young & W!LD: Jasmine Blundell
From studying in London to teaching and performing in Singapore, Jasmine Blundell has always followed her passion for theatre. She chats with us about young & W!LD and the role she’ll be playing in Crossings.
How were you first bitten by the theatre bug?
I was exposed to theatre from a young age. Since I play both the piano and violin, I was in the pit band for various school musicals and concerts. The first professional show I ever watched was Chang & Eng in Singapore in the early 2000s, and it was an experience that I found extremely moving and overwhelming. But I only became more serious about acting as a Theatre Studies and Drama student at Victoria Junior College. That’s when I decided to pursue it wholeheartedly.
You graduated from East 15 Acting School in the UK. How has that experience shaped you as a theatre-maker?
It was eye-opening! I learnt the most important thing – that acting in the theatre isn’t just about you. It’s about the audience, the other actors, the space, the props... We are one unit and we do our best to tell the story we were tasked to tell. It has taught me to have more respect for life, because theatre is all about life!
Since returning to Singapore, how have you been involved in theatre?
I got back in 2014, and have since had the privilege of appearing in a number of shows that have challenged me personally and creatively. Aside from acting, I also teach drama to students of all ages. One of my greatest desires is to share my passion and knowledge of theatre with the next generation of artists.
Why young & W!LD?
I caught A Midsummer’s Night Dream in 2015 and was amazed at the energy and gusto with which that cohort tackled Shakespeare. It was a great feat and I wanted to collaborate with young, like-minded people who shared a love for creating devised work!
Jasmine confronts family problems in When S#!T Hits The Fam
After working with your programme directors and fellow participants in young & W!LD for almost a year, you’ll be staging your first public performance in February – Crossings. Tell us about that process.
It’s been challenging! Mainly because we all have varying definitions of what family, love and death mean to us. Crossings examines all of that and more, through the prism of the choices we make in life. As you can imagine, distilling those big ideas into the two plays you’ll see in this double-bill has been tough! Over the past year, young & W!LD has taught me that I cannot keep pushing my own agenda when creating a show: it’s about the decisions that we all collectively make as an ensemble.
Speaking of Crossings, what else can you tell us about the show?
Bringing Crossings to the stage has been a long but interesting journey! I really hope the story we’ve put together resonates with audiences. The character I play is not that different from me: someone who is very driven to do what she thinks is right, but marches to the beat of her own drum in doing it.
As an actor and as a human being, what I’ve found sobering while working on Crossings is the realisation that, sometimes, this impulse to help and to do what’s right doesn’t go anywhere. Some people are beyond help. Sometimes, you can’t save the day. That’s been tough for me to reconcile with who I am as a person. But I’m relishing the challenge, and I’m learning a lot!
Other than Crossings, what are you working on next?
Beyond keeping up with my various teaching engagements, I’m also thinking about staging two really great short plays by the same playwright. I’m still working out the logistics to see if I can get the idea off the ground!
Catch Jasmine in action in Crossings, young & W!LD’s upcoming showcase, at Centre 42’s Black Box from 14 to 19 February 2017!
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