"HONEY, IT was a great play. Although you were not the main lead, we were
happy to see a great play in the front seats." A woman is cheering up her
husband in the waiting room after the play Hamlet. Beside her are two children
and a helpless looking actor. "Well, it sure was a good play... I say we go out
for dinner!" says the actor with a despairing smile. The young boy cries out
disappointingly, "Dad! I wanted to see you play Hamlet..." As these words spread
out through the air, the actor's eyes begin to fill with tears and he shouts
out, "Then I will show you my Hamlet, my very own Hamlet! Come with me." The
actor's family are brought up to the dark stage and when the lights are turned
up, they no longer see their father or husband, but a young trapping Hamlet.
Telling the story of their own
A job of an actor has always reflected the lives of people. As
many jobs have changed with the flow of time, this particular job never changed
from giving happiness and joy to the audience. However, in Third Rate Actor the
performers reflect on themselves instead of other people. The play Third Rate
Actor is a story of an actor who is passionate about his job. The play is like
an autobiography because the performers tell the audience about their own
happiness and sadness through an actor's life. Third Rate Actor was first
performed last March. The response was so good that the team decided to do an
encore. This encore performance is held from July 30 to Sept. 30 in Valentine
A story of an actor
Third Rate Actor is a story of an actor named Lee Young-jin.
From the moment he saw the play Hamlet, he wishes to take the leading part. He
has acted for 30 years. However, he was never given a big role and always was a
minor. Finally, Lee has the opportunity to play Hamlet and tells his family
filled with joy. Yet considering the audience value the director decides to take
movie star Sang-il, a friend of Young-jin's, as Hamlet instead. On the last day
of the performance Young-jin is asked to play Hamlet since Sang-il cannot come
due to his tough schedule. Young-jin brightens up and practices his lines.
However, Sang-il shows up and Young-jin once again loses his part. Meanwhile,
Young-jin's family come to see their father as Hamlet but are disappointed as he
does not appear as Hamlet. "Dad, I wanted to see you as Hamlet, the Hamlet that
you always dreamt of!" With these words of his son, Young-jin performs a
monologue just for his family.
What makes a full play
The play shows the hardship of being an actor. The conflict and
despair an actor actually suffers are expressed by the acting of the main actor.
Thus, the role of the main actor in this play is very important and the actor
himself gives a good performance. However, there are other essentials that make
this play even more worth seeing. Although the performance is mainly about one
actor, the play does not forget the importance of supporters around him. As
supporters, they each have unique characters. A sweet wife always smiling to her
husband, a young eager actress who reminds Young-jin of his old times, a
successful friend Sang-il, and a senior actor are the examples. Most of all, the
main supporters are his family. They have seen the actor from a long time ago.
Fellow actors who understand his way of acting give strength to him. A senior
gives him advice about being a real actor and a junior respects his acting and
asks for advice and encour-agement, which gives him confidence. These characters
make the play more lively in spite of the serious topic. Through the story of
the main character and supporting characters, the audience can fully see the
various lives of the actors. A colorful drama is achieved from a play that could
have been monotonous.
Obvious situations and events
Original storyline and situations would have made the play more
vivid along with various characters that lit up the stage. Although the play
makes a deep impression on the audience, it lacks freshness and creativity. The
main character's role is no different from a typical soap opera act. He is an
actor who was not acknowledged for 30 years and a father lacking in ability.
Moreover, his successful friend captures the role of his dreams. These items
might show the reality of the acting business but the audience could get tired
of the stereotypical issue that tries to evoke their sympathy. The contents of
the play are already known enough to the audience. However, the play goes on
with the obvious facts. Although the plot could make tear drops fall, it does
not give the audience much to think about. Thus, the play needs more substantial
stories to tell.
Stage of sympathy
In spite of its serious topic the play is filled with humorous
wit that makes the audience cry and laugh at the same time. People identify with
the actor and form tear drops when the actor cries, but soon burst out with
laughter when he rolls his eyes and makes comical comments. However, at one
moment, the sound of laughter fades and there is not a single breath. The main
actor throws out every line in Hamlet on stage, exerting himself to the utmost.
His body is soaked with sweat and the whole audience is astonished at the
impassioned performance. Third Rate Actor is a play made for actors, by actors.
The audience can experience mixed emotions along with the actors and during the
whole two hours they share sympathy. This is possible because the audience can
see the living spirit inside the actors. They see no difference between the
actors and themselves since they are both living human beings who try to
accomplish the goal of their lives. Through the story of a truly human actor,
the play reminds the audience of the most important thing that they have
forgotten; the passion they have inside.
Third Rate Actor
2004/ 7/ 30 ~ 2004/ 9/ 30
02 - 3647 -
Chy Il-hwaThird Rate
Q: It must have been a special experience
to play a character who does the same thing you do. What did you think of
A: There is nothing special about actor Lee
Young-jin. He represents all stage actors. 99% of us actors go through the
same despair and happiness. Maybe some circumstances could be different
but, basically we are in the same process.
Director of Third Rate
Q: How did you decide to direct a play
A: I wanted to make a play about people with
jobs that never change. As society changes many jobs tend to change their
colors but some jobs still stay the same. Among many jobs, I chose actor
because I once was an actor.
Q: It is true that many audiences
go for more well known shows and this effects the acting business. Do you
have any comments for the viewers?
A: People are free to go to
any play they want to see. It is their choice and no one should criticize
it. However, I wish them to have appreciative eyes. Some people brag about
what plays they have seen, but that is not all. An eye that can
distinguish good acting and bad acting or the quality of the play is
needed. As the level of our viewers goes up, the acting business will no
longer be devastated.