沒預料的回報(上集)

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去年,我為了能夠演更好的戲而到荷里活去了三個月。雖然我差不多半生在無線電視台從事演員,但是我依然覺得我的演技還可以好得多。始終,一邊工作一邊學習可以學到的的確有限。只有專業的導師(和一點緣份)才能學到最好的。所以,去年年初,我終於決定上學正式學習演戲。

我在荷里活的時間非常開心,但是因為我很久沒有跟我的太太和狗狗分開那麼長的時間,所以亦有一點想念他們。幸運地,那時候,香港打電話打到美國的費用很便宜讓我每天都可以跟我的太太通兩三次電話,而每星期天還可以到我美國住宿的房子附近的蘋果電腦商店借用他們的電腦和「iChat」軟件跟我的太太通視像電話見面,讓星期天成為我正個星期最開心的一天。

在荷里活上學,我當然學了不少,演技也有一定的進步。但是我也得到非預料的回報,使這個旅程成為我生命中特別重要的一個。

學生們在學校報名的時候需要選擇課文。有些課目就是必上的,而其他的課目就任你選擇。所有的課目都是關於演戲的,除了一個之外。

這個課的老師是一個很精神的八十五歲的名為 Elizabeth Sabine 的女人,恰巧跟我一樣是澳洲人。由於她的年紀不少,所以有時候就會忘記了她剛剛說的話而不知不覺重複說一次,可是她非常可愛的,而我們每個學生都喜歡她。

Elizabeth and Me

Elizabeth was a wonderful person. As far as I know, this was the last class she taught at the Lee Strasberg Institute.

For a 750x500 version, click here.

她教的是唱歌的技術。她曾經在澳洲,英國,美國,甚至香港(還沒有現在的灣仔的時候)都唱過歌,所以對唱歌非常熟悉。學校請她教唱歌的目的卻不是希望學生們能唱好歌,而希望學生們能學怎麼大聲說話。 Elizabeth 的名氣就是來自教人怎麼大大聲聲唱歌,也因為這樣而得到她的花名,就是「The queen of screech」。

一課為三個小時。首四十五分鐘就是鬆身和開聲的練習。十五分鐘休息已後,學生們就一個一個地在班學生們前邊跟一個鋼琴家唱歌,一邊唱一邊聽著 Elizabeth 的指示。

老實說,一般學生選擇課目的時候也都會選擇一兩個不用做那麼多功課的課文,甚至希望可以不上課也有。Elizabeth 的課就是這種課,所以很多學生就會當她的課是一種娛樂,一堂 karaoke,不用學甚麼東西,不用主意老師的指示,不用為了下次上課而作準備。Elizabeth 都知道這一點所以每次遇到努力的學生,她就會特別用心去教那個學生。

Elizabeth coaching one of my fellow students

Elizabeth would coach each of the students as they sung their chosen songs.

For a 750x500 version, click here.

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16 Responses to “沒預料的回報(上集)
  1. Elizabeth says:

    I had no idea you took some extra classes in the US before. But when you said this was the last class she taught there, does it mean she recently passed away? I get teary eyed reading those kind of stories.

  2. sapphire says:

    河生,
    我覺得你唱英文歌時的聲線跟 Helmut Lotti (The Belgian popera singer) 唱英文時(他還有唱其他語文的歌)的聲線有少少相近,尢其是當我聽他的 "In all my dreams" 很有這個感覺,你有機會不妨出 TST 的 HMV 找他的英文CD 聽聽呀!

  3. MY says:

    Wow! You were probably one of the "good" students who paid full attention to Elizabeth's teaching. Though I am a bit disappointed to hear that students choose the Singing class to avoid homework and general hard work. People just don't realize that an opportunity to learn from an experienced teacher is hard to come about. Geez, kids nowadays! (Oops did I just say "kids"?:D)

    Greg, just out of curiousity, what kind of songs/music do you normally listen to?

  4. 杜格拉斯 says:

    幾時有時間唱吓K呀河生?上次睇香水時覺得你渾氣俾之前好o左好多!

    杜格拉斯

  5. 小雲 says:

    halow Greg
    do u ever think of joining those competition like American idol or Aussie idol since ur have a nice voice n singing skill???:P

  6. Ian says:

    Totally agree with 小雲, i was talking about the same thing in another topic.

    Can't wait to read the part two for this topic, how has the singing class went..?

  7. john says:

    Good to see thespians like you to continously hone their craft for both professional development and personal fulfillment.
    "Going abroad to study" has almost be an euphemism for taking escort outcalls among the strugglin starlets. Glad to see someone actually doing the studies !

  8. Kayin says:

    Hi! LOL, I had to go offline yesterday before I got a chance to comment, well, to read your article at all, really. But I read it all! Ha ha, so proud of myself! Elizabeth seems nice, and shame on all those who picked the class hoping that it'd be a bludge! LOL.

  9. Eileen says:

    > 別字 : 整
    > 別字 : 小
    > 應該是科目吧?

    我覺得你是很努力學習每一樣東西的人, 所以才提出以上錯處的, hope you won't mind.

  10. Eileen says:

    ...我"正"個星期最開心的一天> 整
    由於她的年紀不"少"> 小
    一般學生選擇"課目"的時候也都會選擇> 科目

  11. 河國榮 says:

    Eileen,

    整 - I knew that one, forgot to correct it ;-)
    小 - I should have known that one. how did I miss it?
    科目 - didn't know that one. thanks.

  12. Eileen says:

    其實很多中國人也會弄錯 "大小" 和 "多少"的 =)

  13. 河國榮 says:

    Elizabeth, my teacher didn't pass away. the school probably felt that her class wasn't having enough impact and replaced it with another. without the piano player, the class was undoable anyway.

    Sapphire, I'll have to take a look at Helmut Lotti's music.

    MY, I'm not sure exactly what I normally listen to, but I have some inclination towards R&B or music with some rhythm.

  14. 趣兒 says:

    若我為這「沒預料的回報」命名,我會把它名為「意外收穫」,因為「回報」解作「酬謝」或「報答」。如果這「回報」是別人給你的話,那應該是為某人做了一些事,而某人因而答謝你。而「意外」在這裏(as an adjective)有「意料之外」的意思,當然「意外」(as a noun)也可以解作accident。 hope it doesn't confuse you.... ^_^

  15. AnnY says:

    意外收穫=bonus=額外的好處

    I can found your web today was a real bonus.

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