You mentioned your brother earlier... so, identical gay twin brothers?
Yes! Identical, gay twin brothers. Jake lives in New York, he's done a couple of shows there.
He was in RENT, wasn't he?
Yes, he was! He was an understudy for Angel, and was in the second touring company for three or four years. Loved the job.
How did you both end up getting into acting?
We always sang. Since we were children, we were always singing. Going into acting post-student life, I guess... that was a hard decision. I was set to go to Guam and work with an Internet company. And my brother was working in real estate. And, suddenly, I think it was the same year and we were like, 'Nah! We're going into something else.' In college, we did plays. We did shows. We did a cappella. We did all kinds of performance where they didn't even sing. But it wasn't until 1998 that we both decided on our own that we wanted to pursue a performance life.
How did your mother take this? First, they're both gay. Now, they both want to act... how much more can I take?
Mama loves it! She so happy for her gay sons! She really is. I think when I came out to her, she asked me, "So, who do you like?" It was as easy as that.
Did you come out at the same time?
No, my brother came out a year later. When I actually told her I was going to pursue this, she said, 'Good. As long as you're happy. Let's go shopping.' I'm not kidding. She did say, 'Let's go shopping tomorrow, what are you doing?' And when I told my dad, and this was a whole period of my life where I was gearing up to move to Guam, the plane ticket was bought, my life was scheduled, and they were ready for me to go. When I finally made the decision that I was going to stay, and I called my dad, I was scared shitless, because I thought my dad would hate me. I thought he'd be, "My son has to be successful, in business,' so I call him, scared, and I say, 'I'm sorry, Dad, I'm saying no to this. I'm staying here.' He said, 'Whatever you want, my son. Whatever makes you happy.' I was shocked. Shocked! To hear that from both parents was an amazing, amazing relief.
Was it harder on Jake that you came out first? Sometimes you hear that when an older brother is out, it is harder on the other one...
Oh, we were both out for a long time, before we decided to also say that we were going to be performers. Coming out as gay was, I think, easier. Coming out as performers was hard!
Well, there are a lot of successful gays, but not as many successful performers...
Hello? You're right! And when you think economics is really important in your family, then it becomes a very difficult question to talk about. Should I do this? Should I not? 'Do I want to be a performer' is like, oh, 'Do I want to throw my life away?' Did my parents come to the United States so that their child can be an actor? My parents emigrated from the Philippines and sacrificed their lives for us, so we could have a better life... and we decide we're going to be artists?! That was a very difficult thing. In my mind, I'm thinking, 'What a waste!' Or they're going to think it's a waste. I'm supposed to be living the life that they want. But, no, they just want me to be happy.
You didn't give them enough credit...
They came here to improve your life and, if you wanted to become an actor, this would be the place to do it.
Exactly! So, we're doing it, and we're both pretty successful.
So when you're touring constantly, do you all tend to travel in a pack everywhere, or just do the show and that's it?
No, we're actually good friends. Thank God. We can't do this if we were not friends.
I just didn't know if it gets to the point where you're like, 'OK, I need some breathing room.'
Of course, in any relationship, especially one where we're working so often together, you're going to need breathing room. But we really enjoy each other's company. We make each other laugh as much as we make audiences laugh. We pride ourselves on the fact that we love each other. This is a relationship. Being a Kinsey means that you're in a relationship, almost a marriage, with three other people. You're creating things together.
So, you had no idea what you were audition for three years ago.
No idea! I had no idea! But here I am... loving this relationship I have with three other creators. We're all creating something together. And it's great. It's a great life. I wish everyone could experience something like that.