Lea Salonga Brings With Her a Lucky Charm

Theater folk can be quite a superstitious bunch.

Some refrain from eating peanuts backstage; others believe that saying good luck instead of break a leg would actually lead to mishaps.

Whistling on- or offstage is generally frowned upon, and mentioning the title of that Scottish play—or well, MacBeth is likely to draw gasps of horror from the more dramatic actors.

But for Lea Salonga, preparing for a performance is as simple as warming up her voice properly, making sure all the costumes fit and staying calm inside the dressing room.

Salonga is not the superstitious type, though she does bring with her a lucky charm: an elephant figure

When she was 9, on the opening night of Repertory Philippines’ “Annie,” an aunt gave Lea an elephant charm for good luck.

She placed it on her dressing room table and turned its face to the direction of the stage.

It worked, somehow and by the time she headlined ‘Miss Saigon,’ Lea had amassed enough elephant figures to assemble a small herd.

Now in every theater show that she does, there is an elephant on her table, she told the media in a recent interview.

She has some that came from India, China; some are made of brass, jade, or wood.

For some reason, Lea said, the elephants gave her positive vibes and put her mind at ease before she went onstage.

It has been said that elephants have very good memory and that they never forget.

So, she has an elephant so she would not forget her lines, lyrics, blocking and quick changes, she said.

Elephants are known to have long life spans; perhaps they can also bring longevity.

If she had her way, Lea—who is celebrating her 35th year in the industry with a concert titled ‘Playlist’ on Dec. 6 and 7 at the Philippine International Convention Center’s Plenary Hall—said she would keep going for another 35 years.

Her ’30th’ was a celebration of her career, so there was a lot of ‘Miss Saigon’ and other stuff from musical theater.

For ‘Playlist,’ she is preparing to perform songs that she grew up listening to, or has not performed publicly.

The show will also benefit Yolanda survivors.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to them.

She has also announced that if people want to bring relief goods to the concert venue, they can.

The Red Cross will collect the donations.