Miss Saigon Tony-winner Lea Salonga–who currently stars in the Broadway musical Here Lies Love–addressed proper backstage etiquette after a group of fans went to her dressing room unannounced following a performance.
A viral video of the interaction showed Salonga being taken aback after seeing people she did not recognize or was not expecting, standing in the doorway to her dressing room.
The person filming approached the star and asked:
"Hi Ms. Lea, can we take a picture with you?"
"Who are you? I'm so sorry, I don't know who you are."
The individual identified themselves as "a fan," to which the star replied:
"Unless you're on the guest list we cannot have you back here.”
You can watch the video here.
Not taking the hint and leaving, another member of the group claimed to be a "friend" of Here Lies Love cultural and community liaison, Giselle “G” Töngi–as if the unverified information would gain them entry.
But because they weren't on the list, the actress maintained:
“You’ll have to go to the door."
"Because if I allow this now, then other people are going to take advantage of this.”
She explained there were protocols "for security purposes" and told the infiltrators to meet her near the exit door for the photo op they were persistently seeking.
The video concluded with Salonga escorting them out of the dressing room herself and obliging them with the photo.
Following the incident, Salonga tweeted the following PSA.
"Just a reminder… I have boundaries."
"Do not cross them. Thank you."
In a separate tweet, Salonga clarified the person who mentioned being a friend of the show's producer was not telling the truth.
"Sooooooo here’s the kicker… the person whose name they were naming as their producer friend has no idea who they are."
"I asked her, and she’s seen the video (all our producers have, as well as company management, house management and security)."
"She had no idea who they were. I was giving the benefit of the doubt until the moment I heard back from her."
When a user noted boundaries should be respected "regardless of who you namedrop" for "VIP access," Salonga added:
"and make sure the person you name-drop actually knows you exist."
Social media users were appalled over the uncomfortable encounter.
Salonga added in another tweet:
"When one of our lead producers and our dance captain saw the video and learned about what happened, they said, 'You were still very nice, if that were me I would’ve cussed at them and kicked them out.'”
"I’m not the type to cuss people out, but I will protect my territory and my boundaries. If I lose fans as a result, so be it."
When a user commented on how unfortunate it was many entitled fans expect more after paying a lot of money for a ticket, Salonga said:
"The money you pay for a theater/concert ticket does not mean all-access."
"You pay for that performer’s art, and that’s where it stops."
"I gotta say, the folks at the stage door have been so incredibly kind, which only makes us (well, me) enthusiastic to say hello and spend the time to talk to them."
Salonga also commented her co-workers respect her boundaries at work.
"Okay, real life demonstration: none of the actors in HLL have been to my dressing room."
"Not Arielle, Jose, Conrad, Melody, or anyone else. These are already friends and co-workers, and yet they respect my boundaries!"
"So who is anyone else to want to invade my space? Make it make sense!"
Here Lies Love is a contemporary musical based on a concept album written by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.
The show follows the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos–played by Salonga.
It premiered in 2013 off-Broadway at The Public Theater and officially opens on Broadway on Thursday–making it the first Broadway production to feature an entirely Filipino cast.