《enya FASHION QUEEN》封面人物拍攝當天，明道身穿白色襯衫搭配牛仔褲，漫步在正午暖陽撒落的攝影棚裡，那個你我隔著螢幕看到的王子，來到生活裡，從沒改變的英倫氣息多了一股為人父的溫柔，除了沾染著他喜獲麟兒的雀躍之情，講起明道你心裡閃過哪些畫面，《冒險王》真性情的陽光大男孩，唱歌時深情款款的型男，演戲時多半氣場強烈的總裁，出道 20 年光陰已屆不惑之年，如今人生翻開新的扉頁，每一次勇往直前的冒險，其實是對於細節的深思熟慮，我們用談話一句句擦去對「明道」二字既定的想像。
On the shooting day for the cover of enya FASHION QUEEN, Ming Dao, wearing a white shirt and jeans, walks around the photo studio where the sunlight falls warmly at noontime. The prince we once saw on TV comes in reality. His British temperament has never changed, but now he shows more tenderness as a new father. It’s obvious to experience his joy. While mentioning Ming Dao, we all have a certain impression of him in mind: the sunny boy on the TV show, The King of Adventure, the singer who sings passionately, and the powerful president in most TV series. After 20 years of the entertainment career, he is now in his 40s and has turned over a new page in life. Every time there’s a thorough consideration before taking each adventure. Through the interview, we erase the established image of “Ming Dao” but re-know him in depth.
演藝生涯一晃眼 20 年，明道穿梭於影視歌不同領域，在他身上活過的角色不計其數，今次扮演霸道總裁單均昊，下次又是命運離奇的更生人阿傑，還要穿起唐裝飾演明崇儼，近年更成立工作室走至幕後當起戲劇、節目製片，明道全力以赴的身影倒映在外界眼底，一如他手上蕭邦Alpine Eagle腕錶，在拋光打磨下散發出柔和緞光，不分明暗恆久幻化光芒。
不少人也許和我一樣著迷於《王子變青蛙》裡的霸道總裁單均昊，當時 20 多歲的明道演員生涯初出茅廬，劇中「失憶」課題，對他來說更多是字面底下的無助和可怕，「只能拿更多本人的經驗和大量的練習。」訪談中他即興演出失憶，仔細觀察我的真實反應，幾乎藉此「尋找更多的可能，讓角色不再重複，演起來也不會疲乏。」15 年戲齡積累了超過 40 種人生故事，明道看劇本幾乎過目不忘，但想淋漓盡致發揮角色核心特質，在於爬梳字裡行間「落這些敘述的人他心裡想看到什麼。」靠著悉心琢磨心中最有挑戰性或模糊的特質，點滴刻劃出角色輪廓。
回首 22 歲第一份演藝工作《冒險王》，更多了一分責任。沒有浪漫的明星夢，明道當時就讀於彰化師範大學，教職是相對穩定的謀生工具，掙扎之餘一個念頭閃過「神要我用另一種方式當老師。」就此展開兩年多的冒險生涯。「大家去窮困的地方習慣以可憐和辛苦的角度拍攝，可是我從來沒在節目裡說過任何地方或情況可憐。」本著初衷踏遍南北半球，最終更走上金鐘紅毯成為「文教資訊節目主持人獎」最年輕得主，回顧演藝生涯時，明道這才恍然喊到「喔！那是唯一我覺得不是工作的工作，百分之百相信我就是那個人。」
人生賽道邁入 40 歲，明道才懂得在他眼裡的「普通」行事，是外人看來燃燒身心的拼勁，直至去年以前「我一直有意無意的掩飾自己正在做辛苦的事情。」是新生命的降臨，融化了男孩堅韌的外殼。近日，明道宣告「男孩+」的新身分，微博照片裡可見一雙紅潤的腳丫正安放於厚實的手裡，模糊的遠方是嬰兒熟睡的側臉。在孩子的眼底，明道似乎照見自我習於堅強的外表，最大的改變在於，面對困難，現在的他已能誠實拿下面具表達自己需要力量，奮力向前後仍不忘回首關照旁人的心境變化，便是這份溫柔，讓男孩升級成了「男孩+」。
Figure Out the Outlines of Each Role
Being in the entertainment circle for 20 years, Ming Dao has been involved in various fields including movie, TV show/series, and singing. He has acted in countless roles, such as the domineering president, Shan Jun-hao, the hapless reborn out of prison, A-Chieh, and Ming Chung-Yan in Tang suit. In recent years, he has set up a studio and moved behind the scenes as a producer of plays and TV shows. In the eyes of others, the way Ming Dao goes all out is just like the soft rays of light shone from the Chopard Alpine Eagle watch worn on his wrist. The radiance comes from several steps of polishing, and exists eternally no matter in the light or dark.
