Events

Posts filed under Events

“They’re Playing Our Song” — My first starring role.

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

Back in July of last year, I was pondering whether to go to L.A. and study singing with Miss Peisha McPhee. During this time, I received a phone call from a local director who explained that he wanted to produce a pet project that he had dreamed of for many years. It was an English language stage musical and he wanted me to star in it! I was surprised, slightly stunned and ecstatic. At the time though, that phone call was confirmation to me that I should go to L.A. and work with Peisha which is exactly what I did.

The name of the play is They're Playing Our Song, written by Neil Simon in 1979. The music was written by Marvin Hamlisch and the lyrics were written by Carole Bayer Sager.

They're Playing Our Song is a simple light-hearted love story, about two very different people falling in love.

While the original script involves two main cast members and six music accompaniment members, our version will only involve the two main cast members; one man and one woman. It's a fun story and I think you'll enjoy it. Personally, I like the story and love the music ;-)

They're Playing Our Song will be performed at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in Wanchai in mid-March 2007. I'll provide accurate dates later on. The play will be performed nightly from Mar 16 to 23 at 8pm with extra matinée shows on Mar 17 and 18 at 3pm. Seats will be limited. The theatre seats approximately 100 audience members and we'll only be performing ten shows.

Work begins.

In mid-December, work on the play began. I began taking lessons with a local singing coach picked out by our director. The singing coach is well respected in Hong Kong for both her singing knowledge and her musical acting skills. Her name is Miss Fung. Many of her students know her as Miss Beer. Working with her has been fun. Although I learnt a lot with Peisha in L.A., I am still a long way from being the singer I want to be and there's always plenty to learn. Miss Fung is helping to fill in more of the gaps in my technique while of course also helping me to sing the play's songs as well as I can.

For the time being, we are learning the basics of the songs. Unfortunately, getting the music for the songs has not been easy. Because the play was written back in 1979, the music score is not available in its entirety. We are missing the music scores for two of the songs and also small music pieces that occur during the play. Fortunately, those two songs are available on various CD productions of the play so we can learn from them. As for the other small pieces of music, we have a very capable (and celebrated) music director/arranger who should have no trouble working out something for them from the script.

We are now two months away from performing the musical. Two months may seem like a long time but it's not. There is a lot to do and a lot to learn. I won't be doing much of anything other than work on this play until the performance. Doing otherwise would be unfair to everyone including myself, the director, the actress and the audience.

Two months to go…

Selling cookies today at Whampoa Gardens

Filed in Entertainment Ind., Events

I'll be with other people from TVB just outside Esprit in Whampoa Hung Hom selling cookies for the 「愛心曲奇暖萬家」 charity from 3:00 to 4:00pm.

Esprit is at:
黃埔新天地的「時尚坊」G24-26
Shop G24-26 at Fashion World in the Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa.

So if any of you have time today (Saturday) and would like to chat and hopefully buy some cookies ;-)  please come along.

「情迷黑森林」宣傳#2

Filed in Events, TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, Work, 中文文章Tags:

我們「情迷黑森林」的人明天(六月五日禮拜天)將在尖沙咀再做宣傳活動,下午二點三十分在美麗華酒店對面的柏麗大道。

「情迷黑森林」宣傳

Filed in Events, TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, Work, 中文文章Tags:

我有份拍的「情迷黑森林」在下個星期一在香港開始播。現在我坐著公司車到萬豪酒店去,為這個劇集做宣傳。我有點兒開心因為有機會再見劇集的顧問厨師阿 Thomas 。劇集內的朱古力和蛋糕大多數都是由他親手做的。

這個劇集是我在 Los Angeles 讀演戲之後第一個機會試我學了的演戲方法,所以我對我在這個劇集內的表現好有興趣。

我們開始!

“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.

An unofficial “Perfume” poster

Filed in Events, Perfume 香水 (2005), Work

I took quite a few photographs during rehearsals of "Perfume". While I was on stage, Gary would take control of the camera. One of his photographs was extremely impressive and I used it to create this poster. People attending the play might have seen the full A3 version just outside the theatre entrance. It looks great, especially at A3 size on photographic paper.

Perfume poster

「香水」演出的報告 #1

Filed in Events, Perfume 香水 (2005), Work, 中文文章

今天的演出已經是第二的了。每次出場已前,我一定緊張,尤其第一場前。我需要用我所有力量來集中精神做好戲。

這次話劇是個很好的經過。四個人合作得很開心,劇本很有意思,導演了不起,各工作人員也非常努力地很有心機地工作把我們的話劇做到最好。我覺得很難得。

今天,我太太看了我們的精心傑作。因為我是她的先生,她不會說甚麼虛話來安慰我,她的話絕對信得過,對我很有幫助。

我問她關於我表演的時候,她說我演得很好,但是有時候入戲還不太夠。我當然覺得一點失落,因為無論怎麼樣,我也希望做到最好。現在還有七場,希望每一場仍然有肯定的進步。

何超儀,劉雅麗和譚偉權當然做得很好。他們都經驗豐富,尤其有多年舞台劇經驗的劉雅麗和譚偉權。

但是最重要的依然是我們的話劇好不好看。太太說,好看

“Perfume” 「香水」 begins tomorrow!

Filed in Events, Perfume 香水 (2005), Work

"Perfume" 「香水」 begins tomorrow. The first show will be a charity show and has been sold out. The other shows are still up for grabs if you're fast enough.

We moved into the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on Monday and have already had two rehearsals with the full stage and settings. We have another two rehearsals today and one more tomorrow before the premier show so the first show should be a very good show.

Perfume will be playing from May 5 until May 11 with two shows each on Saturday and Sunday.

Don't miss out.