Playing Mama Bear and Baby Bear respectively in Sight Lines Productions’ Everything but the Brain, Amanda Tee and Cassandra Spykerman share with us about being part of the play. Despite being fresh faces in the theatre scene, we’re sure these girls will be able to build solid careers in the industry. Remember their names, people.
POPSPOKEN: You have played sisters in the Untold Stories of The Sisters Island. This time, it’s a mother-daughter combination. How has it been like working with each other again?
Amanda: It was such great fun (though lots of hard work!) during Sisters and Cass is so fun to be around! I play one of the Three Bears, the character of Mama Bear. But these are just titles that Jean has attached to the bears to make them a family unit in order to better tell the story. Essentially, we play a multitude of characters (friends, narrators, Elaine’s subconscious) and we’re never apart, which is wonderful because both Cass and the other Bear Faizal have such great energy and we bounce off from one another. We work off each other’s impulses and we play on stage everyday! :)
Cassandra: To be honest, there is not much difference working with each other again. It’s just sort of a switch in roles. This time, Amanda is taking care of me rather than I am taking care of her. And she is more of the wise one. She is playing my mother after all.
POPSPOKEN: What did you do to prepare for yours roles?
Amanda: I basically just kept going through the script. During rehearsals, our characters develop in the process. And because the Bears play so many different characters, it has to be clear to us the objectives for each scene. Also because we see the Bears as “universal” beings, in fact almost magical in a way, we also work on being more free with the Bears.
Cassandra: Whilst reading the script, I tried reading my lines in different variations to suit the character. Also, I love children. During drama lessons in which I assist, I observe the different characteristics in the different age groups.
POPSPOKEN: What was your favourite part of the play?
Amanda: It’s so hard to pinpoint a favorite part in the play. I think that this personally is Jean’s best play and it’s quite flawless. Although, there is a monologue by Elaine that I have a particular resonance to, despite many other heart wrenching scenes towards the end. In the monologue, Elaine describes her father’s sacrifice in order to care for her when she was younger and how his brain was something magnificent to behold during his time. I think the monologue might not have been designed and written with the most illustrious and demonstrative of words but it shows and tells us just enough for us to imagine how it was like. And that to me is very powerful.
Cassandra: My favourite part has to the scenes in Act 2 and 3 – which is some sort the end section of the play, as it focuses on the relationship between Elaine and her father. It has a huge spot in my heart as I can relate to it very well.
POPSPOKEN: How was it like working with Gerald Chew?
Amanda: Geralldddd! I screech his name like a little girl and pretend to be whiney every time I see him. This is my second time working with him – first time was Pinocchio the musical with Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Stage Two. I have nothing but good things to say about Gerald. If I could, I’d want to work with him on every production. He has great instincts as an actor, he’s so humorous and he makes me laugh everyday! He’s really a teenager at heart, that’s why we love him.
Cassandra: Gerald is amazing! He is such a role model when it comes to work. He’s very open to suggestions and also gives very productive advice. He’s also very funny.
POPSPOKEN: If you could travel back in time to meet any famous person, who would it be? And why?
Amanda: I would love to meet John Lennon, preferably over a cup of good coffee. This man spawned a whole movement, brought and effected change on negative social standings and issues through his music, his way of life. He was not just an artist. He was an activist, a poet, a lover among many other things.
Cassandra: I would most definitely like to meet Ghandi and have a cup of coffee with him. Mainly because he is such a peaceful man and it would be nice to just look at life and enjoy it for just a short moment, and to forget about time just once.
POPSPOKEN: So what’s next for you?
Amanda: Workwise, I just finished filming a Toggle telemovie with Wee li Lin called Hong Baos & Kisses. I play a supporting role called Sam and it was great, acting alongside one of the Ah Boys to Men boys and other veterans. It should be slated to show somewhere before Chinese New Year so look out for it!
Cassandra: I’ll be returning to the stage in November for Grimm’s Fairytales and that sums up my 2013. I definitely want to keep doing theatre and eventually make it to television as well. Other than that, I plan to go for trainings to strengthen my technicalities as an actress. I always want to improve. For my personal life, I would very much like to spend more time with my family, especially my mother as she is my anchor and she deserves a short trip.
Catch the girls in Everything but the Brain by getting tickets from Sistic! Better yet, participate in our GIVEAWAY! Just go to this link (http://tinyurl.com/ljl33ol) and follow the instructions for a chance to win one of 3 pairs of tickets to the show.
Image Credit: Sight Lines Productions