Q&A with Wendy Toh

3 November 2019 | Journal

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Wendy Toh is a Singapore-based performer whose numerous acting credits span both screen and theatre. She has acted in award-winning films and regional television dramas such as HBO Asia's Serangoon Road. She is a core member of Tapestry Playback Theatre, and has trained and worked with Jinen Butoh School under Atsushi Takenouchi.

Wendy also practises a wide range of fine art, creating abstract canvasses and thought-provoking mixed media installations. After graduation, she hopes to deepen her Butoh practice and further explore physical theatre.

Wendy is a recipient of the ITI Scholarship and the Tan Chay Bing Education Fund Scholarship, and a beneficiary of the Möbius Fund.


What were you doing before coming to ITI?

I was doing a bit of everything. Acting, Butoh, taking care of animals and trying to get out of depression.


Think back to your first day here: what were some of your thoughts that day?

My first impression of the school was that it was like a cult and I was very happy about it.


What is it like to train here at ITI?

It’s like you are constantly shedding skin. Renewing. Rediscovering. Rebirth. Repair - metaphorically and literally speaking. Ammeltz Yoko Yoko is my best friend.


Any particularly memorable experiences you’ve had at ITI?

There are too many to name, both inside and outside of the studio. But some of the most beautiful memories are found in everyday life here. I remember in our second year, we had a cooking committee. We would take turns to cook lunch for the whole cohort, and bicker about how much salt to put in the vegetables. We would often bring our cultures into the food we cooked, ending up with fusion dishes. This sharing nature is what intercultural means to me.


How has what you’ve learnt here changed you as an actor?

ITI has given me so much, not just as an actor, but it has also made me want to be a better version of myself for me and for my loved ones. There's a famous Japanese proverb, "nana korobi ya oki", which means “fall down seven times and get up eight times”. I think this is something that stuck with me throughout these three years. I’m able to laugh at myself so much more.


What would you say to a new student or someone thinking of joining ITI?

Be like water. I mean, sometimes you think you are open, but are you really? Be ready for your ideals to be challenged.


Any words of thanks you'd like to say?

To all the entire ITI family, masters, teachers, directors, our school Uncle, ITI Angels, my husband, family, friends and my dog - thank you for your love, wisdom, sacrifices, kindness and patience. These have been the best three years of my life and I will always carry them with me.



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Photos by Bernie Ng