Show business is not for everyone. For some celebrities, it takes years of perseverance, patience, and hard work playing bit and support roles before making it in showbiz.
This was the case for Arra San Agustin, who didn’t mind waiting for four years before finally getting her biggest break on television.
Arra was one of the top 6 finalists of the sixth season of StarStruck, a reality-based talent search on GMA Network. And since then, she’s played a few roles that paved the way for her becoming one of the network’s reliable dramatic stars.
The 24-year-old actress now gets to play her first title role in a TV series via Madrasta, which premieres today.
In the television drama, Arra plays Audrey, an optimistic nurse and a responsible daughter who tries her luck abroad but gets swindled instead by an illegal recruiter; this unfortunate turn of event steers her into the life of a man whose children she will nurture as her own.
“This is a gift I will never forget. I can’t thank the network enough for believing in me. When I look back later, I will always think of this as the biggest thing that happened to me,” Arra told Manila Standard during an interview right after the drama series’ media launch last week.
“Sometimes people get frustrated asking themselves why things are taking so long. In my case, I knew I was just starting and that I needed stronger foundation—I needed to hone my skills,” she explained.
Arra considers her role in Madrasta challenging for a few reasons. Her character pushes her limits when it comes to acting and since it’s a new experience, she tries her best adjusting to the requirements of her character.
“It challenges me to get out of my comfort zone. I like how it feels - it’s oddly unsettling kasi siyempre panibagong experience pero masaya siya kasi may bago, hindi nagiging dull ‘yung nae-experience ko. May mga bago akong gustong i-explore,” she said.
Adding color to Audrey’s journey are: Manilyn Reynes as Grace, doting mother of Audrey who is against her daughter’s relationship with a married man; Thea Tolentino as Katharine, ambitious and cunning wife of Sean who only uses the latter to satisfy her lavish lifestyle; Juancho Trivino as Sean, cosmetic surgeon and owner of RejuveNation Aesthetic Clinics who is a loyal husband; Almira Muhlach as Shirley, greedy mother of Katharine who exploits her daughter for her own materialistic goals; Phytos Ramirez as David, Sean’s best friend who secretly fancies Katharine; Kelvin Miranda as Barry, Audrey’s younger brother who fakes his social status so as not to taint his image as a self-proclaimed influencer; Divine as Debbie, Audrey’s close confidant who sticks up for her through ups and downs; Faye Lorenzo as Joan, Audrey’s friend who coaches her about the ins and outs of working in the medical field; and Ms. Gladys Reyes as Elizabeth, strict but caring mother of Sean who at first suspects Audrey’s true intentions for helping her son.
Madrasta also highlights the special participation of Isabelle de Leon as Judy, two-faced friend of Audrey who stole George from her; Ahron Villena as Gian, Katharine’s one great love and the reason for her decision to leave Sean; Anjo Damiles as George, Audrey’s ex-boyfriend who cheated on her.
The show’s creative team is composed of creative director Aloy Adlawan; creative head Suzette Doctolero; creative consultant Des Severino; headwriter Marlon G. Miguel; writers Tina Velasco and Ma. Zita Garganera; and brainstormers Kenneth Angelo Enriquez, John Paul Bedia, and Cynthia Paz.
This original series, created by the GMA Drama group, is headed by the SVP for Entertainment Group Lilybeth G. Rasonable, VP for Drama Redgie A. Magno, AVP for Drama Cheryl Ching-Sy, Senior Program Manager Ali Marie Nokom-Dedicatoria, and Executive Producer John Mychal Feraren. It is under the helm of esteemed Director Monti Parungao.
Madrasta airs weekdays, after Prima Donnas on GMA Afternoon Prime.
Premieres om across the globe can also catch their favorite Kapuso shows via GMA’s international channels GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International. For the program guide, visit www.gmapinoytv.com.
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