“Perfume” 「香水」; my Prologue

Filed in Events, Perfume 香水 (2005), Work

It's been three weeks since "Perfume" 「香水」 finished, enough time to feel the after-show depression and get over it again. I always enjoy the stage performances. They are the rare opportunity for me to share time with the same group of people over an extended period of time, an opportunity to discover new friends.

"Perfume" was no exception.

Terence 鄭傳軍, the director, is himself an actor with five years of study at the Hong Kong Institute of Performing Arts. He was very particular with every aspect of the play and gave advice or requests to the actors frequently but also respected their need for room and freedom to try their own methods of expression. He did a terrific job with Josie who was simply great on the stage.

Josie 何超儀 has been acting for an eternity but almost always on film. Acting for stage is different and she had to adjust. She's a smart lady though and she worked hard to become the best she could be. It showed. I guess I was lucky on this occasion. When I began working with these people, I had no pre-conceptions about them, their abilities or their personalities. I was starting from scratch. I knew Josie's background but that was all I knew and it didn't affect my relationship with her.

Josie's a marvel. She has many serious physical debilitating problems and she never lets them hold her back. Her mind is as strong as steel and she works as hard as a horse to get whatever she wants. And she doesn't have a single hint of arrogance in spite of her family background and her success in the film world. It's no wonder she has the respect of her peers.

Alice 劉雅麗 was wonderful. She has years of stage acting experience and no character is too big a challenge for her. I'd heard of her a few times over the years that I've been in Hong Kong but I've never worked with her, and I've never seen her performances. It's a pity because she's really a great actor.

Gary 譚偉權 is remarkable. If anyone needs a model of hard work and determination, they need look no further than Gary. He gave up his work in TVB several years ago because they were holding him back, confining him to the children's program. Now he has a full time day-time job and pursues his true love at night; ie, acting. Every day during rehearsals, Gary would work a full eight-hour day at his day-time job and then rehearse with us for four hours in the evening. He's proven that actors can continue to act if they really want to, even if they have to work a day-time job to put food on the table.

Four hard working actors without arrogance, malice or envy all working hard and cooperating to make the best production possible. It's no wonder we became friends.

Sally 林愛心 and Shirley 梁雅芝 were wonderful to work with. If you saw the show, you probably saw them dressed in black walk up onto the stage to stand with us at closing before we left the stage; two wonderful and hard working girls. They faced multiple challenges every day, and they did it without complaint. They were usually over-worked and tired but always wore a smile none-the-less.

It was a great team. I'm proud to have been a part of it.

The play was an original, written by 喻榮軍, a playwright from Shanghai. It was written for a Mandarin audience and we had to make changes; both from a language standpoint and from a content standpoint; for the Hong Kong audience. That said, the playwright did a great job with the play, creating something that was interesting, intriguing and entertaining to watch. That's not an easy feat and the playwright should be commended for his achievement.

Unfortunately, there was one aspect of the play with which I didn't totally agree. Many of the audience found it confusing that Gary and I would suddenly and so obviously be gay partners at the end of the play. It was clearly out of sync with the rest of the story. As actors, there's only so much we can do to control the result of the play. In the end, we have to listen to the demands of the director and the company executives. In this case, it was the company executives who requested this particular ending; albeit in the best interests of the play. They thought that Hong Kong audiences would be entertained by this comical result, and in fact, many audiences were entertained by the ending. Unfortunately, they were also confused. If there is ever a re-run of the play, perhaps they can polish the ending a little to keep it entertaining without the confusion. It won't be easy but they're smart people so anything is possible.

For me, the question now is one of waiting, waiting for the next opportunity to perform on stage. In many ways, it's superior to working for television or film because you're given every opportunity to develop the character, to always be working with your partners on set, and to always perform the role from start to finish without interruption. It's a great way to act.

My first stage performance was in 1997 with "Magic is the Moonlight" 「上海之夜」. My second performance was in 2002 with the "Teresa Tang Forever" musical 「但願人長久鄧麗君音樂劇」. "Perfume" 「香水」 was my third stage performance. Hopefully, I won't have to wait long for my fourth stage performance.


Comments (Comments are closed)

17 Responses to ““Perfume” 「香水」; my Prologue”
  1. Felix says:

    WOW.can't wait to see this show.just hope this show will run in Malaysia.....

  2. Carol says:

    hi there...i've been read your personal intervied in malaysia newspaper...it's touched to know your experienced in chasing your dream...so i'm here to wish you success in the future.And, can i be one of your net friends?i wish we can keeping contact...pls do visit my own blog too....although it's all in mandarin,but i hope you'll be there....http://koonlim.e-channel.info

  3. Alison says:

    So, how did u end up with the role? Who approached u? I think once u r in the circle, opportunities will be easier to come by. Looking forward to ur next stage performance. Any chance of a re-run of "Perfume"? Any of ur previous performances r available on DVDs?

    Gd luck eh, Greg! I hope u don't have to wait too for ur next shot as well.

  4. Carnie says:

    TO: HKWing; Why are you so gracious???

