在一個偶然的機會下，Michael 參與了一齣由殘疾人士組成的舞台劇 "The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes"，並在澳洲及海外公開表演。從此，他變得不一樣。透過積極參與舞台劇的演出，Michael不但向觀眾傳遞社會關心的議題和殘疾人仕權益，他亦學會了放下執著，懂得充實自己，勇於面對困難。舞台劇為他帶來了莫大的滿足感。
Michael's life transformed after he performed in the stage drama "The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes," a theatrical experience which was formed by a unique ensemble of actors with disability. He was able to perform in this drama in Australia and overseas to advocate for social issues and address concerns for people with disability. He gained huge satisfaction and happiness through stage acting, where he also learned to deal with challenges with confidence.
Photo source: Michael Chan, Eyes Open Closed and Something In-Between, Cherine Fahd for Carriageworks, 2019.
About the storyteller
About the storyteller
Michael Chan 在 2016 年以駐場藝術家通過電影和電視項目的寫作和表演加入Back to Back劇院，然後在 2016 年在 GSODA 製作的國際象棋：音樂劇中首次亮相。2019 年 6 月，他被任命為與 Ensemble 合作的客座藝術家擔任替補，之後在作品 The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter 成為主角之前擔任主角。他通過了 ABC 的電視節目“The Mix”的認可，在那裡接受了有關該節目的採訪。他的會員資料出現在澳大利亞藝術訪問 (AAA) 網站上，並參加在堪培拉舉行的 2019 年會議場所。去年，他通過大吉朗市開展了“My story”項目。憑藉在領域和/或興趣領域取得的所有成功的模范成就，Michael 獲得了 2020 年吉朗殘疾人獎。今年年初，他表演了 La Mama 的 Breeders 製作，在樂團中扮演了多個角色，例如影子牧師和醫生,照顧生下被診斷患有自閉症的孩子的母親。最近，作為澳大利亞藝術訪問會議 2021 年會議的一部分，Michael的寫作作品更出現在 Writing Place '21 雜誌上。
Back-to-Back Theatre 的網址: https://backtobacktheatre.com/
Charmaine: 大家好！今日我們請來的嘉賓是 Michael， 他會同我們分享他對舞台劇的興趣和他的得著。 Michael 歡迎你！多謝你接受Speak My language的 訪問。
Michael: 多謝Speak My language的訪問。各位觀眾你們好。
Michael: 這個舞台劇的名字是"The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes"，簡稱“Shadow”。我住在Geelong，加入Back to Back劇院，這個舞台劇是這個劇院製作的。
Michael: 我有高功能自閉症，我对舞台剧有浓厚的兴趣，我在合唱團的朋友推薦我加入Back to Back劇院，剧院里還有一些对演艺感兴趣的残疾人士。我在2015年加入剧院，参加一些有關的培訓, 學習話劇表演 的技巧等。並参加了許多社交和團體活動。2019年，加入了這個舞台劇的演出。
Michael: 這部舞台劇是關於各種很多很複雜的話題和對日常生活的影響，以及一些的歷史背景和信息。關於殘疾人士的權利和人權,怎麼能不被歧視? 還有在工作和社會方面的話題。還說到科技先進以及AI的發明，如何與電腦對話，它對日常生活有什麼好處或壞處。對未來的生活有什麼影響? 在一個聚會裡如何做一個領導者等, 各種話題都有。
Michael: 我加入舞台劇不久就登上舞台同觀眾見面，在短時間就在全國正式表演，在悉尼，墨爾本等地演出, 也在不同的節日如文化節表演。2020年， 我去美國6個星期，在紐約和波士頓表演。遇到過寒冷的天氣，還生了病。這些都是難忘的經歷。
Michael: 可以去看Facebook，還有Back to Back Theatre 網站。
Michael: 對於殘疾人尤其是高功能自閉症人士, 雖然不一定每一件事都能做得好, 但可以有自己的夢想，知道自己的長處和興趣，可以不斷提升自己，鼓勵自己，增加信心，令自己的人生更加豐富和有更多樂趣。
Michael Chan joined Back-to-Back Theatre through the Writing & Acting for Film & TV Project as an Artist in Residence in 2016 and then made his theatrical debut in the GSODA’s production of Chess: The Musical in 2016. In June 2019, he was appointed as a guest artist with the Ensemble to act as an understudy before landed a leading role for the show "The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes". He was recognised through ABC’s TV "The Mix" where interviewed about the show and his Member Profile appeared on the Arts Access Australia (AAA) website and then attended 2019 Meeting Place held in Canberra. Last year, Michael undertook an My Story project through the City of Greater Geelong. With exemplary achievements for all success in the field of area and/or interest, Michael has been a recipient of the 2020 Geelong Awards for People with a Disability, under the Achievement category. Early this year he performed La Mama’s production of Breeders, where he played multiple roles within the ensemble such as shadow ministers and doctors who cared for a mother who gave birth to a child who diagnosed with autism. Recently, his writing piece has appeared on the Writing Place '21 magazine as part of the Arts Access Australia's Meeting Place 2021 conference.
Charmaine: Hello everyone! Today, our guest is Michael. He will share with us his passion for stage plays and what he has gained from them. Michael, welcome and thank you for accepting the interview with Speak My Language.
Michael: Thank you to Speak My Language for interviewing me. Hello to everyone in the audience.
