#HelloTFP: Fae Tan

by fingerplayers

#HelloTFP is a series of anecdotes where we introduce and share more about the members of the TFP family; from core team members to office interns. In this latest #HelloTFP feature, we speak with our Production Bridging Initiative Mentee, Fae Tan.

Photo Credit: Fae Tan

Since young I’ve always been exposed to the arts. My mum would always bring me for dance shows and for musicals, and I had training since young in dance. After ‘O’ levels I knew I wanted to do something related to the arts, and that’s how I went into Arts Business Management in Ngee Ann Poly, and from there I got into theatre. 

The school organizes an arts festival every year. In my first year, the year ones were put in charge of the festiva launch, and that’s how I got acquainted with production management. Since then, I’ve been interested in running shows from the backend. During my internship, I was actually a marketing intern, but the Stage Manager at the company(Klaire Tan from Singapore Dance Theatre) asked me what I was interested to learn, and I told her that I have an interest in production and stage management. 

Photo Credit: Fae Tan

My course in Ngee Ann Poly didn’t really cover stage and production management in an in-depth manner. After I started working in the industry, I wanted to go for a course where someone would teach me the steps of what stage management should be like. Once I saw that The Finger Players Production Bridging Initiative was available, I thought that it was a good opportunity for myself to do it to hone the skills that I have learnt from different people, and combine it together.

The Stage Manager is sort of the glue of the whole production. Everyone – actors, crew, designers, come to the Stage Manager for support and instructions. I’m still in the learning process of how to keep everyone together. Danfong, my mentor for PBI told me I needed to take note of how I handled the different departments during busy periods, but at the same time, give myself the time when I need to, to note down things for myself. Danfong is a great mentor. She is always open to sharing her experiences in any of the questions I have, and she’s always available to answer questions even if it is outside of the TFP shows. At the same time, she allows me to work independently, but when I need help and guidance she’s always there. 

Photo Credit: Fae Tan

There used to be a stage management degree in Singapore, but now there isn’t really a specific stage management diploma or degree that is available. When I initially wanted to study stage management the only programmes I could find was overseas, so PBI really provided the experience and guidance for anyone that wants to go more in-depth into stage management.