Saturday Success Story #26: ACTS
I want you to click on the video below before moving on with the rest of today’s featured story. I want you to listen to the music and let it play as your background while you read this week’s success story.
The music you are listening right now is from the three Sahagun sisters, Kathrine Ann, Christine and Fatima - the singers behind the group ACTS. They are a Pop/Christian Contemporary female vocal group who are dubbed as “born in thePhilippines, raised inAustralia and now live in Las Vegas!”. They have performed in several occasions in different art genres from singing to plays, musicals and dance numbers. They have recently concluded their first headline concert in Sydney, Australia of which their fans “could not get enough of them”. They have also released their first extended play album in November 2011 titled, “Speak Love”, which is available on itunes and on their website.
Interviewing them was another goal achieved! When I started doing this Saturday Success Story series I wanted to interview a singer, because of a few reasons but primarily because of my isolated interest in music. Yes, I can sing and have sung in karaokes just like every other Filipinos and Filipino-Americans I know but the buck stops right there and won’t go far in advance. Well, God is really good – He gave me a group to interview – the ACTS! What is even more special is that as I interview them I realized that the world is really small (they go to the same church as my Aunt Rose Sudaria-Cabiltes and her family goes!) and kindness really shines in any form. In their case, their kindness reverberates in every note they hit, in every song they deliver and in their voices.
They are what you would want to hear when you want to strengthen your faith and get closer to your spiritual being. They are what you would want to play during dinner, weddings and even parties! They can practically sing anything under the sun. They are the A-C-T-S!
This is their story:
AMS: Tell us about yourselves. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.
ACTS: We are three sisters, Kathrine Ann, Christine and Fatima Sahagun. We were born in thePhilippines, raised inAustralia, and now living inLas Vegas. We are a three part harmony Pop/Christian Contemporary female vocal group initially called the Sahagun Sisters, then in the year 2000 we changed our group name to ACTS, which is an acronym of our names/nicknames: Ann, Christine, Teemy (Fatima) Sahagun.
We all graduated from UNLV (Kathrine – BA Math; Teemy – BS/BA Marketing; Christine – BA Film).We started singing at school, church, community, and family events as members of choirs and vocal groups. We then had music lessons withJunJavierMusicSchool& Madelene Capelle. And now we perform as ACTS from church, local, national, and international events. We have also performed in concerts for major Filipino artists as opening and feature acts, including back-up singers.
AMS: Who came up with the idea behind ACTS?
ACTS: We have been singing and performing individually since we were young. Only when we began taking vocal lessons together did we officially form our group. Our singing teacher brought us together to sing with three part harmony. A few years later we were invited to sing at our cousin’s concert inCanada. Her last name was also Sahagun, which led us to change it to ACTS. Our mom was the one who thought of it since it’s an acronym of our names & from the book of ACTS in the Bible.
AMS: When did the three of you finally realized you wanted to do this?
ACTS: In the early 2000s, as we continued to sing together, we immediately developed a passion for performing. But not just as performers, but a group that makes a difference in the lives of everyone through our songs.
AMS: Growing up, did you always dream of putting together a show and spreading your music with mission?
ACTS: Yes. Our dream has always been to record an album of our original music, have our own concerts and tour all over the world. We want to impact & encourage everyone who listens to our music whether old or young.
AMS: Were all of you always involved in singing? Since when?
ACTS: Yes, since each of us were about 5 years old.
AMS: Did the three of you go through formal voice lessons? If yes, what was the most important thing you learned from your trainers/coaches?
ACTS: Yes. The most important thing we learned is that our voice is the most fragile instrument we’ll ever have and it can never be replaced. So we have to take care of it daily through vocal exercises, proper diet and rest, otherwise we risk losing the ability to sing at our optimum level.
AMS: I’ve been talking about ACTS but can you tell us what is ACTS and its many missions?
ACTS: ACTS is an acronym of our names: Ann, Christine, Teemy, and our last name is Sahagun.
Missions: We want to spread a positive message of love, hope, and peace to everyone through our music & even our lives. It’s our desire to encourage, inspire & impact everyone in a positive way. We also want to share about the love and joy that we have found in Jesus.
AMS: You guys mentioned that you just had your show in Australia? Was that your first concert outside Las Vegas? How did it go?
ACTS: We’ve performed inLas Vegas, multiple cities in Northern and Southern California, Canada, Philippines, andAustralia. But the concert at the beginning of this year inAustralia was our 1st concert outside of Las Vegas, in which we were the headline artist. It turned out great! It was a full house and everything went well. We were really grateful for all the support we received.
AMS: Recalling your first show as compared to the most recent concert you had – how was this most recent concert different from your first show?
ACTS: Our first performance in a concert was in Canada as special guests. It was exciting since it was our first concert ever and our first concert inCanada. We were able to sing four songs and was able to sing with our cousin, who is a well known artist there. But our most recent concert inAustralia was our first concert in our hometown and we were the featured artists. We were able to sing a longer set, open and talk to the audience and share our stories. As for the quality of our performance, we definitely have seen improvements since our first concert in Canada. Our harmonies are tighter now and feel more at ease singing on stage and interacting with the audience.
AMS: I love your California Gurls Filipina remix version, whose idea was that?
ACTS: Thank you! Christine came up with the idea of the remix and we all re-wrote the lyrics together. The song was current and very popular at the time, so we thought it would be fun to do a remix and incorporate our roots in there!
Editor’s Note: Click their amazing remix video below.
AMS: Could you tell us about your first album and how did you put it together?
ACTS: Speak Love is our first album that we’ve recorded. It’s an EP album that consists of original songs, written and composed by us. It was produced by Jesse Barrera inSan Diego. And the kickstarter fundraiser definitely made a huge difference. Everyone who supported our fundraiser helped make this dream come true!
AMS: What are some of your greatest achievements thus far?
ACTS: Performing as Opening and Feature Artists, and Back Up Singers for numerous Filipino artists, such as Gary V, Nora Aunor, Apo Hiking Society, Piolo Pascual, Sam Milby, Ai Ai Delas Salas, Ray Valera, and many more.
Getting past 3 rounds of auditions with America’s Got Talent
Making it to the top 20 ofLas Vegas’s X-Factor with Fox5 Network
Recording our EP album
Having our first concert in Australia
AMS: Who are your support system? Who are/were your motivators?
ACTS: Our parents. God. Marc and Chris, our family, our church family, friends, our music teachers, people we’ve worked with musically, and Lil our dog.
AMS: Can you share some of your tips in becoming great singers and performers?
ACTS: Vocalize and sing as much as you can, but of course knowing your limit and not straining the muscle.
Sing because you want to and have a passion for it. Sing from the heart, people can sense when you’re not.
If it’s your dream to sing, don’t quit. Even if you get rejected or hear the word “NO” a lot, don’t give up. Keep doing your best and stay passionate. Something good will always happen when you work hard.
Practice being comfortable on stage and interacting with the audience.
Most importantly pray and have a positive attitude because we’ve experienced that when challenges or situations arise, whether it’s during performances or with regards to your dreams and goals, prayer and staying positive helps make everything work out.
AMS: What are your next goals for ACTS and for yourselves?
ACTS: Recording a full length album. Going full time with ACTS. Tour. Go on missions. Be internationally known. Excel and be successful in every aspect of our lives.
AMS: Finally, what is your definition of success.
ACTS: When we’ve made a difference in people’s lives (even if it’s just one person). When we enjoy what we’re doing and it doesn’t even feel like work. Accomplishing our goals. When we make our parents proud. And when we’ve honored God through our talents.
To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.