A workaholic, Jessica Hsuan (宣萱) isn’t used to taking long vacations, which is why she immediately agreed on the offer to star in the stage play Big Resign Day <大辭職日>, starring alongside award-winning lyricist Roy Tsui (林日曦).
The play follows a team of office workers dealing the everyday stress of working a 9-5 job. Big Resign Day is Jessica’s first stage play of her career, and when the 48-year-old announced herself as “rookie Jessica Hsuan,” her costars didn’t know how to react.
“When I met the entire cast for the first time and introduced ourselves, I introduced myself as a rookie. Everyone was gasping, but it’s true. On stage, I am a rookie,” she said.
Now doing a promotional tour for the show, which opens July 7, Jessica has to come up with tricks of her own to stay healthy and physically fit for the show. The actress, who had injured her ankle, would go barefoot whenever she doesn’t have to show up on camera.
“I was using my phone as I was walking,” said Jessica. “I wasn’t paying attention to the road and twisted my left ankle. Although it’s already been four to five months, there is still some swelling.”
Because Jessica had to go to work immediately the day following her injury, she did not have time to rest and let the wound heal naturally. Now, Jessica has no choice but to let nature take its course. She won’t be able to wear any high heels at the meantime. Even walking a few steps in flats could make her feel swell up.
“In the past, whether I’m at home or working, I would be too busy to check my phone,” she said. “The only time when I have the chance to is when I’m walking. Now, I’ll be more careful with the road.”
Jessica’s Worst Fear
In Big Resign Day, there will be a scene where Jessica would have to dance and sing. “It’s definitely one of the most stressful things about doing a play,” she said. “I’m just not good at it.”
She recalled a time when she was invited to sing a song for a TVB variety program, and while she is very familiar with the song, she still ended up forgetting her lyrics. “I knew that song very well, so I was sure I wouldn’t forget how to sing it, but that happened. The only thing I could do is just laugh it off in front of the camera. Although it was meant to be a funny show, I felt awful about it. Now, my ankle is injured and have to dance. Hopefully my foot can be healed by then.”
Engineer for Marvel
Jessica was invited to play a small role for the new Marvel attraction Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! of Hong Kong Disneyland. Playing Leslie Lam, the chief engineer for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Science and Technology Pavilion, the role was actually tailor-made for Jessica.
An alumna of Imperial College London, Jessica graduated with a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering in 1992. She never pursued a career in engineering, as she was discovered by TVB soon after her graduation.
“I didn’t get to have the chance to be an engineer, so it’s great to live that life in another world,” said Jessica. When asked if she regretted her decision of joining the entertainment industry, she said, “Not at all. I find this job really fun and challenging. If I was to choose again, I’d still choose to be in the entertainment industry. Even on the day I graduated, I knew I wouldn’t become an engineer, because I’d have to continue my education. I studied engineering because it was something I was just interested in.”
“Big Resign Day” Trailer
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.