Meeting Kamil Haque

by Chan Siew Min, Victoria Junior College

From the tender age of 7, Kamil Haque had already decided that he wanted to act, and at the same time, teach actors.

“And pretty much, everything that I’ve done for the rest of my life until today, was to create this space that I have, for actors.” ‘This space’ is none other than the Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (HCAC), the first professional acting studio in Singapore.

When asked what motivated him to set up his own acting studio, he said “I was in a really fortunate position to have a lot of extra-curriculum activities at a very young age, not just in school but outside of school (as well). It was in these classes that I was given the permission to fail and express myself and find my voice.”

Challenges faced in his journey as an actor and director? “Well, let’s face facts. Singapore doesn’t really nature artists. And even if they do, it’s by a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Tick Box. The reality is that it’s not really part of our culture or part of our DNA, so there’s a lot of struggling artists, or people who are ashamed to be artists.” To Kamil Haque, one of the most challenging problem is to find out how to persuade people that Arts has a purpose, and is necessary in our society. “First and foremost, before you even begin to plant seeds of knowledge, let’s begin to figure out who we are and how we express ourselves, let’s figure out what stories we have to tell.”

What does Kamil Haque enjoy most about his career? “If all that I do just changes the way they think about things, even just a little bit, that moves me.” Planting an idea and a thought in someone and finally enabling him to appreciate the Arts, is really the driving force for Kamil. “What acting has given me that no other artistic platform has given me, is that I’m in charge of creating something from scratch. I get the ability to create something something that does not even exist, and actually does not even exist, because it’s just a two-dimensional piece of paper.”

The ability to build a world based on nothing but his own imagination, having the chance to get his stories and ideas to come to life is the reason why Kamil chose acting over other forms of writing. The ability to share stories, and to see how it affects people drives Kamil’s love for acting.

“There is a sense of validation, in the sense that I created life and you actually bought it, but we both know that it does not exist. And that, is a really really crazy thing.”