My name is Arianne Recto and I was born and raised in the Philippines. I arrived in New York in ‘85 and have been here for twenty-eight years. My father was an American citizen, so he petitioned for me and the rest of my siblings to come to the States. There are five of us here and one brother is in the Philippines. In the Philippines I was a production designer for films and I was a stage actress as well. I started in production design for TV, and then my mentor got into film so he took me with him, and then I started to do my own stuff as a production designer.
I had my son in ‘86 and I started getting the itch to do theater again. So in ‘89 I got together with some friends of mine, theater people from the Philippines as well, and we formed Ma-Yi. I’m one of the founders of the Ma-Yi Theater Company. I did two plays with them but that was around the time my son was going to school, and rehearsals were at night because most of the people worked during the day. My son was the priority. But then when he got to high school I started to do print stuff and began looking for TV and film work.
Now I work for the Children’s Aid Society as an events coordinator. I’ve been with the organization for twelve years. They’re pretty flexible with my schedule, so I continue to audition. I’ve been able to do TV work; I was in Conviction, which is a spin off of Law and Order. My husband’s a filmmaker, so he wrote a script for me and I was the lead actress in that film. It’s a two-character film called Unrepentant set in an interrogation room. I was an interrogator!
I’m a singer too. I sing in a church choir and a rock band. My band is called IBK. We do covers, and I do most of the rock songs. My first love is rock. I love Led Zepplin, Chris Cornell, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses. I sing “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses, I do three songs from Led Zepplin. I sing songs from Aerosmith and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Those are the songs that I love to do! It just makes me feel alive whenever I sing those songs.
I’ve been performing forever. It’s just an exciting thing—the thought of doing Shakespeare in the Park with all of these people. It’s going to be so amazing. My family is so supportive, especially my husband and son. My son is a musician and he’s also a chef. One time he played guitar for one of my songs. My siblings have also been very supportive and we’re all very supportive of one another. My brother is actually doing a Filipino opera in October, and my nephew is into performing as well. It’s awesome, especially with the support I get from them and that we give to each other. It’s very important. Filipinos are very family-oriented and I love it. We have our differences, but when we’re together its like you can’t get a word in –it’s fun having a big family! I’m blessed to have them in my life.