Many of you may share my fascination with the domineering president, Shan Jun-Hao, in The Prince Who Turns Into a Frog. Ming Dao was in his early 20s and his career as an actor just began. To interpret “amnesia” at that time, for him, was more helpless and scary instead of the literal meaning. “Learning from my own experiences and practicing more and more are the only ways,” he said. During the interview, he improvised “amnesia” and “found more possibilities” while observing my reaction. Therefore, the “acting of each time is not repeated and he won’t get bored in the performance”. Ming Dao has experienced more than 40 kinds of life stories in his 15 years of acting career. He has photographic memory on the scripts, but to make full use of the core characteristics of roles, he “needs to read the expectations” behind those written words. By figuring out carefully the most challenging or ambiguous characters in mind, he is able to sketch out the outlines of each role.
Enthusiasm Comes After Rock Bottom
Words can express the surface of things, but are hard to describe the depth. For him, an entertainment career including acting, is just a job. He tried to hypothesize that “if someone said he was so passionate, but in fact he might practice less than two days a month.” On the contrary, Ming Dao regards it as “a job but trains everyday”. When working on a daily basis, he found his interest and enthusiasm in the details of exploration each time.
Looking back at his first mission when he was 22, as the host of The King of Adventure, he had more responsibilities. Having no romantic dreams of becoming a star, Ming Dao, a student at National Changhua University of Education, might have a relatively stable teaching career in the near future. He struggled and thought, “God wants me to be a teacher in a different way.” This led him to this decision and set off on a more than two-year adventure. “People are used to filming poor places from a pitiful and laborious perspective, but I never mention poor places or conditions on the show.” With the initial intent, the adventure crossed the northern and southern hemispheres and finally brought him to stand on the red carpet of the 39th Golden Bell Awards. Ming Dao became the youngest winner of the Cultural and Educational Program Award. When looking back on his career, he suddenly realized, “Oh, that was the only job I didn’t regard as a job. That was 100% myself on TV, not acting as someone else.”
The roles in front of the screen are changeable, but as a producer behind the scenes is even challenging. After the set up of his studio, it is almost impossible to state the overwhelming problems in one breath, for instance, the story construction in the early stage, the source of funds, the coordination of filming schedule among actors/actresses, the negotiation with TV stations etc. The long journey is more than words. However, the studio’s first production The Queen of S.O.P has successfully created a buzz. Ming Dao thanks his colleagues all the way. “We’re united as a team. I can’t do everything, but I’m probably the one who brings people together for problem solving” he said. Enthusiasm is not innate. It’s the treasure that you will gain after many difficulties.
The Realization of the Muay Thai Championship
Every show up as a public figure carries with it a mission. Recently, he has been deeply impressed by the fact that the name “Ming Dao” can be interpreted in hundreds of ways in different people and things. It is a feeling, a flash of thought in everyone’s memory. “In fact, when people have such ideas, the definition of Ming Dao doesn’t belong to me, but everyone,” he said in a calm voice. “God wants me to manage the name. That’s my job. I do not own the name. There’s no one in the world who owns what you think is yours.” Such a philosophy runs through his work and life.
Recently, Ming Dao began to practice Muay Thai. He watched a championship the night before showing up to the photo studio. He had expected the champion to finish the match quickly, but not the fact that the seesaw battle prolonged twice. It was a hard and struggling match. “How come? Isn’t he a hero? Shouldn’t this fight be over easily?” Ming Dao couldn’t help thinking. We all naturally think that the number of setbacks in life can reduce with age growth. However, Ming Dao felt undecided when receiving the new scripts these days. He questioned himself not working hard enough, but also the age, an insurmountable barrier in the entertainment circle. The situation is much like that of the champion who won by a narrow margin. “The higher level you achieve over time, the stronger the opponents you meet. You’ll probably win a little bit at the end,” he said. Every span and stage of life may be routinized, but the difficulties and challenges are able to strengthen the ability.
The Tenderness of A Grown Up Boy
A couple days before this interview, Ming Dao met the producer of The Prince Who Turns Into a Frog, whom he hadn’t met for more than a decade. They mentioned the setting of the role, Shan Jun-Hao. Except the different backgrounds and careers, the characteristics of Shan Jun-Hao and Ming Dao are alike. Since childhood, he understood that “no one will unconditionally help others. There’s only so much he can do for others. Everyone should solve their own problems.” Toward the end of the interview, I thought of Ming Dao as an all-out adventurer, but he clarified that he didn’t always advance bravely. “I took every step cautiously, even if others regarded it dangerous,” he explained. Stepping into new challenges means shouldering more risks. In every situation that seems like walking on eggshells, he has already gone through deeper thinking.
While stepping in his 40s, Ming Dao just realized that his “ordinary” routines are all-out adventures in the eyes of others. He had “covered up naturally or half unconsciously his hard-working image” until last year. The arrival of new life melted Ming Dao’s tough appearance. He announced the new identity of “Boy +” recently. A photo posted in Weibo illustrated a pair of little ruddy feet securely placed in a pair of thick hands, while the baby’s sleeping face was in the dim distance. In the eyes of the baby, Ming Dao seems to see himself with a tough outlook. The biggest change he made is the attitude while facing up to the difficulties. Nowadays, he takes off the tough mask and honestly expresses his need for others’ support. Moreover, he takes care of others and their mood changes when moving forward. This tenderness makes the boy upgrade to “Boy +.”