HCAC Spotlight: Yann Léost

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Tell us more about yourself & your background. 

I have been working for over 20 years as a Health- safety-Environment professional on major Engineering & construction projects. This has taken me to travel around the world.  I would typically change location and consequently life every two –three years. I have thus lived and worked  in France, Lebanon, Chad, Algeria, Morocco before  landing in Singapore in September 2014

In my free time, I enjoy running (I am proud to have completed three marathons) and  reading which I can do basically whichever place I am living in.

I also love theater, both watching plays and acting. Unfortunately my job has not always enabled me to do it consistently, but since 2014, first in Paris, then  In Singapore, I have been catching  up by taking classes and workshops.

I have also had the opportunity to perform in three plays with the Theater Factory in the last two years and I have  experienced acting on camera by participating to some students, corporate films and a documentary by ChannelNews Asia.

What were the class or classes you took part in when you joined HCAC?

I started in September 2014,  with a 8 weeks class on Acting on camera with Justin Lee. I had originally registered for a scene study workshop but it got cancelled, and I was proposed to take  that class instead.

Then I continued on the next semester with The Lee Strasberg Introduction by Kamil Haque. Since then, I have been  taking classes every period :  Lee Strasberg intermediate, Lee Strasberg’s long form improvisation and  Scene Study with Kamil Haque ;  The Authentic voice and the physical theater master classes with David Glass ; Physical Story with  Benjy Reid ;  Comedia Del’arte with Michele Guaraldo and Paola Raho, devised theater with Giovanni Ortega (Words Of My Body) and Scott Wings (Nightlight)

I have also explored other disciplines such as Creative Writing class with Claudette Sutherland , directing with  Toby Papazoglou and Poetry with Shivram Gopinath.

Why did you want to join this class/these classes?

Originally, the classes I had started to take with  a theater company were put on hold while the facilitator was preparing a play,  and I was simply looking for an acting class to take in the meantime.

Tell us more about your experience and what you learnt during your workshop?

I am still working on many things but taking those classes at HCAC made me be aware of different aspects.

First , I have  understood that the actor has the right and the responsibility to make choices, preferably strong choices.  I used to rely on the director to tell may how to play

Secondly I have  realized the importance  of physicalizing: where I am, what I feel, etc. I used to play in a quite cerebral way, focusing on the words , the intonation, but very little on the body.

Third, I understood the importance of Specify: specificity of gestures, intonation, location, relationship.

I  have also noticed that I control better my stress before and during performance, even if it remains present.. More generally I feel I have gained some confidence. I feel those classes really help me  to develop my acting . They have opened my mind and my body to other techniques than what I was not used to working  on.

How much would you say you’ve changed since joining HCAC?

Well, in the last two years, I feel  I have been daring more than I used to : I dare calling myself an actor, not just a student in acting . I now  have a “actor CV “ and I go to  auditions. I also dared  writing  some texts, including poetry and presenting them to  audiences during open mics, Metaphors Be With You, Story Slam

With regards to the evolution of my acting, I have been trying to extend  the range of skills, notably by participating to workshops on  physical theater workshops  and I feel this is beneficial to me.

How do you blend other aspects of your life (e.g. career, hobbies) with HCAC?

I don’t really. I tend to separate my different lives : work , personal life, and theater.

What is it like interacting with the people of HCAC (e.g. classmates, instructors, staff)?

Pretty easy, People are very open and warm.

What does HCAC give to you that you can’t really find anywhere else or would be harder to find elsewhere?

As an acting schools, It first provide flexibility for people like me  who have a day job.

I also appreciate the diversity of disciplines and techniques we have access to  :  physical theater, devised theater, improvisation, and even activities beyond acting such as writing or poetry. I was love the sense of community here.