|Greener pastures: Stage actor Hoa Hiep stars in the TV series Mui Ngo Gai (The Scent of Sage Leaves). The actor is among a significant number of theatre artists who have turned to films and TV series that offer more money and fame. — Photo dienanh.net
HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City's theatres are facing a shortage of actors as many of them have turned to films and television series that offer better money and fame.
"Stage plays reach fewer people than television does. Young artists jump to TV series to earn higher salaries and they become well-known faster, "said artist Cong Ninh, who teaches performing skills at the city's Stage and Cinematography College.
The city's film studios produce more than 2,000 TV serials a year and are in need of a huge number of artists.
"Many of my students have accepted invitations to act in TV serials when still in school," Ninh said.
According to Ninh, many young and established artists from theatres, Hoa Hiep and Luong The Thanh, for instance, are now working with film studios.
For several years, Thanh has played the role of kind-hearted, handsome prince in many children dramas featuring fairy tales at the Institute for Culture Exchange with France (IDECAF).
His popularity began to rise after appearing in TV serials like the 75-episode Mui Ngo Gai (The Scent of Sage Leaves) and 67-episode Cong Mat Troi (The Sun Gate).
Both serials focus on the aspirations of young people. In recent years, Thanh has played the lead in more than 20 TV serials broadcast on HTV and television networks of southern provinces.
Some theatres in the city must change their scheduled programmes because artists are busy working with film studios.
Ai Nhu, a veteran actor who has spent more than 30 years on the stage, said theatres had produced many young and talented artists.
"Their youthfulness and their beauty along with their good performances have received a warm welcome from theatre audience," she said.
"However, the number of artists with a determination to stay a long time with theatres is not high. They lack devotion to the career they have chosen and are easily lured by money to jump to films," Nhu said.
Nhu and artist Thanh Hoi, the manager of the popular Hoang Thai Thanh Theatre, are offering training courses in performance skills to young people as the number of talented actors has declined in recent years.
"Many young artists have considered theatre as a stop-over, a place for them to glean experience. They quit when the opportunity comes," said Meritorious Artist Thanh Loc. — VNS