HCAC Spotlight: Zachary Ibrahim

Tell us more about yourself & your background.

I’m Zachary Ibrahim, a 26 year old actor. I’ve been telling friends and family that I’m an actor for a living (please hire me, please) for about four years now. This has profound effects on my relationships with all of them, but enough about that, they know I love them very much. In my free time this week, I played FIFA (division 2, online seasons), Unchartered 4: A Thieves End (almost done), and played football twice. I went to karaoke with a couple of friends in memory of Chester Bennington. If you threw in a delicious meal in it somewhere I’d call it a perfect week.

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

I first joined HCAC as a cast member of The Inside Job in 2014, and all the cast members got a free eight week course in long – form improv. It was run by Kamil. A man of such questionable character when you first meet the handsome hairy bastard, but he has since grown to become a friend and a one-man-intervention-level-advice-dispensary unit.

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

It was free so I’ll skip this question heh.

Well… then tell us more about your experience!

Kamil hired about a dozen young actors with varying amounts of experience and/or training. Amongst many things he taught us to value specific bits of background information: Where was your character before this scene? To enter a scene like you were already there before you even arrived is a lovely place to start playing from.

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

I remember thinking to myself, “I wish i could see the ten minutes experienced by every person I’ve met today just before we said hi”. Whereas before, I was more interested in the big picture, the old story.

Do you feel like what you learnt from these workshops are applicable or helpful to your life beyond? Tell us about it.

Well, Kamil likes to say acting problems are life problems. If you’re struggling to cry in a scene it’s probably because you’re struggling to cry in real life. What are your emotional struggles? Would you explore them in a room full of strangers?

What is it like interacting with the people of HCAC?

It’s hard to answer this question because of the sheer variety of people that walk through the doors. You meet professional actors, people dipping their toes in the craft, wanderers looking to see if acting is their calling. And you get to meet all these people in very vulnerable states. It is interesting to see how an 18 year-old JC student would react to one of your choices compared to a 45 year-old lawyer.

What does HCAC give to you that you can’t really find anywhere else?

I’ve lived in Singapore all my life and grew up with a very objective-based education system. To learn something with no tangible end point is very liberating. For a couple of hours a week, you’re in a room with a trainer who knows exactly what’s going on, surrounded by people who don’t, learning things you probably couldn’t fully explain to someone who wasn’t there experiencing exactly what you did. The actual physical spaces in HCAC are great for working on stuff in your down time (if time and management permits lah hor).

What do you like about being part of HCAC?

Well, once you take any class with HCAC you’re always gonna be part of the alumni. I’ve worked on so many projects with other HCAC alumnus over the years. These projects have ranged from pay-me-nothing-i-just-need-to-practice, to hey-man-found-a-200-dollar-gig-for-us, to, hey-lets-get-a-drink-and-talk-overly-ambitious-work-that’ll-probably-never-happen. What’s not to love? There are potlucks at the end of every semester where you meet new faces next to your familiar ones.

Would you like to share anything else?

I’ve got a bit-part role in the Channel 8 drama, When Duty Calls starting on 31 Jul, then my first movie Wonderboy hits cinemas on 3 Aug. Immediately following that I start on the upcoming Suria series, Syurga Ibu. I’m a part of the upcoming staging of the Teenage Textbook Musical, and will be in a play, Crave, to round up my year. This year has been wonderful for my career. I’ve got a musical, a play, Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria, and a movie. All I need to complete the set is to appear on Vasantham (hi producers, yineh da pakereh?).

Till today, HCAC is the only place I’ve received any kind of training for my craft. So, it’s a very nice feeling to share my recent spike in work with the rest of you at HCAC. Please follow my instagram (@zach.ib), so I can start charging people more money for my services (that’s how things work these days.) Oh and please hire me!