Maki Nagisa (Actor)
Have you been in Vancouver long?
No, I only arrived in Vancouver just over a year ago, to enter graduate school at Simon Fraser University. Both school and the shooting of the film started at the same time. In a way it was very odd: on one hand I was trying to adapt to the demands and approach of a graduate seminar on critical theory, and on the other hand I was deeply committed to a character who saw her life and future through very different eyes.
How does your character see herself?
I loved my character. In a way she still haunts me. She is a woman of strength. The image in my mind is of a dandelion. In Korea the dandelion is a wildflower, but here it is a weed. So I see Seuchong as a seed that gets blown in from a far away land and becomes a weed, but carries on with the memory and dignity of a flower... I like that image.
What was the shooting process like for you?
Sometimes, with directors one is very nervous, but with Carolyn I felt very safe, and had a feeling I could explore, I was encouraged to make a strong choice, even if it went off in the wrong direction. There was never any pushing or intimi- dation. Carolyn is a very patient director, and I think it brought out the best in me as an actor. In most of the scenes I act with Billy Marchenski as Jaroslaw. It was a pleasure to work with him. He is a very generous person, and there was a good chemistry between us.
What did you take away from the film?
When I first read the screenplay, I thought the story was about those deprived of memory who are seeking for it. But now I understand the script as more about negotiation. We are always negotiating with memory, cutting a bit off here, adding there. At the end of the day, maybe we need to call the work of our imagination memory, just to help us keep going.
Maki Nagisa (born Yi Wi-Hyung) is a native of Andong in Kyongsang Province, but moved to Seoul while very young. She graduated in 1992 with a BA in Korean language and literature from Hansung University, and moved to Tokyo in 1996 where she studied the Japanese language. She returned to South Korea in 1999 and, rebelling against the social expectations surrounding her, moved to Canada in 2000. She took an ESL program at the University of Regina, prior to registering as a student in the theatre performance program, from which she graduated in 2005. She wrote and performed an autobiographical show entitled Home of My Soul which she has performed throughout Western Canada. She is currently a student in the Graduate Program of the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and an independent stu- dent with Kathryn Ricketts at Maindance.