Last night, while I stood my way on the Train back home... I suddenly asked myself a question.
Wayne, what's your very first PAID GIG?
I know that I have been talking about me acting in New York for #'s of years... But my first GIG actually took place in San Diego, California - when I was still studying at UCSD. Gosh, so long ago... I don't even remember how I got the casting notice... (Probably some poster at the Theatre Department building)
It was a background gig.
My first background gig. I protrait one of the reports taking pictures and notes at some kind of press conference. (I totally don't remember the name of the film, and who were in it... I was kinda dumb back then) The gentleman who protrait the speaker was in his mid-40s.
I was amazed by how well composed and prepared the Actor was. For coverage, he was asked to do the same speech, same action for at least 6 times. Every time, he did it exactly the way he was doing. Not a single beat faster, not a single beat slower.
I felt like I was watching a Video. Where I can hit Pause, Rewind, Play, Forward, Rewind and back to the same scene.
What a robot that man was. In an amazing way.
Wayne, what's your very first leading role?
It's a student film called "The Samurai" (or later known as "Confrontation"). Directed and Written by Mr. Juan Lewis Lopez.
I worked on this film 8 months after I moved to New York. I was pretty new to the New York scene... let alone the audition process...and schools... and training.
At the rehearsal, I bet the leading actress, Chiasui Chen. Whom I met briefly at another audition. I was thrilled to meet my first Taiwanese Actor in New York. (I recently met my THIRD Taiwanese Actress in New York).
The film itself, is a huge challenge for me. Because....
1) There's going to be a sword fight
2) All the lines are in Japanese
3) I had never protraied a "Father" before
4) I had never been in a 'intimate' scene with an actress
5) Sh*t. I have a kid in the film
6) Topless scene.
7) Sci-Fi Makeup
It's like, a crash course of all film types into one.
I never studied the art of Sword Fighting... So you can imagin the number of days and nights we rehears the fight scene with our awesome choregrapher...
Sci-Fi Makeup. yeah, I was suppose to have this huge a$$ battle scar across my chest. So yeah... they glued it on me.
Topless scene. That was the part where I 'show' the battle scar after I came out of a hot shower. I've never done any types of nudity scene before... and My body looked like sh*t... So it was a very uncomfortable moment for me...
I don't speak Japanese. And after the filming, I still don't speak Japanese. The lines... I had no clue what I was talking about... And it was HARD to act in an emotional scene while speaking a foreign language... (later when the film screened at the school, the Japanese film students laughed their a$$ off...)
But the most amazing thing to me... Was working with Chiasui. We are suppose to be husband and wife... So yeah, a lot of the scenes we were either embracing each other... looking at each other with sparks spewing out of our eye lids... or those precious tear drops in our farewell scene.
Again, I have never done anything like that... or at least, that 'close' of a distance with another actress... I was super nervous. I didn't know what to do... So when it was the time for us to shoot our "BED" scene.... *AHEM* No. Not what you are thinking... It was an INNOCENT BED scene. The night before our final goodbyes...
I felt like a frozen chicken. I sat on the bed, looking at her with my mouth open.
Wayne: "Uh... So... Hmmm..."
Then Chiasui crawled forward, held my hands... and looked into my eyes. At that moment... I felt my entire body was surrounded by her energy... As if she was pulling my soul into her world... The world she created for the character.
That was it.
She didn't say much. And she didn't need to.
I was already part of the scene. I was her husband. And it was our last night before we depart forever.
She was THAT good of an Actress. (And she STILL is an amazing actress and mentor)
I have worked with so many wonderful actresses in the last 7 years. She still ranks #1 on my list.
For those of you are reading this in Taiwan... Chiasui has recently been asked by the Taipei Film Comission to teach an On-Camera Acting Technique Summer workshop in 2009. But I found out that she already has been teaching after her return two months ago. So, if you are in Taiwan... And if you are new to the acting scene, or want more On-Camera training... Check her class out!!
Chiasui has previouly studied at Herbert Berghof Studio in their full time program, as well as Sally Johnson Studio, school for professional actors. So yeah, she can train the heck out of you!!
I have never taken any acting classes in Taiwan, so I don't know what techniques or styles the teachers use. But Uta Hagen Technique is one of the well respected acting technique in the industry.