HCAC Spotlight: Darrell Chan

Darrell Chan is stepping out into the acting world of Singapore and HCAC got the chance to interview her for this month’s HCAC Spotlight!

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Darrell Chan in Act of Disappearance.

1. Tell us more about yourself. 

My name is Darrell Chan and I am a full time actor (Yay! Gulp!) and corporate role player. Currently, I’ve finished acting in a short film, Act of Disappearance, and I’m at the last stage of doing voice over for a very talented, independent director. This one is a refreshing and eye-opening project for me.

I’m also busy with a theatre production called, Dear Jay where I’m part of the ensemble. I’m really excited as this marks my first official foray in theatre.

2. Why did you want to join HCAC?

I had some experience in acting but zero training. To improve, I knew I needed help. So after some sleuthing on the internet and asking around, I thought the Lee Strasberg Introduction workshop would be a good start for me to ground myself.

I also attended the Child workshop conducted by David Glass after a conversation with a friend, who is also an actor and singing coach. He was encouraging me to develop a sense of play in my approach to acting and coincidentally, the workshop was happening then. So I just signed up!

The Commedia Dell’arte workshop came highly recommended by 2 friends who attended it. They were literally raving about it.

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Darrell Chan in the IKEA Metod Commercial (2016).

3. Tell us more about your experience or what you learnt during your workshop?

The Lee Strasberg workshop was very good for me. It provided an approach that I can adopt and adapt for my work. The key takeaway for me is relaxation. Simple as it may sound, it’s really crucial and totally underrated. Also, Kamil Haque (HCAC’s founder) is a great trainer in not just delivering the course materials well but also in providing astute feedback that helps the actor. His feedback was insightful and helped me improve. Oh, by the way, honest feedback is painful but like exercise, it’s good for you.

The Child workshop was a lot of movement exploration from the eyes of a child and connecting with your child-like instincts. I was lucky that the participants at the workshop was spontaneous and we had a ball!

Commedia Dell’arte was just loads of fun as we learnt to work with the different masks and use physical movement to achieve comedic moments. It’s a very practical workshop and lives up to its raves.

4. How much did you change from when you first joined the course to when it ended. 

That sounds like a return on investment (ROI) question. Hahah! I think I’ve become a more relaxed actor now compared to before the course. I tried too hard previously and on hindsight, I must be really painful to watch! I’m still working on being as relaxed as possible so I can react instinctively in my role.

I’m also learning to have fun with the roles that I play. This creates possibilities in the portrayal.

So, in conclusion, the ROI is high, well worth the investment.

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Darrell Chan in the film, Act of Disappearance.

5. Do you feel like what you learnt from these workshops are applicable or helpful to your life beyond? 

Definitely! Take for example, being relaxed. Just being relaxed helps me to be present so that I’m more aware of my feelings in different situations in life and to not over-react. Likewise, being aware of these feelings enriches my sense memory which I can use for acting. Life and acting work hand-in-hand.

There are 2 things I really like about HCAC, on top of having good courses. Firstly, they provide good support for actors who want to pursue acting seriously. One of things they do is to organize meet ups with student directors and actors to create acting opportunities and foster a positive and good working relationship between the two.

Secondly, HCAC has created a safe and honest environment for actors to learn and grow. I’ve made good friends here and both Kamil and his staff have been so fabulous in the support and guidance given.

7. Would you like to share anything else e.g. other stories, your work, website, instagram?

My professional website is still work in progress. Does anyone want to barter trade with me? I act for your project and you do my website for me? #shamelessbarter #iamanactor #iamnotawebdesigner

I do not live under a rock so I can be found on these social media on Instagram (darrell.chan) and Facebook. 

All the best in your endeavours, Darrell!

For last month’s HCAC Spotlight, we met with actor, Kris Mavericko. Check it out!