Piper Huynh and Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday

6 October 2014

Piper Huynh is one of the 80 people interviewed by director Roslyn Oades for Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday, a show about people at the opposite ends of adulthood - 18 and 80 years old.

In Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday Roslyn continues her unique headphone verbatim technique. Using the recorded interviews, she created an audio script, which was then studied by the actors. They perform the script wearing headphones, speaking the lines as they are fed to them, imitating every breath and vocal nuance. In this way, the audience is taken into hidden worlds, private communities and intimate gatherings with strangers. 

Roslyn's recording of Piper's 18th birthday is used in the show. She also came on board as an assistant in the production process. 

Read more about Piper's involvement below. 

The transition into adulthood or, turning 18 years old, always intrigued me growing up. To me, it wasn’t a big deal. When it happened, I didn’t feel different or a change within myself. The only real difference was that I was finally a legal adult – which usually doesn’t stop us teenagers.

My name is Piper Huynh. I was born and bred in the Western suburbs. In my family, I was always the documenter. I’m sure this was stemmed from my mother’s need to take photos of all events, print them and stash them away into albums. As a young child, I was always behind the camera recording videos or capturing photographs. So, during my Year 12 studies, I decided to record video logs as a way of documenting the experiences my friends and I had during such a momentous and tough year. As a result, I accumulated many interesting observations, memories and self-evaluations during this cusp in our lives.

My first encounter with Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday was when Roslyn Oades was looking for 18th birthday celebrations to record speeches. I wasn’t going to plan a celebration but with encouragement from friends I finally did. Since then, Roslyn’s verbatim technique has always fascinated me. And, seeing I’m Your Man at Arts House just ignited my desire to explore it even more. Its authenticity and immediacy in the moment really allowed audiences to be there, listen and experience these individuals and communities.

This excitement led me to work with Roslyn – assisting where possible during interviews. The process has been such an eye-opener to the nuances that language has when spoken by many different people from different backgrounds and cultures. There is something so magical about Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday that always leaves me so warm. To see a diverse cast perform all these interviews from communities makes you remember how incredible people really are. Though, seeing yourself being played on stage is something different. You question whether or not it’s you. The performances are so true to the heart that it’s a tad unbelievable. These conversations captured in time; celebrating lives well lived.