Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eastweek ed 417 Heaven and Earth have Righteousness: Steven Ma

Steven says on weibo that he is so touched by this writer's article. I haven't read it yet, but I'll find time to translate it.
8/ 24 /18:00  Thank you! See you tonight at ep 23!

天地有正氣 馬浚偉

Let me cut to the chase, from entertainment news standpoint, Steven Ma is actually quite boring: he has no special dragon & phoenix access to a prominent family, has negligible entanglements with hot women, also has no bizarre leak of bedroom photos; and appearance wise: ten years elapsed like a day, nose did not become higher or longer, eyes still single lidded; awards competition: often seemingly outside the fray; as for romantic rumors:  in all those years they are a  flash in the pan, and hardly scintillating enough as juicy gossips for the neighborhood housewives.    
But the funny thing is, you would not oppose to watching his Nip Dor Bo in The Life and Times of a Sentinel, nor would you switch channel because he was demonstrating how to cook fried rice in Apprentice Chef.  

I am not sure whether this could be called  “audience affinity”,  just that whenever I see Steven on screen, my mind will automatically pop out these four words, “silently cultivating the field”, more vulgarly or bluntly put: a draft ox or a work horse keeping his nose to the grindstone unceasingly slogging away.

“Actually, I’m a person who just wants to quietly do my work, and not want to think about other stuff or be bothered by it.” He says: “A work horse? Unceasingly slogging away? Hahahaha! Actually, I’ve my own ideals; it’s not that I don’t know about the shortcuts, or don’t know about the scheming but that I just couldn’t get past myself, couldn’t do it!  I don’t feel that the path I’m taking now will not take me to what I want, just that it may take a longer time, that’s all. Because my philosophy is to firmly believe that people in the end still need to take the right path!”

Suddenly, I see behind Steven, who faces me, a ray of dazzling light --------

It is the after rain sunbeam shining through the floor-to-ceiling glass window.

Recall Wong Hei once said the method TVB uses to heavily promote an artiste is the “quicksilver ubiquity”, which I interpret to mean if you are tvb obedient biological son you will be duly promoted by the company, subsequently, your mark will be seen in all big and small programs and events. Verily, Steven has continually appeared on screen, but not to the degree of permeating every nook and cranny, thus giving the impression to people that he is not a tvb biological son.   

“On this matter, many people had said the same to me.  They thought that maybe I was a stray picked up by TVB or maybe I was an adoptee.  Hahaha!  Never mind! Actually, since 2004 (TN: all news has it as 2005) TVB was already my manager.  If going back even more, when I first came out as singer in 1993, I had already signed a singing contract with TVB, which means to this day I have signed up with TVB for 18 years.  Honestly, I truly love this organization! From Clearwater Bay TV City to the present location Tseung Kwan O TV City, I have gone through several dynasties: Chiu Chung Man, Chan Goon-Ming, Ho Ting Kwan …those who saw me grow up in TVB all have now retired!”

Earlier on, wasn’t there news reporting that veteran journalist, Tsui Yong Yong, after ten years of being his manager has recently resigned her post because of his provocation?
"I personally own a publishing company.  All along, Tsui jie had been the manager in my company. She managed the publishing operation and read the books. When she occasionally received a job she would relay the news to my tvb manager.  Basically, Tsui jie only worked for my own company, but I freehand her to do some freelancing.”

Ok, so now the manager issue has been clarified, but, how come all these years, it seems like all he does is slogs unceasingly away at TVB unlike other tvb biological sons who get myriad preferential treatments from the company?

Steven says this is a two-way issue.

He analyzes that one of the key issues maybe that he seldom sets foot on the 8th floor management department where TVB dictates the workloads for the artistes.

“All these years, the number of times I visited 8th floor can be numerically counted. When up there, I just couldn’t get engrossed. I didn’t even know some of the colleagues’ names!  It maybe my fault, not knowing how to communicate with them, so over time, people may have felt that I have isolated myself from TVB, or that I seem like a stranger to them.  But as artist, I feel that management will make the appropriate arrangements for me. No need for me to especially or deliberately do anything else! 

“Conversely, the TVB department that I’ve the most feeling for is the series production on the 7th floor. Could even say I grew up in this department.  I have a good relationship with all the directors, the producers, the scriptwriters, the PAs, the crew, the martial arts troupe!  All these years in TVB, only one thing has not changed, which is this production department of  Zan Jie’s  (Catherine Tsang).  From singer turning to actor, it was Zan Jie and Tim Gor who asked me to shoot DOMD 1998.  In 2004 (sic 2005) when I signed the management contract with TVB, it was also Zan Jie who asked me to. When I entered the industry, Zan jie was there, and today, she is still here!”

