We had the good fortune of connecting with Craig Ng and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Craig, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
i believe there is a creative spark that is given to one child in a family… that child can possibly feed that spark to become a fire or ignore it and never feel fulfilled. it becomes a distant feeling of a missed potential passion and purpose for life.
i think that spark is the catalyst for a larger picture of creative evolution… a spark that bursts to flames and burns down the old stuck ways… and makes way for the creation of something new… innovation.
i think i was given that spark as a child… it was not really supported, but i kept it alive till i could someday give it kindling and blow my breath into its embers to ignite it into flames again.
i chose an artistic or creative career because it was in my blood and the only choice. i always believed in magic… the powers of the unseen forces that were always around us and rarely acknowledged. art and creativity was a portal into these unseen forces. Art was a possible way to open that portal for a glimpse of what is beyond the norm or the reality that we so carefully try to define and control.
i am currently a massage therapist with several eclectic modalities of massage/healing. i am a foley artist: creating sounds and foot steps with shoes and props to bring a live feeling to movies, and firstly i am an actor and acting teacher… with an experiencal background of hundreds of improvisational performances. i also teach acting classes for actors and non-actors because acting has much to offer us all… it is the study and experience of being human~ my approach includes martial arts, energy awareness and energy cultivation training, improvisation and spiritual principals.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
like following a character in a movie… the hero has their entire “being” moving towards a goal… and also, is open to following the moment of what comes for him to experience… it may not look like it but that is a part of his path to his goal. it is never a straight line! 😉
i guess my goal is to be a fully aware and expressed human being. i may not ever get there but the feeling… the felt sense of what that is… has taken me on a wonder filled journey that never ends.
after many odd jobs for income: paper boy, assembly line work, guard dog site delivery, construction work, owner of a car rental agency, massage, post production sound, handyman… after taking those many job roles, i knew i could not just do one job for the rest of my life… just too boring!
but i also have the awareness that there is a common thread that joins and informs me that all my experience is “griss for the mill”… it is all usable. the balance i acquired from martial arts training helps me in performing with a dance company. my theater arts were welcomed in a modern dance company’s works. my martial arts energy awareness is needed in acting training… the give and take responses of tai chi were like communications experienced in the body that helped actors to not just act from their heads~
so what sets me apart… when i am making video tapes for the auditioning process of acting. i think my vids are different and also unique because of my improv and my eclectic background. i can make scenes come alive and bring a life and depth to the characters i audition for because i have not pigeon holed myself to one profession. i have a whole diverse background that i can bring to my work. in my classes i try to bring this awareness to others. what makes a character real is to not try to figure out what they are looking for and try to act that… but how much of yourself you can bring to your character and bring it authentic life.
i am usually told that i was cast in a roles that are “hard to cast”. that usually means they don’t really know what they are looking for… so i create a character that is full of authentic life with real responses and body language. i am also told i am in a category of my own…. and get the best auditions and roles!
like a Vietnamese monk that gets possessed by a demon, head of the Chinese mafia, the indigenous spirit of anorexia, the abused side kick that fights back, reluctant assassin swordsman, shaman, tortured creature, master teacher of a BDSM dungeon…
was it easy… no! i spent years trying to fit into how Hollywood wanted to see me… so for an asian i played mostly asian gang roles… ya know… thug #2 or henchman #2 or punk.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
korean bar b que Soo Wan Galbi 856 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005.
Seoul house of tofu on sawtell in west LA,
peterson auto museum, broad museum, desconso gardens or Huntington, ecstatic dance with headphones on the beach,
magic castle, an escape room!
25 million dollar open houses in bel air or a beautiful artsy nature infused open house in topanga… ride up there on my motorcycle or top down convertible… 🙂
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Rachel Rosenthal and Kate Noonan: TOHUBOHU! Extreme Theater Company and members of. Monica Favand: Artistic Director of Trip Dance Theater and members of.