When she had throat surgery due to Reinke’s edema, Cherie learned a lesson she wants to share with young people.
“Don’t smoke,” she begs the youth. “Had I known smoking is really bad, I would have stopped it in my youth (Cherie started smoking at 15).”
After the surgery, Cherie’s Boston-based doctor warned her not to smoke or drink. She herself planned to stop smoking even before the surgery last June 4.
So she’s walking the talk.
Going under the knife has made Cherie realize how important a person’s voice is.
“The voice is an actor’s instrument,” she said an interview for “Nine,” the Tony award-winning musical where she plays fabulous film producer Liliane Le Fleur.
“You should take care of it.”
Cherie also sees voice teacher Kitchie Molina twice a week for therapy and watches what she eats.
The voice therapy lessons were eye-openers for Cherie.
“I’m re-learning how to use my voice as an instrument. I’m also getting to know myself better using my music. I never realized I can make a song!”
Her drive to sing again six years after her last musical, “The Sound of Music,” hastened Cherie’s recovery. And now that she almost lost her chance to sing again, Cherie is making up for lost time.
“Nine”, which runs from Sept. 21 to Oct. 7 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at RCBC Plaza, Makati, is a fitting comeback for Cherie where musicals are concerned.
She will trade lines with musical theater stand-outs Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Jett Pangan, Eula Valdez (remember Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah?), Sitti and Carla Guevara-Laforteza.
Cherie is bent on picking up the pieces of her rudely-interrupted musical theater work. Cherie will play the seductive Mrs. Robinson in Repertory Philppines’ version of “The Graduate” next. And she’s excited.
“It’s a different jargon,” she explains. “You have to deal with the orchestra. You have to think of so many things. Magkamali ka, damay yung iba.”
Her voice may still sound a bit raspy. But with therapy and a couple of musicals to exercise that voice, Cherie is positive things will be back to normal.
That’s the fighter in her; the kind moviegoers get to see in those feisty characters (e.g. Lavinia in “Bituing Walang Ningning) that have made Cherie’s performances a benchmark of acting excellence.
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