WHEN you watch a film, play or concert, you see the actors, performers and singers.
Who you do not see, and perhaps who you are not aware of, are the people working hard behind the camera and offstage. They are neither seen nor heard but they are there.
These unsung heroes are known as the technical or production crew and Enfiniti Academy’s latest workshop, Technical 360°, provided an introduction to this side of the performing and entertainment world.
Held part-time over six days, the workshop was made up of 11 modules: make-up, costume design and wardrobe coordination, sound design and sound engineering, lighting design, direction of space, stage management, technical and mechanical design, set design, make-up design and artistry, sound design and composition, and directing.
Participants then got to apply what they learnt by serving as the production crew for the performance that took place on Enfiniti Academy’s open day.
“As a performer, it’s still very important to know and understand the behind-the-scenes aspects of performing,” says Enfiniti Academy course director Joanna Bessey.
Having an awareness of the technical side means that you can appreciate the safety concerns of a performance space and also use your understanding of it to enhance your own performance, explains Bessey, who took the directing module of the workshop.
Besides Bessey, the other seven trainers of the workshop are all award-winning local theatre practitioners, namely Haritha Shan, Cindy Hor, Mark Felix, Melissa Teoh, Loh Kok Man, Chor Guan Ng and Dominique Devorsine.
“Our trainers are all current and successful players in the industry who can share their valuable insights and knowledge.
“This is important as it gave our students a level of access to the industry and showed them that an alternative full-time profession in the arts is viable,” says Bessey.
Teoh, who was trained in the United States and whose notable resume includes designing the sets for Instant Cafe Theatre’s recent productions of Nadirah and Parah, conducted the stage management and set design modules.
“In stage management, we went through the entire process of organising and managing a show,” she says, describing a good stage manager as one who is patient, organised, knowledgeable, diplomatic and able to think on one’s feet.
Loh Wei Jun, a student at Enfiniti Academy who attended the workshop, says it was a good taste of the technical world for those who are deciding what technical area of the arts they want to pursue.
“It was also good for someone like me, who has been performing for some time and now wants to move into production,” he adds.
“A workshop like this is also always good for finding and nurturing new blood and talent, which the industry is always in need of,” adds Teoh.
Exposure to any part of the arts world, says Bessey, has far-reaching benefits.
“Students come out with transferable soft skills, including confidence, creative thinking, teamwork and collaboration, which they are not getting out of the school curriculum.”
Enfiniti Academy, founded by Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina and based in Kota Damansara, holds regular semester classes and special one-off workshops.
The next workshop, Voice-Acting for Animation, will take place at the end of the month. Find out more at facebook.com/enfinitiacademy.