Kyongsu is a versatile performer-practitioner whose work includes theatre for young audiences, musicals, opera, dance and film. She has worked with local companies such as Cake Theatrical Productions, The Finger Players and New Opera Singapore. International collaborations include The Revolutionary Model Play 2.0 (Théatre du Rêve Expérimental / Singapore International Festival of the Arts 2015) directed by Wang Chong from Beijing, China. Being multiracial and trilingual, Kyongsu has always been drawn to complexities, specifically in theatre.
Kyongsu is a recipient of the Tan Chay Bing Education Fund Scholarship and a beneficiary of the Möbius Fund.
What were you doing before coming to ITI?
Before ITI, I was teaching full time, and freelancing on the side.
Tell us how you came to know of ITI. What made you choose to come here?
I heard about ITI when I was studying at LASALLE College of the Arts. I was intrigued by the training, but didn’t dare to abandon my Bachelors course. After graduation, I started working, but was unhappy with myself. I didn’t feel like I was where I envisioned myself to be. I sought greatness. So I decided to jump back into the fire, and enrol.
Do you remember how you felt on your first day here?
On my first day, I was tense. Not everyone supported my decision to go back to training, at another school in Singapore, so soon. But I felt more at home when we sat down in that circle for the first time. I could sense that everyone had such heart and passion for theatre, and most importantly, a story to tell. It was like a burst of colours. And I remember thinking to myself, “I still have much to learn.”
What is it like to train here at ITI?
You can never get too comfortable, because you will always get pulled in different directions. I think that’s the beauty of an intercultural and interdisciplinary training. It will always be new and challenging. And thanks to modules like Post Modular Lab, you will also get your moments of defining who you are as an artist by developing your own work. And discover how to apply what you’ve learnt in your own way. It’s a great balance, if you ask me.
There were days when training felt like being caught in a tornado, body and mind. But walk into the tornado enough times, face the difficulty enough times, and you become more grounded and centered with yourself, and the image changes. More like water. It took time, but things finally started to settle, and a certain stillness and understanding came to me, as I began to sense a flow and strength in my being that will always be mine.
What’s something you’ve learnt from working with your international group of classmates?
I learned how to listen and sense another being who is completely different from me. I learned how to give and receive love.
How has what you’ve learnt here shaped or changed you as an actor?
I think the most important thing I learned is that difference isn’t just an inconvenience, but an exciting opportunity for deeper understanding, creativity and change. I was a giving actor before, but I hated uncertainty and tried to control everything. Now, I try to embrace chaos, and sometimes even invite it into the process. Let the process and the people around me take me to places I’ve never been, see things I never saw. ITI taught me that.
What would you say to a new student or someone thinking of joining ITI?
Oftentimes, we are more closed than we think we are. Being open and embracing challenges needs time, patience and care. Not just discipline. Fight through the bad days with friends, because there are more bad days than good. You won’t always be the best at what you do, and you can’t always do it alone. Do it with the community, and strive to be the best version of yourself with heart, flaws and some stubbornness.
The most important thing I learned is that difference isn’t just an inconvenience, but an exciting opportunity for deeper understanding, creativity and change. I was a giving actor before, but I hated uncertainty and tried to control everything. Now, I try to embrace chaos, and sometimes even invite it into the process... ITI taught me that.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
Thank you to all my Teachers. For your wisdom, love, and patience. Not just in class.
Thank you ITI, for your spirit, dedication and love for the arts.
Thank you Tan Chay Bing Education Fund for supporting my training.
Thank you 2020 cohort, you know why.
Thank you Yazid Jalil, you know why also.
Photos by Bernie Ng