Rookie musical actress ready to shine on stage
by Choco Chan
She is an adorable 6-year-old child on stage, but a newlywed 26 year-old in real life.
Angelika Wong Ching-ching is a rookie theatre actress. She introduces herself as Siu Lung, the nickname she is known by because she is only 150-centimetre tall.
"I don't mind being short. My height has actually given me a lot of opportunities for many roles on stage," said Siu Lung.
In ‘With Love, William Shakespeare', she played the main role, Juliet and drew a lot of attention.
"I was thrilled when I received the call from the director because I was just a fresh graduate but was offered the main role," she recalls in excitement.
"The director later told me he chose me simply because I was short enough to act as a sweet innocent girl," the 26-year-old said. "But I did not mind at all," she smiled.
Unlike many successful actresses, Ms Wong did not have any drama experience during her secondary school years. But she liked singing and was always encouraged to join singing competitions at school.
She started voice lessons when her music teacher discovered her singing talent and recommended a good tutor for her. But she found practising Italian and German songs "very boring".
"I had no idea what I was singing. But now I am so grateful to the teacher because she helped me build a strong foundation. That's why many directors think of me when they need an actress who can sing in their drama," she said.
Ms Wong wanted to study music at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts after secondary school. But the programme was not available then. So she chose drama instead because she thought that was similar.
She got her first role in Disneyland soon after graduation. Dressed as a princess, she played the lead character, Bebe in ‘The Golden Mickeys', the longest-running Broadway-style musical in Hong Kong.
Ms Wong then went to Canada to study philosophy and literature because she thought it would help her understand the scripts. On return to Hong Kong, she had many opportunities on stage and soon gained fame and popularity.
"I really love singing and performing on the stage. I guess I will never be suitable for an office job," the rookie said.
Ms Wong married a dancer earlier this year.
She said having similar career as her husband has helped to chances of getting into a fight because of their irregular working hours and endless rehearsals.
"We understand each other's situation because we love what we are doing," the newlywed said. "It actually makes us cherish the time we spend together."
Her next step is to promote drama and encourage people to get a taste of performing on stage. She established Theatre Delphis this year with two other actors who also graduated from the Hong Kong Academy For Performing Arts.
"Musicals and dramas are not as popular as movies in Hong Kong. The development of the drama scene is immature in this city. We want to do education and spread the joy," said Ms Wong.
The three artists are going to organise a workshop to teach acting skills and tell people what it is like to be an actor. There will be a mini showcase at the end of the workshop so that participants can perform on stage.
"We hope participants will invite their families and friends to watch their performance so that more people will get to know what is a musical and start developing an interest," Siu Lung said.
Acting has taught Ms Wong more than going on stage.
"Actors can't stay in their comfort zone. When you get a new role, you have to forget about the previous one and get to know about the character quickly," she said.
She said the best part in being an actress is getting to explore oneself.
"When a director thinks you are suitable for a role, there must be a reason. Even if it's a villain, you still have to get to know more about yourself and think why the director thinks you are suitable, and thus explore the dark side of yourself to play the character to the fullest," she said.
"You get to know more about yourself each time. It's a never-ending journey."
(Edited by Jane Cheung)
Is Hong Kong ready for street art?
A city of light