Introducing: Helen Pahou

Okay world, get to know the incredibly talented (incredibly sweet), Helen Pahou. Helen blew us away in the audition process and she has not disappointed us yet. She is an amazing actress who is willing to push herself to the extreme, she is a powerful singer  (her voice will give you tingles), and she has a passionate, compassionate soul that hungers for justice and truth! Her voice has most certainly grown throughout this process and we can’t wait to share with you her specific story about two Japanese sisters during WWII.

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Read all about Helen below and don’t forget: one week until we open at the Havana Theatre in Vancouver!

GREEN ROOM QUESTIONS

Tell us about your theatre background.
My experiences with theatre started out when I was a dancer. I started training in ballet at the age of three and took part in monthly productions and dance competitions. Every time you danced on stage, you became a different character. When I turned nine, I transferred to a fine arts school. Not only did I continue in dance programs, but I started to push and immerse myself in music and drama. I also started taking actual acting workshops and vocal lessons with professionals in the industry, down in Vancouver.  This is where I started to expand my knowledge of theatre. I took part in three productions per year. And surprisingly, I landed huge roles, and I thought I would never be able to score lead roles because I thought I was only capable of dancing. But it turned out that I was actually pretty good at it. I played Juliet in “Romeo & Juliet”, Ms.Hannigan in “Annie”, and my personal favourite, Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”. Those are just some of the many productions I took part in. Today, I no longer dance due to money and health reasons. But I continue to perform locally and create my own pieces in my theatre group, at school, and in the Green Room Theatre Camp.

What has been your favorite part about Green Room Theatre Camp and the devised piece you’re creating, so far?
My favourite thing about Green Room Theatre Camp is the fact that you’re working with people who enjoy and honour theatre. They are serious about their craft and they work countless hours at it. It’s great because we’re working really well together. And most importantly, we all share the same minds. We all share this one goal, and that is to put on the greatest production that anyone has ever seen 🙂 A production where we want to leave our audience thinking as they go off to their homes and fall asleep in their beds. Another great thing about this camp is that we get to explore our creative minds and write our own material. That’s awesome, because I haven’t been too confident with my writing, so this just pushes me to improve myself and do great work for my team. I like that our devised piece is about growing up, because we’re just nine teenagers weaving our way through life, feeling as if life were trial and error for us. We express our insecurities, our dreams, our fears, our fight to find a place in this world that fits for us. Nothing fake. No sob stories, no attention seekers, no childish drama. It’s the reality that people sometimes put a foot down on teens and say, “You’re making a big deal out of this!”. No, that’s not how it is. It’s all real.

What excites you most about performing at the Vancouver Fringe Festival?
What excites me most about performing at the Vancouver Fringe Festival? That’s simple. Performing at the Vancouver Fringe Festival!

What do you hope audiences take away from the devised piece you’re creating?
I hope that the audience can see that we are more than just kids performing on a stage. That we are kids performing on a stage but with stories to convey a message. That we also have ups and downs, not just adults. That we are also worth it, not something to dismiss.

PERSONAL QUESTIONS

When you’re not doing theatre, what do you spend your time on? 
When I’m not doing theatre, I’m either studying, playing music, reading or writing or just having fun in the sun. Sometimes, rummaging through the frozen yogurt bin. Don’t tell my mom.

What do you hope to do after high school?
After highschool, I plan to go into law. Whether it’s investigating and defending a criminal case or even becoming a world leader, I just want to bring good and justice to others. I’m also aiming to become a professor in the field I master in. But, I still want to tie in my knowledge of theatre and music somehow. It’s been my first love and I want to continue in it. I now have dreams of becoming a writer and producing my own work on stage or on the big screen. The directors at Green Room Theatre Camp, especially Becky, have inspired and encouraged me to work at it. So, you might think that my dreams and career goals are a bit scattered. But you’ll see me do something big someday. You can vote for me as your future Prime Minister or watch me win an Oscar for “Best Production”.

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
If I were an animal I would be a tiger. Why? I may be calm and collected, but when I have to pounce, I’m going to pounce.

 Who is your hero?
My hero is Wonder Woman. Not the actual comic book lady with a golden lasso or whatever she has. Wonder Woman, as in my mom. I could say a lot about her. But I’m going to keep it short. Imagine a small 5’3” woman who works three jobs a week, every single day from 8am-11pm, just to put food in her family’s mouths. If that’s not a Wonder Woman to you, then I don’t know what is.

What is your favorite movie?
I’m a film junkie, so I really have no favourite. It’s all pretty equal. But I really did enjoy Al Pacino in “The Godfather”. And Jodi Foster in “Silence of the Lambs”. Those were great!

If you could go on a road trip with anyone, dead or alive, who would you go with and where would you travel to?
If I could go on a road trip with anyone, it’d be with my band. We’d go to Comic Con because who doesn’t want to go to Comic Con?

If you had to grow up in a different era, which would you choose?
If I had to grow up in a different era, it either be the 1920’s where jazz music became a thing and prosperity started booming. The 1940’s World War II era, because I’m very interested in how the war affected people. Or the 1960’s because they had really cool cars, and they also had the Beatles.

What excites you, and what terrifies you, about growing up?
What excites me about growing up is that you have your own freedom to explore what fits with you and what doesn’t. What scares me is that I’ll just fail at life at live in a basement with a mediocre job,  grow a paunch that’s too big to get rid of to and prevents me from being able to fit back into a pair of size two skinny jeans.

If you had to pick an alias name, what would it be?
If I had an alias name, it’d be “Tigress”.

What is something people may not know about you?
Something that people don’t know about me is that I like to drive motorcycles. Back home in Indonesia, I just hop onto one of my cousin’s motorcycles and just drive throughout the whole day. It’s refreshing. Especially when you’re in a tropical country and riding throughout the rural farmlands and the hilly roads. The farmlands aren’t farmlands, but tropical rainforest’s. It’s breathtaking.