Bench Hipolito, a well-known drag performer and professional impersonator of pop star princess Sarah Geronimo, said she pursued her career to help out her family.
In an interview with DailyPedia, Bench, who is Benjamin Suarez in real life, shared her humble beginnings and the steps she took to build her identity.
“Nagsimula mag-start ang career ko noong 2013 sa Palawan 2 comedy bar in Cubao. Nag-audition ako doon as a drag queen,” she narrated.
“Then nagsara ito at napunta ako sa O Bar in 2014. Hindi pa ako Sarah G noon. Ang ginagaya ko po na artists ay sila Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, etc. I became a drag queen or impersonator to help my family,” she added.
The 23-year-old performer said he started to impersonate Sarah in 2014.
“Idol ko siya pero hindi ko siya ginagaya on stage until maraming crowd ang nagsasabi sa akin na kamukha ko raw ang popstar royalty na si Sarah G. So I try to copy her then nagulat ako dahil nagustuhan ng crowd,” Bench said.
“Super nag-boom ang career ko kay Sarah. Maraming nagulat na kamukha ko ang popstar royalty. Hanggang sa nagtuloy-tuloy na,” she added.
Bench said more people liked her when she started to perform Sarah’s hit song “Tala.”
“Noong nai-release ang song na ‘Tala,’ ginaya ko agad iyong song at inaral ko. Then maraming LGBT ang natuwa,” she noted.
“Hanggang sa sumikat ng sumikat ang ‘Tala.’ Halos gabi-gabi ko na pine-perform iyong ‘Tala’,” she added.
Bench said she already met Sarah and the singer-actress adored him.
“Yes, nagkita na kami ni Ms. Sarah G. Four times na. Una kaming nagkita sa ‘The Great Unknown’ concert niya sa Kia Theatre. Dinala ako ng stylist ni Sarah sa backstage to meet her,” she narrated.
“Ang unang sinabi niya ‘Uyyy siya ba si Bench? Ang ganda-ganda nya! Mas maganda pa siya sa akin.’ Nag-meet na rin kami sa backstage ng ‘It’s Showtime,’ ‘Magandang Buhay’ and nakasama ko rin siya sumayaw ng ‘Tala’ sa ‘ASAP,” she added.
Sarah G's 'Tala' performed by Bench Hipolito
May humamon sa 'Tala' ni Sarah Geronimo!
Posted by LionhearTV on Sunday, August 27, 2017
Bench said she will continue to focus on her career and perform to support her family and save for the future.
“When I get to 30s or 40s gusto ko sana makapag-negosyo for my family and para sa future na rin while continue doing drag or impersonator,” she noted.
“Marami pa naman akong dapat matutunan dahil bata pa ako. I just want to be successful someday,” she concluded.