MANILA, Philippines – From the freewheeling dynamo Maureen Johnson in Rent, to self-assured, powerful Elphaba in Wicked, to the protective and enchanting Elsa in Frozen, Idina Menzel’s roles have been all about embracing individuality – no matter what other people say.
Following a stunning breakthrough to mainstream entertainment – “Let It Go,” the anthem sung by her character Elsa in Disney hit Frozen is a global phenomenon – the celebrated performer is now embarking on a world tour, performing for passionate fans who have long awaited her arrival on their shores. (READ: Evil Elsa, shy Kristoff? 10 ‘Frozen’ facts you probably didn’t know)
Listen to her phone interview with Rappler’s Maria Ressa, where Idina talks about the impact of Frozen, the challenges of making it big, and her Filipino fans. Idina’s Manila show is set for June 7 at the MOA Arena. (READ: Listen to Elsa and Anna sing new 'Frozen Fever' original song)
Idina says the strong characters she’s played stand as positive reminders when things get hard. “When I’m feeling down, or when I’m feeling like, that my power is too much, or that I’m going to alienate people around me, I’m reminded of how important it is to embrace that thing in us that sets us apart, that makes us unique and different and to really celebrate that,” she says.
Idina’s characters reach out to audiences of all ages because despite their powers and self-awareness, they radiate a sense of vulnerability that’s absolutely universal.
“I mean, these are all things that build your character and make you have thicker skin. And you know, I feel like the gift and the curse of what we do as performers is that we have to put ourselves out there in order to be really good and really powerful…and take risks, and remain vulnerable.
“And sometimes, we may falter and we may come up short and other times we might fail, [we might] soar, and that’s just the gamble we have to take to be really good,” she reflects.
Looking back, she says she isn’t quite certain about the formula for mainstream success, but feels lucky to have played world-class women with a vision to change the world. Touring the world and performing for her fans is her own dream come true.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is be able to get to the point in my life where I could go out and play music and make a living. And to be able to go into all of these new territories and countries – some of which I’ve never been to in my life, like the Philippines, and to think that there’s a fan base, and that I have friends there, I have a support system – is just beyond anything I could have imagined.” – Rappler.com