Meritorious Artist Tien Minh believes that artists who are active in art should be classified as a special profession to have a more suitable regime.
In addition to being a familiar face on the Vietnamese screen with humorous and witty roles, Meritorious Artist Phung Tien Minh is also known as a singer and musician – the “father” of many movie soundtracks loved by the audience. prefer. Typically, Where Love Begins, The Sun’s Last Streak…
For many years, actor Tien Minh joined the Hanoi Drama Theater. Besides acting, he is also a director for many plays, the most recent being The Heart of Hanoi.
In a meeting with PV Tien Phong, actor and musician Tien Minh opened up about his passion for the profession, the reason why theater actors act because of passion. In addition, the actor affirmed that art is a special profession, whether or not art people should enjoy a more special regime.
Meritorious Artist Tien Minh is an artist under the Hanoi Drama Theater. Photo: Chau Linh.
What do you do with money?
– Singer, musician, actor, director, what title do you want the audience to call you?
– I think anything is fine. All of the above titles refer to a job. At each stage, whatever I’m doing, the audience keeps calling me with that title. I’m quite simple, not fussy so it doesn’t matter what someone calls me. If possible, people would probably call me artist Tien Minh, to distinguish it from players, badminton Tien Minh, but calling me by the name Tien Minh is not enough.
To me, a title is a social recognition of a profession. I just graduated from the University of Theater and Cinema, not yet graduated from the Faculty of Theory – Composition – Conduct or the Vocal Department of the Academy of Music, so I do not consider myself a singer or songwriter.
– Studying and graduating from the University of Theater and Cinema, what chance led you to the path of writing film music?
– Talking about music, I think I have musical blood from my days in the womb. His father was a Quan ho singer, then he turned to a cheo actor and then a theater actor. My mother is a rowing artist. From the days I was in the womb, I listened to the songs my parents sang. Music has flowed in me since I was born. Writing soundtracks came about quite by accident.
My first soundtrack song was in the movie “Love in Sapa” (1999). In a segment filmed at Sapa love market where actors needed to sing a few sentences, I hummed with emotion, and the director said it was good and suitable for the movie. The director asked me to finish writing, mix and match to make the soundtrack. The first song came by accident like that.
– Among the dozens of soundtrack songs associated with Tien Minh’s name, “Sun streak at the end of the sky” is one of the most outstanding products, what memories do you have with this song?
– Like many other songs, “The Last Sun” came by chance. I started writing and finished it in just one session. At that time, the composer who wrote the soundtrack was busy, so the director asked me to write it urgently instead. Based on the plot of the movie and some coincidence, the lyrics I wrote fit the characters and story in the movie quite well. The chorus starts with the sentence “The sun is shining brightly with thousands of clouds”, I think it is an easy to remember song that is suitable for the audience at that time, so it is well received by everyone.
Actor Tien Minh was born in a family with artistic traditions. Photo: Chau Linh.
– When you put pen to write the song “Sun streak at the end of the sky”, do you think your work received such a response?
– I never thought of this. When the drama aired, everywhere I went, I saw people playing the movie’s song, from the neighborhood, the coffee shop, sometimes people played too much and I got a headache (laughs). I think everything needs the right time and luck, so does the song The Last Sun in the Sky. Maybe the lyrics are close, the melody is easy to listen to and the movie is well received by the audience, so the soundtrack is known and noticed more.
Theater actor salary is not enough for breakfast
– Having taken on many jobs from actors, musicians, singers and even directors, have you ever put the above jobs on the scale to choose one of the four?
– No, I do whatever has money. I am a practical person, everyone himself needs to work for rice, clothes, rice, money, and also need to take care of himself and his family and children, so I don’t flashy but directly share what has money. , true to the effort I will do. However, on the other hand, it is also true to say because of passion, because in fact, artists on the state payroll like us have very low income, without passion, it is impossible to do.
– What are the details of the actor’s income at the Hanoi Opera House?
– If the actor is affiliated to the Theater, there will be a salary, according to the State basic salary. We often joke with each other that this salary is not enough for gas and iced tea, not to mention enough for breakfast. For each performance, the supporting role is paid about 150,000 VND to 200,000 VND. The main role will be about 400,000 VND to 500,000 VND. This is the truth. If so, why does the actor not go to work because of his passion?
I consider that an actor is a profession that has to change a lot, from beauty to health. Actors have to be exposed to cosmetics, which affects their skin and many other things. However, currently, actors are still listed in the Administrative group – a career like many other professions and enjoy a common salary.
I understand that each profession has its own difficulties, hardships, and sacrifices. From the perspective of an actor with more than 20 years in the profession, I want to share the difficulty of my colleagues.
Actor Tien Minh was awarded the title of elite artist in 2019. Photo: NVCC.
– That said, your income mainly comes from writing music?
– My salary at the Theater for a year is not equal to the salary of writing half a song. I’m not afraid to say this. That’s why I say that whoever places the order, has the money, I do it. That said, I’m also quite an artist, so I have to do everything appropriately.
– Gen Z and Gen Y artists have more opportunities to become famous with better income, what do you think about the two words “artist” nowadays?
– I think society develops, all professions will also develop. Actors and singers too. To tell the truth, there are many young people who have the potential to become stars, who dedicate their hearts and souls, but there are also those who emerge as a phenomenon, from the act of being just for entertainment. After that, you were also invited by brands and events to participate with the title of “artist”. For long-timers like me, we don’t care about this individual. You can call yourself whatever you want, I really don’t care.
– What about the audience, what do you think about the power of Vietnamese audiences over artists, can the power of Vietnamese audiences compare with Chinese and Korean audiences?
– I find Vietnamese audiences very powerful. I don’t bring it to the table with Chinese and Korean audiences, because each country is different. I think a developed country is a country with a developed entertainment industry because the country develops, people can be interested in enjoying and one of them is watching movies, listening to music.
Regarding the Vietnamese audience, I see that besides a part of the audience with a clear and correct perspective, there are also many people who abuse social networks to attack artists, regardless of right or wrong. There are many people who are using social networks in the direction of bashing artists. This needs to be reviewed. Let’s oppose the return of artists who violate ethics, violate the laws of the State. And if only based on the ethical standards of the audience, I think that is not enough.
Meritorious Artist Tien Minh is both an actor and a director working at the Hanoi Drama Theater. Photo: NVCC.
– At work, artist Tien Minh is a clear and straightforward person, so in real life, how are you a husband and father?
– Who, I am still me, not fancy. With my children, I always clearly state my point of view, what they want to learn, learn the piano, learn to sing, learn to draw, learn martial arts, learn to swim, I all support it, as long as it doesn’t affect and violate anything. I like the computer, the camera, in the family’s financial capacity, I agree, and if not, I also say “Let dad plow more”. Family is to be real, live like that.
If my children study well, it’s good, if they study poorly, it’s okay, how can parents study for their children? As long as the child is healthy, eats invitingly, and meets an adult who knows how to greet, that’s fun. I don’t put any weight on my children, I want them to be themselves.