Likun Jing’s wonderful performance in her latest short film Neckline is rooted in the accumulation of her years of stage experience. Starting at an early age, Jing had many opportunities to attend TV shows as special guests and participated in school plays. During her undergraduate, Jing had acted in a number of great stage productions, through which she had successfully developed a routine to establish a connection between the character and herself.
As a gifted child in acting, Jing never hides her talent away from people. From elementary to high school, she was responsible for the overall planning of all school galas, including on-stage performance such as hosting and acting as well as behind-the-scenes activities like rehearsals and proofreading scripts. Jing herself also took part in the school play Cinderella and presented it on TV, making the very first step into her acting career.
In 2017, Jing had this amazing opportunity to play Mrs. Linde in Nora, which is the stage version of A Doll’s House by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. As a white woman living in the Victorian era, Mrs. Linde was such a challenging role for Jing. Although the character was set up as one that’s always thoughtful and compassionate, Jing found that her kindness was not always the redemption for other people.
“I ran to my professor’s office because I didn’t think this character was as kind as I thought she was. I felt like I was fooled, and I didn’t know what to do,” Jing said, “But my professor told me I was the only one that could rationalize this character and make it meaningful. If I as an actress were in denial about my role, then I wouldn’t be able to play it well on stage. And the audience would not feel the soul of the character, either and that would make it a failure.”
What the professor said had been mind-blowing to Jing and motivating her to think about the internal driving force that’s making a character alive. She came to realize that even the smallest nuances would be magnified when placing in front of the camera as well as on stage. And the most important step to interpret a role well is to believe and understand it from the heart.
From academic to commercial, Jing has found herself more confident through the practice of her acting skills. Not being able to get as much feedback as she did in school has, as a matter of fact, given Jing greater space and possibilities for the interpretation of a character. After ten years of being consistent and hardworking, Jing has finally established her way to the acting industry in the U.S.