This month's Artist of the Month is a working Cantonese Performer and Artist. He makes a living everyday working in our field. He doesn't have to wait tables or teach classes to pay his bills. He actually is a paid actor. *shock and awe* He busts his butt too! I wanted to feature a Cantonese Performer for this month. Please get to know him!
1. Name, Birthplace, Age
Chun Ying (Eason), Queen Mary Hospital Hong Kong, 27
2. How does where you were raised affect your work?
Hong Kong is a melting pot. When I was a child we were under the British system. We were these tiny asian children who were forced into having British accents. Then half way through my education the hand-over happened. People turned very chinese all of a sudden. English dropped out of the schools signifigantly and we were forced to find a new identity as a country. I think the Post 80's generation of HK is a little lost. We don't really know who were are because we started off as British but then became Chinese. I have always identified myself as ethnically Hong Kongese but culturally Chinese. My parents were fortunate enough to send me to good schools. I learned other languages and about other cultures. For that, I'm very thankful.
I am totally aware I'm a child who was born with a silver spoon. But now I'm proud to say I pay all of my own bills and don't accept any money from my parents. It drives my mother crazy!
3. Where did you train?
I studied at the APA much to my parent's chagrin. They wanted me to be a banker. I enjoyed my time there but I wish I could have learned more about different styles within theatre. If you're a dance student- you study dance. If you're a techie- you study tech. I studied all acting, all the time. I wish I could have been more well rounded as an artist in my training. It could have helped me get more jobs as a an actor later.
I also have studied martial arts since I was a young boy. This skill has actually gotten more jobs than anything. That and being able to drive a stick shift!
4. What is your favorite style of theatre? Why?
I like physical comedy. I'm an easy audience member and actor to please. Just hit someone in the face with a pie and I'll laugh.
5. What was the best show you EVER saw?
I think the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics was a very impressive show of skills in synchronicity.
6. What was the best show in HK you EVER saw? (You cannot say your own.)
I enjoyed Death and the Maiden that the HK Rep did. I also enjoy the more modern ballets that HK Dance Company does.
7.What piece of work are you the most proud of? (please include photo, if possible)
I got to work on an original opera about Sun Yet Sen with Opera Hong Kong. I was very proud of that project as a performer. I didn't have a big part but I thought the quality of the show was very good and I enjoyed working on something new and inventive.
8. What is your process like?
It's different for all the projects I work on. For movies, I need to be off-book before I arrive onset. Action films require very little acting in HK. You just need to do your stunts and die quickly. Theatre is more challenging because it's a slow process. Film is buying flowers from a shop. Theatre is growing your own flowers.
9. What is your dream project?
I would love to make a project with a superhero set in Hong Kong. We have a lot of social issues in Hong Kong and we need our own superhero. Kids would love it. Our geek culture would love it.
10. If you could change one thing about the art scene in HK, what would it be?
I want the communities to come together. Chinese/English/French/German Art communities shouldn't be separate. They should work together. And I wish the English companies would pay! I would do a lot more English theatre if they simply did profit cuts or stipends. We actors have to make a living...
You can catch Ying in a theatre festival at the Cattle Yard Depot, next month!
All new plays by local playwrights!
Check out the Cattle Yard website for more details and for ticket info!