    TO: FELIX from http://koonlim.e-channel.info

  5. Carol says:

    i'm Carol and my site is http://koonlim.e-channel.info it's not belong to Felix by the way....oh you like it?would you mind to give me your email and i'll send it to you ?i forgot what's the site because i kept this midi for few years.....

  6. 河國榮 says:

    hi Carol.

    I read every comment, but don't get the time to answer everything all the time. however, I did read your blog. you're a primary-school teacher?

  7. Carnie says:

    Good Morning Carol,

    I am sorry, l had no idea l was referring to the wrong person, it does get a little confusing at times. Please, where possible, send me the link, because the music is embedded in me. I was up late preparing reports with the music as a backdrop, and it gave me miraculous power to write. I guess it is just like in plays, if there weren't any audiences, the play is dead, empty and would be null and void; an empty pleasure. My addy, carnie_webb@yahoo.com.au


    Hi Gregory Charles River,
    I am sorry to have addressed you as HKWING. My apologies and having re-read my post, it was quite rude; a rude awakening. Now that l have some time on me, l would like to make a few comments about your site and you in general. Personally l do not know how you did it, where does one find such compelling drive and tensile strength, and the need to succeed? You have travelled far, you are living your dreams, you might not feel so, but life is not always perfect! I commend you on that! Being in a foreign country and living and working with such passion, hopes and dreams, well if you don't feel a sense of displacement you ought to be one special "Western Honkie"; Honkie.

    I love music, music is me and l am music. A very bold statement for someone who love music for music but does not appreciate the arts of music. But l have not the musical talents that could make me a Rivers junior in the making. However, am l a failure? NO. There is music for everybody, and the music for me is incidental music; background music. One does not need to be in the spotlight to succeed, every role in life is important, because being you is all that matters. You are your success, you are your enemy and you are your defeat. If l asked you, "Why are you so successful?" I think you'd rather reply, "I am gracious" and leave it as is.

    Between l enjoy reading your articles and your "health" piece is clear as crystal for me. Hang in there Rivers, because whereever you flow, still waters run deep!

    NB: Your wife is half of your success :) The other half is for you to find out...........

  8. Carol says:

    Wow!wow!....you replied mine.....thanks!thanks a lot!....i'm really happy for that....
    yeah,i'm a primary school teacher...however,i was a journalist...it was my dream...but i lost my personal time even myself by busying on interviewing,writing articles...i had no time for my interest,for my family and.....:(you know...everyday working from day to night,after going home taking shower and going to bed....just busying.....and busying.....sometimes i'll ask myself,is this what i want...so i quit the job and being a primary school teacher...finally i found that i love to write something about my life...but not just being a journalist to write articles....i had a dream...be an author.....

  9. Carol says:

    it's ok....i'll send it to you.:)

  10. Arthur Heng says:

    Well, you can always call them and have a lil chat afterwards... if they're not occupied...

    And about the homosexual ending... I guess that becoz audiences like surprises, to make the show even more exciting, like "SAW", "Identity", "The Village"...

  11. 河國榮 says:

    Carol, you're still young. you have plenty of time to commit to your dream as long as you tough it out and don't give up.

  12. 河國榮 says:

    Carnie, I wasn't offended by 'HKWING'. it's my Chinese name. how could I be offended? ;-)

  13. Vanesse says:

    I always feel very upset that I have missed Perfume. When I heard of this show, it was finished already.

    I am hoping that it can be sold in VCD form, just like "我和春天有個約會". I remember this stage performance by Alice Lau many years ago, and I still remember the story well.

    Well this dream may not come true, but, I hope miracle happens.

  14. Carol says:

    yeah....i'm still young,so i'm trying effort to reach my dreams....huh...it's 3.18am now and i just reach home from a gathering with net friends....we had a BBQ on the seaside....it's fun...and i'm sleepy now....good night...Greg...muakksssssss......

  15. Carnie says:

    Hi guys,

    Hey Carol thank-you so much for the midi files, love them and especially the "a wen" one, it is so soothing and warms my heart. Many thanks. You sure make a good teacher; true to your words. :)


    I personally like addressing you as HKWING, simple and neat. Please keep up the good work, because we all want to see you in showbizz for many good years to come! Pity l do not get a chance to see you perform in live plays. Nevertheless will continue to support you!

    Carnie (>^.^

  16. koonlim says:


    hihi....do u know why i addressed the midi file as "a wen"?haha....because it was sent by a taiwan net friends to me,and his nick was "a wen".....hmm.....it's about 4 years ago.....well,and i lost his contact too....however,the midi still make me remember the memories between awen and me....huh....hmm....i'm not a good teacher,however,i hope i can b.....hey,try to visit my blog,i changed the midi there....maybe....i need your comment?:);)


  17. gary tam says:

    Hey Charles (Paul),
    Many thanks for your applause ah. Yes, I agree with you.
    "Four hard working actors without arrogance, malice or envy all working hard and cooperating to make the best production possible. It's no wonder we became friends."
    I also hope they will do the re-run ga, lets wait the miracle happen la.
    Take care & see you soon.