As to Virginia Lok and Stephen Chan, how is his relationship with them?

“That year when I was shooting “Ghost Writer”, my contract had actually ended.  Miss Lok had looked me up but we had too many disagreements so could not come to a consensus.  Later, Mr. Chan and Zan Jie looked me up for another talk.  That was my first time officially meeting Mr. Chan.  Even he thought it was funny.  We both have been in the same company for so many years yet it seems like we did not even know each other!  Actually, I’m grateful to him for this renewed contract because they have given me many promises and most of them have been slowly fulfilled, especially Mr. Chan, who is a pragmatic person.” 

The other key issue --- let me analyze, is that all these years he only takes care to fulfilling his own obligations. Steven exclaims: “I will never use underhanded tactics to accomplish a goal or an ideal! I joined the workforce at an early age. Was 17 when I worked in Longmans selling text books; was 19 when I joined Tin Chemistry Ltd.  At 21 years old I already helped the company generate a 20 million dollars business. How can I not know the dark side of the commerce industry? You want me to be devious, it’s not that I don’t know how; you think I’m still a naïve romantic 16 year old boy?  I don’t do the under the table stuff because I couldn’t bring myself to do it!  Incidentally, I’m quite proud of that fact! 

“I’m almost 40 years old. I don’t want at this age to do things that I may regret some day, feeling guilty to have done things that had hurt someone else.  I dare to say that I’ve never done anybody wrong. I can lift my head high anytime.  Is there anybody wanting me to bow down my head, feeling scared? Sorry, none to this day! But are there people who see me and feel that they did me wrong? I think there are some! So to this day, I carry no burdens towards anybody.  I feel comfortable these days so that’s good enough!”   

Having roll with the punches for so long in the show business, should be able to have found some journalist friends to help with some promotion, to at least increase his name exposure!

“Even till now, every time I attend big scale press conferences, I am not quite at ease! Unless I happened to encounter familiar friends or people I get along with, if not, then I'll become quite tongue tied! Journalist friends often told me not to be so reticent but that's just me.  Furthermore, I don’t know how to ingratiate myself to a clique, don't know how to socialize. I admit I’m quite conventional!”    

But the fact of the matter is, that you are in showbiz, don't you wish to become a TV king?
"Award, there's nobody who wouldn't want it. If you say that TVB gives me an award to reward me, I'll be dizzy with happiness! But after coming up empty handed so often I've become indifferent to it. Euphemistically put, it's possessing a calm equanimity. There are many extraneous factors involved in getting an award. I once said to myself if I can't be a TV king I won't leave TVB.  Good thing I only said this to myself  else my whole lifetime will belong to TVB! Hahaha!

But, even if I don't get award, I'll still continue doing my work!  It's not that I don't have ambition! But that I feel most comfortable with my current lifestyle. I don't feel that this way will not help me achieve my objectives! Next year my tvb management contract will again terminate, what's best is that I can continue to work for the company at the same time shoot some mainland series. Because these days, mainland series have considerable high standard.  Also lately I have been reading many scripts! I wish from the acting aspect there is a difference and a breakthrough in the roles.  Best is portraying an extreme villain and a post modern series.  It's fun acting a villain role!  If the character is born a bad seed and a born killer, what can you do to me? As for post modern era, that's because I love the history in this era. Let me portray Sun Yat Sen or maybe Zan Sai character from 京華春夢. Truly not bad! If I could command these two roles, what character role could Of course, for these characters, I first need to wait for a good script to enable me to flex my imagination!  I'm all ready, I truly need this stimulation!"

An actor with such a upright image portraying an extreme villain, I believe the outcome will be quite chilling.

October 26th this year Steven will be officially forty years old.

At forty, I have no doubts. (tn: from the Chinese's life philosophy*)

Steven says at this age, he feels that his present body and mind are at their fittest and most stable.

"I don't mind at all people knowing my age.  I'm a boar, almost 40, so what?  My generation in TVB are all siu sang, all are over 40 years old.  On the contrary, I feel that the present me is most mature and stable! My contemplation and thought process are all very crystal clear now! Also, I feel that this age is men's most golden time period, and most able to masterfully handle all kinds of character roles!

