A Cebuana who graduated from Siliman University in 2006 with a Degree in Music, Tara Cabaero is changing the game. She started as a scholar for Tanghalang Pilipino Actor’s Company ‘til 2009 and is now a freelance actor, singer, dancer, teacher, choreographer, and production manager - rolled into one. Talk about commitment.

In Artist’s Spotlight’s return after its brief hiatus, get to know actress Tara Cabaero on being directed by Anton Juan, her dreams of sharing the stage with Shamaine Buencamino, and well, the uber exciting and forthcoming Battalia Royale from Sipat Lawin Ensemble.

Tell me a little something about yourself.
Since 2009 I’ve had the pleasure to work for World Theatre Project, Repertory Phils, Trumpets Playshop, Kids Acts Philippines Inc and Theatre Down South. I moved to Manila in 2006 and since then I have been learning so much about my craft, life, family and friendship every day. J

When did you first like theater?
I remember when I was very young, around 6, my Tita who was a Flight Attendant gave us a cassette tape of Ms. Saigon. I listened to it so many times sitting right in front of the radio with the tape cover that had the lyrics printed on it to,  till I memorized the entire Musical. Playing Kim was my first dream role. I believe that’s when I first became a fan of theatre and Ms. Lea Salonga. J Then came along a VHS copy of Les Miserables  that I watched endlessly and another cassette tape of  They’re Playing Our Song and so on and so forth.  Since then I was bitten by what they call the “Theatre Bug”.

What has been your favorite role to date?
I would have 2. J  Playing Baby B in Rene Villanueva’s Baby B, when I was still with the Actor’s Company. It was actually a recital for us scholars, and I remember having a hard time because it was then that I discovered my bad habits as an actor. It was a rollercoaster ride, but it was also then that I knew fervently that I would fight and work hard just to be able to continue doing theatre. Then I played Polly Peachum in Three Penny Opera, and being given a chance to do a big role under the firm guiding eye of Dr. Anton Juan Jr was just very elating and humbling at the same time.

What’s the one show that changed your life?
Three Penny Opera, Directed by Anton Juan. It was in this prod that I never stopped learning and growing in every rehearsal day we had.

They say there’s not much of a lucrative career in theater. How does a theater performer stay afloat?
By utilizing all your talents in being able to do anything and everything under the sun, and you really have to be hardworking. Without hardwork, you’ll get nowhere fast.

If there was one thing about Philippine theater you wish you could change, what would it be?
I wish we had all the resources to be able to study or train in all aspects of theatre at par with those abroad.

What is the theater mantra you live by?
A lot! Hahaha Depends on the situation and which time of my life you ask about, but I believe that Theatre is very much closely related and dependent on our experiences in real life, so I would say “You Live, You Learn.” And of course, being a “raketera” “ Go lang nang go!” and “Good Vibes: Keep It Positive!”

If there was one stage actor (past or present) who you dream to share the stage with, who would it be and why?
Local? I would say Shamaine Buencamino, because every time I watch her on stage, her energy just captivates me entirely. I find myself entranced by every role she plays, and I would like to be able to achieve that level of performance someday.  

International? When I grow up, I would really like to be Kristin Chenoweth. Hehehe. She has such an amazing talent! Her voice can sing and shift between different genre’s in just one song without seeming to have a hard time. It’s just WOW.

What’s one thing the world should know about Tara Cabaero?
That I am a Dreamer and I’m passionate about making my dreams come true

Finally, what’s next for you?
I’m working  Sipat Lawin Ensemble, we’re doing an Adaptation of KoushunTakami’s Japanese cult movie masterpiece “Battle Royale”.  Battalia Real Premiers at the CCP Grand Promenade on Febuary 21,22 and 23.