Sydney-based performer Khanh Trieu is a jack-of-all-trades. He’s an actor first, and model, musician and dancer second. A creative whose stylistic influences are as diverse as the mediums he uses to express his ideas, Trieu’s versatility as a performer will come to the fore at Slide Lounge’s upcoming Pan Asia. BRAG caught up with Trieu to get the low-down on his history in the industry and what to expect when he takes to the stage as part of Pan Asia.
Tell us about your beginnings in the entertainment industry as a violinist and actor. I was introduced to musical and dramatic performance during my time at Warwick West Primary School in Queensland. Being a part of the Suzuki Violin program and later the Warwick Community Youth Orchestra established a passion and interest in music. I learnt that musical performance, like any performance, depended on discipline and lots of practise. Later in life I swapped the violin for the guitar.
You’re a bona fide model/actor/musician/dancer slashee. Who inspires and influences your work stylistically? Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Donnie Yen are martial arts and choreography inspirations.Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Page and Slash are musical and guitar playing influences.Daniel Craig (the best James Bond!), Matthew McConaughey (he went to law school!), Johnny Depp (he started out in a band!) and Brad Pitt (he dressed up as a chicken for work!) are some of my favourite actors who inspire and influence me stylistically. I respect the creative and character choices they have made and how they carry themselves.
You’ve been involved in a number of different screen projects. Elaborate. I’ve worked with prominent Aussie actor David Field on Convenience, a film that was selected for the Busan International Film Festival 2012. I’ve appeared in web series The Newtown Girls starring Renee Lim from the TV show East West 101. Other prominent actors I’ve shared TV and film credits with include Rachael Taylor (Headland, Transformers), Daniel Henshall (Snowtown), Patrick Brammall (The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide To Knife Fighting), Matthew Moore (Burning Man), Sarah Murdoch (Australia’s Next Top Model), Justin Smith (Sleeping Beauty) and Nicholas Hope (Bad Boy Bubby).
You’re on the lineup for Slide Lounge’s upcoming Pan Asia. What can we expect? I’ll be performing with a friend and colleague of mine, Andy Minh Trieu, in two acts during the night. The first will be a surprise for guests so I won’t elaborate and the second will be an on stage weapons demonstration/performance.
After so many years of professional gigs the ideas for the performances came instinctively after checking out the venue, speaking with the show’s producers and getting a vibe of the place. I want to do things that haven’t really been done before and do things that have been done before in my own unique style.
What role has your ethnicity played in realising the performance you’ll be showcasing at Pan Asia? In my opinion, martial arts play an intrinsic part of Asian culture. I was exposed to Bruce Lee films when I was very young. Both he and the practice of martial arts left a permanent mark on my psyche, influencing how I view myself as a performer and also as a human being.There will be PG rated comedic, violent and heroic elements to my performances on the night!
BY LILY WHITE