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Actor writes a book

Update: January, 31/2015 - 12:00

A very skilled actor has just written a book.

It is about Thanh Loc's life and experiences.

Among his stories is that of a family tragedy during the war when his half-brother died in battle.

Thanh Loc will never forget how this upset his father.

Life story: The cover page of Thanh Loc's memoir Tam Thanh va Loc Doi (Good Heart and Life Achievement).
Life story: The cover page of Thanh Loc's memoir Tam Thanh va Loc Doi (Good Heart and Life Achievement).

HCM CITY (VNS) — Artist Thanh Loc will begin his five-city tour on January 20 in HCM City to launch his newly published memoirs.

Loc will also meet with fans to discuss his book, entitled Tam Thanh va Loc Doi (Good Heart and Life Achievement).

The book is a memoir of his long career as an A-list theatre actor. Loc spent some 45 years on stage in more than 600 roles.

Coming from a family with a long tradition in the art of hat boi in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Vinh Long, Loc inherited talents from his father, stage artist Thanh Ton.

Loc has been popular in a variety of roles, as he became known as the "stage magician" of Viet Nam's stage.

The book was penned by Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc, who has been Loc's long-time friend and colleague.

"Ngoc wrote several drafts and gave them to me. But I did not like them because they were not my tone," said Loc.

Despite the author knowing Loc well, the two artists spent about six days working together.

"I really thank Ngoc, because she made good use of her busy trip to Viet Nam to listen to my story," Loc said.

About ten years ago, Loc refused several proposals to tell his story because he thought, at that time, he had not had enough experience.

"Now, at the age of 54, I think I need to tell a story about a normal artist who overcame disadvantages to follow his passion for art," Loc told Viet Nam News.

He is a multi-faceted artist with successes in other works, as an MC, film actor, comedian and stage director.

He was also honoured at the 15th Mai Vang (Golden Apricot) Awards for his achievements in theatrical directing in 2013.

This was the 11th time he had received the award, having been presented by the Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper.

His memoir, Good Heart and Life Achievement, will be launched nationally on January 20 by publisher Phuong Nam Book.

Excerpt from Thanh Loc's memoir

...The first time I saw my father crying was in 1970 when he burst into tears like a child, as if he had lost something precious.

That was the day my half-brother who was the eldest son of my father and his first wife – a Sai Gon non-commissioned army officer – died in battle. It was terrible to see a man like my father unable to control himself. His cry was much more sorrowful than a woman's cry.

I was possibly too small to feel sadness and cry like my father. But I was strongly impacted by his facial features and his agony. I know that it had a great impact on my acting expressions later in my career. It is the man's cry, not a woman's, that can pierce right into the spectators' hearts.

The second time my father cried was at midnight. Everyone else in the house was sleeping, so he could not cry loudly. His moaning was soft, very soft. I sat in a dark corner and I watched my father crying. I wanted to go to him and cry with him. But I could not because I had lost the ability to share my feelings with him for a long time.

That was the day four members in my family had to leave the country destitute because they could not do their work.

In my acting career many years later, I was still haunted by his soft moan. When I played the role of Mr Tu in the drama Da Co Hoai Lang (Night Drum Beats Cause Longing for Absent Husband) it was my father, no one else... — VNS

GLOSSARY

Artist Thanh Loc will begin his five-city tour on January 20 in HCM City to launch his newly published memoirs.

Someone's memoirs are what make up a story they have written, based on their own personal knowledge and experience.

Loc spent some 45 years on stage in more than 600 roles.

The part an actor plays in a play or a film is a role.

Coming from a family with a long tradition in the art of hat boi in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Vinh Long, Loc inherited talents from his father, stage artist Thanh Ton.

A talent is a natural skill. Something that you inherit is passed down to you from someone else.

Loc has been popular in a variety of roles, as he became known as the "stage magician" of Viet Nam's stage.

A variety of roles means many, very different roles.

The book was penned by Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc, who has been Loc's long-time friend and colleague.

Penned means written.

"Ngoc wrote several drafts and gave them to me. But I did not like them because they were not my tone," said Loc.

A draft is a piece of writing that is not the final text that is to be published or presented.

The tone of a piece of writing is its general character.

He is a multi-faceted artist with successes in other works, as an MC, film actor, comedian and stage director.

MC stands for Master of Ceremonies. This is the person who speaks at a function, throughout the event, keeping the audience entertained and introducing other speakers.

A comedian is an actor who performs an amusing show in which many jokes are told.

 That was the day my half-brother who was the eldest son of my father and his first wife – a Sai Gon non-commissioned army officer – died in battle.

There are two types of officers in armies: non-commissioned officers, which includes corporals, sergeants and other ranks and commissioned officers, which includes lieutenants, colonels and other ranks.

But I was strongly impacted by his facial features and his agony.

Impacted means affected.

A person's facial features are what stand out on his, or her, face. It may be a big nose, small ears, or other things.

It is the man's cry, not a woman's, that can pierce right into the spectators' hearts.

Spectators are people who watch a performance.

That was the day four members in my family had to leave the country destitute because they could not do their work.

Destitute means having no food or comforts or any way of getting them.

In my acting career many years later, I was still haunted by his soft moan.

To be haunted by his father's soft moan means to feel a strange, awful and ghostly feeling when thinking about it.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1.      Thanh Loc's tour was scheduled to start in Da Nang.

2.      Thanh Loc would have been born in the early 1960s.

3.      Forty-five years ago, Thanh Loc's family suffered a tragedy.

4.      Thanh Ton was Thanh Loc's uncle.

5.      One of the many things Thanh Loc has been on stage is a comedian.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2015










































1. False; 2. True; 3. True; 4. False; 5. True.

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