An interview with an actress who’d started acting late, translated…
Q: Toward your becoming an actress, how does your family feel currently?
A: the very next day I’d called up my mom about becoming an actress, I ran home, as I entered into my father’s office, for the very first time in my life, I’d told him, how I really felt, from before when we’d talked the most, were times we’d argued; that day, I’d talked and cried, told him I knew what their worries were, and after that time of opening up to my parents, they’d rarely, nagged me, I knew, that they’d given me, a whole lot of tolerances. As for my younger siblings, growing up, I’d felt that they’d taken away the love my parents had for me, but now, we could share with each other the goings on of our separate lives, I feel, that I’m blessed, to have them.
Q: Of all the works you’d done, is there one that’s your favorite?
A: as I finished making each of my work, I’d liked them at the moment I’d completed them all, but, as I looked back at them, I’d felt, dissatisfied with them all, that none of them was, good enough; but, I guess, that it’s this dissatisfaction with my own work that’s making me progress, get better, if I’m perfect all the time, then, it wouldn’t be any fun.
Q: What sort of a space is the Cuckoo’s Nest to You?
A: The Cuckoo’s Nest is like my home away from home, as I’d started co-owning this shop with my friend, I’d not planned on making any money, and now, it’d grown to be liked by the customers, we’re both very glad of it, because through this shop, we’d met a ton of new friends, and we will take the attitude of “making a comfortable space for everybody to hang out in”, a down-to-earth attitude, and keep running our shop from here on out.
At age twenty-seven, just set a goal for yourself, is it, a bit late? For most people, the answer is probably, affirmative, just like the actress, Ya-Jun Liao, with the screen name of “Nineteen”, because she didn’t want to take over her parents’ restaurant, she’d left her hometown, in 2011, she’d called home from Taipei where she lived alone back home, told her mom she wanted to become an actress, and this, was the replies she’d received, “You’re already twenty-seven, you think that everybody gets to do what s/he wants to do in life?”
This mother who worried incessantly over her daughter couldn’t understand the decision that her daughter had made, but for Nineteen, it’s “the very first time I’d decided for myself what I want to do.
Acting Taught Me to Be Honest
“A lot of things in my life, a choice came up at that precise moment, to make me decide’. Working as a model, co-owning a café with friends, “The Cuckoo’s Nest” are instances like that, so was, becoming, an actress. If back when the agency sent me to the drama course in Taipei Arts University was the turning point, then, the starting point of her acting career, slowly, splitting up, was the point of start, Nineteen slowly discovered, that acting seemed to be able to help her set the items in her life into order, “the conflicts between people is the impact of drama, and, the impact of drama, is acting.” She’d gotten the hang of it, and, as she’d poured herself into acting, she’d gotten a temporary break from dealing with the relationship that she was in.
“But acting taught me to be honest, if I don’t portray the roles honestly, then, the show would be very awful”, acting helped Nineteen see many faces of her self, in order to get into the characters, she’d rehearsed her role inside her head first, learned to find something that she has in common with the characters she was portraying, then, added in her own life’s experiences. Like how when she’d went on the production set of the graduation project of World News University’s Broadcasting Major, she’d portrayed an eccentric woman who was numb with life, this, was comparable to her past self, so, it was, easy for her, to quickly, draft up the character inside of her own mind; before the movie started shooting, she’d found a stuffed animal from Star Wars, and as she saw it, she felt, that it’s something that her character would love, and she’d bought it, and took it on set with her.
Healing Up the Scars on the Inside
All of the processes, had awakened her memories, forced Nineteen to look back at her self, including reexamining the displeasures she’d had with her family members. Starting her acting career at the age of twenty-seven, compared to other actors and actresses, she’s not just, off by one beat; because she’d feared that she wasn’t good enough, Nineteen reviewed how easily she’d given up in her past, and, took every chance she’d gotten, to work hard to reach her goals, in the end, her body and her mind couldn’t take it anymore. At the end of last month, her favorite white cat had acute kidney failure, that became, the last straw that crushed her.
Toward how busy life was, and she’d needed to look after her ailing cat, as well as how helpless she’d felt, at the face of death, it’d allowed Nineteen to see how much pressures and stresses the role of mother carries, and, as she was, looking at things in an alternative perspective, she’d started understanding her own mother. Being sensitive in nature, Nineteen felt that she’d never had the unconditional love, that she’d not gotten enough love or support from her own parents, “but at the time I’d taken care of my sick cat, I’d finally understood how my own mother must’ve have felt, raising a misbehaving child like me, she must’ve been troubled too, and, all those bad things she’d said to me, were carried over from how she was taught when she was younger, she’d just, copied the way she was treated, and treated me with it.”
As the eldest daughter, Nineteen also saw, from her own character portrayal of the roles in the family, and felt bad toward her own mother’s never-ending giving, which caused her to overstep the boundaries of being a daughter, and start taking care of her own mother, “but by so doing, I’d lost the role of my mother’s daughter, and, rather than taking care of my mother like she was my child, it should be best, that I can still use the role of being a daughter, to play coy, to accompany her, to make her happy.”
The Courage to Press “Pause”
When Nineteen started reexamining the relationship she has with her families with honesty, she’d found, that if she wanted to be better in acting, then, she’d needed to, work hard, on playing the role of her self, whether it be digging deeper into herself, or spending more time with her partner to run Cuckoo’s Nest. But, in the fast eliminating realm of acting, it takes a ton of courage, to press that “pause” button.
“I’d often wondered too, that if I chose to stop, would I miss out on things? And all these thoughts had put me at a standstill for a while, but I knew that the reason why I’d become an actress was not to gain the fames, but because I thought I can learn something from acting, working together with my partners who shared the same goals to finish a show, to get the crowd to connect to what I’m portraying onstage, that, may be the most important thing of all; as whether or not I’m liked or if I’m famous, that, is not my concern, nor is it, in my control.” Nineteen said, that after taking too much of what was said of her and her acting skills personally, she’d understood, that if she can’t even accept herself, then, this acting career she’d wanted to working for the rest of her life, surely, wouldn’t last long.
Unwilling to compromise for anything, to seek out the acceptances or approvals of others, rather than calling it being stubborn, instead, she saw it as knowing what she wants and what she doesn’t want out of life; Nineteen had, found the path that suited herself the best; even as she’d only gotten started, at the late age of twenty-seven, even if she’d pressed that “pause” button as she went on, it’s never going to be too late.
So, this is a woman’s process of self-discovery, and, through her own introspections, she’d realized what had caused her to become who she is today, and, with this ability to introspect constantly, this woman is destined for greatness in whatever she does in life!