WHETHER you’re a family or friend, an acquaintance or stranger, there’s no way you’re missing this bubbly gal when in one room together. Her dynamic demeanor simply takes over the entire vibe of the place which already explains how she’s taking over the local film and music scene.
Chai Fonacier was never the kind who thrives in a cubicle. And with an animated personality like hers, she’s the perfect candidate to work in the film and music industry. In fact, Chai took the bigger step as she bravely conquered the intimidating Manila jungle with only her experience and God-given talent.
Her passion for acting goes way back when she was just five. Before hitting the big stage or movie theaters, she started acting right in front of her dogs, which according to her, never really complained. This was already an assurance for little Chai.
Then while in sixth grade, Chai and her classmate wrote a play just so Chai could play a witch. In college, Chai easily found like-minded people who were all crazy and that’s when they started thinking of weird stuff to perform in public. What started out as crazy ideas for Chai and her group, instantly became the next project they were going to work on. Working in a small group was never a problem for them because basically everyone else was a chameleon by nature.
“If no one else can perform assistant camera duties, I’ll do it. I can be co-writer and actor at the same time. Our director is also the cinematographer, editor and gaffer, so pretty much we’re all exhausted,” Chai then shared on where she finds herself more comfortable—in front of the lens or behind the camera.
With tons of practice and significant experiences, Chai, who hails from Cagayan de Oro then Cebu, has since established a name for herself with short film “Operation Prutas” (2015) where she won a Best Supporting Actress award in the 2015 Sinulog Film Festival. In November of the same year, she yet again bagged Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Cinema One Originals film “Miss Bulalacao.”
Since her acting debut, Chai has played the roles of a 13-year-old prostitute, a street urchin, a call center agent who happens to be a transman, a young stepmother, a kidnapping accomplice, a suicidal con artist, and a conyo-speaking environmentalist.
Playing a dozen characters, all of which are different in every aspect, Chai does her homework pretty well.
Not only is Chai a Filipino theater and film actress, she is mainly known as a singer/songwriter as well. Fonacier is also the songwriter and vocalist of the Cebuano trip hop band Womb.
Currently, Chai is under the influence of late afternoon strong coffee with friends where they just read a script for a possible project. Aside from that, she hopes to get to do more films, sing, write, and put an album out. She then concluded with a little inspiration for everyone who wishes to explore the same passion: Smart takes brains, but stupid takes balls. Brace yourself.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 04, 2017.
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