Korean Monster: Singiwonyo

A Korean Youtuber’s Video about Various Korean Monsters:

Jump to 18:22 To See Singiwonyo

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Singiwonyo 1 is a female ghost in Korean folklore and a rape victim. Her story is set in Pyeongando, one of the regions in Korean Peninsula, during the early period of Joseon Dynasty (16th century).

A diplomat, Joguangwon, happened to spend a night in a guest house on his way to China. Regional folks had warned him not to spend the night there because a vengeful ghost had killed all previous guests. He did not heed the warning, viewing it as superstitious.

At midnight, a freezing wind entered the room and several dismembered, pale body parts tumbled to the floor out of thin air. As if alive, these body parts crawled and reassembled together to form a beautiful young, naked woman. Her deathly pallor brightened to pearly white under the moonlight.

Unlike those before him, the guest composed himself, demanding to know why the creature killed the lodgers. The woman curtsied, explaining that she had not intended to harm them. They merely got scared to death before she could tell her story. Then Jo allowed her to tell her story.

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She was once a local courtesan who had resisted a local official2 ’s attempt to rape her. Angered, the criminal stripped, gagged, and pushed her under two heavy boulders and they crushed her to death. Weeping, the dead woman begged her only listener to seek justice for her and disappeared.
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Next morning, the diplomat found the rapist. He saw him beat him to death as punishment. He also retrieved the courtesan’s crushed, dismembered parts to give the victim a proper burial before leaving the region.

Though his diplomatic mission to China was long, Jo completed it safely, gaining a lofty reputation. Many people believed it was his reward for appeasing the ghost3.

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End Notes

1 Stretching, storytelling courtesan who is a sorrowful monster” 

2 In another version of this story, the rapist is a manservant.

3 This is a typical ending for a protagonist who helps a mournful ghost in Korean folklore and sometimes omitted.

 

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Working with Barriers in a Theatre

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The Door to the Stage: A Barrier

 

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With My Team of Actors with Disabilities

 

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With My Guest of Honor, Fiona York

 

As a person with disability, playing a role in the play The Ridiculous Darkness was daunting. My team encountered many issues as we worked on the play. My biggest setback was the theatre’s accessibility.

While it had an elevator, the only automated door was in front of the building. The theatre had many heavy wooden doors. Someone had to hold a door open for me every time I came in and out of the stage. A cast-mate hurt his foot while doing so and I wondered how many people would come to see the show and find the building inaccessible. The situation frustrated me. Automated doors should be mandatory for all buildings.

When my adapted yoga class came to see a performance, they had difficulty with accessing the space. My friends had seats on the top row, and they had to get there by the elevator or up the narrow and dark stairway. The group had to separate to find their seats and then regroup at the end. The traffic in the theatre made this even more challenging. After the show, one of the group pointed out that dimly lit walkways and only one elevator are potential fire hazards in a big theatre. An accessible walkway would have made it much easier.

I, on the other hand, had little time to think about the inaccessibility because of work.  The stage staff and other actors opened the doors and removed any obstacles on the stage. By the end of the first week, my frustration turned to grudging acceptance. Focusing on the goal of being a good actor instead of dwelling on what obstacles, I overcame physical barriers in a theatre with other people’s help, and my determination to make the project successful grew.

Living with disabilities is often about dealing with the stress that daily barriers cause you. My brief time as an actor taught me that relying on other people, who share the same goal, is a way to deal with that very real and unpleasant struggle.

 

Acknowledgement

Many Thanks to the Kyle Centre Creative Writing Group in Port Moody and Jordan Cripps of Connectra and Daniel Arnold of Alley Theatre for their help and support.

 

 

 

The Rehearsal with Treats

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With  My Group Scene Partner, Aria Law

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With Richmond Youth Honour Choir

Working creatively with children could be so rewarding. I understood this while collaborating with Richmond Youth Honour Choir in the play, Ridiculous Darkness. Having children as co-performers had imbued me and other cast members with their liveliness. I couldn’t give up when those much younger gave off so much passionate energy.

Out of all the rehearsals  in 2017, I remember the one on Wednesday, November 1st most vividly with joy. It was the day after the Halloween and the whole company  enjoyed numerous lollipops, the leftovers from the the day before.  It may seem trivial, but getting treats boosted everyone’s morale while we rehearsed the group scenes. My partner, Aria Law got me a lemon lollipop and I licked it to oblivion during the break!

It is always good to feel like a child again.

 

 

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity: Playing a Farmer

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With the Only Animal Member of the Cast

 

 

Farmers

With My Team Members, “The Farmers” of Ridiculous Darkness

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Thank you for calling me. I would be happy to be an audience member.”

  “Wait a minute, no! We want you on the stage! As an actor!”

   “What!”

Sometimes an opportunity comes when you least expect it. That’s what happened to me in the summer of 2017. To participate in a theatre production was not part of my plan and I thank Daniel Arnold, the Producer of Ridiculous Darkness, for not giving on me.

It’s ironic that I thought he wanted me as an audience member, not an actor, when we met for the first time at Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver’s Abilities Expo. After the phone call, I realized this could be a priceless, once in a lifetime opportunity for me!

Of course, I got paid for participating, but the money was only a part of it. The total sum of what I have gotten by playing the role of a farmer, along with other people with disabilities, is incalculable. I must write about the whole experience and share it with other people.

Being on stage to play a role in Ridiculous Darkness was an adventure because I had to step way out of my comfort zone and devote myself to the task. It was my first time.  Memorizing my lines took a lot of practice. Even more difficult was summoning the courage to speak them out loud in front of other people. I did it with my team during the rehearsals, and while facing the audience during the performances.

After that I felt proud and that pride was well-earned.

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Movie Preview: “The Mimic” (Korean 장산범/ Jangsanbeom)

This links well to my own post on the creature!

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“The Mimic” is a Korean Horror movie directed by Heo Jeong also known for the movie “Hide and Seek”. Will it be scary? I hope so!

Story

A family left the city life behind and moved into their new home in the countryside. The place is idyllic; surrounded by trees and nature. One day, Hoe Yeon (Yeom Jeong Ah) finds a little girl (Sin Rin Ah) in the woods. She does not seem to have a family, so she and her husband take her in. Her husband (Park Hyeog Gweon) is fascinated by the fact that she has the exact same voice as their daughter  Ju Hyeon (Bang Yu Seol). But soon people around Hoe Yeon start to go missing…

This is the international trailer:

Thoughts

The story of the movie is inspired by the legend of the Jangsan tiger, a mythical human – eating being which lures humans to…

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