Where do you think Singaporean talent is most needed?

Weekend Today reported about Singapore’s talents on Aug 9. Befitting topic for a National Day edition but a rather old topic, I thought. Nevertheless I did skim through the pages and found this rather interesting poll done by Weekend Today.

177 were polled, and the results are as such. What intrigues me is that people still think that R&D needs the most Singaporean talent despite that A*Star was set up, multi-million dollar investments in the R&D industry and countless scholarships by the National Research Foundation. Stop letting money go to waste.

Nevermind that. We’re artists so I’m interested to know what they thought of the art industry. Art came in second! Singaporean artists are you listening? There’s a national call for more local talent in the arts industry – now that’s quite amusing.

Take a look around our industry, dear friends. I do believe that Singaporean talents are thriving in the arts and breathing life into the arts scene. Unlike the R&D and Sports sector where we see many foreign talents being ”shipped” over to help us, the arts scene has been built, planned and nurtured by local talents. That’s something we all should be proud of.

What we should be concerned with is why some Singaporeans do not see our force of local talent.

Here’s what Weekend Today said:

‘Comparing his experience directing local and international plays, he said he spends more time training local thespians during rehearsals compared to international actors who are already equipped with basic acting skills. “With international projects, I can get involved in the secondary level of creation because of a more skilled talent pool,” Mr Alvin Tan, The Necessary Stage’s Founder and Artistic Director said.’

If freelance actors want to get more famous and draw a certain salary, they have to take on many projects — including modelling jobs — and not just focus on projects with quality,” Mr Tan said.

Sadly that’s true. But don’t give up, dear local talents.

Or one day, we’ll be watching a play on Singapore – foreign talents acting as our coffeeshop uncles and ice-kachang aunties.

Shudders.

– By: Valerie Oliveiro

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