A Cat Like a Person… Arrogance is the Life

November 13, 2008


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Posted Date: 08.09.11
Credit to: JO!NS // Joong Ang Il Bo | Original Article: Click Here
Translated by: Jeska @ VIPtranslators
*Do not add to or remove credit lines*

An hour and half for to give birth to a cat?

What am I talking about? It’s about a time to change a performer of ‘Cats’ from a regular person to a cat on a stage.

A makeup process for ‘Cats’ was finally released after it was thoroughly hidden in a veil. ‘Cats,’ one of 4 best musicals in the world that has over 20 years of history, has been avoiding exposing backstage because they wanted audiences to feel and recognize performers as cats. But after long persuasion, RUG (Really Useful Group, Original Production of ‘Cats’, United Kingdom) introduced a secretive process to Joong Ang Il Bo (The Korean Daily). To be honest, I thought myself ‘Why are they being so complicated? Isn’t it just putting make up and wear costumes?’ But they had their own know-how and experience, and a strict philosophy on participating in the performance.

Continued under the cut–>

#Understand cat’s habit.

Big Bang’s Daesung (19) made an appearance as a model. He, who is his first time being in a musical, will act as ‘Rum Tum Tugger’ the most charismatic character in ‘Cats’. I was curious that how he with soft and innocent look was going to change to a character with unpolished beauty.

On 9th, 11a.m, Daesung appeared at Charlotte Theatre makeup room. He was already wearing basic tight clothes that looked like a whole-body swimming suit. The start of ‘disguise’ was basic makeup. White toned foundation was painted all over his face; yellow, orange, brown, and etc colors went on top of it. Chae Song Hwa, makeup director, said “Daesung has a face that can be changed well depends on makeup; his face disappears and becomes that character.”

Daesung is currently appearing in SBS TV variety show ‘Family Outing’. Big Bang is planning on releasing new album next month. Why is he doing musical with this busy schedule? “Youngest member Seungri took a role in a musical called “Sonagi” After I saw him falling into a character and becoming an actor, I encouraged myself.” Weren’t there difficulties? “I thought I dance pretty well but I learned that basic form is very important in musical, especially in ‘Cats’. I had difficulties with standing up with toes and flexible turns. I also had to concentrate on delivering lyrics with correct pronunciation while I emphasize on feel in concert.”

‘Cats’ is very strict. Actors must turn themselves as a cat. One time, a performer saw a kid audience, thought a child was so cute, and patted child’s head. The director found out later and scolded that performer saying “how can a cat pat a person’s head?” Actors have to understand about cats obviously. “Cats can stand with their four feet lightly even if they fell from high place. That means they have very good balance. They enjoy being by itself rather than staying as a group. When they catch a rat or any other things, they don’t eat it instantly but play with it for a long time; they have a brutal nature,” he said thoroughly. He was like an expert in cats.

#Cats act like people

After a basic makeup, makeup artist put powder lightly to block oil spreading on the face, and started to draw black lines carefully. He slowly started to become ‘Rum Tum Tugger’ His cuteness disappeared and a strong character like a tiger started to show.

Cats are known as arrogant compared to dogs that follow people well. It’s because to get an attention from an owner with its arrogance than faithfulness. Then how is ‘Cats’ practice process like? Daesung said “I’ve been looking at mirror for two months.” It was because to find strictness that’s hidden inside of him by observing him carefully. It may be abstract, but it’s a prerequisite for a start point. After that, they learn cats unique movements like marking territories, showing wariness, etc. They also learn licking, touching, etc that cats use to express their emotion. He emphasized, “it’s important to look like a cat acting like a person, not a person acting like a cat.” He also said only way to get better is to repeat ‘impromptu exercise’ as if he’s hypnotized.

It was a hard process to five staffs had to come around him to put wireless microphone and put a wig after makeup was done. Daesung slowly started to talk less than beginning to interview. As he turned his eyes to me and said, “I didn’t mean to….” he looked like a real cat.

The last step were to wear boots,add fur around neck, and put a tail. Daesung’s walking changed soon he was done with everything. He made a sound like moaning as he was moving his tail slightly to the side. He raised his right hand as he came up to the stage for dressed rehearsal. It was a sharp, but sexy male cat’s movement; he was a cat himself.

‘Cats’ Korean performance will start on 16th staring with 3 days of preview performance.


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