HELLO THERE! My name is Amber Lin, a.k.a. Hoo Xun Lin (胡洵琳), and welcome to my fundraising page.
I am a 27 year old actor, director, spoken word artiste, tarot reader, and drama / performance poetry coach from Singapore. Last year, I was accepted and enrolled into the B.A. (Hons) Acting Programme in Drama Centre London at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London (see more about the school below). I have since begun my second year of training.
Before coming to the UK, I graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts with a Diploma in Performance in 2014, and accumulated acting credits on both screen (Mediacorp, Pretty Much Films, MSF) and stage (Bound Theatre, UNSAID, SRT The Young Company) - see my showreel here. My experience includes a wide range of other disciplines, including puppeteering (Puppets and Mascots), stunt work (Mediacorp), directing (Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Stage 52), stage management (Ravindran Drama Group, Bellepoque) and video editing (Sing Lit Station).
I am also heavily involved in Singapore's literary scene. My poems have been published in local anthologies (including Asingbol by Squircle Line Press and various SingPoWriMo anthologies by Math Paper Press), as well as performed (Destination:INK, Word Forward, The Straits Slam) and/or recorded for my YouTube Channel. One of my greatest achievements was when I performed a self-written one woman show "Force of Choice" in 2017, which was re-staged by popular demand in 2018 at the Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (HCAC), as well as in the 2018 SOLO Festival @ Lasalle.
Since LASALLE, I've found the joy I feel in performing does not just arise from the act itself, but also from its impact. People relate to the characters I portray on stage. Friends watch films I am involved in and discuss the issues reflected in the stories. Complete strangers feel validated with the experiences I describe in my poems. I have so much room for improvement but it is already evident that in this line of work, I have the potential to leave a mark on society.
The BA (Hons) Acting course at DCL is a 3 year course, consisting of 3 terms per year, 33 weeks per term. As a full-time student, I commit a combined average of 35 hours per week for tutorials, presentations and rehearsals. This excludes the time needed for independent study and rehearsals (which can take up to 15-20 hours a week). Once one takes into account necessary living habits (i.e. eating, sleeping, traveling, chores), there is very little time and energy left to earn even a part-time income.
Rent & Bills: £900 per month
Groceries: £50 per month
Household: £30 per month
Medication: £20 per month
Misc. (phone bills, school supplies, travel): £50
TOTAL PER MONTH: £1050
Academic Year 2019/2020: 33 weeks ≈ 8 months
TOTAL FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2019/2020: £1050 x 8 months ≈ £8000
The crux of the issue: I tried to balance a part time job throughout most of my first year and the stress that built up hindered any progress I made as an actor. I am only human and do not have the energy or psychological capacities to handle both.
I am the eldest of three children in my family, and I am using a bank loan to cover the international school fees (avg. £20k per year). My parents' income are in the middle-class range, which means I do not qualify for bursaries, but they are unable to financially support my studies overseas. I am still seeking financial assistance from various Singaporean organisations but the process of searching, resourcing and applying is highly laborious and time-consuming. Earlier this year, I was blessed to have been awarded the John Blatchley Bursary by the Friends of Drama Centre, but it was quickly used up to cover rent and other necessities, much less any leisure activities like theatre shows which can expose me to more of my craft.
The second year of training at Drama Centre has always been made known to be incredibly intense both in terms of workload and development of skills. The money from your generosity will go into making my current living situation a more conducive environment for me to focus on my training, and any excess funds will automatically go into supporting my third year.
Choosing to create a fundraising page was (and still is) a difficult decision for me, but circumstances have convinced me to let go of my pride. If possible, I would also like to offer my appreciation in the following ways:
Donations between £25-99 - 30-60 minute Tarot Reading consultation (DM me on FB or Instagram for more information!)
Donations between £100-499 - Commissioned poem / spoken word piece
Donations between £500-999 - Dedicated YouTube video
Donations between £1000 and above - Discounted / Free tickets to my performances (normally reserved for family and close friends)
In the end though, I do feel like nothing I dictated can really repay you for the compassion you're showing me even as you read this page; I can only work harder and better to prove that every cent contributed will be worth its weight in gold.
"I have the right to be here."
The methodology, syllabus, and spirit that surrounds the Drama Centre curriculum not only complements my intellectual and active nature, but also challenges my biases and habits. I am confident that after graduating from this school, I will be a better qualified actor to take on meaningful roles and deliver authentic, truthful characters.
However, the end goal has never been just to be a good actor. The arts scene functions as a pedagogical tool in society - for both the majority and the marginalised. In the past, I have sought opportunities which worked towards empowering others through my performances. I want to continue to be a teacher; I want to continue to give voice to the voiceless; I want to serve all the communities I live in by being a facet of the mirror that is the performing arts, for social and emotional development.
It is exciting to be on this journey of actualising my dreams, and I'm thrilled to be able to share this with anyone and everyone.
Thank you to friends and family who sometimes have so much more faith in me than I do myself.
Thank you to strangers and colleagues whose words of encouragement over the years have boosted me more than they realised.
And thank YOU, for reading this far / any contribution you make / sharing this with people you know.
No matter the difficulties I face, I promise - always - to do my best!
Drama Centre London
Drama Centre London (DCL) was founded in 1963 by a breakaway group of teachers and students from the Central School of Speech and Drama, led by John Blatchley, Yat Malmgren and Christopher Fettes. It is considered to be the first 'Method' drama school in Britain. Since 1999, the school has been part of Central Saint Martins (CSM) College of Arts and Design, a constituent college of the University of the Arts London offering degree programmes in acting, directing and screenwriting. Because of its rigour, the school's nickname is "Trauma Center".
Its principal approach towards acting articulates Stanislavski's system, with the movement work of Rudolf Laban and the character typology of Carl Jung to produce a 'movement psychology' for the analysis and development of characters. The school's work also draws on the English tradition, major developments in American and European theatre, and training students in improvisation through the Yevgeny Vakhtangov and Jacques Lecoq traditions. Besides incorporating both modern and classical texts, Drama Centre was also the first British drama school to introduce great classical texts from Spain, Germany and France. Today, this tradition continues and is reflected in a broad spectrum of international links, which includes schools in the USA, Russia and China.