When news reached me that Rachelle Ann Go has been nominated in Broadway World UK’s West End Awards for Best Featured Actress in a New Production of a Musical, I knew she deserved to be in the running. Looking back at her career and how she ended up on that stage at the Prince Edward Theatre made me realize that she has really come a very, very long way.
Yet I am not surprised anymore that there are again those who continue to cry foul. Once again doubts are being cast not just on her nomination but the people who are supporting her as well. It also casts a cloud on the award-giving body that is and continues to be a credible entity in the world of theater.
Never mind that Rachelle was given this role after auditioning for it just like all those who wanted to be part of the show. Never mind that she had worked hard to make herself a better performer and person in the ten years that she had been in the business, paying her dues and endured the intrigues and the unfairness in it. Never mind that she was able to move the audience and make such a lasting impression even with just part of a whole song which she shared with the lead. Never mind that she had managed to successfully evolve Gigi into someone different from the original characterization, and so memorable with just half a song. Never mind that she was able to make the audience want more of the character she played with such powerful emotions and vocals. Never mind that she was named one of the ten hottest women in the West End by Pocketsize Theater Blog, a website run by UK theater lovers. Never mind that The Blake Band dubbed her a Filipina superstar after doing collaborations with her. Never mind that world-renowned composer Scott Alan and the Ms Lea Salonga were all praises. Never mind that she had gotten consistent raves from people who got to watch Miss Saigon, and I mean Filipinos AND non-Filipinos. Never mind that the artists and people behind BBC Radio in London were all praises and moved to tears by her live performance when she guested with Blake. Never mind that Movie In My Mind has now been associated with her simply because she truly shined and owned that wondrous song.
Most of all, never mind that her big support base grew throughout the years out of respect and belief in her not just as an artist but as a colleague and an individual. And never mind that because of all her efforts, sincerity, generosity and passion to complement that awesome talent paid off and got her where she is now.
If some people want to write her off, together with Korean superstar Kwang Ho, as not deserving simply because of their pop star status that “would make their votes not credible enough” for the award, then to hell with all those things I mentioned above, right? The argument was that these thousands of votes came from people who come from far away and were driven by idolatry only. That the expected lopsided win would be because of reasons not related to what the award is all about.
How myopic can that argument get? First of all, Rachelle (just like Kwang Ho) does not just stand there on stage during each of those eight shows that they do every week and try to look cute to make the audience swoon. Rachelle works her vocal chords out to give the best performance in each show, meet the audience afterwards for pictures and autographs, go home and do household chores before going to bed and then get up early the next day, do chores and head back to the Prince Edward Theatre to do the shows. Yes, she cooks her own food and cleans her apartment herself, even if there are those who may doubt the fact. Not only that. She left her lucrative career here in the Philippines where she could have earned more from concerts and television shows. She left a more stable career to do Miss Saigon without even any reassurance that when she comes back, her career will continue where she left off.
Moreover, does that mean that majority of the people who voted for her were her fans here in the Philippines and not the people who watched the show? Does that also mean that everyone who voted for her co-nominees saw the show and felt that Rachelle falls short to deserve their votes?
Does that mean then that all those people who have seen the show and gave Rachelle rave reviews were all flukes? That they were just fangirling or fanboying without any credible basis for their praises? More importantly, were Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Blake Band, Scott Alan, Gaby Roslin of BBC Radio London and Ms Lea Salonga, among other well respected artists in their fields, merely throwing empty praises and media hype? Shame on them then if they were just taking us all for a ride.
Before you say someone is not deserving of a nomination, why not look a little deeper into his or her story? You’d be surprised that there is more to these people than what the eye could see. People say her Miss Saigon fame was simply the hype of her rabid fans? Well, too bad these people continue to undermine or belittle hardworking artists, The worst thing we can do to a person who is giving her all to entertain the audience is to belittle her efforts simply because we refuse to open our eyes to see how much of herself she has been offering to all of us. No one who really knows her can accuse her of slacking off and taking advantage of the support of her fans unfairly. What got her to where she is will always be her love for her craft, her desire to always challenge herself, her generosity and sincerity towards her colleagues and fans, her talent that leaves you awestruck, her humility despite her achievements, her will not just to entertain but to inspire others, and her unwavering faith in God that all things can be achieved without having to hurt or step on other people’s toes.
For those whose curiosity about Rachelle had been piqued, feel free to read our past blogs and maybe, just maybe, you will get a glimpse of what this wonderful artist has gone through during the past decade. Maybe you’ll realize that she never had it easy in finding her niche in this industry because she stood firm in not getting sucked into the messy side of the business. Whatever she has now, she achieved slowly but surely in a way that is inspiring. Now probably those are the very reasons why she accumulated a ton of “rabid fans”. Probably it was because she has become an inspiration for those who never gave up on a dream and continued to pursue it in a clean and honest way.
So if you are one of those who believe in Broadway World, in Rachelle Ann Go and the people behind Miss Saigon, go and vote for those you like most from all the people who are deserving enough to be nominated. Just click here and let your choices be known.