A More Matured, Experienced Antoinette Taus is Still Chasing her American Dream
Interview by Francis Johann Verdote
Many Filipinos who grew up in the Philippines during the 90s know her as one of the kids making other kids their age laugh and giggle, with the 4:30pm hit show Ang TV. Some may have seen her cry or throw a fit in Anna Karenina and TGIS. Other teenage girls may have learned the idea of love in her films Kiss Mo ‘ko and Honey, My Love, So Sweet. After leaving behind her entertainment career in the Philippines, Antoinette Taus has found comfort and pride in holding up the banner for Filipinos from the motherland attempting to breakthrough in Hollywood.
Since moving to California in 2004, Taus has made great strides in finding her niche as an artist in the City of Angels. From her bar shows to competing in an NBC singing contest, Taus gives a performance worth remembering.
For a young Filipino-American newspaper, PinoyWatchDog.com is honored to have the opportunity to get to know a more matured and more experienced Antoinette Taus.
PinoyWatchDog.com: How do you keep yourself busy?
Antoinette Taus: I just do shows. I do 2-3 weekly shows. I audition in between. Random concerts and some features. Last year, I was on the TV show The Sing-off on NBC and I was part of a group named Kinfolk 9. It was a great experience. I met a lot of amazing people. I got to meet Nick Lachey, Vanessa Minnillo, Sara Bareilles, Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men), and Ben Folds. It was an amazing experience. [Laughs]. I had a lot of fun doing that. That basically engulfed my 2011. It was all about auditioning for that and then rehearsing for the show and doing the actual show. But aside from that I do shows every week.
PWD: Where do you have your shows?
AT: On Wednesdays I perform at Noypitz, and on Thursdays I perform at Gerry’s Grill.
PWD: Aside from The Sing-off on NBC, what other things have you been focusing your attention on?
AT: Right now, I’m in the process of actually recording an album. We’re still in the beginning stages. So, we’re still in the process of trying to compile songs, songwriters. We’re still in the process of choosing what direction to go with. I’m actually going to sing a couple of original songs tonight, but we’re not sure yet if we’ll include in the album or just release them as a single. But that’s one of the main things I’ve been focusing on right now.
PWD: As a performer/entertainer, what motivates or inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing?
AT: I think, at the end of the day, inspiration is my family. I know it sounds like a cliché, because my family stuck behind me when I made my decision to try to break into Hollywood. They left everything behind to be with me. Luckily, we just love L.A. too. They were always very supportive, and my mom was always my idol. She was the one that taught me everything. She was the inspiration for everything that I do. Whatever I do, whatever I say. How I think. What I wear. How I behave. It’s because of my mom. And the fact that she passed away without me, really, achieving my goal of making it big in Hollywood. It’s something I want to happen to honor her, as well. But it’s really just my family that’s my inspiration. Not just that though, I mean, a big part of what motivates me is the Philippines because I know that a lot of Filipinos have tried to make it mainstream, but it hasn’t exactly really happened. You know, doors are opened and there are some Filipinos that are A-listers already, but nobody really from the Philippines – grew up there, that was born there – so I feel like it’s just something I want to do, as well. And maybe probably open doors for other Filipinos in the future.
PWD: Do you have any preference on what roles to play in movies?
AT: In the Philippines, my image was very wholesome. I was the sweet girl, the good girl, but at the same time, in Hollywood, I don’t think I’m in that age anymore where “Oh my gosh I want to play the wholesome sweet girl.” I’m actually more into trying to change that perception of me, because even my personality has changed throughout the years, including the way I dress. I’m trying to get past that, so people would see me in a more mature way. Basically here I’m just trying to find any good role I could find, whether if the role is small or big.
PWD: With your TV experience in the Philippines, what do you think is the current state of Philippine TV? Is it going down the drain? Or…
AT: I don’t think it’s going down. I just think it’s moving too fast. Before when we were in the industry, it took time for people to get popular. And once you become popular, you usually stay there. Right now, I don’t even know the names that people mention to me. It’s like every month there’s always an up and coming actor, which is good for the industry. There are people going into the arts and entertainment. That’s a great thing. New things are always good, and I have actually nothing negative to say. I just think everything is getting better and better. The industry has progressed a lot since I left.
PWD: Do you prefer performing in front of a big or small audience?
AT: Honestly, as long as I’m performing it doesn’t matter. They’re different. The hype you get with a big crowd and it’s live and there’re a lot of people, it’s completely different from singing in an intimate crowd, or singing acoustic. They both have their great qualities that I can’t really choose between the two. There’s a connection being made with the audience when you play an acoustic set that’s different when you play in front of a big crowd. When I perform in a big crowd, it’s exciting because you have a crowd filled with enthusiasm and energy, and that energy creates a magical vibe that I share with them. Performing is performing. It’s not really the crowd. It’s singing; it’s doing what you love to do.
On that note, the lights were dimmed and the crowd’s attention shifted from their tables to the stage. Antoinette Taus had to excuse herself from the table and began her performance.
Taus starts off her acoustic performance at Noypitz with Alicia Keys’ No One mashed-up with Black Eyed Peas’ Where is the Love.
Antoinette Taus performs every Wednesday at Noypitz in Glendale and every Thursday at Gerry’s Grill in Artesia.
And for those that have not seen Antoinette Taus and Kinfolk 9, check out this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNoQK_DAd64) and enjoy!