Lesley Martinez, 28, has a couple of things going for her. She honed her dance moves by performing with the Manoevres. She spent summers studying theater at Trumpets Playshop. She was the go-to host back when she was in school, taking over duties during campus fairs, shows and concerts in UP Diliman and De La Salle University. She also got her mom, Gina Valenciano’s strong Castilian features and her dad, Leo Martinez’s fire and gung ho spirit. It also happens that her mom, a professional jazz dancer for 15 years, was also a mainstay of “Penthouse 7,” the ground-breaking dance show on Philippine TV in the 1970’s. And her dad is, of course, the legendary actor, comedian, and director.
So Lesley has gotten a head start on genes alone.
Lesley dances hip hop and admits she has always loved performing, even when she was a kid. So when it was finally time to choose a career for herself, she fell back upon her father’s works, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Lesley chose showbiz, and she doesn’t mind working hard to excel in it. She is training in earnest – taking acting workshops, dance classes, working out for extra stamina so she can tackle difficult roles, and appearing in shows like “Eat Bulaga,” “Maynila,” and “Magandang Umaga, Bayan,” among others. She appeared in the indie movie, “Sabungero” (The Cockfighter), directed by Miguel Kaimo and Rozie Delgado, starring Joel Torre, Ricky Davao, Nonie Buencamino, Maritoni Fernandez, Leo Martinez, Mark Gil, Edwin Nombre and Sid Lucero.
To sharpen her hosting skills, Lesley watches how her favorite hosts do it – everyone from Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres to Luis Manzano and Bianca Gonzales. She admires Luis’s wit and hopes to become as versatile as Bianca is in appealing to every demographic, from the AB crowd to the CDE market. The fact that she is still in her learning curve excites Lesley. “I like being challenged,” she said.” There’s no challenge when everything’s given or spoonfed to you.” This is why she plans to work hard to deserve every opportunity that comes her way.
And they promise to inundate her soon. Viva Artists Agency, in cooperation with Manila Genesis Entertainment Management, Inc., is set to launch her very soon. Though her parents are luminaries, she doesn’t aspire to be like them. “My dad’s the best but no one can be like him,” she says. Instead, she’ll carve her own path, do some of the same things her mom and her dad may have gone through, but tailored to fit who she is … and who she’ll be in the future.
And from anyone’s vantage point, Lesley Martinez is just getting started.
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