We know you have a song in your heart just waiting to be sung. So when we recently had the chance to connect with theatre noblewoman Tricia Buser of SoHo’s My Musical Studio, we got the rundown of her amazing background and what keeps her busy today in Hong Kong.
Tricia was born and raised in Manila and her talent was obvious from a very young age.
“I remember seeing photos of me standing on tables singing and dancing even as young as three years old! When I was six, two close friends and I would choreograph and sing numbers and invite our families to watch. We had matching homemade costumes, and blankets hanging on walls as backdrops. It was always fun to put together something then perform for people.”
During her second year of studying management economics in university in Manila, Buser decided to secretly audition for the Dutch production of Miss Saigon when it came to Philippines. After she made the cut, she decided to postpone university to take this opportunity.
“My school in Manila, Colegio San Agustin, had given us so many opportunities to try anything. So when my best friend told me about the audition for Miss Saigon, I said why not. I always said if I got it, it would only be for a year since I needed to finish my pre-law studies. So I did the audition – and I didn’t manage to become a lawyer! I didn’t really tell my parents about it until I had to take a leave of absence before leaving for Holland. I didn’t have any formal training, except for a few voice lessons privately. I guess experience was the best training!”
Tricia mastered Dutch after moving to Holland and was then offered a role in Les Miserables in Germany. She speaks and sings in an impressive six languages: English, Filipino, Mandarin, Dutch, German and French.
“Having lived and worked in many different countries, it would have been a waste if I didn’t make the most out of learning from each place. I had many teachers, and I tried to learn and grasp what I felt was best for me as a person, performer and teacher. Even now, I just came back from Copenhagen where I did even more training, which helps me as a singer and teacher.”
After touring Asia and the UK with Miss Saigon, Tricia arrived in Hong Kong where she finished her studies and accepted an offer to work at Hong Kong Disneyland. This was where she met the love of her life, watchmaker Roland Buser; together they have three children who share Tricia’s talent and love of music.
“I sing a lot at home because I find myself rehearsing all the time! Even in the car. I think it’s one reason why my children love singing – if they hear a beat, they’ll nod their heads or move their bodies. My daughter has been performing in front of big audiences and doesn’t seem fazed by anything. I say that she is more talented than me, both in singing and dancing!”
These days Tricia juggles family life with teaching, charity work and performing around town.
“Personally, I feel that teaching and performing go hand-in-hand – each experience brings a different sort of fulfillment. When I’m performing or working creatively, it keeps me wanting to improve myself. I’ve always had people I looked up to when I was growing up as a performer and I’m thankful to have had some of them as my mentors. I hope that in the same way, I’m able to do that for my students – not just children, but also adults who may have forgotten how much fun it is just to sing a song they hear over the radio, or even to perform once in a while. When I perform, I feel transported to a different life; I feel privileged to be able to perform in front of people and see them enjoying it as much as me.”
For information about My Musical Studio’s classes, programme and more, call 3665 0700 or visit.