Viet Nam News
By Lương Thu Hương
Behind the bright lights of the stage, the lives of many Vietnamese performers are not all sunshine and roses, as many assume them to be. A number of the country’s best-loved stage actors live in loneliness, struggle with financial difficulties, or suffer from debilitating diseases.
A special art show, entitled Ấm Tình Nghệ Sĩ (Artists’ Affection), will be organised by the Việt Nam Stage Artists’ Association at the Friendship Palace tonight. The event aims to raise funds to support and pay tribute to veteran Vietnamese artists, who have made significant contributions to the development of the nation’s theatre but live with difficulties.
The show is also an opportunity to celebrate the 8th anniversary of Việt Nam’s Theatre Day and pay tribute to the ancestors of traditional theatre.
Around 60 renowned artists are expected to participate in the show, and the proceeds will be donated to artists in need.
The event will include dances, songs, video clips and a short play telling the sotry of the artists’ lives and careers, enabling the audience to get a glimpse behind the scenes.
Another highlight of the show will be a choral rendition of the song Đường Đến Ngày Vinh Quang (Road to the Day of Glory) performed by all participating Vietnamese artists.
According to artist Vũ Ngoạn Hợp, the head of the organising board, as well as raising funds for artists who face difficulties, the show also carries a hidden message to society.
“It will be a night of art, for artists, and everyone will join together towards a better life,” he said.
Hợp added that despite being a charity event, the quality of the show is sure to meet audience’s expectations, thanks to the voluntary participation of many renowned Vietnamese artists. Each artist invited is a representative of their own genre or style, following the plan of director Nguyễn Việt Thanh.
“On receiving the invitation, all artists, who were not otherwise engaged with their busy schedules, have happily agreed to participate. They wish to contribute to the meaningful and noble charity objective of the event,” Hợp said, adding the show has already received tremendous support from Vietnamese performers across the country.
According to meritorious artist Lê Chức, vice-chairman of the Vietnam Stage Artists’ Association, the association has discovered many cases of artists suffering hardships through its various activities.
“Some are living in homes for the elderly and some are even living in the cemetery without relatives. Some suffer severe illness or injuries, and have no money for treatment,” he said during a press conference for the launch of the charity show.
“Artists from the association sometimes support them financially, but this time, with greater affection and determination, we will hold a grander and more meaningful programme,” he continued.
Comedian Trà My added that the motivation for the launch of the show originates from mutual sympathy among artists on witnessing their colleagues struggling.
“Many Vietnamese artists only receive attention from the public when they are near death or after commercial success. A number of others haven’t had the opportunity to let their talent shine,” she said.
Known as a keen contributor to charities supporting poor artists, Trà My believes the contributions don’t go far enough when the need for support is so urgent.
“The fundraising cannot be implemented immediately. The Viet Nam Stage Artists’ Association therefore needs a fund that it can draw from to offer support in times of emergencies,” she added.
At the press conference, the organisation department also revealed that artist Tự Long, who has received admiration from audiences in recent years, is in charge of calling for donations to the fund.
According to Long, he was touched on beginning his new duties.
“Some benefactors are even ready to donate huge amounts of money to the show without asking for anything back. They just want to have a pair of tickets to watch and support the show,” he said.
He also added that there are many kind-hearted people who are willing to support the artists.
Previously, a similar programme, entitled Tình Nghệ Sỹ (Artists’Affection), organised by the Viet Nam Stage Artists’ Association in 2015, attracted significant attention from fellow artists and the public. As part of the event, artists performed excellent plays and songs as a tribute to their colleagues who suffer from difficulties.
If this year’s show is successful, it is expected to be held again in the central and southern regions, and will become an annual event for the Association.
“The artists are always supportive of each other in overcoming hardships. I was really moved seeing them do meaningful things for each other,” said Tra My.
“After many charity programmes, I always think that we as artists have to fulfill our responsibilities and reserve the affection in our hearts for our colleagues in need.
“And you can count on me to always be a part of these meaningful charity events.” — VNS