MICHAEL LIN from King George V School is only 14 years old but he's already an experienced actor. He started performing at the age of six and, in January this year, he joined the Faust International Theatre in the role of Peter Pan. The show was such a success that more performances are going to be staged in Singapore in October. Michael credits his mother, who is a dance teacher, for introducing him to such a fun hobby. 'I just think of it as my way of entertaining myself, like other boys play electronic games,' he says. 'You won't find it harsh or stressful if you really enjoy it.' He does, however, admit that when he first started acting he did feel nervous and this affected his performances. But he says that the way to overcome nerves and improve your acting skills is just to get as much experience as possible. This is why he applies for as many different castings as he can and regards every role he gets as an opportunity to improve his acting ability and confidence. Michael says that his hobby has also helped him make many good friends because acting teaches you how to co-operate with other people and build up team spirit. His advice to all aspiring actors is simply to try it for yourself - getting up on the stage is the only way to find out if acting is for you. Josephine Liang K-pui, 13, from St Paul's Convent School is also involved in the theatre but the roles she plays are very different to those that Michael plays in shows like Peter Pan. She's involved in Cantonese opera, but this is much less popular among her peers than theatre adapted from western culture. Josephine says she saw a Cantonese opera about five years ago and it made such an impression on her that she asked her mother if she could take lessons. She first joined a local children's theatre group, Cha Duk Chang, and later joined in some professional adult performances too. 'I am fascinated by the shining costumes and colourful make-up,' she says. 'The players are all very beautiful and I think their way of singing is really great.' She has participated in several public performances and twice travelled to the US to promote Cantonese opera. She was also one of the winners of the first Youth Artist Awards organised by the Hong Kong Playground Association and Radio Television Hong Kong earlier this year. However, her talents were not initially appreciated by her schoolmates. Some teased her about the high-pitched songs and extravagantly colourful make-up, but she didn't let that deter her. Luckily, her school has recently set up a Cantonese opera society which should allow more students to understand and take part in this traditional art. 'I really enjoy singing in Cantonese opera and other people's comments will not make me give up. I want to be faithful to my heart,' she says.