Just the other actor

Filed in Events, They’re Playing Our Song (2007), Work

Today was another emotional roller coaster for me.

I've known for a long time that Sompor's character in the play is very special. Her character is spontaneous, energetic, mildly reckless and adorable. Sompor portrays the character extremely well, possibly because she herself has many of these qualities, and she has a very good chance of being nominated for an award for her part in this play. My character on the other hand is more down to earth, more… normal.

The juxtaposition of the characters is necessary for the play to work. If my character shares any of Sompor's character's traits, then her character won't stand out as much and the play will be mundane.

Sompor will be the flower in this play, and I'll be the sepals that hold her up for the world to see. When people leave the theatre, they'll be excited about, they'll remember and they'll talk about Sompor. They won't be excited about me. That hurts, because I have put more into this play than I've put into anything else in my entire life.

This morning as I lifted weights to keep in shape for the play, I finally accepted this truth. As I lifted the weights, emotion swelled within me. As I lifted the weights, I listened to my favourite songs. As I lifted the weights, tears gathered in my eyes.

As I neared the end of my weight training, I made the decision to be the best sepals possible, because I want the play to be a success even if I'm not recognised or remembered for it.

An hour later, I went to the neighbourhood fast food store and picked up the photograph that Chow Yun Fat kindly left there for me yesterday (you'll get to see it later). This was a very special occasion for me, one of the joyous loops in today's roller coaster ride.

My wife and I then took a walk down toward the beach. Even though she was with me, my wife felt pretty alone, because "They're Playing Our Song" had once again become my whole world. I listened to and mimed the songs (to save my voice) complete with performance actions as we walked down the road (people in passing cars must have thought I was very weird indeed). The music gave me a much needed feeling of freedom, of joy. The music gave me a new release.

So it is that I gave my all in tonight's full dress rehearsal. Perhaps in an attempt to make my character a little more special, I inadvertently gave it too much and Henry gave me several notes after the rehearsal, most of them regarding unwanted and distracting actions that had crept in with the added energy. I have to tame it down. There is no getting around it. My character has to be relatively normal and Sompor's character will always be the head turner.

I've accepted it now. I really have. It's become a fact in my life. Sompor will be the talk of the crowd, and I'll be just the other actor.

Almost there.

Filed in Events, They’re Playing Our Song (2007), Work

Seven days to go!

After rehearsing almost every day for nine weeks, we are finally approaching the finish line. We're still rehearsing. We're still making adjustments to our blocking and our behaviour. We're still making adjustments to our dance routines. We're still working hard, actually harder than we've worked for most of the nine weeks. We're now averaging nine hours a day. If you thought this was just a hobby for us, think again. It's been the equivalent of going to a nine-to-five job except without wages.

We've had a few interviews. Apple Daily published a short story in today's issue. U Magazine published a good interview in this week's issue (#1067 March 9) and we've done interviews with bc Magazine and a couple of other magazines although I haven't seen the published result yet. We also talked about the play on RTHK 4's "Cultural Vibes 創意空間" program and we have another radio interview lined up with RTHK 3's "Morning Brew" (in English!) next Tuesday morning just after 11am (it will be live). In addition, 大公報 published a great personal interview (part 1, part 2, part 3) with me last Monday. The reporter Mr Kwok 郭仲淦 did a really nice job and it's one of the most accurate interviews I've seen in a long time.

But we need to make sure that as many people know about the play as possible. It's a fun play and I want to share this with as many people as possible. I want a full house for every performance, so we've purchased a couple of ads as well. A quarter-page ad was purchased in today's Apple Daily in the entertainment section. Another ad was purchased in the Hong Kong Magazine which won't be published until March 16, the first day of our show.

I like the ads. A respected friend of mine (I think all of my friends are respected ;-) 蔡經仁 (Sai Studio) took the photos for us. Two other friends Coco and Aian (Hair Corner) helped out with our hair. Yet another friend Thomas (Energy Communications) designed the ads using elements from postcards and posters that Henry's contact had originally designed. As Henry likes to put it, we've signed a lot of 'friend credit cards' for this play. I've never asked for so many favours from friends but it's times like this that you discover who your friends really are.

Here are the ads for those of you who won't see them in the published content. The Apple Daily version is Chinese. The Hong Kong Magazine version is English.

They re Playing Our Song ad (English)

Our "They're Playing Our Song" ad; the English version.

For a larger version, click here.

They're Playing Our Song ad (Chinese)

Our "They're Playing Our Song" ad; the Chinese version.

For a larger version, click here.

Believe me when I say that we've done a great job with this play. People will definitely enjoy it, and so will I!