After reading the interview questions that I have given to the cast, Erwin tried to answer the questions as well. I was so amused at his answers that I asked him if I could post it here. Thankfully, he said "Yes" so here it is.
1. Tell us something about yourself.
I am Erwin Go. I work at Go Large Graphics, Inc. which is into digital print and publishing services. I am a member of BLIA because I am too old to be a member of BLIA Youth. If I am not mistaken, I am the youngest member of BLIA. :D
2. Why did you audition for this play?
I did not audition for this play. They told us (me and the BLIA members) to come to the temple because there was going to be an audition for Siddhartha. All the while, we thought that we were going to be part of the panel. So we went to the little room, thinking that we will be calling the participants one by one. To our surprise, each of us were then asked to sing?!? Most of us did not know how to sing. I do not even know any song. So ... Ms. Daisy, with her creative thinking, asked us to sing Lupang Hinirang, the Philippine National Anthem. I cannot even sing that song because I was always playing the snare drum whenever that song is sung during my high school days until my college days.
3. Have you had any previous experience with musical theater?
I think during my college days I was involved in some class play. Or was it in high school? Or elementary? I don't know. If I had theater experience, that was a loooong time ago...ago....oo. :)
4. So what role did you end up with in Siddhartha?
Of course, with what I was able to put up with, I was not offered any role. I think I am the only one who was not given a role and still insisted to be part of Siddhartha. :)
5. In a word, what's it like being a Siddhartha Cast?
Even if I am not part of the Siddhartha cast, I feel that I am part of Siddhartha cast. My involvement is very minimal. I have read the story of Siddhartha beforehand already. So Master Chueh Lin asked me to help review the early draft of the script so at least it will conform with the story from the book written by Ven. Master Hsing Yun. Mr. Jude Gitamondoc did very well in his early draft so I only have to point out a few things of the story that was left out. I wanted to help in my own little way to bring the story of Siddhartha to more people because I know there are a lot of good things that we can learn from the story.
So what's it like being a Siddhartha cast? I don't know because I am not part of the cast. All I can tell you is what's it like NOT being part of Siddhartha cast? Aside from having a lot of fun being with these 'kalug' funny, creative and talented casts, it was a lot of learning for me. I learn a lot of things related to theater, from music to lights to props to backstage preparation to practice and to coordinating all of these activities. I now appreciate all the hard work that all these people have to go through in order to put up a beautiful and successful show. For this, I bow to all the cast and crew of Siddhartha!
More importantly, I am learning a lot about Buddhism because every now and then, especially when things are not going smoothly, the masters will always give us some words of wisdom to lift everyone's spirit up . And even if things are going too smoothly, the masters will also have words of wisdom for us to avoid becoming too complacent or even become over confident. Meanwhile, someday I may learn to act so I can be part of the Siddhartha cast. Hahaha...
So after reading his answers, I continued to ask him the following questions:
6. I've heard that you are one of the officers of BLIA? What is exactly your position?
In the beginning, I was not even a member of BLIA. I just wanted to help and to get involve. After the play in Cebu, they invited me to become a member of BLIA. When I accepted the membership, they appointed me VP of Education. I think it's because they know I need to learn a lot more about Buddhism that's why I became VP-Education so I will study more. hahaha...
7. How did you feel when you were asked to be Siddhartha during the planning stage of this play?
Hmmm... I deliberately did not mention this before. But since you brought this up...actually, I am embarrassed to think that I immediately accepted the role of Siddhartha without second thought during the planning stage. I accepted the role not for being a star but with the hope that more people will know and learn from this story. Also, at that time, I thought that it was just a short skit or something.
So when told about the auditions, I really thought that we will be evaluating the other participants. After being surprised at the audition, I was handed the script to read through. And lo and behold... that's when I saw that this was a major production with a real script and singing and dancing. I tried to skim through the pages and saw that Siddhartha will be singing several songs!
After seeing this, I told our President, Ms. Susan Tantiansu, "This is a serious play that you are doing. You better find a professional actor in order not to embarrass myself and more importantly, not to embarrass BLIA." :)
Actually, it was not difficult for me to convince them of finding a real actor. Not since after they heard me sing... or rather... not sing. hahahaha...