A career in medicine seemed to be the most obvious career path for Juan Carlo “JC” Galano after earning a degree in occupational therapy. But then, show biz beckoned.
While becoming a doctor is his and his family’s dream, JC always knew that in him was a creative energy just waiting to be tapped. And he dabbled in modeling and television commercials. He loved it—so much so that it had him thinking: “Why don’t I give show biz a try?”
“It all started during the pandemic. I did a couple of commercials after college, the biggest one being Jollibee’s Valentine series last year. I liked the environment on the set. I liked the working energy of the production, even off-cam. That’s when I decided to take this seriously,” he told the Inquirer in his recent contract signing with Universal Records Philippines.
In elementary school, JC enjoyed acting in musicals and plays. But he had to set that aside later on in life to focus on his studies. “I wasn’t able to do theater in college because I didn’t have enough time for extracurriculars,” related the 25-year-old talent.
Desire to act
“But the desire to act and be onstage has always been there; it was just overshadowed by our dream for me to become a doctor. Many Filipino households dream of having a nurse or a doctor. But I also have this creativity and drive to perform. And I hope I can make it big and leave a mark in the industry,” he said.
JC’s acting credits thus far include the television shows “Daddy’s Gurl” and “Raya Sirena,” as well as the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Nelia.” His biggest break, however, was landing the male lead role, Dodong, in the recent restaging of Ateneo Blue Repertory’s “Zsazsa Zaturnnah the Musical… ‘Yun Lang!”
It was the play’s musical director, Vincent de Jesus, who urged him to meet the director, Missy Maramara.
“It was my first lead role onstage, so with it came this tremendous weight. There was pressure because it’s such an iconic musical,” he said. “I was actually quite half-hearted at first because I wasn’t classically trained. And I had just gotten back onstage after a long time. It was a challenge, but also very fulfilling.”
Venturing into music
Now, JC is set to star in the straight play “Adulting 101,” which will be showcased as part of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Virgin Labfest this June. He’s hoping to expand his portfolio by venturing into music. While he’d love to do an album inspired by musicals, the plan is to explore pop.
“I guess for future projects, we can do something that leans toward theater. But the aim now is to come up with new, original songs that people will love. I would like to explore that. I’m trying to write songs. I’m experimenting with my vocal placements,” related JC who grew up listening to local bands like Rivermaya and the Eraserheads.
“But now I’m into soul and R&B. I like Daniel Caesar. I’m thinking of marrying bossa nova and pop and trap and house. I hope I can come up with something interesting,” he said.
Asked which among television, theater and music he plans to focus on, JC said he’s still at a point in his career where he wants to learn more and improve his craft by trying as many things as he can.
“I’m excited about this journey. I have a lot to explore. If there’s any opportunity for me, I’d jump head in first—that’s how you learn. You have to try things that daunt you. That’s my personality. I’d rather be scared than be complacent. I think that’s one of the things that makes a good artist,” he said.
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