Artist of The Month- December- Renae Rufus


Our December Artist of the Month is Renae Rufus, starring in the upcoming production of Lady Death. As you read her interview make sure to purchase tickets for her show!



1.Name, Birthplace, age: 
Renae Rufus, born in Adelaide, Australia, 21 years old.


2. How does where you were raised affect your work?
Being raised in Hong Kong, one of the most diverse cities in the world, I've had the privilege of growing up with many connections to foreign cultures and people. I've learned how to work well with people who were raised very differently from myself. It's made me a much more understanding person and certainly affected the way I work for the better!
I was also raised in the church. Yes, I'm a total PK (Pastor's Kid), so I guess that affects the nature of some of the work I choose to pursue or not. But I know that I would've quit performing a long time ago, had it not been for the love and support from my church's fellowship. 


3. Where did you train?
I'm still in the process of training and am not what I would call a professional yet. I did ballet throughout my teenage years (as a hobby) and joined the HKAPA EXCEL Musical Theatre programme in 2017. At HKAPA, I took my first singing and acting classes and continued to develop my dance technique. I loved it all, even though I'm not a strong singer. Yet I'm absolutely overjoyed to be moving to Sydney in January to pursue professionalism and train at ED5 International! I'll get intense and versatile practice in all areas of performing arts. What a dream come true! 


4. What is your favourite style of theatre? Why?
Ballet is important to me because it was my first love, and from there I branched out into musical theatre. I absolutely love a good musical! They're so much more than tap dancing, glitter and gay old songs! It's simply storytelling and performing arts at its finest. I mean, larger than life acting, choreographed dance sequences and soulful music all stemmed from one special script. Not to mention all the creative costume, sound, lighting and production design bringing it to life too! You'll always find a way to relate to the story or characters in a musical, no matter who you are.

5. What was the best show you EVER saw?
I'm blessed to have seen a great number of performances! A highlight would be when I finally got to see "The Book of Mormon" in Adelaide back in July. I'd waited months to see it and it was even more special seeing it with my dad and laughing until our bodies hurt. It's one of my most favourite part musicals.



6. What was the best show in HK you EVER saw?
I have seen many memorable shows from all around the world here in Hong Kong; from the Bolshoi Ballet, to Broadway singers, to Cirque du soleil. I have also seen lots of amazing local productions too. I've been really impressed by the Hong Kong Ballet over the past few years. I absolutely adored Septime Webre's "Peter Pan" when they performed it in August, I watched it twice!


7. What piece of work are you the proudest?
When I was studying Musical Theatre, I taught myself the entire "Music and the Mirror" scene from A Chorus Line. Cassie is such an iconic character, and I fell in love with Michael Bennett's choreography. My teachers saw how much I loved the piece and gave me the opportunity to perform it in our graduation show. I didn't do the full song (my voice couldn't handle it), but I performed all the dialogue (I still remember all the lines) and I danced my heart out to that epic dance. I still get chills whenever I hear the music.

At the moment I'm really proud of Kris P. Productions upcoming play "Lady Death". It's very different from anything else I've done. I'm excited, but it's going to reveal another side of me- people who know me personally better be prepared!


8. What is your process like?
When I have a performance coming up, I'm constantly thinking about what it'll be like on stage. I go through blocking, choreography, lines, or emotions from my point of view, even imagine how my body will feel. But to be very honest, throughout rehearsals, I'm usually an utter mess at first! With patience and lots of positive self-talk, I slowly clean myself up during the process. I strengthen my muscle memory as much as possible so that by show day I can relax my brain enough to cope with the nerves; then hopefully use the rushing adrenaline to my advantage. 


9. What is your dream project?
I just want to be a princess. As long as I can be Cinderella one day, I'll be happy.  I would love to be cast in a fairly traditional musical such as Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, Hairspray, or A Chorus Line (if I can improve my singing enough!). That's something I'll be going for after graduating from ED5, well, the goal now anyways. But I would also love to step into the world of cinema. It's daunting, for sure. I have such an appreciation for movies, I'd love to be a part of a good one someday. 


10. What do you think about the arts and theatre scene in Hong Kong?
I love it. I love that it's expanding, but I also love that it's a small community. Once you have a few connections, you suddenly discover you have a few mutual connections too! I have many friends in the dance and theatre community here, and I find myself watching tons of local productions. It's awesome because I get to support my friends up on stage. 


Catch Renae in action in her upcoming production, Lady Death