Tell us about your background
I was born and raised in Singapore, a tiny island city with big dreams. From a young age, it was always emphasised how our only resource was our people. I’m not sure if it was a cultural thing, but the idea of service and community – specifically how I can contribute to a community and be of service to others – was something that was important to me as I grew up. When it was time to select a specialisation for higher education, I eventually decided that the best way I could do that was through making and telling stories.
What was it like training at the RCS?
What I really loved about training at the RCS was how much emphasis was placed on personal and artistic exploration, making your own work, interdisciplinary creation and drawing upon an international network. When I tell people I studied at the ‘Royal Conservatoire’, the sound of it makes the place sound elitist but we were anything but! In my experience, the overall culture was incredibly down to earth, and it was wonderful to learn and create in the presence of other artists who had so much love for what they did, so much joy, so much curiosity, and so much banter.
Did you enjoy studying in Glasgow?
Of course! So much! When I accepted a place at the RCS, I knew nothing about Scotland – I hadn’t seen Brave or Braveheart or Trainspotting yet. I had no inkling of what the city looked like, what its landmarks or festivals were. But I said yes to the unconditional offer, and I’m glad I did. Singapore may be the home I was born into, but Glasgow is the home I chose. I believe some of the best years of my life happened during my time in Glasgow.
Were you involved in any clubs or societies at RCS?
I was Vice President of the Students’ Union for a while, and part of the Equality & Diversity forum. During my time in the Students’ Union, I also managed to start a Southeast Asian network for any student who identified as coming from the region, and it was a light-hearted but significant way of recognising our presence within the RCS.
Describe RCS in three words
Like nowhere else.
Tell us about the Paved with Gold crowdfunding programme
It’s called The Crowdfunding Lab for selected participants to understand the process, perks and challenges in galvanising a community to raise funds for any project we’re working on.
It’s delivered by Kaye Symington and Richard Ling from Paved with Gold, who bring extensive experience in building online communities and marketing creative ideas. Through this programme, we’ve had group workshops and one-to-one support in crafting our own crowdfunding campaign to make unique ideas a reality!
I used this opportunity to crowdfund for a mini audio drama series. Interestingly, I first started working on audio projects as part of the Equality & Diversity forum at RCS. I felt that our community was diverse and wanted to spotlight that diversity.
This time, the series I’m developing is called Jade: The Quarterlife Crisis, which addresses cultural hang-ups and how our twenties is a process of unlearning. Expectations placed upon us, because of our gender or culture or whatever, affect the way we live our lives. What do we do with that information? How do we claim our space on this earth and remain authentic to ourselves when we carry so much pressure placed upon us by external factors beyond our control?
What are your highlights or favourite memories of your time at RCS?
I had a lot, but I also think the quiet times – discovering new plays in the library, the wintery walks from Renfrew Street to Wallace Studios, the sound of brass or a flute echoing through the corridors in the evenings really made my time at RCS so lovely and magical.
How did studying at RCS prepare you for the professional world?
I learned to be brave, to not be afraid to try, to run headfirst into failure and find my way back on my feet regardless. I learned that I was enough, and how much power people have when we come together. I think it’s easy to forget all this when the professional world can be so different from a safe learning environment, but some lessons remain in the body, even if the mind doesn’t always remember.