Countdown D-2 The Interviews


Show day is only 2 days away and everyone is busy with the final preparations. We were lucky to have a chance to sit down and have 2 short interviews with Finnie Ng and Michael Huang who will be playing important roles in the show. Let’s hear what they have to say about their experience with Culture Show thus far:

Interview with Finnie Ng

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  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
  • My name is Finnie. I am a 4th year studying nutritional science. I’m originally from Los Angeles, California. I like to play volleyball. I like making sarcastic jokes and I like watching Law & Order SVU. I used to watch lot of WWE when I was younger, so I still remember some of the actors… or some of the wrestlers.
  1. Have you done culture show before?
  • So this is my first year doing culture show, but I have watched culture show for the past 2 years and I’ve always enjoyed it which is why this year I want to be a part of it.
  1. What are you doing for this year’s show?
  • This year I’m playing Kim Do who is a hard-working mother and she protects her children, she tries her best to protect her children from discrimination and racism in Vietnam for being Amerasian children.
  1. Have you had experience acting before?
  • This is the first time in a long time. I acted in 5th grade once. Yah, I acted in 5th grade once for this play called Annie, but that was about it. Since then I never picked it up again until now.
  1. Besides acting, are you doing anything performances in the show?
  • No, not other performances, just acting.
  1. So far, what are some of the challenges that you’ve had working with culture show?
  • I mean it’s like things that you can’t really control. I think for me, I’ve always really like want, or wish that we could use the Zellerbach’s stage more, but I know that we can’t because of financial reasons and so I guess that, there’s a bigger issue at large and you can’t hold VSA accountable for that. But yeah I wish that our school would let us perform more on stage so we can get a feel for it. Like have practice on stage before instead of on the day of. I think that was a challenge, but I feel like we work with what we can. Yeah, other than that, it’s okay.
  1. So besides doing this, you’re also a student. How do you manage being a student as the same time being an actress?
  • I don’t think it’s too bad. Our practices are on the weekends, so it makes it really easy to manage. I think for me, I don’t know about the other actors or actresses, but I know I started really early memorizing my lines because I didn’t want to wait like until midterm season kicked in. yeah, I tried to prepare early in advance.
  1. What is your impression on culture show, given that we have 37 years of tradition?
  • Well for all the years that I have been in Cal, like I said, I watched the culture show for the past two years and I’ve always really enjoyed it. Yeah I know there’s been a long standing tradition of, you know, culture show being the really big thing on campus and a lot of people know about it. And the fact that we get to perform at such a big auditorium, like you know, a really prestigious auditorium like Zellerbach. It lets you know that, yeah, this is a really big deal. I love that… I love like the message and the objective of the culture show, which is, you know, to empower Vietnamese students and kinda focusing issues, bringing lights to issues that a lot of people don’t know about. I feel like there’s always something that people can take away from the culture show at the end of the show.
  1. Are you ready for the show?
  • I want to say that I’m ready. I’ve been practicing my lines on my way to class, in the shower (laughter).
  1. Do you have any last word?
  • Uh… I’m just really thankful to be a part of this. I really wasn’t… I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I mean I really like the show and I decided to audition. Being given such a big role, so I really don’t want to disappoint and so I try my best to work hard.

Interview with Michael Huang

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  1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
  • My name is Michael. I’m a 4th year majoring in American Studies and on my free time, I love to stay active and pay basketball. My other interest is teaching and I got a chance to teach film making over the summer many times and one thing I love to do as well. And acting… acting is also my favorite thing to do because apparently my friends, all my friends and family think I’m pretty funny. I can be very “animated” sometimes as they describe me.
  1. What is your role in culture show this year?
  • My role in culture show this year is a brother. I’m gonna be a brother to the main character who is a sister, a younger sister to me and I play as a supportive, light-hearted, but at the same time serious brother to protect her at all times. And the whole point of the show is to talk about the topic of Amerasians.
  1. Have you done culture show before?
  • This is actually my first time doing culture show out of my 4 years here at Cal. Ima dedicate my last year to make it big and to end it big and I feel as though Culture Show is one of the major avenue that I can resort to and make it big. Yeahh!
  1. What made you decided to do culture show this year?
  • I’ve always thought of being a part of culture show. I’ve always admired VSA and the work they do. And one aspect is culture show where they definitely bring out the Vietnamese culture and the issues and other stuff, other politics. And it’s through the culture show that those issues are shown and I always have an eye on culture show. I always wanted to do acting and I feel as though VSA provides the opportunity through culture show.
  1. For this year, are you only just acting? Or are you also doing something else?
  • This year I will be also doing Lion Dancing aside from acting. Those would be the two performances that I’ve be involved in. I hope that I’ll get to do a lot too with Lion Dance as well besides from acting because according to our coordinator of Lion dance, we have to step up our game and each of us will show up as best as possible.
  1. What are some of the challenges that you have had working with culture show?
  • Within the culture show space, one main challenge would be getting into the character. Although I kept on saying I like acting, I enjoy acting, I act most of the time. Culture show gives me another aspect into role playing or character playing and I always find that as a challenge when I was memorizing the lines for culture show. When I was doing stage directions with other characters, I find that being an actual character for a different space is very challenging. And I do the best of my ability to really understand the character of the story, especially because the story is true, based on a true story. And I’ll try my best to turn that true story into a theatrical reality.
  1. Besides doing culture show, you’re also a student, so how do you manage being a student and also getting involved in all of these performances?
  • That’s a good question. The good thing about what the situation right now, the circumstances right now is that I’m a 4th year and I understand that being a student is very hard and that you have to balance academic commitments and other extracurricular, clubs and everything and it adds on to the stress. But I feel as though based on my experiences – my 4 years experiences at Cal, you control those factors, you control the stress, you manage it well, it’s not gonna affect you. So as a student, as a 4th year student, I know how to maneuver around it, and prioritize along with my academic work. And so I put that aside and concentrate on one thing at a time which right now is culture show.
  1. So Show day is coming up very soon, it’s this Saturday, How do you feel about it?
  • The pressure’s on. That’s all I’ve gotta say. I believe all the other actors, and actresses feel the same way, but we know that we all put in, each of our individual contributions to it and that we have put in a lot of effort to memorizing lines, acting characters and especially on the cast and crew part, we do everything we can to make this show the best show alive at Cal.
  1. Since this is your first time with Culture Show, as you may already know, you’re going perform in front of a few hundred people. Have you done something like this before?
  • Not to the degree of culture show. This will be my first time acting, performing just being in front of 800, hopefully a full house audience. And knowing that statistics can be daunting a little bit, but nonetheless as I step on the state, as we step on the stage, we have one thing to do that is to bring that show alive and that’s all that’s going through my mind right now. Bring that show alive, bring it to the best ability and full capacity so that everyone of us can enjoy it all.
  1. Do you have any last word?
  • Let’s rock on. Those will be my last ones with the marketing outside right now, with publicity with promos, with selling our tickets, trying to reach full house capacity. Let’s rock on.

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