Interview by: Lam Tuong Du
In January 2010, I saw the concert program called “Tôi là người Việt Nam,” produced by Paris By Night at Knott’s Berry Farm Theatre in Orange County, CA. On the way home, I met a lovely singer Ha Phuong (the kind of singer with generous heart and love for the poor and less fortunate). She and her husband, Mr. Chinh Chu, have their own charitable foundations, called Ha Phuong Foundatoin and U.S. Relief Effort. Even though she has a very busy work schedule, Ha Phuong still gave us some time for a brief interview.
Reporter (R.P.T): It’s our pleasure to meet you here!
H.P: The pleasure is mine. I apologize that I’ve been so busy and was very surprised when I received a last-minute invitation for this interview. I did not prepare for it so if I make any mistake, please overlook them.
R.P.T: Can you please let us know your activities in the past year?
H.P : In addition to recording the annual concert programs for Paris By Night, I also attended a few smaller concerts where my friends perform. The latest one is Minh Tuyet’s show. (Minh Tuyet is Ha Phuong’s younger sister who is currently Vietnamese’s top-selling female artist.) I also played a role in a dvd called “Điểu Nhi – Địa ngục môn,” which was released by Paris By Night a month ago. The proceeds from this dvd go to my charitable foundation to open free musical classes for the poor to help them develop their musical talents. We also give scholarships for children who excel and love theatrical arts.
R.P.T: Now that we’re talking about charitable works, could you please share with us some of your charitable activities this past year?
H.P: Uhm… I don’t like to talk about my charitable activities so much. But since you’re asking, I will briefly mention the main ones. In the last year, in addition to providing finance and gifts to the poor and less fortunate, I also produced a music CD for an orphanage called Lam Hong Phoi, which houses blind children. The proceeds from this CD will be entirely devoted to this orphanage. In addition, when I heard from Mr. Tich Ha, a musician friend about a special surgery for Mr. Hung, I increased funding to help Mr. Hung’s surgery so that he would be out of danger.
I am very busy now with my schedule. On top of that, I also have Hollywood acting classes at the TVI Actors Studio.
R.P.T: Wow.. that’s impressive. Can you tell us that while you are very busy, what makes you want to pursue Hollywood acting classes?
H.P: As a lover of performing arts, I always want to keep growing as a performer and I try to learn as much as I can. I find myself to be very lucky when I can reach the best level of performing in the European and American art forms. I want to open my knowledge and use what I have learned to teach the younger Vietnamese. I want our next generation to be well-trained in the field of performing arts so they can have the confidence to perform as well as anyone.
R.P.T: Would you please tell me more about this class?
H.P: Uhm.. Of course. “Hollywood Acting Class” is a course that belongs to TVI Actors Studio, a film drama school that has trained the most famous movie stars in the world. It was established in 1986 and has three branches, in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, and some other countries as well.
R.P.T: What are some difficulties of acting classes?
H.P: The difficulty is how to arrange the time to pursue acting classes without neglecting my duties as a wife and mother. I also have charitable activities and my passion for singing. Also, English is my second language so I am able to understand only general information and basic instructions during class.
R.P.T: Please tell the readers some memories with your friends, teachers at the “Hollywood Acting Class”.
H.P: As mentioned before, while I am at class, a friend who is fluent in both English and Vietnamese accompanies me to help explain things that I don’t understand. The teachers are often surprised to see how expressive I am at rehearsals. They’re impressed that an Asian artist who has never been officially trained in acting can be flexible and refined like that. They praised my acting abilities. It really makes me happy.
R.P.T: From what you’ve shared with us, you work hard towards many goals. So are you confident that you can overcome obstacles and achieve your intents?
H.P: The ”heaven” above will help me ( laughter )
R.P.T: You have used “the heavens” in a very spiritual way. May we ask a private question? I’ve heard much about your happiness and great fortune. This is a delicate question, can you answer it?
H.P: Wow.. you make me nervous. (looks pensive..)
R.P.T: Uhm.. People have said that you are a lucky person and that you brought the good luck to your husband. And after your marriage, you husband has been very successful in his business.
H.P: (Smile modestly.) I want to say thank you very much to everyone who thinks that I can bring luck to people close to me. Actually, my husband was successful long before we met. (I only knew more about his success after we were married). Maybe he and I met as a result of a beautiful fate for both of us. I am very fortunate to have met a good husband like him. He is very protective and attends to me. His family is very kind too. They treat people with loving hearts.
R.P.T: Please tell us about your upcoming activities in 2010.
H.P: At the beginning of the Year of the Tiger in 2010, I will present a large parade for the orphans in Vietnam to celebrate the New Year. I will also open free music classes for children with disabilities.
I also have a CD with Quang Le named, “Hoa O Moi,” which will be released by Paris By Night. The proceeds will be dedicated to poor children.
In the cold weather of the New Year afternoon, we spoke to a lovely artist who is successful in all aspects. She is filled with happiness, a loving heart and we can feel the warmth from the beautiful human spirit.