#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.
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.
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.
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.