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By Emily Martin

Kakada plays a shy and nervous student in Phare’s show ‘Chills’. He’s 23 years old and has moved to Siem Reap recently after living and studying at Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang.

Meet the Stars: Ung Kakada

Tell me about your role in Chills…
I am very happy to perform in this show because I think we work well together and all have different characters. I am different from the others because I play the scared student. The other people are strong and they can confront the ghost but for me – I am scared.

Why does performing make you happy?
Because we can share what we have with the people. When we share something to another person it makes me happy, it’s important. Sharing is important because we cannot keep it alone – if we show our hard work and our talent we can make people happy and so we are also happy.

What is your biggest challenge?
It’s not easy, circus. All the tricks are hard. We have to do it again and again… it depends on the talent. Some people they have natural talent and can catch up easily. For me I started the circus school when I was 15 and so I’m a little bit older so it’s harder for me to learn the tricks.

When did you join the circus school?
Before I come to Phare I lived in another district in Battambang. But far away from the town. At that time we lived together as a family; my parents, brother and two sisters. We were very happy to live together. After my parents bought new land they had to move to another province further away, so me and my siblings had to move to Battambang city to continue our education. We moved in with my aunt.

I didn’t join Phare straight away but I was at a public school and went to music school. My friends that I studied with were all circus artists and so every night when they performed I would go and watch then. When I saw it, it touched my heart and that’s why wanted to do it as well. It makes me happy to do with them and to train and then after I can perform with them.

Why is the education so important?
Education is very important because my parents used to study and they know how valuable it is. They want their children to graduate and have a good job for the future.

How do you spend your time?
I live in Siem Reap now and perform with the circus when Chills is on. I also am studying English and work sometimes when not at the circus to help support myself. I have to manage my time well because need to do circus school, and study and work sometimes.

Tell me about you family…
My parents are farmers and they have rice fields. They also sell something to earn money every day. Meat, Bobor (rice porridge) – my mother drives a motorbike and sells it around the villages every morning.

What did you want to be when you were young?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. I didn’t know about the circus. I mean I saw it on the TV but I didn’t actually know what it was … I saw people doing the circus but I didn’t know what to call it. It was attractive but I didn’t know what it was or that I could study it so I couldn’t imagine to be like that.

And what do you want now for the future?
I’m not sure but I just want to have a beautiful life. I want to have a good job so I can earn money so I can travel to see something that I’ve never seen, that is what I want.

Sometimes when we stay in just only one place we know nothing, we know only what’s in that place but when we go to another places we realise that there are many things around us and it can change our minds. Something new will come into my mind and I feel that that’s beautiful so I want to know more.

I want to go everywhere.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
I would like to be a bird. I think the bird is more special than the other animals. They can fly and walk. They can fly as far as they want and they can see something that other animals cannot see. They can go into the air and see the view up there.


Kakada’s brother, Ratanak also performs in the show ‘Chills’ – Read his story

You can see both of these talented artists performing in Chills 16 – 22 November and later 1-6 December. Schedule & Rates

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