Jeramy Lim isn’t a new face to TheatreWorks – he played Damien in our latest run of Grey Matters, which toured through ten schools in the South East District and ended in February. A recent graduate in acting from LASALLE College of the Arts, Jeramy already has several shows under his belt, such as Samuel Beckett’s Play (directed by Sarah Jane Scaife), Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure (directed by Adam Marple), and Leow Puay Tin’s Family (directed by Noor Effendy Ibrahim). Find out more about Jeramy and what The Good Farmer means to him in this interview!
Tell us something about yourself.
If I hadn’t been an actor, I think I would probably be an events planner.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I like to spend my pre-show in solitude. I usually prefer warming up alone in a corner of the dressing room or stage. Then it’s mainly just placing my concentration on my characters as I’m getting mic-ed up, wearing each layer of costume, flipping through my script to note points I’ve jotted down, that sort of preparation. And just before the lights go on when I’m ready to get on stage, I mentally allow my co-actors to enter this quiet space of mine. The very last thing, which is also my favourite, is I look at the audience and allow myself to absorb their energy, and I’m ready.
Do you feel you can relate to the plot or the characters in any way? What does working on The Good Farmer mean to you?
Of course! There has to be some relation to the plot or the characters for me to find an entry point into the play. I see a part of myself in Jacob’s cynicism and Joseph’s passionate activist side. That’s my relation to them, which I dig into to discover more, or sometimes I amplify an attribute to play with something about the characters I want to play with. I think what drew me to Jacob and Joseph, which in part is the playwright’s ingenuity, is their deeply intertwined yet separate histories and flawed personalities. For me, flaws are what make the characters in a play human. So it’s exciting to have a play where I can portray the ups and downs of both characters.
The Good Farmer is a newly written piece and I feel honoured to be part of the first team to tackle it, because the first go at a new piece is always very challenging, and at the same time it sets the precedent for future stagings. I’m also really thankful to TheatreWorks for giving me this opportunity so early on in my career.
Tell us something about the characters you’re playing? (Without giving away too much!)
I’ll try my best not to give away too much. I’ll speak more about Jacob since the story is mainly told from his perspective. There’s an ingrained bitterness and cynicism of Jacob that stems from both his rivalry with his identical twin brother, and the constant vying of his father’s love and approval. I feel that’s what sets off the play, and as Jacob recalls various memories, each recollection becomes a point of reflection for him. Does he like who he has become? What would he want to change? And we see how each memory he revisits eventually moulds his present and future.
Joseph is more of that slightly typical Singaporean guy taking that route that our society has conditioned us to believe is the best route in life living here. Good education, good job, stability, all that. And he’s reached a point in his life where he realises even the best route has its flaws (which I’m sure he has been aware of but has reached a breaking point), so he embarks on a personal journey to find out if there is another route to complement and make it better than what it is now.
Are there any challenges that you face while trying to portray your characters?
There are always challenges working on roles. I find that challenges make the process fun for me as opposed to a role I can portray right off the bat. When there’s friction, I find the process very rewarding. I get so into my characters that I think about them day in and day out. Especially with a play where the characters have a lot of history between each other, there’s a lot of thinking which sometimes makes me go a little too internal and detached from rehearsals at the beginning.
The Good Farmer is a more character-driven piece with blocks of dialogues that cycle through memory and reality, one challenge is always keeping things light and active in the portrayal to counterbalance the heavy subject matter of the play.
How many siblings do you have? What are they like? What was it like growing up with them?
As an only child, the idea of siblings used to fascinate me as a kid, because I always yearn to feel what it’s like to be able to share my toys with someone else. I did have somewhat of a brother because I was pretty close to my cousin growing up. But I don’t live with him you see, so it’s not exactly the same, and also over the years I’ve grown to appreciate being by myself. And I guess growing up, because both my parents have siblings, it’s interesting to notice the interactions between them. There’s drama, there’s love, there’s heartbreak; the things you go through with your siblings cannot be equated to the things you go through with any other family member.
Describe the play in a few words.
East of Eden-esque without the violent, gory bits.
The Good Farmer is touring the South East District from 8 March to 24 March 2018.
Reserve your tickets here today!