Debuting in 1971 at 22 years old, Damian Lau (劉松仁) went on to become one of the most successful and recognized Hong Kong television actors in the late 70s and 80s. In recent years, however, the now 69-year-old actor has reduced his television output. In 2016, he began shifting his passion for acting to a different avenue. Damian will be starring in the musical play, Matteo Ricci, which follows the life of the Italian priest who was one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China missions. As a devout Catholic himself, Damian is extremely excited about the opportunity.
2016 was a life-changing year for Damian. In addition to new challenges in his career, Damian was also faced with his mother’s ailing health and eventual decease. Known to be a filial son, Damian often accompanied his mother out shopping and hiking. When her health began to fail, Damian was by her side at the hospital every day.
Reflecting on his relationship with his mother, Damian said, “The hardest thing for a person is to not be calculative. I learned how not to be calculating from my mother. I took care of my mom because she is my blood. This type of giving is selfless love and not calculating. That is true love. From this, I realized that all the love I had before were all calculative.”
He continued, “It was in that moment that I realized…. I have been alive for more than 60 years, but I have been nothing more than a dead person. If you are stubborn about a set of principles, keep repeating the same mistakes, and make no changes, then you have made no progress. If you are not a dead person, then what are you? When you are faced with dealing with the elderly, you deal with different things every day. You can’t take away their pain and cannot help them. That is life.”
He used acting as an example, “If you do not improve upon the methods when you first found success, it will be the cause of your fall. Let’s say a lead actor stays a popular lead actors for 30 years. From when he was 20 years old to 50 years old. If he used the same acting method for those 30 years, then people will say, ‘Do you think you are still young and popular?’ That would be terrible!”
“Don’t Sacrifice Your Health”
In addition to continuously seeking self-improvement, Damian also emphasized the need to stay healthy. “I have a teacher who is the President of the China Health Care Association. He taught me that no matter what it is you are doing, do not sacrifice your health for it. There needs to be a balance. Young people who are in their prime are healthy and think they can handle more. But as they age, the wear and tear to their body accumulates. After you’ve reached success, you will not have the health to continue down the road. Young people should understand the balance of things. But more than just understanding it, they have to take the time and actually put it into action!
“That is why they need to have an elderly family member. Young people today do not appreciate the elderly. This is a societal issue that is affected by the western mentality of individualism. They don’t listen to what the elderly have to say.”
This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.