I’m Jongmin, actor and CEO of Wheel, a theater company of persons with disabilities. The video shows myself soliloquizing. The image of myself watching the video makes me think about the intention of the monologue again. The piece is my self-portrait… I look like someone begging for money. So I decided to tell you more about the piece.
During the Hello project, we were all supposed to make self-portaits. I thought about how to make one and decided to think of those whom I wanted to describe and emulate. But it was not easy to do so. Actually, there were many people who came to mind, like Solomon, David, Samson and Moses… But each one of them didn’t seem to be perfect. Of course, I admire them and want to emulate them. But each person had just one strength. I was absorbed in my thoughts like that. Then I wanted to make each person perfect by leaving out their weaknesses. A self-portrait should describe someone who is perfect, shouldn’t it? So how about making one person out of these four? This is how I came up with the monologue. As my life’s self-portrait, I wanted to emulate all these four people’s strengths so I expressed this in the monologue.
Hi, I’m Jongmin Ho
I’m leading Wheel, an arts and culture organization for persons with disabilities.
I has been 15 years since I became an actor.
I love my job so much!
That is because on stage, I’m not a disabled person but an actor.
On stage, my heart is pounding.
It’s like, “Ah, I’m really alive…”
But amid the pandemic, I’m losing ground as a creator, actor and disabled person.
So I’m very afraid.
As time goes by, I find myself wondering how to survive.
That is why I invited four mentors I have always admired.
Sorry? Why I invited them? Guess why!
Right. To listen to their advice! Ah, he has just arrived, over there.
Hi, thank you so much for coming despite your busy schedule.
During the pandemic, it is hard to run a theatre company.
I heard that other theatre companies for persons with disabilities were also having difficulties.
Then I thought of you, Moses, who had traveled in the desert with tens of thousands of people.
What is the secret behind leading so many people for such a long time?
Please tell me. I’m so curious.
If you need to lead many people, please be with them first.
And make sincere effort to listen to them, to relate to them and to solve problems with them.
It is true that God chose me as a leader.
But who would follow me, a man with nothing?
So at first, it was not an easy journey.
But people understood that I was making sincere effort to relate to them and to solve problems with them.
And they finally accepted me as there leader.
Ultimately, leadership isn’t something you make yourself.
It is something you earn from people around you.
That would be my secret.
To listen and relate to others and to make sincere effort… I’ll try.
But things don’t always work even if I make effort.
Sometimes, I feel like having hit a dead end.
At those moments, I desperately need wisdom of life.
But I don’t know how to be a wise person.
King Solomon, you were born with cleverness and wisdom.
So you may not understand how I feel.
Hey, who would be born with wisdom?
I’ll tell you my story, just once. So listen carefully.
Throughout my life, I have tried hard to repent, pray and learn.
All this was to get wisdom.
So wisdom is the result of my intense fight against laziness, pride and all kinds of temptations that lurk deep inside of me.
Do you know how tough it is to be a king?
My wisdom or myself is the result of such an intense fight.
I misunderstood you. Please calm down.
You tried hard to get wisdom.
So I need to try much more than that.
But there is another problem. I suddenly feel afraid.
Sometimes, I just think I could do nothing.
Whenever I feel that way, people tell me, “Cheer up. Take courage.”
But I sometimes hate hearing those messages.
I don’t have courage so how could I be courageous?
Jongmin, people say that I’m brave.
But I actually have lots of fear.
Before coming here, I even took a pill to calm down.
For me, speaking to many people is more difficult than slinging a stone.
But how could I fight the giant Goliath even if I often feel afraid?
Because I couldn’t avoid it and I didn’t avoid it.
I knew my fear so much. I didn’t avoid it. I faced it!
Courage is something you get when you face your fear, just like you are facing us right now.
So do you mean that I already have courage?
I don’t know if I have one but what you say comforts me.
Ah… I’m greedy like many people.
Because listening to what David says, I wish I had great physical power like Samson.
That power would make me an invincible, perfect person I have dreamed of.
Invincible? Like me? If you have eyes, look at me clearly.
I once had everything but right now, I have nothing.
I had too much pride and I submitted to all my temptations.
And I lost hair, the source of my power, along with both eyes.
My power ended up ruining me.
Becoming the most humble and powerless man, I feel God for the first time.
God’s power flows everywhere in my blood vessels.
I lost my arms, legs and even eyes and I’m left unattended.
But I’m more powerful than I was in the past.
Listening to four of you, one thing gets clear.
That is, you can’t get anything without an intense fight.
I was so happy to meet them today.
When it comes to making effort, I’m confident that I could do it really well.
(He seems to have thought of something.)
I should get going.
I can’t wait to see what chellenges are out there.
Next time, I’ll tell you about the challenges.
You can look forward to hearing about my fight.