"Acting is the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." -- Sanford Meisner


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Father's Devotion

This is the shoot I was in, for Cine65 Season IV - an annual short film competition in Singapore - produced by a bunch of Temasek Polytechnic students. This year's theme is "Home Truly". I love this production because it gave me the chance to both act and sing. Wonderful. The title could well have been "Flamingo Once More", given the character's fond memories of the nightclub where he used to sing.
[Spoi l e r    A  l  e   r   t   !   !   !    ]

For other productions that I also sang in, click here.

The original story was of a middle aged man resisting his son's application to emigrate for a better life elsewhere,  as he  loves his little daily joys living in Singapore.

On hindsight, I think the new story is better - less in-the-face and more genuine about what a 'home truly' constitute. Okay, I won't spoil the show for you yet. Let's watch it first..,

 . .

The crux of the story is that, though the father is in a state of dementia, he resists to be put in an institutionalised home, and insists (though through his illusion) on providing for his family by singing at the Flamingo Club. The subtext here is that: to him a home is not just a roof over the head, but a place where love is. And he defends to stay put at where love is.

As an actor, my challenge was to seamlessly go in and out between the illusory and the lucid mind of the character. That is, of his obsession to support the family and of his fond memory of his wife, versus the present realities. These moments were interspersed between the lucidity of recognising the daughter and then forgetting her in a fleeting moment.

Dementia patients must be exhausted everyday just trying to catch up with themselves and their fleeting short term memory. Acting as the character itself makes me understand and empathise with them and their caregivers more.

So keep your mind positively occupied folks. Mental health is prime.

This is the third time I am acting as a person with dementia. For more, click here.

This is my first time acting with Carin Koh, a Mandarin theatre trained actress. She is amazing, being able to deliver the emotions and cry on cue. I love her diction.

The director chose the songs I happen to use in the audition. There were no rehearsals after that  prior to the shoot. The guitar and singing were recorded at a HDB void deck immediately after the principal photography. There was no time to do it properly in a studio. And the editor had only two days to finish everything after that.

I think it all turned out well. I am impressed! :)

Oh, incidentally something very special happened after the shoot. To find out, click here.

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