Dollars and sense

Dollars and sense

Retired... and she acts for love

Actress Eleanor Song, 67

She loves the theatre. Since retiring in 2005, the former stockbroker has turned to acting to fulfil her life-long love for the stage.

She says: "It's a dream come true, being able to do something I've always secretly wanted to do, but never had a chance.

"For me, theatre is life, life acted out on stage. It's a visual picture bringing awareness to life's complexities."

Madam Song acted in last year's play October, and this year's Family Duet. Next year, she will appear in the play Take Me Or Leave Me!, as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.

She lives in a private two-room apartment. She has three children with their own families, who look after her.

She doesn't consider acting as "working".

She says: "After retirement, I travelled, baked and took courses in flower arrangement.

"But those theatre workshops were the most meaningful.

"I get so much joy from entertaining people."

But she says whether or not to work after retirement really depends on the individual.

"If one is in good health and wants to work for some income or out of boredom, why not?

"But if retirees have children who want to pamper them and let them enjoy their twilight years in comfort, why not?"

In her case, working gives her a bit of "pocket money", she acknowledges, declining to reveal how much she earns.

"My family is looking after me, so I don't depend on it.

"But the money is useful for my daily expenses, like transport, meals and clothes."

Her days are now spent attending rehearsals, memorising lines, and following the instructions of her directors.

It's a lot of work, no?

She replies with a smile: "You are as old as you think you are.

"And I can always not act my age."

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