Reprising his role of Father in Everything but the Brain for the third time, we got a chance to talk to Gerald Chew – not just the Theatre veteran he is, but also the person behind the scenes, behind the Best Actor of Life! Theatre Awards 2006 that we don’t get to see. In this interview, we discover tidbits of his life, his love for the ‘60s and his thoughts on becoming a father!
Popspoken: Do you feel like there’s a difference between this performance of Everything but the Brain and the previous ones you’ve been in?
Gerald: I hope and trust that it will be different. Theatre is a living, breathing experience, and it’s a new cast, new production team, new audience and a new space and time. So, I believe that this production will not be the same as those in the past.
Popspoken: What did you do to get into the role of the Father?
Gerald: I just let myself be open to the possibility of the experience that the Father and Daughter go through, and the dimensions that the play suggests in terms of its clever way of presenting how time, love, and death are closely intertwined.
I do all the usual actor preparations, but what is special about this play is that it is a simple story of a complex family relationship, told in a very sophisticated, yet accessible and fun way. So, I firstly have to understand the performance possibilities of this play, and its soul so that I can use what is available in terms of acting for the theatre to realize this for an audience.
Popspoken: Any plans on becoming a father?
Gerald: Haha if it happens, it happens.
Popspoken: What was the best memory you have of your parents, as a child?
Gerald: The best memory I have is of them picking me up from school, on rainy days, and just having my favorite comfort foods ready for when I get home. It always felt safe. Another good memory is of them taking us on holidays as they were teachers and every school holiday we would pack into the car to go off somewhere. Adventurous.
Popspoken: If you could travel back in time, which era would you visit? And why?
Gerald: Maybe to the ‘50s and ‘60s – the ‘50s because it set up this fantastic period of the ‘60s when so many events happened, in the world and for Singapore!!! Plus it was really cool!!! The fashion, the music, the books, the films that were coming out was just fabulous!! I was a little too young then to experience and understand the full impact of this time.
Popspoken: What do you think happens after death?
Gerald: I think about that a lot but I really don’t know what waits in the afterlife.
Popspoken: If you had one day left to live, what would you do?
Gerald: Tell all my loved ones what I feel, put my affairs in order so that no one has to deal with unfinished business, and just try to connect the dots when it comes to my life so that I can at least be at peace with my time here.
Catch Gerald in Everything but the Brain from 10 August to 21 August 2013 at the DBS Arts Centre. Go get your tickets from Sistic! Or you could just win some by clicking on this link – http://tinyurl.com/ljl33ol – and participating in our giveaway! Do it! We’ve got three pairs of tickets up for grabs!
Check out our interview with Gerald’s co-star, Koh Wan Ching here.
Image Credit: Sight Lines Productions