Charmaine: I know you really like to participate in stage plays; can you share with us what kind of theatre you are in?
Michael: The name of this play is "The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes," abbreviated as "Shadow." I live in Geelong and joined the Back to Back Theatre. This play is produced by this theatre.
Charmaine: What kind of play is it and how did you start participating in this drama production?
Michael: I have high-functioning autism, and I have a strong interest in stage plays. A friend of mine from the choir recommended me to join Back to Back Theatre, where there are other individuals with disabilities who are interested in the performing arts. I joined the theatre in 2015 and participated in various trainings related to theatrical performance skills. I also engaged in numerous social and group activities. In 2019, I became part of the cast for this stage play.
Charmaine: What is the story of this stage play like?
Michael: This production revolves around various complex topics and their impact on daily life, along with historical backgrounds and information. It also addresses issues related to the rights and human rights of individuals with disabilities and how they should not face discrimination. It also delves into topics concerning work and society. The play explores the advancement of technology, including the invention of AI, and explores how to engage in conversations with computers and the pros and cons it brings to everyday life. It raises questions about the implications for future living. Additionally, it touches on topics such as how to be a leader in a gathering. It covers a wide range of subjects.
Charmaine: It sounds like this stage play has a rich storyline, incorporating history, the future, AI, and real-life issues such as human rights and discrimination against people with disabilities. I wanted to ask, does performing in stage plays require good skills and acting abilities?
Michael: Actually, there's no specific skill set required. I haven't attended acting school or any related courses. The most important thing is to know how to express oneself in front of the camera and the audience, to have acting skills and adaptability, and to possess confidence and energy to showcase the best performance.
Charmaine: Yes, being responsive and having stage presence are important for your performance. I know you have performed not only in Australia but also internationally. Can you share some of your experiences with us?
Michael: Shortly after joining this stage production, I had the opportunity to perform in front of an audience nationwide. I performed in cities like Sydney and Melbourne and participated in various festivals and cultural events. In 2020, I even had the chance to perform in the United States for six weeks, in New York and Boston. It was memorable, despite facing cold weather and falling ill during the trip.
Charmaine: Performing overseas must have been a different experience compared to performing domestically. It must have been exciting.
Can you tell us why you enjoy performing in stage plays? What is the gain or feeling you get from being part of stage performances?
Michael: I never thought about being involved in stage plays before. I used to watch a lot of movies and TV shows, which sparked my interest in actors' performances. Coupled with my strong expressive abilities, I believed that participating in stage plays would bring a great sense of fulfilment. It allows me to meet new people and explore new experiences. Portraying different roles often moves me. It's not just about performing on stage; it's also about connecting with different individuals.
Charmaine: As you mentioned, meeting new people helps expand your social circle and gives you more topics to discuss and communicate with others, right?
Michael: Yes, indeed. I work in the food and beverage industry, and I often share my experiences of performing in stage plays with my workmate. Sometimes, I even give them performances. Being part of stage plays has brought a lot of joy to my life and has allowed me to meet a wider range of people. Once, during a conference in Canberra, I interacted with many individuals from the same field, sharing life experiences and engaging in professional exchanges. Building networking connections is essential. In the future, I hope to participate in courses related to acting.
Charmaine: From what you've shared, it's evident that you have a genuine passion for and enjoyment of stage plays. How do you think the things you've learned from participating in stage plays impact your daily life?
Michael: Yes, it has an impact. Performing in stage plays has allowed me to connect with more people. I engage in more conversations with my family at home and establish new friendships outside. It enhances my life experiences and allows me to challenge myself and showcase my potential and talents, making my life more fulfilling.
Charmaine: I'm genuinely happy for you!
Michael: Thank you!
Charmaine: Some listeners might be interested in how to get involved in stage plays. Can you share where they can find information, such as websites or contact details?
Michael: They can check Facebook or visit the Back to Back Theatre website.
Charmaine: Great! We will include this information on our website so that interested listeners can explore further.
Today, we thank Michael for sharing his passion for stage plays and the rewards they have brought him. Personally, I've learned a lot from Michael. I can see how he actively and enthusiastically participates in stage plays, which allows him to better understand himself, enrich himself, and build confidence, leading to many rewards and happiness.
Michael, do you have any other information you would like to share with the listeners?
Michael: For people with disabilities, especially those with high-functioning autism, although not everything may be done perfectly, it's important to have dreams, recognise one's strengths and interests, continuously improve and encourage oneself, and increase confidence, ultimately making life more fulfilling and enjoyable.
Charmaine: Thank you, Michael, for accepting the interview, and thank you to the listeners for tuning in.
Charmaine持有工商管理碩士學位和博士學位（澳大利亞國立大學），並在香港的高等教育行業工作超過15年。她是一位嚴謹認真的學術專業人員，擁有豐富的教學和行業實踐經驗。她在社交媒體上發表過多篇有關企業道德、人力資源和領導管理等方面的文章。此外，Charmaine還在成人移民英語計畫（AMEP）做義工，教新移民英語。她喜歡使用自己會說的社區語言分享真實故事和實用資訊，... Go to page where you can read more about Charmaine Chan
Charmaine holds a Masters of Business Administration and a PhD (Australian National University) and has worked in the tertiary education sector in Hong Kong for more than 15 years. She is a... Go to page where you can read more about Charmaine Chan