A random Q&A with Fahmi Fadzil

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A fixture in the arts scene, the Purdue University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering discovered his passion for performing while studying the American Degree Programme. The Five Arts Centre member’s political baptism by fire came about from his observations during the Reformasi years, which he dutifully noted down and derived inspiration from for his class performances. This explains his politically conscious works and heavy involvement in community projects. In addition to his rich CV of performances -- which include Kecoh (2000), Lebih Kecoh (2001), Stadium (2002), Atomic Jaya (2003), A Man for All Seasons (2004),Second Link: Riding the Nice Bus (2006) and Dua, Tiga Dalang Berlari (2007) -- Fahmi's accolades include the Mandarin Oriental Fan of the Arts Most Promising Artist Award at the 5th Annual BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in 2006. He was also shortlisted in the theatre section for the 2008/9 cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. Currently juggling a variety of projects – the Fairly Current Show, writing for various publications, managing multi-disciplinary design studio Bright Lights at Midnight in between a host of other artistic endeavours – he nevertheless takes the time to tell The Edge Malaysia a little more about himself, mechanical fantasies, debts to his parents and all. W. What is your greatest fear? That I'd wake up and start to believe that my best days are behind me. 2.   What do you owe your parents? The vision of a Malaysia that is plural, respectful, committed. My father grew up in rural Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, but worked hard to get to where he is today. He was in the same organisation (Felda) for a good 30 years of his life, and is a stickler for being punctual and fulfilling one's promises. My mother went to school in Assunta, where the nuns used to hold mass and teach subjects in English. See, she turned out fine! Oh, I owe them some money too. 3.  What song are you embarrassed to admit you know the words to? [Laughs] I can't think of any. I love all the songs I know the words to, and am not embarrassed about it at all. .    What is your worst habit? I take on too many projects at the same time. Right now, for example, I'm balancing my work in the arts with running my design studio plus writing and other creative side projects. Too much on my plate, all the time! I just don't know how to say "Tak Nak." 5.   What was your nickname in high school?[Laughs] "Head boy", because I kind of was the school head boy. 6.   What do you wish you had enough courage to do? Run for parliament. Have you seen the kind of (expletive) these politicians get? From disgruntled constituents who think you're some kind of saviour to some of the entrenched, seemingly broken systems that make up parts of our government, it's a hard-knock life being a politician. But my maternal grandparents were politicians, so maybe I could be one too. Then again, it was a different Malay(si)a they lived in. 7.   What would you want to be your legacy? The art works (performances) that I create: on stage, on camera, on Malaysia. 8.   Describe yourself in 3 adjectives Hungry (dah start puasa -ah!), sober (in thinking about where this country is headed), angry (with how some political parties just want to win by any means necessary). 9.   If there was one thing you could change about your life, what would it be? I'd try to be a neater, more comprehensively systematic human being. A robot! 10. Three things I cannot live without: My friends and family (they're not things, though), my handphone, the ability to laugh at myself. I was going to put Internet, but we all know how crappy it is here that I wish I could live without it! 11. Something I must do before turning the next decade (20, 30, 40 years old, etc) Try and figure out what I really want to do, and focus on it!