Backstories are the Beginning


'Tis the first week of 2018 and what struck me this week was the power of backstories.

What are backstories? For actors a backstory is the way they create their characters. An actor builds their character's backstories to find the intention and the humanity of the person they're embodying. Backstories create characters from simple lines to a three dimensional and realistic person the audience can relate to. Backstories help actors understand their characters.

It applies to real life as well. To know and understand a person's, or even a country's, backstory is to better understand their intentions and motivations. 

The two backstories that hit home for me were an animated movie called "The Battle of Surabaya" and a graphic novel titled "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye".

The movie revealed the internal and spiritual struggles my countrymen and women faced during Indonesia's continued battle for independence. The novel exposed a more holistic view of Singapore's history - including the government's hand at play that I only caught a tiny glimpse during my youth there. Both helped explain the two countries I lived in and, in part, the personalities of those countries.

The backstory is the beginning. 

As writer and illustrator Traci Lea LaRussa said: "Judge tenderly, if you must. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you are not having to fight." 

Titania Veda