Performing runs in the blood of rising young star Tori Garcia, who is related to the late Master Showman German Moreno.
As a matter of fact, the 20-year-old Japanese-Filipina singer-actress already had a career going in Singapore when she decided to leave the Lion City and try her luck in the Philippines.
“I never really grew as an actress in Singapore. Everything there is censored and safe. It’s very limiting for someone like me who wants to be challenged. So right after I finished school at 18, I immediately came here just one day after my graduation,” she told InterAksyon during a recent promotional activity for her upcoming sex comedy play, “Solo Para Adultos” (For Adults Only) scheduled this October 20 at the Music Museum.
As the entertainment scene in Manila is a lot different from what she has gotten used to in Singapore, Tori admits that she had to make some adjustments. For starters, she had to ditch Ariana Garcia, her Singapore stage name.
“I was told that Ari, which is short for Ariana, is a bad word in Tagalog so I had to change it to Tori which is short for Victoria,” she confessed.
Tori did not speak a word of Tagalog when she arrived so she had to learn the native tongue as well. While trying to be fluent in Tagalog, Tori was still able to bank on her fluency in English when she was cast as an antagonist in the weekly teen sitcom, “Luv U.”
“I played the mean English-speaking girl who was always bullying Miles Ocampo in that series. It was a very good introduction to the industry for me.”
To her surprise, she was later cast in what she described as “smart and sexy roles” for big screen projects after her stint in “Luv U.” This include roles in Dinky Doo’s recently shown “DAD: Durugin ang Droga” and as one of the teachers in Perry Escaño’s Cinemalaya indie “Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa,” which will have its commercial run this December.
She also had a stint as a co-host for Willie Revillame’s “Wowowin.”
“Solo Para Adultos” or simply “SPA” marks Tori’s theater debut. In the three-act play, Tori plays the role of Georgina, a perky girl who is not really what she seems.
“She’s very jolly on the outside but inside she’s still trying to get back her life that was ruined when she was scandalized by the daughter of the dirty old man who got her pregnant. She’s traumatized by that experience yet she appears happy when she should be mad for what happened to her,” Tori revealed.
Tori said that when she auditioned for the role she found the material to be “strange and a little risqué” but after a more thorough reading of the script found “SPA” to be “a lot of fun with a very good plot twist.”
“What’s even more challenging about my role is it’s the exact opposite of Veronica Fox, the porn queen that I originally auditioned for who is portrayed in the play by April Gustilo. Veronica only speaks English while my character Georgina, only speaks in Tagalog. That itself is a challenge for someone like me who is still trying to get used to the native language.”
According to director Alejandro “Bong” Ramos, “Solo Para Adultos” was inspired by the offbeat films of legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and “centers on the interrelated lives of four hard-luck individuals in search of love, fame and meaning in life.”
Along with Tori and April, “Solo Para Adultos” also stars “Wowowee” sensation, April “Congrats” Gustilo, “Starstruck” alumnus Vivo Ouano, Andres Vasquez and John Fernandez Raspado. Written by James Golla, AJ Rollon and Ramos himself, the play is presented by Red Lantern Productions will have a repeat performance this February 10 at the Music Museum. For ticket information, visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.