Age & Hometown: 20; San Jose, CA
Current Role: Making her Broadway debut singing “Day By Day” in the first Broadway revival of Godspell.
Disney Days: Perez de Tagle fell in love with performing at the Children’s Musical Theatre of San Jose, where a staff member entered the 12-year-old singer on Star Search. (She was defeated by future American Idol runner-up David Archuleta!) Shortly before eighth grade graduation, the young Filipino/Spanish actress landed the role of ditzy mean girl Ashley on Hannah Montana. “I did feel like I was a little out of the loop,” she says of being homeschooled while working on set, “but at the same time [acting] is what I love to do, so I don’t regret it.” Roles in Disney’s popular Camp Rock TV film series followed, as well as an international tour with the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. “I absolutely loved traveling,” she says. “Performing in places like Brazil and Argentina was incredible. It’s such a heartwarming feeling to take the stage in front of 65,000 cheering people!”
Day By Day: After playing nasty on TV, Perez de Tagle enjoys embracing her sweet side in her first Broadway gig. “I’m definitely a lot like myself in the show,” she says of her self-titled Godspell alter ego. “Our director [Daniel Goldstein] told us to act how we think we would be like as a follower of Jesus, so I play the innocent, pure one, which is very true to heart. I’m definitely a big girly girl!” Perez De Tagle has grown close with her Godspell castmates, who share the stage for the majority of the show. “It just feels like we’re playing every night,” she says of backstage life. “They call me the ‘Junk Food Thief’ because I’m all about candy, caffeine and getting super hyped and excited before each show.”
Prepare Ye...for the Future: Although she has rocked out in huge venues, Perez de Tagle admits that she was initially wary of the demands of a Broadway musical. “I was nervous about the schedule and if my voice could make eight shows a week.” The answer, she discovered, was yes: “I love it!” she declares. So much so, that she has her eye on an iconic musical role: Kim in Miss Saigon. “That's my ultimate goal. If Miss Saigon ever comes back to Broadway, I have to be Kim. Or anywhere!” In fact, her newfound love of stage acting has put plans to record an album of R&B and pop music on the back burner. “I have a couple of songs stashed away, but right now Broadway is where my heart is,” she says. “I hope to be here for a long time.”