"Since entering the industry till now, my personal details are all clearly accounted for, no hidden secret;, so that makes me feel very confident; no matter when you question me, my answers will always be the same.  I've been in the industry for 18 years, what history of mine can't see the light? If want to expose, someone would have exposed that long ago! Sooner or later, people have to acknowledge their past, if can't then it will be hard for them in the future."

The thing is, not every artist's past or personal details can be so blithely and openly show all.


攀龍附鳳= hitching a ride to the sky on the dragon and phoenix (idiom); fig. curry favor with the rich and powerful in the hope of advancement 

置身事外 = stay aloof from the affair; keep out of the business; refuse to be drawn into the matter; have nothing to do with 

做牛做馬 = lit. to work like an ox, to work like a horse; fig. to work extremely hard

食古不化 =  fettered by old conventions

京華春夢= novel by 林语堂

*Learning is a lifelong process.
Descriptive Phrases:
子曰:吾十有五而志于學。 The Master said, 'At fifteen, I had my mind bent on learning.
三十而立。 At thirty, I stood firm.
四十而不惑。  At forty, I had no doubts.
五十而知天命。  At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven.
六十而耳順。   At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of truth.
七十而從心所欲、不踰矩。   At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without transgressing what was right.

Wong Hei: 接着,又有说他用「水银泻地、无孔不入」来润正受无线力捧的林峯至於那句「水银泻地、无孔不入」,只要看过《囧》剧就知道,剧裏的钟嘉欣是林峯忠实fans,所以在剧裏经常放有一些林峯的演唱会poster。剧集创作 是虚假的,在虚假的创作中,他们放了一个真实的artist入去,将现实和虚构混为一谈,这也是一个捧人的好方法!用了一个创作、一出剧来做一个贴片广 告,来宣传自己的artist,这就是「多层次、无孔不入、水银泻地」的公司捧人方式罗,我描述得很客观,




「事實上,我只係一個想靜靜地做嘢嘅人,其他嘢我真係唔想諗咁多,亦唔想煩!」他說。「做牛做馬?死做爛做?哈哈哈 哈!其實我亦都有我嘅理想,我唔係唔知咩嘢係shot cut,唔知乜嘢叫做奸詐,但我過唔到自己,做唔出!我唔覺得我依家咁樣朝住呢個方向去行,唔會得唔到我想要嘅嘢,只係時間會比較耐啲啫。因為我嘅生存之 道,始終堅信人最後都係要行正道!」



還很記得王喜曾經說過,無綫力捧人的手法是「水銀遍地」,我所領會到的意思是,只要你是TVB聽聽話話的親生仔,就會獲得公司力捧,繼而在任何大小 節目活動都會看到你的嘜頭。馬浚偉查實一直以來也沒有停過在螢幕上出現,然而卻總是沒有這種「無孔不入」的程度,難免令人覺得,他並非TVB的親生仔。

「呢樣嘢,有好多人都同我講過,覺得我可能係TVB執番嚟或者係領養,哈哈哈!冇所謂啦!其實我由○四年起,公司已經係我經理人,如果再計落,我九 三年出道唱歌時,已經同公司簽咗歌星合約,即係話,到依家我已經簽咗TVB十八年,真心講,我好愛呢個機構!我由清水灣電視城到依家將軍澳電視城,已經歷 過幾個朝代:趙崇文、陳灌明、何定鈞……睇住我喺無綫大嗰啲,都退咗休囉!」

之前不是有報道說過,資深傳媒人徐蓉蓉當了他十年經理人,最近才被他激到辭職嗎?「我本身有間出版社,徐姐一直都係我出版社裏面嘅Manager, 幫我睇出版睇書,佢有時接到啲job,都會彈番畀我TVB經理人,衰啲講,徐姐只係喺我公司做嘢,不過我亦會freehand畀佢做其他 freelance。」



他分析,關鍵之一,可能是他很少踏足TVB主宰藝人工作量多與少的八樓management部門。「咁多年嚟,我去過幾多次八樓都數得出,我去到冇 辦法投入,有啲同事嘅名我都噏唔出!可能係因為我唔好,唔識得同佢哋溝通啦,久而久之,啲人咪會覺得我好似同無綫好疏離咁,又或者我對佢哋好似好陌生咁 囉。但我作為一個藝人,我覺得management都會幫我安排好我嘅嘢,唔需要我刻意做任何嘢o架啦!

