Straits Times Life! – Collectives Effort (Jun 2, 2010)

Word of the Actor was featured in the Straits Times Life! section on 2 Jun 2010 (Wed). And as you can see, some of our Word actors were livening up Life!’s cover page. The one-page article was about film communities in Singapore. Other than Word, 2 other communities (13 Little Pictures & Singapore Malay Film Society) were featured.

” … Another group of film people, long thought to be lone wolves who prefer to compete rather than cooperate, have also recently learnt to work together to up their chances of finding work in a tough industry. They are actors.

The group, called Word Of The Actor, meet once a week at Sinema to practise their craft through scene work. Attendance varies from between four and eight participants and is open to experienced actors with credited work. Through these sessions, they hope to break the vicious circle where only those who get jobs get enough practice to improve, while those who do not, get rustier.

The twist to the workshop formula is the guest, who is a director. They come because they get a chance to practise their skills on willing actors. The actors not only benefit from working with a wide range of directors, but they also hope that the directors leave with a lasting memory of each of them, one that might help should they cast a film.

Their workshops seem to have paid off. At the recent 48 Hours Film Project competition, Team Word’s film, Cut, won the Best Directing, Best Acting awards and were runners-up for Best Film, behind SMFS Film Crew.

The founder of the group, Faye Kingslee, who is in her 20s, started it last year because ‘I needed a space to know I could always work’. In an e-mail interview with Life! from Los Angeles, where she is now based, the Australian, who has also lived in East Malaysia, said: ‘There was nothing in Singapore at the time that quenched my thirst for satisfying the artist within. So, I created my own outlet and encouraged those who were as ambitious as I to continue working, no matter what.’

The actress, who has found work in projects such as the fantasy series Legend Of The Seeker since moving to the United States, has started a similar group in Los Angeles.

Full-time actress Laura Kee, 26, is now the coordinator of the group. She credits Word with creating a network, one that has allowed them to produce work of Cut’s prize-winning quality for the 48 Hour Competition. ‘Acting is a muscle and you need to keep working it,’ she says, quoting an oft-heard industry phrase. She met Singapore-based director-producer Malcolm Young after he was invited to Word and, as a result of that meeting, he cast her in a corporate video he was shooting in Hong Kong.

Fellow Word enthusiast and actor Derrick Siu, 37, calls the group a ‘proactive, progressive group of dedicated actors making themselves more employable’ by working the craft and gaining exposure and experience from working with guest directors.

Director Kelvin Sng has participated in three Word sessions. At first, the 36-year-old, who runs his own production house, thought he was being invited to be an acting coach for newcomers, but the experience turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

‘I was touched by their fearlessness,’ he says.”

Plus, the 48-Hour Film Project “CUT” Team were also represented by Wai Kit & Simon on the Straits Times cover page.

Altogether a favorable article for Word, and proof that we are making a difference in the Singapore scene!

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