned singer, songwriter, director and actress – I didn’t feel the celebrity complex despite the impressive theater background.
Becca is back in Manila after so many years for an interesting play entitled FlipZoids (that seriously sounds like an aerobot for me). An award-winning play by Ralph Pena. A compelling play that evolves around the lives of 3 Filipino immigrants who seek belonging and identity in America. As Becca sat with us that afternoon, she shared more about the play, how she got the role and her memories and learnings as an immigrant herself.
Becca is Aying who clings to tradition and rituals who refuses to relingquish any of the culture of their homeland. Becca will share the stage with two other Filipino theater veterans. Ellen Williams, who will play the role of Vangie a nurse who holds all of American culture in tight embrace and Maxxwel Corpuz who is Redford, a child who spends his time in public restrooms in search of relationships. Both Vangie and Maxxwel have Filipino blood, and just like Becca, the show production in Manila would seem more than work for them, but a homecoming.
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Becca excitedly shared with us, how she auditioned for the part. It didn’t occur to me that someone who has such talent and experience in theater could still feel nervous and anxious with how she would play the role. She admitted that it has been 30 years since she took the last bow on stage for Repertory Philippines.
Five months after the audition, she got the call and the lead role – Aying, who is a 72-year old woman. During the blogcon, she even shared and acted some scenes from Flipzoids, and I only needed to close my eyes to hear the old woman talking to us. She is that awesome a storyteller, I cannot wait to see the play!
We were all surprised when she shared that Americans took the play positively (you should have read the good reviews – and I honestly cannot wait to see it!). It probably helped that she is an immigrant to US that she got to play the role very well. Although she admits that there are some humor in the play that only Filipinos can relate to (example, “dogs” = “delicious”). She is excited to know the Filipino reaction to Flipzoids!
She said that there are lines that made her cry, scenes that made her think of the past, stories that make her stronger. Becca’s theater expertise and immigrant stories made her an effective storyteller that made FlipZoid a fascinating play.
I asked her if she and the other actors had a voice to share with the director with how they want to do the scene, and she shared that Jon Lawrence Rivera has a clear vision for the play. He let them perform and pour their hearts to the play, and give them the push that they need when scenes need to be more engagingly-dramatized.
I cannot wait to see this play!
PS. Did I mention Becca is not just the actress for this play, but also a producer? Please, please support her project. She has brought the whole original actors and director from the Los Angeles production to let us see, experience and learn from this play. She chose to bring Flipzoids in the Philippines because she believes that it is a great story that needs to be seen, and experienced by Filipinos.