I’d Like To Know: Rodney Oliveiro

A drama teacher by day, Rodney Oliveiro flies on stage every night to play an inveterate Casanova in Boeing Boeing. What’s the way to his heart? Don’t cut queue and steal his cab!!

Do you have a ritual as a performer?

Stressing about the performance was a ritual. In recent years, I’ve learned to let that go and “clear my mind”. In essence, try and trick the mind into “forgetting” that you’re going to have to step onto stage and perform this character in front of hundreds in T-minus one minute. I learned that from Lim Yu Beng!

What keeps you up at night?

Tinkering with my PC. Doesn’t help with the eye bags or 10am rehearsal call times!

You’re throwing a dinner party for five guests – dead or alive, real or fictional. Whom would you invite?

Jerry Seinfeld, Seth Rogen, H.G Wells, Ann Kok and my mum!

What’s one of your pet peeves?

People who cut into queues and steal cabs. I know those are two pet peeves but it’s the same revulsion, see? The words and revenge fantasy dramas that play in my head when I see those things happen are… unprintable.

If you were entertaining a visitor from overseas, what’s the one place in Singapore you’d take them to?

If they could only visit just one place… I guess it would be my home. I seldom have guests, so it would mean I really treasured them. I’m as Singaporean as can be, no need to shuttle them to a place that has been designated as a representation of Singapore. I’ll represent my country myself!

What’s one thing you’ve done in the past year that you’ve never done before?

I recently got a chance to both direct a play and act in one in the same month with young & W!LD’s The Bald Soprano and Boeing Boeing! Achievement unlocked!

Tell us about the theatrical experience that changed your life.

The one time I got to work with the late, great Krishen Jit for a production of Prelude to a Kiss around 2004 was both pivotal and formative. As a director, he was your saviour and collaborator, as well as your tormenter. The lessons I took from that have been unfolding and revealing themselves for years, as I gained experience and, well, hindsight.

If you could import something that you can’t get in Singapore, what would it be?

Mmmmm…. That’s a tough one. I want to say an Airsoft rifle because (a) It’s banned here! (b) I’ve always wanted one! (C’mon, Singapore customs! It’s a TOY!)

But a very close second would be, perhaps, the Japanese people’s social graces and public-mindedness, given that Singapore can sometimes be a cosmopolitan centre of very un-urbane rudeness and entitlement.

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