「反而我同無綫最有感情嘅部門,其實係七樓戲劇製作部,亦可以話,我一直以嚟係製作部湊大,我同導演、監製、編劇、PA、crew、武術組個個都好 有感情!我喺TVB咁多年嚟,唯獨一路冇變嘅,就係珍姐曾勵珍呢個製作部,我由歌手轉去拍劇做演員、拍《鹿鼎記》,就係珍姐同添哥李添勝叫我,○四年我同 公司簽management合約嘅,都係珍姐。我入行,珍姐喺度,到依家,珍姐仲依然喺度!」

至於跟樂易玲和陳志雲這兩位TVB高層交情又如何?「前年我拍緊《蒲松齡》時候,我其實已經約滿,樂小姐有搵我傾,不過好多諗法,大家未磨合到;後 來陳生同珍姐又再搵我傾一次,嗰次我先正式第一次見陳生,佢自己都覺得好好笑,大家咁多年喺同一間公司咁耐,都好似唔識咁!嗰次續約其實都好多謝佢哋,因 為佢哋畀咗好多承諾我,都一一履行到出嚟,特別係陳生,佢個人好實事求是!」


馬仔帶點激動地說:「我唔會為咗達到一個目的或理想,而去做啲所謂不擇手段嘅事!我咁早出嚟社會做嘢,十七歲入朗文做sales賣教科書,十九歲入 田氏化工,廿一歲時,一年已經幫公司賺二千幾萬生意,我點會唔知商場嘅黑暗?你要我奸,我唔係唔識呀,你估我係一個天真爛漫嘅十六歲小男孩咩?我唔做啲枱 底嘢,係因為我做唔落咋!呢個係我幾自豪嘅事!

「我就嚟四十歲,我唔想咁大個人先去做一啲第日會內疚、覺得對人唔住嘅事,我夠膽講,我冇對過任何人唔住,我個頭幾時都可以抬得咁高,有冇人需要我 低下頭、覺得驚呢?sorry,到依家都冇!但有冇人見到我,會覺得對我唔住呢?我諗會有囉!所以我到今日對住任何人,我都冇負擔o架!我覺得我依家咁樣舒服咪得囉!」

在演藝圈打滾這麼久,應該也可以找傳媒朋友幫手宣傳宣傳,增加個人知名度吧!「我到依家每次出到去啲大型記者會,我都會周身唔聚財!除非去到撞到啲 啱傾又熟嘅朋友,如果唔係,我又係自己戇居居!啲傳媒朋友,成日都叫我唔好咁悶棍,但我本身個人就係咁,好驚講咗啲嘢會得罪人,所以變得好悶。我又唔識埋 堆、唔識social,我承認係幾食古不化!」

只是,始終是身在娛樂圈呀,難道不想當上視帝嗎?「獎項,冇人唔想要!你話無綫畀個獎我獎勵我,我絕對開心到飛起啦!但經過好多次冇獎攞之後,我自 己都變得冇乜感覺,好聽啲咪平常心囉!要攞一個獎,太多元素喺裏面。我曾經同自己講過,一日做唔到視帝,我都唔會離開無綫,好彩我淨係自己同自己講啫,如 果唔係,我分分鐘一世喺無綫!哈哈哈!

「不過就算我冇獎攞,我都係咁做o架啦!我唔係冇野心o架! 但我覺得依家呢個生存方式,令我最舒服,我唔覺得咁樣係達唔到我想要嘅目標囉!下年我喺TVB又約滿,最理想係可以繼續為公司效勞,同時又可以拍內地劇, 因為依家內地劇啲水平好高,我亦都一路睇緊好多劇本!我好想喺演戲方面有啲轉變同突破,最好係可以演到我未演過嘅大反派同埋民初劇。演大反派好好玩o架!如果個角色天生就係咁壞,天生就係殺人狂,你奈我咩嘢何?民初呢,因為我好鍾意呢段歷史,畀我演吓孫中山,或者係《京華春夢》裏面嘅鎮西呢啲角色,真係唔錯o架!如果呢兩種角色我都駕馭到,仲有咩嘢角色可以限制到我?當然,呢啲角色,我都要等一個好好嘅劇本先去發揮啦!我已經ready晒,我真係好需要呢啲刺激!」





「我由入行到依家,所有我嘅底細都一直交代得好清楚,冇嘢隱瞞,所以令到我自己都會confident咗,就算你幾時問我,我嘅答案都係一樣,我入 行都十八年,仲有咩嘢history唔見得光呢?要踢爆,一早都畀人踢咗啦!人點都要承認自己嘅過去,承認唔到,將來就會好辛苦!」


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