When I first knew Fanny a few years in our school’s orientation event, I only knew she was a “banker” – a senior relationship manager in a very large bank focusing on very large corporate clients. When school started, I began to find invitation to her shows – what shows? Turns out she was an amateur actress involved in various local productions such as《山城会之旺角》and《旺角二》 by Chasing Theatre. Later on I went to visit both of her shows – iStage’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone and 大酒店有個荷里活 produced by Chasing Theatre. It true looked fun acting on stage seeing her playing the role of Hermia and secretary. This week, I invited Fanny to share with us her experience as an amateur actress.
What first get you into acting and what keeps you in it?
I joined drama club when I was in first year of secondary school, but the exact number of years since was strictly confidential. Actually, it was only one of the extra-curricular activities I picked at that time. The drama club took in new members each year and I went for a casting and got in.
I always like trying out new stuffs, so I think that’s the reason why I could keep doing this for this long – I’ve been taking up many different types of characters in different shows and it’s like I had tried out living in many different lives.
What is the best experience or favorite moment from your acting experience?
I love so much the interactions with audience – every show had a unique experience even for the same performance. Each laugh or respond from the audience were all very rewarding for me.
I remember in one performance many years ago I was supposed to hold some props before I started a scene; but I could not locate those props at backstage and the light was turned on even I had not yet ready. I then went out to the stage immediately and just go ahead acting without those props – these moments of making use of our instincts made very exciting experience and memory for us as actors.
What is your favorite role so far?
Can I pick two? I like most the roles of 德仔 at “旺角二”/”旺角龍虎榜” and Hermia in Dead Man’s Cell Phone.
How much time do you spend on rehearsing for your shows? Can you share with us your trick to get yourself prepared?
Rehearsals usually start around 2 months before each show; and I’d spend 2-3 days per week for rehearsals. For people who have day-time jobs, rehearsals would normally be arranged at non-office hours.
I usually do my preparations during weekends/after work. I usually won’t take up main cast roles so the time required for preparations would be less. I often make use of my own life experience and imagination to build up my characters. Additionally, director and other actors in the show would also give advices to each other during rehearsals to enrich every character.
The best part of being an amateur actress is?
As said above it’s like I could live in many different characters’ lives. As I don’t do acting for a living, I don’t have the pressure to network/get in new jobs. I could always pick the script/people I like to work with.
How do you find your two lives – your profession and acting? Do you find them separated? How do they interact with each other?
No I think they are very hard to separate. I always think life and acting are very inter-related – it is very often that we’d need to act in our lives; whilst we also need our life experience to enrich/support our acting.
What is the biggest challenge for HK performing art?
The audience cover is small in Hong Kong. Most people prefer paying $80-$100 for a movie rather some $200-$400 for a live performance; unless the performance is with some gimmicks (e.g. singers/well-known actors, etc). On the other hand production costs are increasing. It is very hard for small drama groups to obtain government subsidies and without these subsidies it’s hard for them to produce a quality show~
What is your future plan? Any chance to go professional?
No solid plan. Many friends asked me whether I would consider taking actors as my profession but honestly I think it’s kind of impossible to make a living from there as the supports from the HK Gov’t on performing arts is very minimal. That’s why we could see many actors teaching acting classes in schools in order to support their lives. I wish there would be more resources to be allocated to this area in future.
Thank you, Fanny. I am already looking forward to your next show!