By Alex P. Vidal
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — One of the most dynamic and well-respected figures in the Filipino-Canadian music and entertainment industry, Ms. Luisa “LUI” Marshall, also maintains a very popular all-season TV talk show dubbed as “Simply The best” — The Luisa Marshall Show every Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. primetime at the Shaw Mutlicultural Channel 116.
A truly intelligent and dynamic peformer, Marshall, popularly known as “The Tina Turner Impersonator” because of her flawless and almost perfect rendition of the famous American pop star’s Grammy Award-winning gigs in major concerts in Canada and the United States, manages the show together with her artist husband, Steve, since November 2009.
On January 21, 2012 Ms. LUI will be one of the world-class artists invited to perform in “Damayan Concert” or “Handog ng Nagkakaisang Lahi ng Filipino-Canadians sa Metro Vancouver para sa Typhoon Sendong Victims ng Iligan-Cagayan De Oro” at the Broardway Church. Here’s our brief tete-a-tete with Ms. LUI:
Q: What is the objective of your show?
A: Simply The Best, The Luisa Marshall Show is to inspire, educate and entertain Filipinos and mainstream viewers in a multicultural society.
It is an upbeat variety talk show which features celebrities, musical entertainment, reality show, fashion, makeovers, interesting inspiring stories of unknown people and local heroes, entrepreneurs, political figures, community issues/events and other requests from the viewers.
Q: How do you divide your time or handle your role as TV hostess and international entertainer?
A:I don’t divide my time, I just don’t sleep. Hahaha! Seriously, I welcome and embrace my hectic life. I’m used to it. I enjoy it. I take it one step at a time. I determine what’s important at that moment, what I have to do. The very moment that I am Luisa Marshall the tv host, my whole mind and body just switch to a different level. Sometimes it comes very easy because I write the entire show. I know what I want and I basically make it happen. I take care of the concept, guests, topics, filming schedule, location shooting, studio, editing, etc. so I have a lot on my plate. My co-producer/manager/husband Steve Marshall does all the technical editing that takes 3-4 days to complete a 30 minute tv show. During that whole gruesome part of the business, I have time to rehearse, work out, pack, get ready for my live performances. It’s not easy… there are times when my body just wants to shut down, then I decide to slow down. Sometimes I turn off my cell and spend my quiet moments at airports, airplanes, dressing rooms, trailers, etc. It surely helps.
Q: What was the best episode of your show last year?
A: The past two years, I enjoyed doing all my shows. My shows are the extension of my whole passion, my ideas, my feelings, my whole being. I like them all. However, if I have to pick one… it’s a tie between the inspirational story of my good friend singer/performer Riley Inge who continued to move on, recover and help others after he suffered a severe neck injury from the PNE rollercoaster ride in the summer of 2010 and another great story of a former prostitute and drug addict Trisha Baptie who founded Exploited Voices Now Educating and a recipient of The Courage to Come Back Award.
Q: Your programs/community service involvement in 2012?
A: I am so excited to tell you that I have programs and projects lined up for the community that my husband (Steve) and I have been putting together for quite sometime now. I will be announcing this as soon as I get the confirmation. You’ll be the first one to know. As of now, I try my best to support and promote all the fundraising projects for the Sendong flood victims. Simply The Best tv show is also dedicated to promote and cover community events, to create an awareness on outstanding social issues and, most of all, to give the general public a chance to voice out their sentiments and complaints.
Q: Tell us more about you and your projects/shows, etc.
A: This year will be a full load of wonderful inspirational stories, community issues, interesting artists and hot topics for Simply The Best tv show. Believe it or not, we have lots of materials that we have on file that we filmed in 2010 and 2011 that we haven’t featured yet. We will be interested to share all these this season. I believe one of the highlights of 2012 is my upcoming one on one interview with BC Premier Christy Clark. I had her on the show last year before she became premier and we had a blast talking about the NDP, HST, and other hot topics. On the next interview, I assure you there will be more hot topics.
As for my live stage performances, I have upcoming shows open to the general public in Metro Vancouver this winter.
1. January 21/2012, Saturday, Project Damayan Fundraising, Broadway Church, 6pm
2. February 26/2012, Sunday, Tina Turner Tribute Show with band and dancers, Coast Capital Playhouse, Whiterock, 7pm
3. March 4/2012, Sunday, International Women’s Day Celebration, Crystal at York Banquet Hall, Surrey, 11:30am
Some of my other shows are exclusive private corporate events.
Also, there are negotiations going on right now for a possible US Tour. For more information, check my website luisamarshall.com or facebook Luisa Marshall for my show dates.
Q: Your opinion on the proposed “Filipino Town” on Fraser St.
A: What is the significance of a Filipino Town on Fraser St.? When I heard about this, my initial reaction was “cool” but when I stepped back and contemplated on how this would affect other non-Filipino residents and businesses in the area, I have to re-think about this deeply. I would surely hope that any area considered to be a Filipino Town would be, in fact, a Filipino owned and operated area before anyone even try to put a claim on it. That’s my common sense talking.
Q: Your advice to aspiring Fil-Can entertainers.
A: There are so many Filipino Canadians who are so talented who want a big break in the mainstream world. Sometimes you can get lucky and sometimes it’s all a hard long climb to success. My advice is for them to acknowledge their dreams, act on their dreams, learn from the experts, practice, practice, practice, and most of all remain humble.
Q: Please tell us about your involvement in the program on January 21st regarding “Damayan” for Typhoon victims in the Philippines.
A: Once again, I am honored to perform for another good cause to benefit our kababayan. I have done so much fundraising events in the past years but this one is close to my heart. I am very happy to be a part of what my friends Babes Newland, Reyfort Media and MHHS initiated. This is a spectacular show of the collective effort of various artists, organizations, volunteers, crew and other media companies in this Filipino Canadian Community.