Exploring the power of drama

Exploring the power of drama

Ho Lok-lam says drama can help students understand the world around them.

This week's artist is Ho Lok-lam from Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School, who talks about drama.

During three summers spent doing acting courses, I gained some of my most valuable experiences in the performing arts.

I learned to view acting as a serious and professional craft, which requires deep thinking, continuous practise, care for people, honesty and courage to understand oneself.

Through various exercises and discussion, I realised that the attitude of most student actors at school needed improvement. When I had the chance to direct my house's play last year I tried to incorporate as much as I knew about acting as I could, hoping to help the actors improve. I was still very immature as a director, and my sharing was not skilful.

The experimental and imaginative script won the adjudicator's praise, but no prizes.

As I was determined to stick with acting and directing, I took part in writing the collaborative script for the 2009 English Drama Festival. We set the theme as "anti-bullying" and I found myself having to dig deep into real lives of teenagers, the complicated feelings that cause things to happen and the shocking reality of bullying around the world.

I kept on writing, and as I experimented over and over, I started to really care for the people we were writing about.

It was a breakthrough for me; I realised how powerful drama could be, and how it could influence people. I found I was able to make a change in society. It was the first time I had encountered the social responsibility of theatre workers.

With this in mind, I worked together with my schoolmates and produced this play called We're All the Same. I was clear about what I wanted, and my directing skills improved.

My most memorable experience in acting came last summer. My group and I explored our inner minds and memories together, developing our own monologues. It was then I learned that true feelings from the heart touch us the most.

Also, our instructors reminded us of the actor's responsibility to the world and the need to care about others.

The exposure to musicals, body movement and vocal skills widened my knowledge of the performing arts, and at the same time stimulated me to explore further.

My goal this year is to help younger students in my school, who are interested in acting, to understand more about the art.

The Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme is organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. It encourages students to take their passion for the arts beyond the campus and into the wider community. The ambassadors will take part in a series of arts programmes during the school holidays.

Learn more about the Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme here

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