KDLex shares what makes theater acting challenging but worthwhile

Without a doubt, KD Estrada and Alexa Ilacad are two of their generation’s hottest and most multifaceted stars. They can act, sing, dance, and even vlog, too. They topbilled their first series together, staged a concert, released their album, and has become in-demand TV and social media personalities shortly after their successful Pinoy Big Brother stints.

What’s next for KDLex this 2023? They will conquer the musical theater scene via “Walang Aray,” a modern take on the Severino Reyes classic zarzuela “Walang Sugat.” Find out how they landed their roles and their intense preparations for the shows by watching this episode of Kapamilya Chat.

Producer PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association) handpicked KD and Alexa for the roles of Tenyong and Julia, respectively, impressed with the duo’s talent. But they still had to ‘audition’ and prove they were worth being selected.

While the project came without them asking, Alexa was hesitant to accept this because she was scared she couldn’t do it. Of course, theater is a different world than television. It requires a lot more preparation. There’s no room for mistakes as they have to perform the whole act live without cuts, hence the jitters. “As first timers tapos lead role agad, siyempre, ‘yung kaba namin to the roof talaga hanggang ngayon,” she said.

After careful thinking, the Kapamilya love team decided to take it as a challenge and opportunity to widen their creative horizons. After all, they wish to grow as artists. True enough, the intense training, which usually runs eight hours a day, is sharpening their skills and making them fall even more in love with acting. “Sobrang swerte namin kasi para kaming nagka-lessons for free,” shared Alexa, with KD adding that he’s become more confident with his acting and singing.

A musical requires diligent practice, says Alexa, who can’t help but compare the rehearsals needed for a production number on TV and a whole Broadway act.

KDLex appreciates the senior thespians teaching them the ways of stage production. They witness how theater actors display passion and commitment in even the littlest act on stage. As KD puts it, they give their best even when no one is watching. Alexa adds, “Mas lalong humanga kami at lumalim ang respeto namin sa mga theater actors… kasi kahit practice lang, basta kahit the simplest details parang bigay agad.”

Apart from the live and continuous acts, another challenge in theater is to deliver fresh performances each time. In Alexa’s words, “Because you’re going to perform it again and again, you need to find different ways to perform it. Hindi pwedeng same ka lang forever. Dapat may makitang iba.”

Alexa described stage performances as addicting that’s why she can’t blame artists who chose to focus on Broadway. But, as for her, she will always have a space for TV acting in her heart, although she’s game to master both if given the chance.

“Walang Aray” is about Julia and Tenyong’s forbidden love set during the Philippine revolution. But as KDLex said, this version is modernized, with witty elements that will charm Gen Zs like them.

Asked their takeaways from their star-crossed characters, KDLex touched on “paninindigan” and patience, on making things happen through perseverance. They’re hinting at how Tenyong fought for his love for Julia.

In keeping with the theme, KDLex was asked if there was a time a controversy about them came with “walang aray,” to which Alexa intelligently answered that life always comes with pain.  “Sa totoo lang, imposibleng walang aray sa buhay. Lahat ng experience na ‘yan, nasasaktan ka, so may aray ‘yan. It’s just that ‘yung sugat na ‘yun, naghihilom, so wala ng aray.”

Alexa isn’t one to run away from the pain, rather, she endures them. “You have to go through it to overcome it.” Meanwhile, KD said that if the pain is inflicted by other people, the best thing to do is just let karma deal with them.

Before the interview ends, Kapamilya Chat asked KDLex for a sample duet, and boy, it was so good we got all the more excited to catch “Walang Aray” this February!