There’s a dramatic performance art in the Chinese opera sphere called Bian Lian or loosely translated; Face-Changing. It’s where a masked man moves in waves of twists and rapidly switches between painted masks in a matter of milliseconds. I got to experience this art first hand at my cousins wedding earlier this year. While my mind got blown, it also made me think about the art of acting.
So production is in 23 days. I’ve done as much as I can on my own effort. There’s still something missing in my performance.
I know the lines. I know the dance steps. I know the lyrics. I sing in tune
most of the time. And in my head I feel what I want to convey to my audience.
But I still fail to captivate them. I fail to captivate even myself. I feel in my scene that even I drift off. I bore myself when I act and put myself to sleep with my lullaby.
As sad as that is, it’s only proof I can’t do anything apart from Him who gives me creativity.
Where I stop, He begins.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.
I feel as long as I continue to do this in my own strength, I’ll never be in character.
Because though I think I am Ootoka, in my heart I am far away from her.
Ootoka is a woman who has experienced rejection, loneliness and independence for a prolonged period of time. Her character is too close for comfort for me. The raw emotion that comes with the vulnerability of opening up myself to those characteristics scare me. Especially in front of a thousand strangers.
What makes a good performer or a good actor?
Acting isn’t putting on a mask for a scene, then playing a stereotype that the director guides you into.
Acting is becoming that totally different person. Stepping into a world where I AM the character.
I need to lose Sumi, and find Ootoka. I need to kill Sumi, and create Ootoka.
No shaking knees. No quivering voice. No fear of embarrassment.
I need that breakthrough in my acting.
I need to start getting desperate.
I need to read that friggin’ script.
Note to self: When going to different run-down locations to recce for the video shoot at 9 pm, DO NOT DRESS SKIMPILY! Passerby’s may think you’re in a soft porno and ask for a copy of the CD once it’s released.
Highlight of my day: When my boss told me after today’s debate, “Sumi ah, Sumi can talk until wrong becomes right.” The ironic thing is though I had to debate on the pro side of Shark fin soup, in reality I hate it with a passion, simply because of the inhumane ways of acquiring it. T’was kinda fun fighting on the other team for once though.
Lyrics on SumiTunes loop:
I know I’ve always just been your friend,
But if you look my way,
I’ll make sure you’ll never hurt again.
Thinking of: MISSING SUN IN 23 DAYS, Shark fin soup, the best cover of B4-4’s Endlessly and Gloriana’s Time To Let Me Go.