Today’s ‘Feature Friday’ comes from a lady who has been a great source of information and support in helping to get Glitter and Gore off it’s feet. Having lived in Hong Kong for a number of years and setting up her own company, The Drama Express, she has helped to guide us through some of the trickier parts of setting up business. She has lent us a hand, in various ways – including providing peppermint tea and chats where necessary! Without further ado, ladies and gents, this week’s Feature Friday, featuring Emma O’Rourke.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi Everyone! I’m Emma and I was born in a very small town (150 people) in Australia. I’m a big believer in singing and dancing whenever you get the opportunity, whether it’s in a class, at home in your living room or even with head phones on whilst walking down the street.
How long have you been in Hong Kong and what do you do?
I’ve been in this fast paced and vibrant city for over 7 years. Throughout that time I’ve worked freelance for many companies, inspiring the youth of Hong Kong to step out of their comfort zones and to become more confident performers, as a drama teacher and have now created my very own company, ‘The Drama Express’.
How did you discover your talent?
I’ve always loved performing. From about 4 years old I joined multiple dance classes and by high school was always putting my hand up for the school productions. I then went on to study acting at university. However it wasn’t until I was working with a touring theatre company in Italy that I discovered how incredible it was to pass on that passion to children.
What do you love most about what you do?
Watching the faces of the children that I’m either performing for (through T.I.E shows) or the students in my lessons, light up as they get drawn into the world that I’m creating for them.
What/who inspires you to do what you do?
Throughout my life I’ve been inspired mainly by the people around me. By working with different performers, directors and teachers I feel that each time I take something new from them and I try my best to incorporate their ideas and influence into my work.
What’s been your favourite piece/project that you’ve worked on?
Definitely having the opportunity to travel around Italy performing T.I.E (Theatre in Education) shows. We had 3 weeks of rehearsals in beautiful San Remo, where I spent time meeting and working with a fun group of actors from around the world. Then in a group of 4 it was time to hit the road driving through all sorts of conditions to bring our shows to schools throughout Italy. It was hard work but the experience brought me to where I am today.
What’s been the most challenging piece/project so far?
I worked in one school in Hong Kong where the English level was incredibly low so I had to use a huge amount of energy to try and communicate through body language and very simple terms. It was very hard work and took me quite a few lesson of trying out different techniques to finally begin to work with the students.
Can you take us on a brief journey of how you create your work?
When it comes to having my students perform I try my best to take their ideas, whether it is adapting the story itself, adding in new characters or even adding in whole new scenes. I listen to their ideas and go home to sit in front of my computer and type. Sometimes it’s a scrambled mess what they have thought up so I need time to find a way to fit in their ideas organically. I also have other drama practitioners as friends so I love to meet with them and discuss my ideas and hear their inputs to help with inspiration.
Are there any pieces that you would like to share with us?
I’d love to share some of my classroom pictures.