Hello Gwangju! Today we have another community member to meet. Although, if you’ve been to see any of the recent Gwangju Performance Project productions there is a good chance his face will already be familiar to you. Here in his own words is….
Hometown…Peterborough, UK (don’t worry, no one else has heard of it either)
Length of time in Korea…Coming up to two years
My hometown is famous for…Henry VIII’s first wife is buried at the cathedral, but that might be stretching the term ‘famous’.
I wish I could…but it would only get me into trouble.
If I could have any superpower it would be…turning traffic and crossing lights green when I approach.
A book I read once a year is…I don’t usually read books more than once.
My nickname is…JG, for those who don’t have time for two whole-word syllables.
The show I am most likely to binge watch is…Mad Men, now it has come to Korean Netflix.
My favorite sport to play is…football or badminton.
The food I am best known for is…kiwis…I get told I eat them wrong.
The best discovery I have made in Gwangju is…gone now. There was an amazing Lamb BBQ place in Pungam-dong that closed down and broke my heart.
On my days off I like to…spend Saturdays recovering and Sundays playing football.
My favorite movie is…Gattaca or Dumb & Dumber.
What is your best tip for living in Korea? Learn Korean. I’ve been here almost two years and I’ve only just recently started lessons. It has helped prevent me from walking into shops, picking something up and saying “I don’t know” rather than “How much is this?” Or at least reduced the amount of times this happens…
What is your surefire way to beat the blues when you are feeling homesick? Embrace the sadness. I watch Lost in Translation and eat whatever food has been sent to me from home (Chilli Heatwave Doritos).
What is the oddest job you have ever had? I briefly worked as an Extra (Background Artist, if you will), which was surreal. I sat on a London bus dressed for summer in the middle of winter and pretended to watch Usain Bolt run past for an Olympic advert. I also worked on Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’, where I was dressed for winter (skis and all) in the middle of summer and actually watched Sacha Baron Cohen shove past chasing Asa Butterfield. It’s on Netflix, skip to 1hr 52 mins to see the side of my face. My mum fell asleep at the cinema when we went to see it.
Tell us a strange or interesting fact about you…I once spent a year being called ‘Finn Hemmingway’ (yes, misspelt, thanks HR) at a job because there was already someone working there with a similar name. I couldn’t work out whether it was Finn who was the evil alter ego or Jack… Either way, Finn is dead and Jack is here to stay.
Do you belong to any clubs or community organizations in Gwangju? Three! At the moment I am in rehearsals for ‘The Dumb Waiter’ which is part of the GPP (Gwangju Performance Project)’s upcoming production called ‘Counterparts’. Two one-act plays both performed by casts of two. We’ve had our tech and dress June 3-4 weekend and I think the show is going to be an interesting evening, something a little different than what past productions have been like.
I had a minor role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream a few months after I arrived in Gwangju and have been involved with the GPP since – you may not recognise me as one of the hosts from the recent Masquerade themed Cabaret.
I have also helped out with Adopt-a-Child-For-Christmas (not sure if all those hyphens are official) both Christmases I’ve been here. There is the Prom happening on June 10th that you’ll be sorry you missed. Otherwise there will be numerous events in the run up to Christmas. It culminated in me dressing up as Santa to hand out the gifts to orphanages we visited in 2015 and it was great to be a part of something that brought the foreigner and local communities together. There will always be opportunities to donate your time or money in the run up to Christmas. I also play with the foreigner football team on Sundays – Gwangju Inter FC – sponsored by Speakeasy. We recently got to the final of the (wooden spoon) Ulsan Tournament, losing 3-2 to a Vietnamese team. We’re always looking for more players and have a great mix of Koreans and foreigners from all over. There is a Facebook group if you’re interested.
Counterparts is a pair of one act plays which tell the stories of two hitmen awaiting their next assignment and a blind date gone wrong.
Shows at the Gwangju Art Hall downtown
June 17th @ 3PM and 7PM, June 18th @ 3PM
Payment must be received by June 16th @ 5PM for advance ticket price.
June 24th @ 3PM and 7PM, June 25th @ 3PM
Payment must be received by June 23rd @ 5PM for advance ticket price.
TICKET PRICES: Advance, 10,000w; Door, 12,000W